The only Korean-branded MPV on the market, the Kia Sedona brings a family vibe into what is likely its last year on sale in its current form. The Sedona has fallen behind on utilities and gas mileage, and its only changes for the new model year are minor.
Refreshed in the 2011 model year with a new face and revised powertrain, the Sedona continues with its 271 horsepower 3.5-liter V6, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with sport mode. Gas mileage is better, up to 18/25 mpg, and the Sedona’s performance is of the reasonably fast variety that is common to almost all vans – neither too fast nor too slow. The handling is smooth, especially compared to the slightly cheerful Nissan Quest.
Two factors weigh against the Sedona for serious minivan buyers. The first is the safety scores just released by the IIHS. Long “good” in front and side impact protection, the Sedona’s roof strength rating was given a “poor” rating, the lowest of any minivan. This prevents it from being a Top Safety Pick, an honor bestowed on Chrysler, Honda and Toyota minivans. However, the NHTSA did not test the latest Sedona. It comes with standard curtain airbags and stability control, as well as Bluetooth, with an option for rear parking sensors and a rear view camera.
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The other main directive on minivans is flexibility, and here the Sedona is competitive, lagging behind the Chryslers with the Odyssey and Sienna. Grand Caravans and Town & Country vans have two rows of rear seats that fold into the ground; the Sedona and other vans (except the Quest) have sliding second-row seats and a fold-out bench seat in the third row. With the downsizing of the Quest’s interior, however, the Sedona is no longer the smallest minivan, in terms of cubic feet of cabin space.
The Sedona has a fairly long list of standard features, including power functions, air conditioning, satellite radio, and steering wheel audio and phone controls. An EX model comes with power rear quarter windows and a rear view camera. Options include a DVD entertainment system, CD changer and wireless headphones, as well as a navigation system. The Sedona lags behind the Chryslers with their on-board satellite TV and wireless connectivity, and the Sienna with its wonderful 16.4-inch wide LCD entertainment screen.
For an in-depth review of this minivan, check out TheCarConnection’s most recent review of the Kia Sedona.