KIA is the fastest-growing motor manufacturer in the world, producing more than
1.1 million vehicles in 13 countries.
And although the Korean company is continuing to introduce new models – the Venga, a compact people carrier is on the way and there’s also a luxury Cadenza saloon in the pipeline – the big Sedona people carrier, which has been on the streets for 10 years in all, is still around and going strong. It’s a lot of people carrier for your money, both in value and in the literal sense.
It’s a big bus of an MPV; with a 2-3-2 seat formation that provides loads of room for all. The Sedona range is simple – the hefty 2.9-litre engine of old has been replaced by
a new 2.2-litre engine across the range, and there are three levels of trim, simply branded 1 to 3. I drove the top-of-the-range 3, a six-speed automatic with plenty of bells and whistles thrown in as standard.
The Sedona has fairly unremarkable looks, squarish but with the sloping front end which seems de rigeur for today’s MPV Cars
And it doesn’t appear to be that big on the outside. But you slide inside to be confronted with a cavernous interior. The seats are massive and, in the flagship 3 trim, covered in a luxurious-to-the-touch beige leather. There’s a huge amount of legs pace for both driver and passenger, and plenty of options to get comfortable, although the electric seat adjustments are positioned on the door, which was unusual.
A big utility tray between the front seats folds down to further reveal how wide the Sedona actually is.
The dials on the dash are clear and uncluttered and the central dash is big and bold, although lacking a certain finesse. But the materials used are soft to the touch, and the overall look and feel of the cab is pretty good.
What was surprising was the sprightly performance of that 2.2 engine. Despite pulling a big, heavy people carrier it was extremely enthusiastic off the mark, raring to go and pulling like an excited puppy.
The six-speed automatic has steady acceleration throughout the gears, with smooth changes even when pushed hard. It seems much faster than its official figures of a pretty unimpressive-sounding 15.7-second 0-62mph.
The Sedona is more than happy to cruise long distances on the motorway, and the miles just fly by.
Road noise and wind noise is effectively muted and the diesel engine in my test car didn’t intrude upon the peace of the cabin.
My only gripe about the Sedona’s performance came about in traffic, sadly a constant in my life.
In crawling, stop-start traffic the 2.2-litre engine became quite twitchy. There was a split-second pause between pressing the accelerator and pulling forward, resulting in an irritating jerk forward into motion.
For a hefty car the Sedona handles surprisingly well. There is an amount of body roll due to its sheer bulk but road grip is good, with only a little slide at higher speeds on wet tarmac.
The steering is decent enough, with a good turning circle. It’s not a thrilling ride but then as a seven-seat people carrier it was never going to be. It’s an easy drive, though, with an upright steering position and big windows allowing excellent views all the way round.
The Sedona is a big family car and it ticks all the boxes in that section.
The seats are big and comfortable, access is easy all around, thanks to sliding rear doors, which were electrically-operated in my 3 trim.
There is also an electrically-operated tailgate, opened from near the rear-view mirror, which makes access to the boot a remote operation if you want it.
Although the boot isn’t particularly large, the seats can be flattened and even removed to create van-like space in the back. A useful option but they weigh a fair bit.
Although I drove the top-of-the-range 3 trIm WIth all that leather and cruise control, entry:level Sedonas get a good range of equipment, including all-round electric windows.
The 2 trim gets dual climate control and parking sensors, while the 3 also gets a rear camera with the screen magically appearing on a section of the rearview mirror.
Great idea, but it’s very small when compared to a normal sat nav-size screen and is quite difficult to use.
Every Sedona comes with front, side and curtain airbags, while the electric sliding doors have a system to stop them closing on obstructions such as a child’s hand.
Only top-trim cars have active front seat head restraints and stability control. The Sedona is a big family people carrier, with acres of space, loads of storage areas dotted around and plenty of room for seven people. But it handles like a much smaller vehicle.
With the Kia starting out at £18,895, you get a lot of car for your money, although the fuel figures of 31 mpg don’t compare well with others in its sector It’s well-equipped, though, and is surprisingly sprightly given its size and is an easy, uncomplicated drive, whether around town or on long journeys.
All in all it’s well worth considering for the money.
KIA SEDONA 2.2 CRDi 3 Auto
ENGINE: 2.2 litre Diesel
TRANSMISSION: six-speed manual
0-62: 15.7 seconds
Top Speed: 122mph
Combined MPG : 31.4mpg
OTR Price: £24,295 (starts from £18,995)