Kia Sedona Road Test Review
by Martha Hindes
2012 Minivan Buyer's Guide - Top Picks
Sometimes nothing hits the mark as much as an adage. Someone, somewhere sized up a situation and put a distinctive spin on the result. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," is one. Or how about the story of Goldilocks and the porridge that was "just right." In spite of some assessments by armchair quarterbacks, those are two of the sayings that could apply to the 2012 Kia Sedona minivan.
In the ever mutating landscape of new cars and trucks, having something that really works and stays that way can be seen as lacking interest. Or that a vehicle was relegated to the background in favor of something new and dramatic. But consumers looking for a solid performer don't always need to be teased with the latest and greatest. Sometimes, it's one that fills a need with consistency: A reason perhaps that the 2012 Sedona is one of the most researched on the market.
According to some consumer tracking services, Sedona comes in third when potential buyers scrutinize 2012 minivans they're thinking of buying. That's not background noise on the current minivan stage. It tends to show that people on a budget want a good buy, even if its exterior look is a few years older, but still solidly and spaciously designed.
While some of the revamped competitors have base pricing at or above the $30K range, Sedona starts at $24,595 before $795 in destination charges. That includes some standard high tech items such as Bluetooth, keyless entry and USB connectivity that are options on some pricier brands.
The front-drive Sedona benefits from a new 3.5-liter, 271-horsepower, V6 engine, with six-speed automatic transmission that includes standard manual shift mode. That was added last year as the Sedona's only power plant in both LX and pricier EX models. That gives the Sedona comparable gusto to the most recently redesigned competitors, and we think it shows in its performance, handling and ride comfort. And its mileage weighs in respectably at 18 city/25 highway on regular fuel.
Inside, the Sedona seats the expected seven that a full-size 2012 minivan should hold when seats aren't folded down for added cargo space. Second row captain's chairs, steering wheel-mounted audio and overhead conversation mirror are among standard amenities. Premium entertainment and navigation systems are available on the feature-laden EX version.
Granted, the exterior doesn't make it the freshest faced minivan on the block for 2012. The Sedona doesn't have sculptured lines, or a bulging nose, or an oversized rear spoiler or wraparound "greenhouse" glass that gives rear passengers a better view outside. Where it does shine is in some areas that are the most important considerations when choosing a family friendly vehicle. High on that list is safety, an area where it has excelled, including rollover crash-worthiness. Standard safety equipment includes active headrests, a backup warning, advanced traction and advanced airbag systems.
We won't give the Sedona any "of the year" awards. There are too many areas that require more intense, and recent, innovation for that. But for some solid performance, and ability to underscore the care a car should provide, we think it can hold its own. And its 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty could prove that we're right.
Visit the Kia Sedona website, click here.