2008 Kia Sedona Minivan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Kia Sedona Minivan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Kia Sedona Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.8 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 250 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Kia Sedona

  • Buyers willing to look past the 2008 Kia Sedona's minor faults will be rewarded with a well-equipped, practical and impressively affordable minivan.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Powerful and refined V6 engine, quiet ride, plenty of cabin storage, excellent crash test scores, available short-wheelbase model, long warranty coverage, strong value.

  • Cons

    No fold-flat third row in short-wheelbase version, minor deficiencies in terms of cabin materials quality and available features.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Kia Sedona sees no significant changes.

Full 2008 Kia Sedona Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Kia Sedona sees no significant changes.


Like Mark Wahlberg, Kia has honed its craft and has quickly grown from being a source of sharp-tongued jokes to something that gets serious praise from critics. Less than 10 years ago, Kia had about as much presence in the automotive marketplace as Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch would've had sharing a stage with Prince. Honda and Toyota executives weren't exactly losing any sleep over Kia back then. But about five years ago, Kia begun to add feature-laden, competitively priced vehicles like the Sedona and Sorento to its lineup, and it's been gold-album hits ever since.

Today Kia stands wheel to wheel with the biggies, and the 2008 Sedona is a great example why. Though the first-generation Sedona was a good choice for those on a tight budget who needed a minivan loaded with features for a bargain price, it lost points for its lackluster acceleration, sloppy handling, so-so fuel economy and hefty curb weight. But this second-gen Sedona (which bowed two years ago) is the benefactor of an extreme makeover that makes the old and new Sedonas as different as night and day.

With a longer wheelbase, more powerful engine, new suspension and lighter curb weight, this Sedona is much more agile, while also providing more passenger room and greater fuel efficiency. There's also a short-wheelbase Sedona that came out last year. More than a foot shorter in overall length and even more affordable than the standard Sedona, this new addition is ideal for those who don't need the space of a small apartment on wheels. There are a few caveats for the shortie version -- instead of the 60/40 split, fold-flat third-row seat is one that's split 50/50 and must be removed from the vehicle if more cargo space is needed. To its credit, though, the SWB Sedona still comes standard with important safety features like stability control and side curtain airbags.

Along with its Hyundai Entourage twin, the 2008 Kia Sedona is an impressively well-rounded minivan, particularly the long-wheelbase model. It doesn't quite have the polish or refined road manners as our favorite minivan -- the Honda Odyssey-- nor can it match the Dodge Grand Caravan or Toyota Sienna in terms of available family-friendly features. But factor in its significant price and warranty advantages, and the Sedona makes a strong case for itself in the minivan segment.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Kia Sedona minivan is available in two sizes -- a short-wheelbase model (SWB) and a long-wheelbase model (LWB). Both minivans seat seven, though only the bigger van has a fold-flat third-row seat. The Sedona SWB model comes in a base trim level only, while the Sedona LWB comes in LX and EX trim levels.

The base Sedona comes with 16-inch steel wheels, dual manual-sliding rear doors, privacy glass, second-row captain's chairs, a 50/50-split removable third-row bench, triple-zone air-conditioning, keyless entry, cruise control, full power accessories and an eight-speaker CD stereo. The larger Sedona LX is similar but swaps in a 60/40-split fold-flat third-row seat. The Sedona EX adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack with crossbars, foglights, power front seats, an upgraded MP3-capable CD player, power rear-quarter windows, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

Options for the LX include dual power-sliding doors (also offered on the base trim) and a rear DVD entertainment system. The EX also allows one to opt for a sunroof, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, heated seats, adjustable pedals, automatic climate control and a premium Infinity audio system with 13 speakers.

Powertrains and Performance

All Kia Sedonas come with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that produces a healthy 250 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent through a five-speed automatic transmission to the front wheels. For such a big vehicle, acceleration is fairly brisk at 9.3 seconds for the 0-60-mph dash. Fuel economy for the 2008 Sedona stands at 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.


Antilock disc brakes with brake assist, front seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front active headrests, traction control and stability control are all standard on the 2008 Kia Sedona. The EX trim offers the options of rear park assist and adjustable pedals. In government crash testing, the Kia Sedona received a top five-star rating in all frontal- and side-impact tests. It also excelled in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, earning the top score of "Good" in that agency's frontal offset and side-impact tests as well as earning a 2008 Top Safety award.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Kia's interior puts the emphasis on function rather than style. Although most materials are solid in quality, a few trim pieces and some switchgear fall short of what you'll find in the top rivals. Ergonomics are a mixed bag -- the triple-zone climate controls are tricky to use while driving (particularly the manual setup), while the audio controls couldn't be simpler.

All Sedonas offer plenty of storage and seating is comfortable in all three rows, though larger families will want the extra legroom of the long-wheelbase model. The LWB Sedona also comes standard with a 60/40-split third-row seat that folds flat into the floor, which makes it a lot easier to switch between hauling kids and cargo. The second-row seats in all vans can be flipped forward or removed. Set up for cargo duty, the LWB Sedona maxes out at 142 cubic feet, just a few cubes shy of its competitors from Dodge, Honda and Toyota. The short-wheelbase van offers a total of 121 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The 2008 Kia Sedona is impressively quick off the line and swift during highway passing maneuvers, and it provides a smooth, quiet ride. Even at high speeds, front and rear passengers can maintain a conversation without having to yell. The Sedona is composed over most roads, but handling isn't athletic. Compared to the Odyssey, there's more body roll and the steering isn't as precise. But as utilitarian vehicles go, the Kia is still quite competent and should be on your short list if you're shopping for a minivan.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Not comfortable

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Kia Sedona LX 4dr Ext Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 5A)

In 2012 we purchased a 2008 Sedona with 65,000 miles to replace a 92 Plmouth Voyager that had 210,000 miles. The Sedona handled much better and had lots of power compared to the Plymouth. Our Sedona had non-power cloth seats; my back would hurt after about an hour and my wife complained about her legs hurting. We sold the Sedona after owning for three months. First time I've had a vehicle for such a short period of time. Also, the carpet was sort of like that trunk carpet where you can't hardly sweep anything out of it (sand/grass/etc.). The doors would easily freeze shut in the cold, and the interior trim just didn't look like it was gong to hold up as well as the Plymouth did.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Kia not loyal to me

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Vehicle: 2008 Kia Sedona EX 4dr Ext Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 5A)

We bought a brand new '08 KIA Sedona EX, with all the bells and whistles (leather heated seats, adjustable pedals, sunroof, DVD system, etc., except navigation). We had an '06 Sedona LX that we liked and I figured we'd go for top of the line. Don't get me wrong, we love our EX, but will never buy another KAI again; no trade-in or resale value. We average 20 miles to the gallon, combined city and highway, but wanted something better on the gas. We checked into the KIA Sorento, really liked it and it gets excellent gas mileage with the 2.4L GDI engine. When I asked what I could get for a trade-in, I was told $13,000. My best advice...check resale values before you buy your next new car.

Very good value used

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Vehicle: 2008 Kia Sedona LX 4dr Ext Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 5A)

I bought a 2008 Kia Sedona LX (no options) in November 2011 for $12,600 CDN. The car had 38,000 kms on it with full bumper to bumper warranty until September 2013. I've had it for 17 days now with 1,000 kms put in. The V6 engine is the same as the Hyundai Genesis' V6 - smooth with plenty of power. The Sedona is a very good highway cruiser: quiet, comfortable and decent gas consumption. In the city, the suspension will tell you every bump in the road. It doesn't handle as well as it's competitors but that's not saying that the Sedona handles poorly. It is car like in handling but not as good as it's competitors. Base LX model is pretty loaded. Very good minivan for your money.

Kia got it right

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Vehicle: 2008 Kia Sedona LX 4dr Ext Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 5A)

The soccer mom meme doesn't apply. There's nothing "mini" about this van. It is as solid a beast as any pick-up truck, IMO. The versatility is amazing, converting it from a hauler w/ the rear seats down and the mid seats folded fwd, to a comfortable transport for seven. Everything is where it needs to be - cup holders, nooks, comfortable seating & decent mileage. My only gripe is AM radio reception which is limited to only local broadcasts - no distant stations can be rec'd where any other radio would, easily. Not sure if this is just my Sedona doing this, or others have similar issues.. Would be curious to know, if it can be fixed. Note the newer Sedonas no longer use in-glass antennas.

Trip car

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Vehicle: 2008 Kia Sedona LX 4dr Ext Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 5A)

We selected the Kia over other makes result of maintenance reviews. Our 2008 Sedona has 39,000 ( used)is a great van with plenty of space and lots of comfort for our family. Took road trip of 3.000 traveled wonderful. 25 mpg on road. Easy to drive and plenty of pep. The seats are very adjustable with good support. Lots of storage in cabin and rear of two back seats. Air and heat in compartment very good and door windows give lots of air inside.

Very noisy cabin

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Kia Sedona 4dr Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 5A)

The ride is rigid and the cabin is extremely noisy (unlike other reviews seen here). Other than that it is a decent, practical vehicle but is is hard to get past the noise.

Talk About The 2008 Sedona

2008 Kia Sedona Discussions See all Started By

Hi, I have a 2008 Kia Sedona base style. I have a problem, which all the doors electronically lock, except the driver's sliding door, this also happens when I press the lock button on the remote contr...

It's me I'm back. I see that KIA and Hundai are still stonewalling it. Like you Julieer1 I love my Sedona. If you have read my previous posts you know I also went through what you are doing now. I...

Have you figured it out yet or had any luck....we have the same problem with a new van. Kia Sedona 2008...they say nothing is wrong either and we almost got in an accident today on the highway with o...

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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