By on May 8, 2012

The Kia Sedona is practically a fossil from a previous geological era compared to its American and Japanese competition – and for 2013, the aging Sedona will finally die off. But that doesn’t mean Kia is abandoning the minivan market.

According to Kia, the Sedona will die in 2013, but the 2014 model year will bring about a new minivan from Kia, which wants to keep a dog in a fight that was abandoned by parent company Hyundai, which sold their Entourage minivan for a brief period in the 2000’s. Hopefully the new car rides on a much newer platform and shares styling and components with the new Kia Optima. The current Sedona is a holdout from the days when you bought a Kia because of poor credit, rather than out of your own free will.

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23 Comments on “Kia Sedona Takes A “Time Out”, Returning To Minivan Market In 2014...”


  • avatar
    afflo

    Do you have a job! Do you have $199? Do you want a new car?

    Bad Credit?
    No Credit?

    NO PROBLEM!

    … at Kia Autosport.

    For a limited time, buy a Kia Sedona, get a Kia Rio for ONE DOLLAR! That’s right, a new car for ONE DOLLAR!

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    I have to step in and defend the Sedona here. I bought a 2012 version last fall. I needed a new car and didn’t want to spend a lot of money. Frankly, the Sedona has been what everybody says it wants: a reasonably priced people carrier that is reasonably comfortable and drives reasonably well. And it largely is either in the ballpark with or a fair amount better than the competition in repair surveys at JDPower or TrueDelta.

    Do I like it as well as my 99 Town & Country? Yes and no. The Chrysler was better thought-out inside. However, the Kia’s 271 hp V6 and 6 speed autotrans is a complete and total delight to drive. In more historical terms, I sort of think of it like a 1970s Matador wagon with the big 401 V8 – an elderly off-brand that really scoots. But with a much better warranty.

    The vehicle has been around since 2006. It is old. However, the benefit of old is that you can get really aggressive on price. I am surprised that they do not keep it around for another year, promote its value, and then replace it with the new one. After all, it was only in 2012 that they finally replaced that horribly ugly grille with the fairly attractive Kia corporate grille. But me? A satisfied customer.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Kia still makes the Sedona???

    Disposable car – drive it for 125K to 150K miles and take it to the junkyard.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      Agreed, but 125K? Are these known to have that kind of longevity?

      • 0 avatar
        Unobtanium

        Are you serious? 125K is nothing for *most* cars these days, even previously sub-par Korean outfits like Kia can make a car that will do 150K easily, with regular and correct maintenance. This isn’t 1978, where my dad’s Ford Escort (UK) hit 80K and we were wondering how much longer it would last…!!! I have read many articles recently, on both TTAC and elsewhere, that suggest that 100k is just ‘broken in’ and that 200k is the new ‘end of life’.
        (Now, that’s put the kiss of death on my Sedona, watch as my transmission pukes a shaft next week at 89K….!!! ;-)

  • avatar
    infinitime

    I cross-shopped a 2007 model last year, when we were looking for a minivan, we liked it enough to put a down payment on it. Then the KIA dealership sold it from under our nose on some pretense that it did not meet their internal “safety” inspection, and therefore they were “unable” to sell it to us. (but was perfectly happy to sell it to someone else after they “remedied” the safety issue, at a considerable markup).

    Anyhow, I thought it was a decent vehicle. It was a base model with manual sliding doors, and virtually no power options. It felt very “direct” in its operation, when compared to the Odyssey and the Sienna.

    Though those Japanese entries were clearly more refined in its operation (smoothness and such), the Kia felt more “mechanical”. Hard to explain, but the best comparison I could make is that the difference was like how a roadbike felt, compared to a full suspensioned bike cruiser bike, it just felt more direct in its operation.

