By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.6
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
By Pam on Tuesday, September 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "great van :)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We bought this van used in 2009, been across the country three times with it, and on several additional vacations with 3 kids. Used to haul all our kids and their friends everywhere plus to and from school daily. Has never let us down with the exception of the routine things such as battery, etc. Recently started having some electrical issues but I think its due to age and use. I would highly recommend the Kia Sedona to anyone with kids. Excellent vehicle :)"
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Mike on Tuesday, September 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,581overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "economical & fun to drive"
Cons: "Caution! It has rear blind spots"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"We bought this used car in St. Petersburgh in 2010 from a Nissan Dealer. It had just over 1000 miles of use. We can provide records if necesssary. We immediately had the Black finish weather protected with a special $300.00 Simonize coating. It has served us well at a time when we were still loading and unloading our belongings from when we moved here permanently in 2009. We have had the car serviced when necessary by the Gulfport Garage Inc. exclusively. We have replaced all four tires recently and have kept it in very good condition. It gets good mileage and now we only need it for transportation driving it only about 5000+ mile per year. I am looking to trade down to an older car in good condition. A newer car is not affordable for us at this time. I am a disabled Vet and because of my advancing age I find I now need a car that is more driver friendly in terms of more leg room and possibly without a middle console. I am 6'-3" tall & over 300lbs.so I will still need a mini van type of car because of the ease of entry and exit."
4 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Katy-did on Monday, September 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Plenty of power- nice ride"
Cons: "over priced new-trade-in value bad"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Bad thing is rear view mirror night dimmer to bright. Original tires very loud, and don't like camera on rear view mirror: is distracting at night can't see back-up lights because to bright in eyes. Love it during the day. Poor security against theft .Drive is comfortable only if you are 5'5 or under. No room for tall people driver's seat doesn't go back far enough(this is serious problem). Sound system good. Service at dealership to high for 30,000 service check up. Paint good,interior nice - convenient(especially the tray between the driver and passenger seats). Plenty of room for passengers. Seats fold easily. Overall I love this vehicle, one of the best I've ever owned. Holds to the road excellent even in adverse conditions. Plenty of power if needed. Problem: rotors front and rear warp to easy.Had to replace by 27,000 miles. 90% of my mileage is highway, from Akron OH to Parkersburg WV."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By john on Friday, August 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Goes exactly where pointed. Great in rain."
Cons: "Noisy on highway."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Buying a 4th van. Says it all. Great handling, stopping and comfortable. Car is nosy on high way. My only complaint."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By John on Friday, August 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliable; low maintenace"
Cons: "None really. It is what it is - a minivan"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Lots of miles. City and highway. Not glamorous ; not sexy; but very reliable transportation. Low maintenance. Very good value."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Dale on Sunday, August 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "good price, comfort"
Cons: "lots of repairs"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"The Kia Sedona is a good vehicle until they hit the 70000 to 90000 mile mark and then watch out. We had a 2006 Sedona and after 50000 miles it was in the shop once every couple of months for major repairs. On the 6th major repair we finally was able to have Kia trade us for a 2009 Sedona. We had the same problem with the 2009 sedona, that once it hit 70000 miles it started having major mechanical problems that is costing us more money then the car is worth. We have a ford truck with 135000 miles and a saturn with 200400 miles that do not have trouble like the sedona. Be prepared to put a lot of money into the repairs"
11 people out of 16 found this review helpful