The Auto Trader expert verdict:
Buying an MPV on a budget usually means giving up the niceties. Not in the case of the Sedona. It might not be the fastest, but it more than makes up for that in terms of value.
Reasons to buy:
- Properly sized seven-seat people mover
- Brimming with standard equipment
- Affordable family motoring
How good does it look?
There’s always that nagging feeling that the designers could have tried a little bit harder with the Kia Sedona. Granted, there’s not too much that’s possible with the standard multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) architecture – a big, boxy exterior to accommodate seven people – yet it just lacks the pizzazz we’re now seeing from the European competition. Nonetheless, body-coloured bumpers, door mirrors and handles all come as standard across the range. The two higher trim models also offer powered opening for the rear sliding doors and tailgate.
What's the interior like?
The Sedona may be missing some of the flair of its French counterparts, but the attention to detail and build quality on the inside certainly outshines them. Seating is, as expected, a 2-3-2 affair with those sitting in the front and second row apportioned the most space. The last set of seats is lacking in knee room and they should only really be reserved for children. Disappointingly, some of the plastics Kia has used feel and look cheap and put a fly in the ointment to what is a perfectly acceptable and well-laid out cabin.
How practical is it?
As a load-lugger the Sedona is one of the biggest in its class. Both sets of rear seats can be removed entirely or folded flat into floor – individually or together – to give a total of 1,770 litres of cargo space. A conversation mirror that drops from the headlining will come as a welcome standard feature to all parents, allowing them to see what’s going on in the seats behind them without taking their eyes off the road. Along with two 12V sockets there is a cavernous centre console storage unit and twelve cup holders dotted throughout the cabin.
What's it like to drive?
Kia’s Sedona could never be termed a rewarding drive. It is devoid of any agility and steering feedback is non-existent. However, let’s not forget this is a big MPV and transporting seven passengers in comfort and safety is its primary objective. It does fairly well until it comes across a bump in the road. The slightest imperfection in the tarmac unsettles the car’s composure. It is the same story when corners are taken with a bit too much vigour.
How powerful is it?
Power comes in the form of a refined, rev-happy, 192bhp, 2.2-litre, EU5-compliant diesel engine, which drives the front wheels. This is the only engine on offer but it does come with an optional upgrade from the standard six-speed manual gearbox to a six-speed automatic. A word of caution: the auto does tend to dither over which gear it should be in, especially at lower speeds. Although it is not rip-roaringly quick, the published performance figures do boast a more than adequate top speed of 122mph with a 0-62mph time of 11.3 seconds.
How much will it cost me?
In spite of its diesel engine being fairly frugal (average fuel economy is quoted at 37.7mpg), CO2 emissions are a relatively high 179g/km, placing it about average for tax banding. Servicing is relatively inexpensive, but the Sedona sits in insurance groups 32-33, which isn’t all that cheap.
How reliable is it?
Over the past decade or so Kia has been improving reliability by investing heavily in new production plants and better quality control. So much so that Kia has the confidence to offer a market-leading seven-year warranty on the Sedona now. There have been no problems with reliability reported.
How safe is it?
Apart from anti-lock brakes and electronic brakeforce distribution as standard, the Sedona also has six airbags – front, side and a full-length curtain airbag. All seven seats have three-point safety belts plus Isofix child-seat anchor points on the two outer mid-row seats and two rear seats. The good news is this Sedona gets a better EuroNCAP rating than its predecessor. Adult occupant safety was scored at four stars, child protection at three and pedestrian protection at one star.
How much equipment do I get?
Trim levels can now be distinguished by the numeral 1, 2 or 3, with 1 being the entry model. All come with a bountiful array of equipment that includes air-con, electric windows and MP3 connectivity. Start moving up the range and the goodies keep on coming. There are more safety features, leather, electric opening rear three-quarter windows and a reversing camera. Thereafter, the only extra to consider is a dealer-fit rear-mounted DVD player.
In terms of price and practicality the Kia Sedona outsmarts many of its rivals. Buy it for what it is – a big, well-equipped people mover – and you won’t be disappointed.