What is it?
The Sedona is an MPV in the old-fashioned sense in that it blends van-like proportions with a powerful diesel engine. It’s great at carrying bodies and luggage with space to spare, but it’s not as clever or packed with practical features as the competition. It’s been around since 2006, so it’s starting to feel its age and it has a face that only its mother could love. Good value considering the size and seven-year warranty, but not the best around.
You get rather a lot of bang for your buck with the Kia. There’s only one engine available – a 2.2-litre turbodiesel – but it’s packing 192bhp, which is a fair bit for a people carrier.
There’s a hearty amount of torque, too, so the Sedona is more than at home on a motorway slog with strong, smooth power delivery. A six-speed manual gearbox comes as standard and it’s best left that way, as the automatic, which has the same amount of ratios, is a fussy old thing and swaps cogs with the decisiveness of a toddler in Toys R Us.
Comfort is the name of the game here, and the Kia rides on soft, squidgy suspension, which irons out rough road surfaces suitably well. The flipside of that is soggy handling – the steering is numb and the car has a tendency to roll and lollop around corners. The diesel engine isn’t the quietest in its class, but it’s not too offensive on the move. The suspension makes a racket when it’s at work, though.
On the inside
True to its van-style layout, the Sedona has a high dashboard and seating position, so it’s easy to see out of and everything’s nearby. Even rear and side visibility is excellent, while a reversing camera is standard on all but the basic model. The view from the camera is in the Sedona’s rear-view mirror, though, so it can seem a bit unusual when you’re backing up.
Run your hand over the dash and it’s not as pleasing to the touch as anything from Ford or VW – the plastics are hard and a bit scratchy. They seem quite durable, though.
You’ll pay less for the Kia and get more in terms of space and equipment than you would with the majority of rivals. The bad news is that its budget status and lesser desirability than, say, a Ford S-Max, mean it won’t hold its value that well.
A diesel may be the only option, but the Sedona is reasonably thirsty and quite expensive to tax due to its size and weight. An average of 42.2mpg isn’t all that bad, but 179g/ km means you’ll pay £210 a year in VED. The automatic offers a measly 37.7mpg and steep 199g/km, too.