Shortly after it launched in an all-new iteration for 2015, the Kia Sedona went on to be named to the prestigious Ward’s 10 best Interiors list.
Combined with high safety scores, all modern (at the time, anyway) must-have content, and loads of space and selection, this minivan went on to find homes in the driveways of Canadians after big space, big flexibility, and big value.
Both seven- and eight-passenger models were available, with total interior volume approaching 4,700 L. You’ll find 960 L of space behind the Sedona’s rearmost seats, 2,200 L behind the second row, and more than 4,000 L with both rear rows stowed.
Advanced camera- and radar-based safety systems were offered, and the Sedona packed little less than the latest in modern connectivity, including an approachable touchscreen infotainment interface and full multimedia connectivity. High-end features like climate-controlled leather seating and upgraded audio system could be specified, as could a tri-zone climate control system.
The Kia Sedona was offered in several highly affordable trim grades when it was new, which should translate into some compelling choices in the used marketplace for an affordable, spacious vehicle. Note that second-hand models with optional safety equipment may come with higher-than-expected price tags, however.
Under the hood, the Sedona offered up 276 hp from Kia’s 3.3L V6 engine, as well as six- or eight-speed automatic transmissions. All models were front-wheel drive.
What Owners Like
Sedona owners tend to report a quiet cabin, an easy-to-use touchscreen infotainment system, a good set of connectivity features, a comfortable and forgiving ride, and comfortable seating – especially in models with optional seating upgrades.
What Owners Dislike
Some Sedona owners wish for better fuel efficiency, as well as a more responsive and surefooted feel to the handling and response.
Avoid This Used Sedona
In this discussion thread, one Sedona owner admits to missing 34,000 miles worth of oil changes because the vehicle’s former owner had turned off the oil change reminder system. Missing an oil change can cause engine damage and will tend to void remaining warranty coverage. Missing several oil changes can lead to serious and fatal engine damage.
Check all service records to ensure you’re not buying a second-hand Sedona that’s been neglected like this one. Note that neglected maintenance can result in extensive powertrain damage that’s not covered by warranty and could cost you dearly.
Seeking out a used model with full service records, and one that’s familiar to its selling dealer, is ideal for maximum peace of mind.
Here’s another discussion in which some Sedona owners debate how long they might stretch an oil change interval to save money, and what effects this may have on their remaining warranty. Do not underestimate the ability of a past owner’s neglect to void the warranty on the unit you’re considering. Always obtain full service records before you buy.
Doors and Tailgate
In at least two lengthy forum posts, some Sedona owners complain of power doors and tailgates that may open on their own, possibly leaving valuable contents of the vehicle exposed. Though careful handling of the vehicle keyfob can help prevent accidental opening of remote-controlled doors and tailgates, some owners have reported the need to have door hardware replaced to fix the issue.
Keep an eye on your used Sedona, and be careful with the remote key fob. If you notice doors or tailgates that open on their own, have a dealer investigate. Here’s some discussion about power sliding doors that fail to properly latch, possibly as the result of a weak or defective door motor.
Issues with power sliding doors are some of the most commonly reported by the Sedona owner’s community. Note that ensuring your used Sedona is running a healthy battery can help fend off electronic trouble, which can result in power door and tailgate malfunctions as well.
Battery and Charging
Some owners have reported problems with dead or dying batteries, as well as batteries that randomly become discharged, or fail to hold a charge. An unhealthy battery and charging system can cause a multitude of issues across various vehicle systems. Sometimes, a battery or charging system problem will cause a warning light to illuminate in the instrument cluster. Other times, it won’t.
To reduce possible headaches relating to the Kia Sedona’s battery and charging system, shoppers can take a few steps. First, have the battery and charging system tested professionally, and replace the battery with a high-quality unit if it doesn’t pass the test with flying colours. Second, consider using an intelligent battery charger or trickle-charger when your Sedona will be parked for extended periods. This step can continually recharge and condition the Sedona’s battery, reducing trouble and extending its life. Third, be sure to unplug any USB-connected multimedia devices you’ll leave in the vehicle when it’s not in use, as these can contribute significantly to parasitic battery drain in some situations.
Washer Fluid Tank
Some Sedona owners have reported washer fluid leaks, possibly caused by a cracked washer fluid tank or pump. Most have not. Confirm that the washer fluid tank is full before your test drive, and that the windshield sprayers work as expected. Inspect the area beneath the vehicle for signs of dripping washer fluid, too. The tank is located inside of the Sedona’s front fender. In many cases, customers have had parts replaced under warranty to fix leaks.
Some owners have reported problems with the Sedona’s air conditioning, including weak performance, inconsistent operation, and difficulty achieving the desired temperature and distribution of cool air. These problems can cost you money, so it pays to do a little testing before you buy.
Confirm that cold air is available from all outlets, in all seating rows. Be sure the stream of cold air is consistent by observing the temperature for a moment or two before moving to the next outlet you’ll check. While checking each outlet, adjust the temperature from cold to medium to hot, pausing between to confirm the temperature changes as expected.
After your test drive, with the vehicle parked and the engine hot, blast the A/C to the max and confirm consistent cooling performance for a minute or two. Any issues detected here warrant further investigation by a technician before you buy.
Test-driving shoppers have a few important checks to make before they buy a used Kia Sedona for maximum peace of mind. If the unit you’re considering is free of the possible trouble signs outlined above, you’re well on your way to a comfortable, spacious family hauler that’s noted for its strong safety and value scores.
IIHS: Top Safety Pick (2015)
NHTSA: 5/5 stars (2015)
Here’s a list of recalls.