July 2006

Kia Sedona 2.9 CRDi LS

New Sedona is less distinctive than the previous version

July 2006

picture of car from the frontpicture of car from the rearpicture of car interiorpicture of car in detail

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5 stars


  • Excellent space efficiency and practicality
  • Generous standard specification
  • Good value for money
  • Low noise levels and good comfort


  • Boot space restricted in seven seat mode
  • Some cabin plastics let down the quality feel
  • Styling less distinctive than previous version
  • No smaller petrol engine option

Following its aim of having one of the freshest ranges of cars in the marketplace, Korean manufacturer Kia latest Sedona is new from the ground up and aims to offer increased sophistication, comfort and accommodation while maintaining a strong value for money feel.

Already well established in the crowded MPV sector, Kia is aiming to push even higher in the sales charts with this Sedona. Improved in all areas with a clean sheet design, it only shows a passing resemblance to the previous generation and has a lot more in common with its more modern stable mates.

From the outside the Sedona disguises its size well, for although it is 12cm shorter than the last generation, it has the same wheelbase and more interior space, making it a genuine seven seater. The styling is sharper and less curvy than the old model, while the twin sliding doors are well integrated into the shape.

Inside the Sedona shows a great deal of forethought, with an obvious emphasis on passenger comfort. The use of seven individual seats allows each occupant to adjust for comfort and space, while there are numerous configurations of folded or removed seats to create a large load area, a mix of more load space and passengers or even a mobile office.

Mechanically the Sedona benefits from new or substantially revised engines, with the 2.7-litre V6 petrol engine gaining 40bhp over the previous 2.5-litre engine, while the 2.9-litre diesel is improved by 40bhp thanks to a revised injection system and a variable geometry turbocharger, which improves torque at low engine speeds. The diesel can also be specified with a new five-speed automatic gearbox which has a manual mode for extra driver control.

Our verdict on the Kia Sedona 2.9 CRDi LS

Although there is no shortage of MPVs to choose from, the Sedona deserves serious consideration. It offers highly impressive practicality, with excellent space efficiency. The specification is very good, with clever design touches throughout, and comfort levels are also high. It may not be exciting to drive, but as a family workhorse it is hard to beat.


Running costs should be very reasonable considering the Sedona's size, especially with the diesel engine option. The low purchase price is also a big contributor to the respectable running costs.

Space and practicality

The Sedona puts every inch of its size to good use, creating a spacious environment. Head and legroom are excellent, aided by the ability to slide each individual seat fore and aft. The boot space is tall rather than long in seven-seat mode, but the five rear seats can be folded or removed to create a large load area. Each seat is heavy but manageable, and with just two seats remaining it turns into a useful van.

Controls and display

The layout in the Sedona is straightforward and clear, with all the controls mounted high on the dashboard and sensibly grouped together. The instruments are large and easy to read, while the audio and climate controls are also chunky and well placed.


The Sedona delivers an impressive level of comfort, whichever seat you are sat in. The ride quality is impressive, soaking up the majority of road imperfections, and wind noise is also low. With seven individual seats rather than rear benches, comfort is maximised for each passenger, with the ability to recline each chair to suit. With air conditioning in the rear, controlled by a separate series of buttons and dials, every passenger should be able to travel in comfort.

Car security

All Sedona models have an engine immobiliser fitted as standard, with remote central locking also included. The Sedona does without an alarm however.

Car safety

Six airbags are fitted to the Sedona as standard, with Isofix child seat mountings on two of the centre seats. TS models and above also benefit from ESP, while all models have bigger brakes than the previous model, as well as ABS as standard.

Driver appeal

MPV drivers are more likely to be concerned with comfort than performance, but the Sedona is far from slothful. The 2.9-litre diesel engine delivers impressive acceleration and comfortable cruising, and is rarely found wanting for power. This is a major contributor to the Sedona being easy to drive, with accurate steering and good brakes. The manual gearshift can be a little sticky, but the automatic is easier to operate.

Family car appeal

The Sedona should provide everything a family could need, with a great deal of versatility and high levels of comfort, while options such as a DVD entertainment system for the rear will come as a relief to exhausted parents. It also has a useful rear seat mirror, allowing front seat occupants to monitor the rear with ease.

First car appeal

Few first time drivers are unlikely to need this much space, but the Sedona is easy to pilot despite its size, and in diesel form running costs should be reasonable.

Quality and image

The Sedona may be priced towards the budget end of the MPV market, but the quality throughout the car is of a good standard. The materials inside are mostly very good, while the majority of the buttons and controls operate smoothly. The Sedona's image is founded upon its excellent value for money, but the improvements in the entire Kia range in terms of quality and style are becoming more apparent.


Getting into the Sedona is very easy, thanks to a combination of good design and space efficiency. Front seat occupants can slide easily in through the conventional doors, while those in the second row step in through the wide opening sliding doors. Rear seat occupants must first fold the second row seat to gain access, but even this is easy to do.

Stereo and ICE (In car entertainment)

The Sedona comes with a JVC-sourced CD/tuner, which has a large front with clearly labelled buttons. As well as MP3 and CD compatibility it also has the option of an Apple iPod connector, and provides good sound quality throughout the car.

Colours and trim

The cabin of the Sedona uses mostly light grey rather than the more common dark grey or black, and combined with the large glass area, helps to give the cabin a light and airy feel. The majority of the trim is of good quality, with only the odd piece of cheap-feeling trim detracting from the overall feel.


Although a large vehicle, visibility is very good, and parking sensors are standard on all but the base GS model making life much easier for the driver. The power steering and decent turning circle also help.

Spare wheel

Space saver spare wheel fitted beneath the boot floor

Range information

Two engine options: 2.7-litre petrol (186bhp), 2.9-litre diesel (182bhp). Both are fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard, with an option of a five-speed automatic on the diesel version. Trim levels are GS, LS and TS.

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