    • 0 avatar
      Unobtanium

      Another happy customer and defender of the Sedona here. We bought our 2007 model in summer 2009 for $10K cash out the door (can you say ‘spectacular depreciation?!’) and we have put close to 40k on it since then with only minor issues (door lock actuator) and regular maintenance. As an owner of a 2007 Odyssey as well (yes, a two-van family, sad but true) I feel particularly qualified to make comparisons. Sure the Ody is more refined but I have serious doubts about the transmission’s ability to hold up past 100k, whereas the Sedona’s just feels solid, and far smoother. Little details that the Sedona gets right are missing in the Ody – for example why does the ‘cheap’ Kia have hydraulic struts to hold up the hood, and the Honda has the old-fashioned metal pole you have to manually attach? And the Ody would get its ass handed to it by the Kia it in a straight line – the 3.8 Lambda unit is surprisingly punchy. I imagine the new 3.5 mill with 271hp is just a hoot (for a van….) Infinitime nailed it – it just feels more ‘raw’ and sometimes I miss that in the ‘tune out ANY involvement at all costs’ Odyssey. If there are good deals to be had on the run-out models I might be tempted…

      • 0 avatar
        jpcavanaugh

        @ I imagine the new 3.5 mill with 271hp is just a hoot (for a van….)
        Oh, God yes. Honestly, the thing has the feel of a big block Mopar with a Torqueflite. The 6 speed auto is almost always in the right gear, and even if not, the engine has enough power to deal with it.
        The engine itself is a thing of beauty. Moderate throttle acceleration is amazing. As the revs go up, it wants to rev all the more, an odd sensation when not moving the throttle. Nail the gas pedal, and the thing just flies. It is almost frightening. But really, really fun.
        If I can keep myself under control, it gets really good mpgs too – averages 19 mpg and into the 20s on the highway (3 to 4 mpg improvement over my 99 T&C with the 3.3).

      • 0 avatar
        K5ING

        I have to agree with you about the Kia-Honda comparison. The company I worked for had a fleet of Kias, all about 2010 models, and one Honda Odyssey van. I would usually drive one of the Kias 3 or 4 days a week, and the Honda 1 or 2 days a week. I preferred the Kias to be honest. They were FAST, quieter, and more pleasant to drive than the Honda.

  • avatar
    micvog

    This article is a little harsh on the Kia. We bought a minivan last month and looked at all of the players – Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Chrysler/Dodge and Kia. If it weren’t for the slimy sales tactics of the Kia dealer and the $6K discount offered by the Chrysler dealer, we would have ended up with one.

    • 0 avatar
      jpcavanaugh

      Pretty much the opposite with us. The Kia dealer was very good, and Kia was offering a $2k rebate to owners of a competitive minivan. Mine having just chewed up and swallowed its transmission, the current registration turned out to be the only part of my old T&C with any value. Another $2k rebate on top of that one and some discounts besides, and I was amazed how little the thing cost.
      The Chrysler would have been my next choice, but the new 3.6 engine without a 100K warranty made me hesitate. Some of Chrysler’s recent new engines have not been things to celebrate.

      • 0 avatar
        micvog

        It’s funny that you mention the competitive trade-in rebate. Both Kia ($2500) and Chrysler ($1750) had a general rebate, but Chrysler modified their competitive trade rebate to include anything, including our Forester.

        The 2012s include a 5yr/100k power train warranty. But there are enough electronics that I am a little worried; the Kia seemed a little more “honest” in this regard and that it would age better and with less expensive repairs.

  • avatar
    DenverInfidel

    Just had a sedona as a rental on golf trip. Don’t have much history with vans but I thought it was a good car. Its a little dated platform-wise but for what one probably costs slightly used its a great people mover.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    In late June of 2007, we had a rental Sedona out of Boston for a wedding on Cape Cod. Silver, of course – aren’t they all?

    It was competent enough, I suppose, but my taste for minivans had passed years before as we no longer needed one. It wasn’t the most comfortable vehicle, that’s for sure, but not the worst, either.

