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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For The Sedona has stacks of space, a good diesel engine and sliding rear doors

Against The petrol engine is thirsty and the cabin isn't especially versatile compared with other MPVs

Verdict This big, practical load-hauler is cheap to buy, but not quite so cheap to run

Go for… 2.9 diesel

Avoid… 2.5 V6 petrol

Kia Sedona MPV
  • 1. Inspect the interior trim for signs of abuse; and check the carpets, which can become bobbly quickly
  • 2. Any engine can give trouble, but checking the oil's condition and looking for exhaust smoke can show up potential problems
  • 3. The Sedona is a roomy, unpretentious seven-seater with, at best, mediocre road manners
  • 4. Inspect all the bodywork for rust, especially the seams
  • 5. The sliding rear doors can be a problem, so ensure they work properly
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Kia Sedona MPV full review with expert trade views

The Sedona is a Chrysler Voyager-sized people-carrier at what looks like a bargain price. However, don't think you're getting a modern, versatile MPV that drives well - you're not.

Instead, you get a roomy, unpretentious seven-seater with, at best, mediocre road manners.

The seven seats are arranged in a two-two-three layout and, on earlier cars, the rear three-seat bench was fixed and not designed for easy removal. Later cars offer a symmetrically split rear bench that lifts out - but it's incredibly heavy.

In either case, three children will fit on the rearmost row, but three adults will be cramped. The other two rows offer plenty of room, and the sliding rear doors make access easy.

The engines are passable, and the ride won't upset your passengers. But, the vague steering, so-so handling, sloppy gearchange and jerky throttle won't please the driver.

Equipment levels are decent, but there is no standard-fit alarm or deadlocks, which makes it vulnerable to thieves.

Trade view

John Owen

Budget price seven-seater, inferior interior

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

The 165bhp 2.5 V6 petrol needs to be revved, and performance is only as good as most rivals' 2.0-litre engines - but the thirst is decidedly 2.5 V6.

However, it sounds good and you can pick up a V6 much more more cheaply than the diesel, so it can make financial sense for low-mileage drivers.

Overall, though, the 2.9 CRD diesel is a much better engine. It's noisy, even on motorways, but its stronger mid-range pull means you don't have to work it so hard. It also has a range of over 570 miles per tank.

Both engines come with either a sloppy manual gearbox (which we prefer) or a performance-sapping auto.

All cars have air-con, front electric windows and a CD. LE adds alloy wheels, while SE - our favourite - gives you leather seats, an electric sunroof and automatic wipers, and SE+ adds side steps and reversing sensors.

Hunt down a cared-for example in the classifieds or, safer but dearer, buy from a Kia dealer. MPV specialists are worth a look, too.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Diesels rather than petrols, which have to be priced accordingly

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The Sedona gives you a lot of space for the price, especially the cheap V6 petrol version. All in all, that's probably the main reason people are attracted to a Sedona. However, it isn't such a bargain to run.

For a start, the V6 is likely to manage only 25mpg or so - and that will drop quickly if you like to hurry or drive in stop-start traffic.

The diesel fares noticeably better - reckon on mid-30s with sensible driving - but you have to balance the saving in fuel costs against the higher initial purchase price. For low-mileage drivers, the diesel may not make financial sense.

Insurance won't be too hefty, though - group 10 or 11, depending on trim level. And, that's just as well, because this is not a cheap car to maintain.

Typical service costs over three years are among the highest for a big seven-seater and will be hundreds dearer than, say, a Ford Galaxy, Citroen C8 or Renault Espace.

Trade view

John Owen

Budget price seven-seater, inferior interior

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

The Sedona hasn't fared well in JD Power customer satisfaction surveys, partly because owners have criticised the car's mechanical reliability and cited problems in the cabin.

When you're looking over a car, inspect the interior trim for signs of abuse and check the carpets, which become bobbly quickly. Some have been replaced under Kia's three-year/unlimited mileage warranty and many owners fit carpet mats to reduce the wear. If your intended buy has mats in it, lift them up and look - they could be hiding damage, not limiting it.

As for the engines, they can all give trouble, so check the oil's condition, look for exhaust smoke and pay attention to the sound and response of the engine on the test drive.

Severe rust can also be a problem, so inspect all the bodywork, especially the seams. Finally, ensure the rear sliding doors work properly, and be warned that a few Sedonas have had faulty air-con, while all tend to be heavy on brakes, particularly those used in town.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Diesels rather than petrols, which have to be priced accordingly

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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