2012 Kia Sedona Minivan Review | Edmunds.com

2012 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 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 271 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2012 Kia Sedona

  • Although still an excellent, feature-laden minivan, the 2012 Kia Sedona lags behind revamped rivals and begs for the upgrade treatment recently given to other Kia models.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Excellent warranty; comfortable ride; quiet cabin; great value.

  • Cons

    Some subpar interior materials and controls; restrictive and tiered options packages.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Kia Sedona carries over unchanged.

Full 2012 Kia Sedona Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Kia Sedona carries over unchanged.


Kia might need to revisit some landmark legislation from the first Bush II administration, for the automaker has clearly left a child behind. While busy overhauling its Optima and giving fresh legs to its Sportage, Sorento and Rio models, Kia has left the Sedona minivan to languish outside the company's halls of engineering and design. That's a shame, because the 2012 Kia Sedona packs the kind of features, conveniences and warranty in a package that from more established competitors would cost additional thousands.

The neglect of the Sedona is especially critical in light of the redesigned minivans from Chrysler, Dodge, Honda and Toyota. In comparison, Kia gave its van a slight power bump and some minor styling tweaks last year. For 2012, the Sedona gets only a few different exterior colors and an optional rear-seat entertainment system for both trim levels. It's still an exceptional value, but the Sedona suddenly looks a little tired within its class and even within its own brand family.

Ultimately, the 2012 Kia Sedona is still a smart pick if you want a safe and comfortable minivan that won't bust the bank. But the reality is that the Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna offer a number of selective advantages, including better fuel economy, more enjoyable driving dynamics, fresher interior designs and superior resale value. There are also the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans, laudable efforts from the home team.

If you want a minivan that offers a lot for less, the Sedona still deserves a look. As for us, we'll be waiting until Kia gets around to giving the Sedona the redesign it deserves.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Kia Sedona is offered in LX and EX trim levels.

Standard LX features include 16-inch wheels, roof rails, keyless entry, full power accessories, rear parking sensors, front and rear-air conditioning, a fold-down table between the front seats and removable second-row captain's chairs. Also standard are 60/40-split fold-flat third-row bench seats, cloth upholstery, a tilt steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, Bluetooth and a six-speaker CD/MP3 stereo with satellite radio and a USB/auxiliary input jack. A rear seat DVD entertainment system is also available.

Upgrading to the EX trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, heated outside mirrors, a power tailgate, power rear quarter windows, power-adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a trip computer and wood interior trim. The EX also includes dual power-sliding doors, chrome exterior trim, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a rearview camera. These features, along with 16-inch alloy wheels, are also available to LX buyers through the Power package.

Additional options on EX models are bundled into packages. The Luxury package adds a sunroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats, power-adjustable pedals, driver-seat memory and tri-zone automatic climate control. Upgrading to either the Premium Entertainment package or Navigation package (you can't get both) requires the Luxury package first. The former package includes a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a 10-speaker Infinity audio system with an in-dash six-disc changer, while the Navigation package adds a navigation system and eight-speaker Infinity audio.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Kia Sedona is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 271 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic with manual shift control is the only available transmission. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined.


Standard safety features for the 2012 Kia Sedona include antilock brakes with brake assist, stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. The Sedona earned the top "Good" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in frontal-offset and side-impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside the cabin, the 2012 Kia Sedona features a modest design that's plain but not unattractive. Most interior materials have a more premium feel, but some elements -- such as instrument bezels, rings and knobs -- feel a little flimsy, underscoring the advantage held by the Sedona's redesigned competitors. Gauges and controls are intuitively placed, with the exception of the haphazardly arrayed manual controls for the climate system.

All three rows of seats provide adequate headroom and legroom, and they're comfortable enough for long-distance road trips. Small storage bins and pockets are plentiful, providing storage for everyone's bottles, cups and portable distractions. The 60/40-split third-row seat folds into the floor and the second-row seats can be folded down at the seatbacks or removed entirely, yielding a competitive 142 cubic feet of maximum cargo space.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Kia Sedona's 3.5-liter V6 generates plenty of power for family and domestic shuttling duties, and like the Honda Odyssey, the Sedona handles well for a minivan. Its commendable cornering feel offers confidence enough to weave around the road's unexpected obstructions. Ride quality doesn't suffer any for the Kia's heightened reflexes either, as the cabin keeps calm and quiet on the highway and over rougher pavement.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

Car good, factory? sleazy option

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Vehicle: 2012 Kia Sedona LX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

we drove several of these til the dealer came up with the colors my wife wanted; on a blustery crosswind day, we compared Sedona to the 4 & 6 cylinder Siennas & the Oddysy in a 6+ mile run on I-70 & a winding, hilly no-shoulder 2-lane. the Sedona & Toyotas were very good & close, the Honda conspicuously less controllable in the twistys & harder to keep in a straight line in freeway crosswinds. We now have 20k on the car & changed to a decent tire-Cooper CS4 at 15k. Drives beautifully. OTOH the autolock/unlock is an idiotic security nightmare, hoodlums will love it, you are a sitting duck when you park

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Good mini van

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Kia Sedona LX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I'm not a soccer mom writing this review. After reading reviews for several mini van makers, and having a friend who just retired a Kia Rio with 346,200 miles on it, that swayed me to the Kia Sedona. Yea, its not a Honda or a Toyota. But it is a surprisingly great family ride. I'm only sorry that Kia has decided to make 2012 the final year for production for the Sedona.

7 of 12 people found this review helpful

Great buy

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Vehicle: 2012 Kia Sedona EX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

As a 71 year old I never thought that I would own a mini-van. But three grandchildren under 4 and a 96 year old mother-in-law changed all that. So I went shopping in late '11 dead set on getting an Oddysey. Reality set in quickly as price and an unwillingness of four Honda dealerships to deal eliminated that choice. And lucky that was for I had a blast shopping around - something I had not needed to do for my previous five cars. My final choice was an easy one spurred by a great deal, friendly dealership, and fully loaded Kia Sedona at about 12k less than the desired Oddysey. It is now ten months and almost 20k miles into the vehicle and I love it.

3 of 10 people found this review helpful

Don't buy this car unless

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Vehicle: 2012 Kia Sedona LX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

The quality of this car is much worse than I expected. Seat material is thin, electronics unresponsive and unpredictable and the brakes are a safety hazard Kia will not own up to. They allow small pebbles from the road to get into the calipers and impede proper braking application. They call this an environmental situation and will not address it as a design flaw. The dealer won't fix it on his dime either. I have only 1800 miles on the car and it has been in twice for repairs. I live on a paved road! I can't afford to keep paying for brake repairs. Be ready for some disappointments if you buy this car and have previously owned a quality built vehicle,

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

2012 sedona

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Vehicle: 2012 Kia Sedona LX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

We traded our 2011 Soul for this Sedona. The soul was a great little car but it was difficult for us to get in and out especially with artificial knees. We absolutely love our Sedona, we have the power package on it which gives you a lot of extras. We average round about driving 23-24 mpg. Not as good as the soul but it sure is a lot easier to get in and out of. The engine is very powerful and will throw you in the back seat if you kick the gas. It has a six speed transmission and we don't even feel it shift. At seventy mph it runs around 1600-1700 rpms. That in itself saves the engine greatly over times. With GM, and Ford quit making vans you only have a very few choices. Love it.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

What the bleep happend to

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Vehicle: 2012 Kia Sedona LX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

The sticker states that this minivan get 18 city and 25 hwy, which I expected after purchasing the vehicle. After 2 months and over 1200 miles the best I've been able to get out of it is 16.5 MPG. For a 21.1 size gallon tank, I become extremely aggravated when I can't even drive 300 miles before I'm in need of a fill up. I felt that this was a rock solid value when I purchased it. Everything else about the van meets or exceeds my expectations. But if I wanted such horrendous gas mileage performance I should have just purchased an SUV!

Talk About The 2012 Sedona

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
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Identifix Reliability Ratings

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