By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.4
In the world of minivans, the 2011 Kia Sedona is a giant. It offers almost all the features, power and safety of the best minivans, but it costs thousands of dollars less. From its 10-year/100,000 mile warranty to its long list of standard features, the 2011 Kia Sedona is an excellent choice for a family on a tight budget. If there is a fly in the ointment, however, it's the Kia Sedona's resale figures, which rank well below the class leader Honda Odyssey and even below the traditionally underachieving Dodge Caravan. Still, if long-term ownership is more important than retained value, the 2011 Kia Sedona promises years of happy commuting and low monthly payments.
If you think saving money on your next minivan purchase means sacrificing features, comfort and power, the 2011 Kia Sedona will make you think again.
While the 2011 Kia Sedona looks competitive on paper, in person the styling both inside and out is rather generic. Also, those who lease or regularly trade in their vehicles probably won't be impressed by the Sedona's low resale values.
The 2011 Kia Sedona receives an all-new 3.5-liter V6 engine capable of making up to 271 horsepower. That's 23 more horsepower than the previous 3.8-liter V6. A new six-speed automatic transmission replaces the old five-speed. This combination helps improve fuel mileage by two miles per gallon in the government's highway driving cycle. Also new are side mirror turn signal indicators. Now standard on all models, Bluetooth allows hands-free operation of most cellphones. A new, slightly revised grille, shared by other Kias, differentiates the 2011 from the 2010.
Driving Impressions For a minivan, the 2011 Kia Sedona delivers a pretty pleasing driving experience. It corners well, brakes well and accelerates with surprising vigor. The new six-speed automatic displays no sign...of gear hunting, delivering seamless shifts and excellent fuel economy. The captain's chair seating is fairly comfortable, but the seat bottoms proved a bit short for our long legged occupants. Seating in the third row is also well designed, but best suited to young children who don't have to worry about legroom. The Sedona's overall ride is smooth and controlled, and interior sound levels are low enough that we could easily hold a conversation with the second and third-row passengers. On the flip side, the Sedona's turning circle is quite large (39.6 feet) and its ability to maneuver into tight parking spaces is limited.
7.1 Surround Sound System
An available 10-speaker, Infinity audio system features front- and second-row center-channel speakers. It 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 2011 Kia Sedona's seven-passenger layout consists of four captain's chair-style seats. The two in the second row are both removable and reclining. The second row seats also feature a one-touch fold-and-flip device permitting easy access to the 60/40 split bench third-row seat. When not hauling people, the third-row seat can be folded flush into the floor, creating an enormous 141.5 cubic-foot cargo hold. Features of note include power windows in the sliding side doors, a dual glovebox and available power rear vent windows. On the downside, the Sedona's plastic parts feel rather hard and cheap, the faux wood center console is just downright tacky and interior colors are limited to beige and gray.Exterior
While the Honda Odyssey and Nissan Quest have raised the bar for minivan styling, the Kia Sedona sails into 2011 with its same ho-hum appearance. But this is a minivan, not a luxury car, so function should trump form. Its sharply sloping front nose makes it a bit difficult to see the front end when parking, but large side glass makes for excellent 360-degree visibility. The base LX models feature rear sensors designed to warn the driver of objects near the rear of the vehicle, while the up-level EX trim includes a rearview camera to help backing in tight quarters. The EX comes with 17-inch aluminum wheels, while 16-inch covered steel wheels are standard on the LX. Other standard EX features include fog lights and roof rails.
In addition to a 3.5-liter V6 and a six-speed automatic transmission, the base Sedona LX includes tri-zone air conditioning, power locks, power mirrors, power windows, dual sliding rear doors and cruise control. The AM/FM/CD sound system comes with auxiliary and USB inputs, steering wheel mounted audio controls, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and Bluetooth hands-free cellphone connectivity. Standard safety equipment includes front, front-side and three-row side-curtain airbags, advanced anti-lock brakes (ABS), tire pressure monitoring system and electronic stability control, all of which are either currently or imminently government mandated.
Stepping up to the 2011 Kia Sedona EX adds fog lights, power driver's and front passenger's seats, heated mirrors, AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, HomeLink, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power third-row vent windows and power sliding side doors and tailgate. The Power Package, available only on the base LX trim, adds power sliding side doors, automatic headlamps, 16-inch alloy wheels and a rearview camera. The up-level EX trim offers the Luxury Package that includes leather seating, heated front seats, sunroof, power-adjustable pedals and tri-zone automatic climate control. The Premium Entertainment Package includes an Infinity 7.1 Surround Sound system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer and rear DVD entertainment system with two wireless headsets.
The Sedona's 3.5-liter, 24-valve, all-aluminum powerplant with continuously variable valve timing makes it one of the most powerful minivans. Combined with a responsive new six-speed automatic transmission, the Sedona merges, passes and deals with traffic with ease, whether it's on the highway or headed to the supermarket.
271 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
248 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25
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!"
3 people out of 3 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
By preacher (MO) on Wednesday, August 07, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 146,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "excellent handling and reliability"
Cons: "beware of oil changes. could lose warranty"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"excellent value for the money. solid drive and dependable. Did my own oil changes though and lost my warranty. But overall the car is great"
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful