By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating:
If you've been shopping the minivan market lately, you know that the days of the cheap family hauler are long gone. Price tags around $30,000 are not uncommon on some minivans, and that's just an entry-level price, which is why we think the 2012 Kia Sedona minivan is so brilliantly positioned. With a starting price below $26,000, the 2012 Kia Sedona minivan isn't some stripped-down model designed to lure you in and then hit you with expensive options. The 2012 Kia Sedona is a well-equipped, well-regarded minivan capable of matching the horsepower and safety ratings of the segment's top sellers. And, while resale figures for the 2012 Kia Sedona minivan rank well below those of the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna minivans, the savings in the showroom, coupled with the Sedona's 10-year/100,000-mile warranty, may be enough to convince shoppers this is one leap of faith worth taking.
If you think you have to pay big money to get big content, the 2012 Kia Sedona minivan proves otherwise. An unbeatable warranty coupled with an IIHS Top Safety Pick award should be enough to dampen any lingering doubts.
About the only reason not to like the 2012 Sedona would be its still relatively unknown long-term reliability record and perhaps its somewhat bland styling. Also, those who lease or regularly trade in their vehicles probably won't be impressed by the Sedona's low resale values.
The 2012 Kia Sedona minivan remains largely unchanged from last year, with the exception of an available rear-seat DVD entertainment system on the LX trim (previously available only on the EX).
Driving Impressions There is nothing "van-like" about the 2012 Kia Sedona minivan's ride and handling. Overall, driving the Sedona is a pretty uneventful chore, with strong acceleration made possible by the potent...271-horsepower V6. The 2012 Kia Sedona's 6-speed automatic is a really fine transmission, showing no signs of gear hunting or abrupt gear changes under hard acceleration. Fuel economy figures are about the same as other minivans in the segment. The Sedona's 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. For the most part, we found the Sedona's steering and braking to be above-board, and the interior sound levels are sufficiently low as to allow normal conversation between people sitting in different rows. If the front-wheel-drive Sedona has one shortcoming, it's the rather large turning circle (39.6 feet to be exact) that limits maneuverability, not to mention U-turn efficiency, in tight confines.
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 who also appreciate the 2012 Kia Sedona's relatively eager handling.
With room for up to seven passengers, the 2012 Kia Sedona minivan offers plenty of room in all three rows, as well as a flexible seating set-up that allows for an easily- configurable combination of passengers and cargo. The Sedona doesn't offer a second-row bench seat, instead providing two, removable captain's chair-style seats with reclining seatbacks and a one-touch fold-and-flip device. Third-row occupants enjoy a small but comfortable 60/40 split-bench seat that folds flush with the floor to create an impressive 141.5 cubic-foot cargo hold (second-row seats removed). Compared to other minivans, the 2012 Kia Sedona's interior plastics aren't as soft or attractively styled, and the color palate consisting of beige and gray is a bit boring. On the plus side, there are lots of storage areas, including a dual glovebox and covered side storage bins. Available features of note include the EX's dual power-sliding side doors and power rear vent windows.
Compared to the exterior styling of the Nissan Quest and Honda Odyssey, the 2012 Kia Sedona definitely looks dated. But, next to a Dodge Grand Caravan, it's actually not so bad. Remembering that styling is the least of a minivan owner's concerns; the Sedona includes a lot of noteworthy functional features. Large side glass and a massive front windshield provide excellent visibility for all, although the Sedona's sloping hood can make it difficult for some drivers to gauge the front of the vehicle. To help with rearward vision, the 2012 Kia Sedona comes with standard rear parking sensors to warn the driver of objects near the vehicle's rear bumper. EX models go a step further with a rearview backup camera and rearview mirror display. 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 6-speed automatic transmission, the 2012 Kia Sedona LX includes tri-zone air conditioning, power locks, power mirrors, power windows, dual sliding rear doors, manual rear vent windows and cruise control. The AM/FM/CD/MP3 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.
Stepping up to the 2012 Kia Sedona EX minivan adds fog lights, power driver's and front passenger's seats, heated mirrors, 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 an auto-dimming mirror with HomeLink and a rearview camera. The up-level EX trim offers the Luxury Package that includes leather seating, heated front seats, sunroof, power-adjustable pedals, memory, tri-zone automatic climate control and a power sunroof. The Premium Entertainment Package includes an Infinity 7.1 Surround Sound system with 10 speakers, an in-dash 6-disc CD changer and rear DVD entertainment system with two wireless headsets, while the Navigation Package adds navigation and an Infinity sound system.
The 2012 Kia 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 6-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 @ 6,300 rpm
248 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25
The 2012 Kia Sedona LX has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting under $26,000, while a fully-loaded EX tops out around $34,500. Kelley Blue Book's Fair Purchase Price reflects real-world transaction prices in your area, so be sure to check it before you buy. Also, be sure to click on the Incentives tab to see what deals the manufacturer is offering. A comparably-equipped Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Town & Country or Honda Odyssey will cost thousands more. While Kia's impressive 10-year/100,000-mile limited warranty works in the Sedona's favor, predicted resale values that fall well short of the category's best can neutralize the Kia's up-front savings.
By Dan (IL) on Tuesday, April 23, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "snappy acceleration"
Cons: "front window noise"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"We now have 16000 miles and have been on 2 trips with this van. Gets great gas mileage, between 25-29 on trips. My only complaint is excessive wind noise from the front windows. Kia replaced the window seals and it helped some but came back. I went to a different dealer who also tried to help but was told by Kia that they know of the problem and there is no fix. I don't like the noise, but overall am pleased with the van."
By UNHAPPY (AZ) on Sunday, February 10, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,200overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "OK driving"
Cons: "BAD workmanship on KIA part"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"The two fornt doors or windows leak air and kia does not know how to fix it. KIA is not standing behind there vehicle's. Also the dealer will not help the customer out after you buy the vehicle (Salazar KIA in Avondale AZ).This is my ninth Kia and I think it my be time too change vehicle MFG."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Nwbum (PA) on Thursday, November 08, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,300overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"3300 miles, so far all is well, road noise is acceptable, pickup is impressive, meets all of my needs re passenger comfort and storage capacity, my wife likes driving it and she is use to Lincoln Towncar, best yet it allows us to take grand kids and dogs to beach house in one vehicle, rather than have to take two cars"
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Heman (KY) on Sunday, October 28, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 123overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Price after rebates, roomy, ride, and power"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I own a Kia Optima now and have had very good service with it and since my daughters car was slowly having problems it came down to that time to look for another auto. I have always liked a mini van and started looking at used Sedona's but after all said and done I broke down and went looking at new one's. So to make this short I got an LX model with the added power package with rear camera and back up sensors with rebates for a little more than a used one, yes you will always find something you would like to change or may not like on any car but for safety, price, and insurance cost you can't go wrong with the Sedona. I guess the main complaint I could find was the body style needs updated compared to the others well I like it just fine, I would say it's coming but over all we are very happy with this Kia Sedona."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By whats his face (MI) on Wednesday, October 24, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,800overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great Mileage, Great handling, rides nice, quiet"
Cons: "Passenger seat uncomfortable when leaned back."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I get very good mileage now. Up to 15,000 miles it was about 17 mpg, now it is 21 and climbing more and more as it breaks in. I got 26.6 on one trip. Back seats and front passenger seat is uncomfortable if you lean back in them As long as they sit up they are fine. Storage seats work great. I liked my Chrysler town and country LTD much better but for 16,000 less this car works out just fine!!"
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By sassy (TX) on Saturday, September 08, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,850overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Cons: "wind noise need bigger door pockes w/cupholders"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"accept for the very, very loud wind noise through the doors, the van performed adeq. Needed more cup holders"
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful