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 mama Holly (OH) on Monday, May 20, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 103,955overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Purchased the vehicle used a 2006 in 2010. had almost 70,000 miles so I didnt think I would love this car sooooo much!! had no problems and have 104,000 miles on it. still running GREAT!"
By Christian (TN) on Thursday, May 02, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "A lot of cup holders....love that"
Cons: "Poor quality and do not hold value at all"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"When you buy a Kia you are very impressed by all the extras you get for your money compared to other brands (Toyota, Honda and even European cars) But when you get in this vehicle and put a few miles in it you are going to notice that all this extras are cheap quality. Everything feels like if it is breaking apart. Less than 100k and check engine on, 3rd alternator, AC wont work. I had 3 Kias in my life and hopefully I will never own another one never again. I had a Kia Sephia 1998 (mom gave it to me) then a 2007 Rio (Brand New- Gave me brakes problems before 10k miles and I traded in for a Honda Accord 2008 and offcourse i was super upside down) and now this Sedona 2007. Im done with Kia's and their cheap quality. DONE."
By Cece (OK) on Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 122,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Cons: "Gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had my van for 4 years now. When I got it it was 3 years old & had 86k mi on it. It is without a doubt the most comfortable vehicle I have ever had & has been very reliable with the exception of normal wear & tear. I have no complaints at all."
By Andrew (OH) on Tuesday, April 02, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Price, reliability, space, power rear windows"
Cons: "Bland styling, dealer maintenance costs"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Bought my 2009 LX used in December 2009 with around 20k miles. It has been a great van and won me over versus the Dodge Caravan I was also considering at the time. The only negatives are just a few minor recall items and some rather expensive dealer visits for routine maintenance to keep the warranty in place. Normal wear and tear items like brake pads and tires are the only thing I have had to purchase. I bought this originally for my wife to drive, but I end up driving it 95% of the time which is ok with me. Plenty of room for the kiddos plus luggage for trips. Overall, I have been pretty satisfied with this purchase and I look forward to seeing the 2014 redesign that hopefully fixes the current models rather bland styling. Gas mileage is decent for a van with low 20's on the highway and upper teens around town."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By TonyM (AL) on Tuesday, January 22, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 136,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "inexpensive, safe, sporty (driving) for a minivan"
Cons: "trans could hold 1st gear slightly longer"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought as a former rental vehicle with 32k on it, put 100+k on it over the next four years. My parents and brothers all own (or owned) Honda Odysseys, and I much prefer the Sedona. It's sportier than the Odyssey, less expensive, and has been as reliable as a Honda - very little has gone wrong with the van. The subframe bushings are starting to squeak some (when cold), but it does have 130+k miles on it. Only real gripes are the clearcoat starting to peel (seems to be a common Kia/Hyundai problem - I've owned several) and 1st gear in the trans doesn't hold long enough - about the time it's starting to get power, it shifts (unless you're accelerating a bit harder than you otherwise might). Otherwise, it's done everything we've asked of it - hauling people, hauling a riding mower, hauling wood, hauling Christmas gifts, hauling dogs... and the seats fold flat easily enough (except the middle seats, which do fold up behind the front seats, or remove completely). As with most vans, fuel economy leaves some to be desired, but this Sedona does fare better than my dad's Odyssey; we get around 16-18 city, 20-22 highway. All in all, excellent for a family - safe, lots of space, reliable, versatile, and relatively inexpensive."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By tony (CA) on Wednesday, January 09, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 99,608overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"although never had engine and transmission problems complain comes ,from sliding door latch does not lock 100%,steering wheel cracks and peels, air bag problem light goes on and off on driver side, dealer not too price friendly ."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful