Driving Impressions Kia Sedona Latest Minivans

A great year with North America's least popular SUV

A great year with North America's least popular SUV

My wife and I have been once Deniers of minivan. We desperately needed to keep away from the family stereotypes of family automobiles, however after the start of our second youngster, our resistance collapsed and we entered the SUV world as early as 2010. Final year, we went one step further and have become a family of two SUVs. For the newest addition, we selected Kian Sedona, the least popular SUV in North America. After 12,000 miles and a current two-week street trip, this seems like a very good time to look again and see how Sedona has handled us. Fairly good, it turns out. In the case of Sedona, Least Popular doesn't really mean the least succesful.

First, why a minivan? Two reasons: Value and adaptability. Like many households, we would not have precisely limitless assets, so precedence is given to affordable value of possession. Because we frequently journey long distances, we’d like a cushty automotive that may accommodate 4 individuals and a full load of suitcases. Although off-road automobiles could also be more trendy, they’re costlier and have much less cargo capability than vans. In reality, a suburban automotive – and a $ 50,000 price ticket – is required to discover a SUV that exceeds the standard amount of cargo on the second line of SUVs. Since we don't need 4-wheel or high-performance towing, it's not value paying additional for off-road automobiles. A well-equipped SUV could be bought for nicely underneath $ 30,000. For us minibuses are more smart.

Our SUV experience began in 2010 with the acquisition of the Honda Odyssey, which has served us for 9 years and 136,000 miles. However we didn't need to be fortunate – I might relatively not use a bigger mileage for an extended vacation in the summertime warmth, with full loads of passengers and freight. So final fall we have been purchasing on behalf of the Odyssey follower (no alternative, as it turns out, as a result of I bought a heavy crown to my Victorian and now use Odyssey as my day by day driver.).

North American shoppers have the choice of 5 SUVs. fashions; I'll prevent the small print of the decision, however we went beyond the automotive shopping for course of early on in the Grand Caravan, Odyssey and Pacific. It left the Toyota Sienna and Kia Sedona to battle for our heart and our pockets.

Second place: Toyota Sienna: We have been expecting to like Sienna because it and the Odyssey have been thought-about the gold commonplace for years. vans. We appreciated it, regardless that nothing got here to drive us to adore it. Sienna was nice, versatile, seemingly nicely built and appeared to realize every little thing we expected from a minibus. Then we observed one nagging drawback. During our check drive, Sienna's transmission shifted around – enough for me and my wife to marvel if something was improper.

At house at residence, I researched this and observed that when Toyota was first outfitted with the Sienna (and the Highlander). With the 9-speed transmission for 2017, the complaints have been numerous. In the long run, Toyota released a technical service bulletin for software reconfiguration to clients complaining concerning the tough switch, however this didn’t appear to resolve the matter totally. Both the issue itself and Toyota's strict response to it have cooled our enthusiasm for Sienna. We did not utterly exclude Toyota, however it made the remaining SUV a bit extra significant than our check drive.

And the Winner is … Kia Sedona: Once we drove to Sedona, our reminiscences of Toyota's Sienna have been recent in our minds. My first impression was that the Sedona drove in the same approach because the Sienna, but with a smoother (6-speed) transmission. There have been some issues we favored higher and a few things we didn't like a lot, and based mostly on value independence, I might say that the Sedona / Sienna match would have led to a draw. But life shouldn’t be cost-independent, and here the Sedona has a big benefit. Sedonas are cheaper, and since final fall, dealers knocked on a considerable quantity of the sticker worth. In the long run, we paid $ 22,000 for the new Sedona … about 30% of the sticker worth and hundreds less than I feel we might have negotiated with a equally outfitted Toyota. When it turned clear how a lot we might save on Kia, our choice was straightforward. We turned house owners of Kia in late October.

There are 5 trim levels within the Sedonas, and we chose the LX, which is the second under. Starting with the essential L-models, the LX provides safety goggles, engine driver's seat, Eight-passenger (versus 7-passenger) seats and engine sliding doorways. Most LXs in the dealership stock had two choice packages (referred to as Necessities Premium and Superior Know-how Packages), however the leather seats, larger display, button launch, and numerous technical features didn't interest us, so we picked up the LX with out those options. It was a problem, however not an unattainable one.

Lastly, we settled on the silver, situated on the vendor 100 miles from residence – they gave us one of the best deal, have been skilled to deal with, and the trip is just not unreasonable. good worth.

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Few shoppers choose like us and choose Sedona over their competitors. Over the previous decade, the SUV market has been dominated by the Huge Three – Dodge / Chrysler, Honda and Toyota. Different manufacturers unable to interrupt into this prime tier have drifted out of the SUV market, however Kia has opted to stay. Gross sales elevated barely in 2015 after the debut of the current era Sedona, reaching 40,000 annual sales and 9% of the US SUV market. Nevertheless, since then, each figures have fallen considerably. In 2018, almost 18,000 Sedonas found houses right here with a market share of simply 3.7%.

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Apparently, Sedona sales in Canada have grown significantly since 2015, with Kia holding 7.7%. Canadian business car market. However the best way through which these numbers are studied, it is clear that Kia is a distant fifth in the reputation of North American SUVs. Identify recognition in all probability has one thing to do with it (ask someone to name five vans, and I guess the Sedona won’t be listed), despite the fact that the model is not hidden. Admittedly, Sedona has a couple of features that make it stand out from the gang (when you can call it four rivals), however my expertise is that Sedona is nearly as good as a competition and a worthy successor to our Odyssey. So let's look intently:

The Sedona is a handsome van that avoids the appearance of the new Odyssey Darth Vader, an obscure aggressive taste or gadget like Sienna. huge field box. For my part, only the Pacific mannequin is extra pleasant. At the entrance, Kia's firm grille supplies a robust connection to other automobiles within the auto vary – a conservative, trendy design that works properly with bigger automobiles such because the Sedona and Sorento.

Kia tried back to make the field much less of a SUV – the high rear windows give the look of an SUV. It was clearly deliberate; Off-road automobiles are cool and minibuses usually are not. At first, I didn't like this view from the rear, however it has grown in the direction of me.

I have many occasions made a mistake Toyota Highlander SEPARATE or different compact SUVs Sedonasiin … a story that might be more likely to cheer Kia's design teams. I usually haven’t any complaints concerning the appearance of the Sedona.

Apparently underneath that plastic case is an engine. The 276-hp 3.3-L V-6 has loads of power, whether or not in the city or climbing between mountain ranges. . When it comes to handling, the Sedona has extra physique rolls than our Odyssey (which is surprisingly agile for a SUV), but it’s nonetheless very acceptable parameters for a large household automotive. One essential function for long distance family automobiles is to offer a quiet and clean drive that Sedona will certainly achieve.

I like the driving place good – fascinatingly, my spouse completely loves it. Why? Because at 5 & # 39; 1, not all automobiles are snug to drive, and the Sedona is superb in that regard. For example, the driving force's seat lowers enough for his ft to succeed in the pedals and the ground comfortably (not all the time, even in automobiles with electric seats). And in accordance with my wife, every little thing in the cockpit is designed for very small individuals; he stated that the Sedona is the nicest car he has driven through the years.

Wanting on the driver's seat, it’s greeted by a practical and engaging dashboard. Giant spherical gauges situated deep contained in the dashboard, centralized journey info, numerous steering wheel controls for cruise and audio – all of that are usable and performance exactly as the driving force controls ought to be. The inside elements are of fantastic quality, each visually and tactically. The dashboard controls flip pink at night time; At first I assumed it might make me worse, however fortuitously the speedometer and tachometer numbers are illuminated in white, which eliminates the tiring results of excessive pink lighting.

Methods can cry out for relatively low know-how within the center stack. our LX, but I prefer it. Because the 5-inch display is just not a fan of Infotainment displays, it’s fairly massive for me, and the climate controls have fastened knobs and buttons. The higher the level Sedonas acquired a bigger display and more konsolipainikkeita (and all 2019 fashions receive at least a 7-inch display), however I'm glad that we purchased this model.

To my great frustration, our van is situated between the front seats. As an alternative of the open or semi-open area found in many vans, the Sedona has a console that includes a gear selector and storage compartment. This annoys me. I'm used to Odyssey, an open center space (pivot degree), I saw this function as one of the crucial versatile features of MPV. I miss the power to slip easily right into a passenger seat, walk behind or briefly order something from the jacket and luggage between the seats. Kia was in all probability keen on the SUV-type interior, since SUVs often have giant consoles. Though I'm positive that most of the business car console to maintain a lot of people, I'm not impressed me. If I might change anything about Sedona, it might be this one.

Particularly, one Sedona function is subject to much criticism, so it’s notably noteworthy on this context. Second row seats slide up and forward but are usually not removable. While this feature supplies quick entry to the third line, it consumes about 20 ″ of potential cargo area. The seats might be opened and faraway from the ground, but other vans have seats that retract or might be eliminated with out instruments or frustration. That is definitely an obstacle of Sedona. For us, it was not a business killer as a result of we do not carry a number of cumbersome items and we hold the Odyssey (with removable seats) within the near future. However in a market the place consumers value most utility, Kian ought to have designed these seats better.

When used as an actual seat, the second and third rows are extraordinarily fortunate. And we’ll check this comfort in the summer by beginning the 4,300 miles. a street journey takes us from our residence in Virginia to Texas Panhandle and back. Any lack of comfort or performance in the Sedona would definitely be obvious on such a journey.

This kind of trip is a attainable check for SUVs, so how did the Sedona perform?

excellently, it turns out. When the third row seat is folded down, all our gears fit into the automotive under the window line. Attempt placing this massive quantity of kit on an SUV just like the Honda Pilot and placing your suitcase on the roof.

the motorway was excellent. I’m nonetheless making an attempt to wrap my head around the fact that the 276-horsepower vans really is, but I'm glad that we have now, as a result of we’ve got never been a scarcity of energy. The Sedona never struggled, even at steep degrees, and all the time had enough muscle to overhaul other automobiles, comparable to dual lane roads. Cruise management and transmission don't all the time do a great job of communicating, which leads to slowing down the hills, however I found that leaving the transmission on a hilly stretch of freeway is an effective compromise. The straightforward operation of the Sportmatic gearbox in guide mode compensates for the sluggish transitions and other idiosyncrasies widespread in lots of automata. Luckily, there isn’t any countless gear shifting for some trendy automobiles within the transmission (leaving it in ecological status will assist here, too.)

We spent the night time at Hint Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma; it’s the only block of flats designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and is now a lodge. I extremely advocate it to architecture lovers.


Comfortably, the Sedona seats have been pretty. None of us had aching again, cramped legs or anything, even after a 600-mile day trip.

This was taken from southwest Kansas overlooking the Cimarron Cutoff of the Santa Fe Path. Nevertheless, no Cadillac Cimarrons merchandise.


The Sedona air conditioner functioned smoothly in the southern plain scorching solar (we’ve got guide controls; automated air conditioner is out there in top quality versions). In reality, this automotive has probably the most efficient heating and air con techniques of all the automobiles I personal. In winter, the most well liked setting will bake you in minutes, and even on the most well liked day, it is uncommon to go away the air conditioner in an extended, high setting.

We spent a number of days in this cabin in Arkansas. Sedona was good on the Alternative State Mountain Street.


In such journeys, when attainable, we select non-motorway routes that require a car function aside from a highway. Sedona carried out properly once more. The Sedona drive is just not as robust as our Odyssey as a result of it is in all probability 20% squishier. Nevertheless, on the mini bus, it is a perfectly acceptable compromise on handling and comfort. Circulating mountain roads didn’t cause any problems, and any remedy that Sedona is unable to hold out should on no account be attempted by a minivan.

All in all, we couldn’t have requested for a greater lengthy haul. automotive, particularly on the worth we pay for this van.

There are in fact some minor interferences, which I have observed flowed and miles – things which are solely discovered after spending massive items of time in the automotive. For example: 1) Headlights, particularly high beam, are poor, particularly on darkish rural roads. 2) The space for storing is just not as huge because the Odyssey with its many coated storage compartments and flooring drain … such things are incredibly helpful. Three) There are too many blind spots. The Sedona is just not alone on this respect, but between the pillars, the tall window and the headrest, the whole automotive might be hidden there. In addition, thick A-pillars create extra blind spots at the entrance. Four) Though there’s versatility within the rear cargo space, there might be fewer protrusions … not an enormous deal, however another vans do a better job right here.

However these are relatively small nitrogen points. On the large issues – efficiency, consolation, reliability and value – I’ve no main complaints … especially about value. I'm having a tough time capturing a Toyota Sienna or another SUV that works better than a Sedona for $ 22,000, which is fairly complementary.

Yes, all of those errors require some effort to wash up. [19659011] Reputation competitions are typically troublesome to beat. For all rights and causes, Kia should sell extra of these vans than they do. I perceive that Kia's lack of identify recognition, the back seat challenge, and the lengthy established competition all have an effect on the sale of the Sedona, but this van is anyway nearly as good as the class leaders and usually cheaper. If the Sedona might fulfill us half method across the continent and back, it might be an incredibly good car. Hopefully, Kia won’t surrender on the SUV market (sales of the marginally revised 2019 have been down 24% from final year) as a result of they’ve a aggressive and educated product.

I never thought I owned two silver minibuses, but here they’re.


It is gratifying that you’ve bought something after which a year later knows that you’ve made the fitting selection. So we find out about Sedona. Positive, it's not good, however given the value, the high fit and end and the superb street conduct, the Sedona matches our needs very nicely. And whereas ours is a comparatively low-quality LX model, I assume that the high-end versions also perform better than the more established competitors. People who make SUVs shouldn’t overlook about Sedona.

The actual check of Sedona's merits got here on the final day of the two-week journey. After spending 77 hours (based on the elapsed time indicator) in Sedona for 2 weeks, I asked our daughters what they considered it: “We love Sedona!” Was their answer. Case closed: Sedona is the winner for us.