    Would I buy one now? I have no idea. What I do like is that they seem to be a bit more basic than the overweight, bloated Honda and Toyotas. Chryslers? I don’t know – I’m waiting for any reports of major problems, as I don’t trust them yet.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      A daughter-in-law of mine had a Kia Sedona that was bought brand new and kept for several years. The reason she bought a Kia was the price.

      At the time, brand new, it went for $16995, with everything that mattered, and nothing that did not matter. Not even a Dodge Minivan came close in price or equipment.

      Granted, the Sedona wasn’t a fancy Mom-mobile but for the five years she owned it, it did everything she needed it to do, like Mom’s taxi service for the kids, or Mom’s grocery-getter, or Mom’s chariot for night school college.

      Aside from wearing out tires rather quickly and handling the slalom like a drunk elephant, it worked rather well and never broke down. All I did to it was pump up the tires, change the oil and the filters during the entire period she owned it.

      When she traded it off for a brand new Honda Odyssey, the Sedona wasn’t worth much in trade-in value. Then again, it didn’t cost much to begin with, and she hadn’t spent a dime on anything either. I bought her a new set of Yokohamas at 25K miles to replace the cheapo Sumhos that came with it.

      Comparing a $17K Sedona to a $40K Odyssey isn’t fair, but in fact, the Odyssey doesn’t do anything better than the Sedona did. The Odyssey does it with finesse and style, true!, and hopefully it will retain its value better than the Sedona did.

      There’s a place for the new Sedona but price-point is what’s going to make it or break it. If they want them to sell, price them below the Dodge.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        Was yours silver, too?

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Zack, it was Dark Forest Green. It was the only one we had ever seen in that color.

        So when we saw one cruising around, loaded with kids at a Sonic, we naturally pulled up and checked it out. Lo and Behold! It had the same Yokohamas as the one I had bought the Yokos for.

        Somewhat cautiously I approached the driver of the Sedona and found out she was a SSgt from the nearby airbase and she wanted to know all about the car once she found out my daughter-in-law had owned it for five years.

        She stayed in the area for a couple more months and was then deployed to Afghanistan after which she went to a base in TX where she had left her kids and the Sedona at her parents’ home.

        We lost track of her and the Sedona after that.

  • avatar
    John

    Gut it, put some sticky tires on the stock wheels, and street race it. Nothing, but nothing makes a sleeper like a mini van.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    I think everyone here is saying exactly right. While the Kia may have been old in it’s model run. It was surprisingly good in all the right areas.

    in 2007/2008 I had to do a lot of renting of vehicles and I rented a few dodge caravans, a toyota sienna, and a few kias. The kia just felt right driving it. The others all seems off somehow. Nice, but just not quite what I expected to drive in a minivan.

    that being said, an update is a good idea, but this vehicle is certainly not as bad as people sometimes make it out to be. And with the depreciation and the durability of the v-6 drivetrain, I imagine these are quite the bargain on the used car market.

  • avatar
    87CE 95PV Type Я

    I do wonder if they are going to make the Sedona better since our 05 is kind of a pile and I prefer to drive my 95 Voyager over it. The Kia’s steering is video game like, the fuel economy is not so good, and there are just several reasons I loathe it.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    We bought our 09 Sedona in 2010 and it’s been a great car. It was a former rental.

    We towed across the country with it last year on a camping trip, and it performed admirably.

    It is undoubtedly the best minivan we’ve had, following a 96 Voyager (good), 05 Odyssey (awful), and 98 Caravan (good).

  • avatar
    bd2

    The Sedona is way past its prime (if it really had one), but it’s not a bad people mover for those who need something for considerably less $$.

    Kia dealerships supposedly would like to get their hands on more Sedonas, but for some reason the supply is limited.

    The next gen Sedona is supposed to be less “minivan” in shape and more like a futuristic-MPV (better fitting with Kia’s sportier intent, at least in comparison to Hyundai).


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