By KBB.com Editors
The 2008 Kia Sedona minivan is a consumer's best friend and a nightmare for rival manufacturers. In just a few short years, Kia has transformed the Sedona from a middle-of-the-road minivan into a first-rate people mover. With horsepower near the top of its class, a "Top Safety Pick" rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), seating for seven and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, it's hard to argue with the Sedona. Toss in a sticker price thousands less than a comparably-equipped Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna and the Sedona looks downright unbeatable. Of course, the Sedona's resale figures can't compare with its Japanese rivals, but if the initial bottom line is more important than what you might get come trade-in time, the Sedona should be at the top of your shopping list.
If you like saving money but won't sacrifice very much to do so, you'll be excited to see just how well the 2008 Kia Sedona stacks up against some of the category's finest.
The Sedona's up-front collection of knobs and buttons isn't as attractive as some of its competitors' and its biggest disadvantage is its mediocre (but improving) resale value.
No major changes for 2008.
Driving Impressions Impressive cornering limits (which will rarely, if ever, be explored in the real world) combine with a powerful engine and smooth-shifting five-speed automatic transmission to provide an around-town eagerness that...makes the Sedona as enjoyable to drive as any minivan on the road. It's also pleasant enough on the highway, with comfortable seating and interior noise levels that allow for easy three-row conversations. While its 39.6-foot turning circle isn't out of line for a vehicle of its size, the Sedona isn't as maneuverable in tight parking lots as some of its competitors. Getting people and cargo into and out of the Sedona -- one of the more important tasks for a minivan to do well -- is easy, especially when equipped with power sliding doors and a power liftgate.
7.1 Surround Sound System
An available 13-speaker, 660-watt Infinity audio system features front- and second-row center-channel speakers and delivers impressive music and movie performance.
Even though it isn't the most responsive manu-matic transmission, the ability to choose your own gears will be especially welcomed by those that also appreciate the Sedona's relatively eager handling.
The Sedona's seven-passenger layout consists of two second-row, removable, reclining captain's chairs with a one-touch fold-and-flip function that allows for easy access to a three-passenger third row; when you've got more cargo than people to transport, the 60/40-split third row folds flat into the floor. Highlights include second-row opening windows and a multitude of storage options like dual glove boxes. Shortcomings consist of a gauge cluster that's unexciting, a center control panel that's uninspired and available wood-look trim that's reminiscent of wood-paneled wagons and dens from the Brady Bunch era. That our loudest grumblings concern relatively minor matters of interior aesthetics is indicative of just how far the Sedona -- and Kia -- have come.Exterior
Except for its vertical taillamps, the Sedona doesn't carry itself much differently than a Toyota Sienna, which wouldn't be impossible to mistake for a Honda Odyssey. The Kia is also about the same size as those competitors, if not a little longer, taller and wider than both. Base models come in short wheelbase guise, while the LX and EX trims have longer wheelbases. The Sedona EX trims are differentiated externally from entry LX versions by 17-inch aluminum wheels (versus 16-inch covered steel wheels), fog lights and roof rails.
In addition to a 3.8-liter V6 and a five-speed automatic transmission, the base Sedona LX includes tri-zone air conditioning, power locks, power mirrors, power windows, dual sliding rear doors, cruise control, AM/FM/CD sound system, second-row captain's chairs, remote keyless entry, tilt steering wheel, cloth interior, 16-inch covered steel wheels and several storage compartments. An impressive list of standard safety equipment includes front, front-side and three-row side-curtain airbags, advanced anti-lock brakes (ABS), tire pressure monitoring system, Electronic Stability Control and traction control.
Stepping up to the Sedona EX adds fog lights, power driver's and front passenger's seats, heated mirrors, AM/FM/CD/MP3/Aux stereo system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, HomeLink, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power third-row vent windows, compass, 17-inch alloy wheels and wood-like trim that's contained to the center of the dash. Options available only on EX models include leather seating, heated front seats, driver's-position memory, sunroof, power sliding doors and liftgate, power-adjustable pedals, front-row automatic climate control, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, an Infinity 7.1 Surround Sound system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer and rear DVD entertainment system with two wireless headsets. There's also a less sophisticated rear DVD entertainment system that's available on both LX and EX models.
The Sedona's 24-valve, all-aluminum powerplant with continuously variable valve timing makes it one of the most powerful minivans on the road. Combined with a responsive five-speed automatic transmission, the Sedona merges, passes and deals with traffic with ease, whether it's on the highway or headed to the supermarket.
250 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
253 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23
By Jockey Goon (KS) on Monday, December 09, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 113,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"We have a 2008 with the 3.8 and 5 speed auto transmission. I bought this van as a test to see if Kia really did measure up. Wife LOVES the power and the mileage isn't bad (21-22 MPG each tank of fuel mixed highway city). Lots of room and its been very reliable. I avoided the power doors and it's actually pretty limited on options - but does have the 3 zone climate control. Brakes at 80K and no other real repairs. Wife likes the seating (she's small) but I find the seats uncomfortable (I'm 6' 230 pounds) after half an hour. We haul 4 kids (14-11-4-2) every day of the week."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By chris (NC) on Wednesday, December 04, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"I am disappointed how the van 'sits' on the road, it feels a bit flimsy/light weight. I bought this van brand new. Battery died after 3 years. A/C has always had problems, the key gets extremely hot in the ignition (even on cold days), and the break pedal 'sticks' once in a while (quite concerning). Dealership can't find anything wrong. I bought it at a pretty good price, it's paid for, so I'll just keep driving and hope that it'll hold up for a while."
By NDC (TX) on Saturday, November 16, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "fair price for product"
Cons: "doesn't honor warranty"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"The vehicle had not been a bad vehicle at all during the first 18 months of ownership. It was a good product for the price. HOWEVER, at less that 33,000 miles the engine completely failed, and Kia has refused to honor their warranty to repair it. They claim that the maintenance records are not 'reliable' because I had the oil changes done at a small, local vender, not at the dealership or a national chain. Therefore, according to them, I failed to maintain the vehicle properly. They want $8,000 to fix the problem and the vehicle is only worth $12,500. They will not even try to meet me half way or anything!"
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By rob (NC) on Sunday, November 10, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "confortable ride ,has everyhing"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Execellant vision,comfort seats,ease of controls,mileage 24mpg...has everything others are looking for"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Jenn (OR) on Friday, October 11, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We have had no service issues in the past six years, not one (we have had regular maintenance like oil changes of course.) We chose this van for the value for our money, I didn't realize we would love it as much as we have. I love it for the convenience of it. Two kids under six, How did I ever make it without electric doors? My husband loves it (even thought he wanted to hate it) for the versatility. With all the seats out we can transport full size sheets of plywood. )apparently that is a good thing). This minvan is QUICK. I love being in a multi-line stop light in front, no one expects the miniv to dart out in front, however, the low gearing of the engine gets us out first in front of everyone almost every time. The only thing missing is the back up camera. Over all 10 if it had that. Convenient, versatile and powerful for a great price. You can't go wrong."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Debbie (MA) on Thursday, September 26, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Dependable, roomy, great for a family"
Cons: "I would have prefered 4WD"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"We have a medium size family and the car has worked out great. Plenty of room for our kids and their friends. We have had very few issues w/the car outside of normal maintenance. Our kids are getting older so we don't have the same needs as we did previously and that's why we are looking for something different. Good solid car!"
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful