Kia Sedona 3 2.2 CRDi
New grille is the most obvious change at the front
- Excellent space efficiency and practicality
- Excellent standard specification
- Good value for money across the range
- New diesel engine is a big step forward
- Boot space is merely adequate in seven seat mode
- Some cabin plastics let down the quality feel
- More styling changes would have been welcome
- No petrol engine option available
Kia is continuing its regular pattern of refreshing or replacing its model line up, and the latest to receive the treatment is the Sedona MPV. The second-generation Sedona appeared in 2006, and this revised version offers even more value for the cash-conscious buyer.
Already well established in the crowded MPV sector, Kia is aiming to push even higher in the sales charts with this Sedona. A number of detail enhancements improve it over the outgoing version while the core appeal of the space and practicality remain.
From the outside the most obvious change is the adoption of the new family grille, already seen on the revised Cee'd. It adds distinction to the front end and brings the Sedona up to date with the rest of the range. At the rear, the parking sensors have been replaced on all bar the entry-level model with a reversing camera, giving a cleaner appearance.
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 a new 2.2-litre diesel unit which actually offers more power and torque plus better economy than the outgoing 2.9-litre diesel engine as well as added refinement. The new engine is mated to a choice of a six-speed manual or a new six-speed automatic gearbox.
Our verdict on the Kia Sedona 3 2.2 CRDi
Modest changes have added extra appeal to the Sedona, increasing value for money and visual appeal. Add to that the excellent new engine and smooth transmission, and the driving experience is also improved. With so much space and a very practical cabin, the Sedona offers a huge amount for such a reasonable price.
Running costs should be very reasonable considering the Sedona's size, especially with the improved diesel performance. 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.
All Sedona models have an engine immobiliser fitted as standard, with remote central locking also included. Alarms systems are available as a dealer fit item.
Six airbags are fitted to the Sedona as standard, with Isofix child seat mountings on two of the centre seats. The top 3 model also benefits from ESP, although it is available as an option on the other two models.
MPV drivers are more likely to be concerned with comfort than performance, but the Sedona is far from slothful. The 2.2-litre diesel engine delivers much-improved acceleration and makes short working of hauling a heavy load. This is a major contributor to the Sedona being easy to drive, with accurate steering and good brakes. The all-new automatic gearbox is also a big improvement, with two extra ratios than the old gearbox yet it is also lighter than before, maximising fuel efficiency.
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 likely 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 in easily through the conventional doors, while those in the second row step in through the wide opening sliding doors. These are power operated in some models and can be opened by the key fob as well as internal buttons. Rear seat occupants must first fold the second row seat to gain access, but even this is easy to do. The high-spec model also gains an electric tailgate, a further aid to easy entry.
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 a USB connector allowing MP3 audio players to be played through the system 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 the fitment of a reversing camera all but the base model is a big help, and something of a rarity in this class. The Sedona also has a respectable turning circle for its size.
Space saver spare wheel fitted beneath the boot floor
Diesel engine options - 2.2-litre (198bhp). transmission options: six-speed manual gearbox or six-speed automatic gearbox. Trim levels: 1, 2, 3.
Volkswagen Sharan Ageing but capable people carrier
Ssangyong Rodius Questionable appearance but excellent value and space
Chrysler Grand Voyager Massive space and practicality, lacks quality feel
Renault Grand Scenic Stylish and practical, but expensive compared to rivals