Car News

2012 Kia Sedona: New Car Review

Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Kia Sedona LX
Used 2012 Kia Sedona
  • Car News

    Family friendly, safe and packed with impressive features, the 2018 Kia Sedona may just be the coolest minivan on the market.
  • Used Car Review

    A 2015 Kia Sedona minivan makes a logical choice for a family hauler, offering power, features and quality to rival Honda and Toyota.
  • Car News

    The 2017 Kia Sedona offers impressive safety and comfort features in a well-built minivan that won't cost you an arm and a leg.
See all Kia Sedona articles
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs

author photo by Joe Tralongo May 2012

Pros: Great value for the money; lots of standard and optional features; roomy interior; great warranty; strong engine

Cons: Average fuel economy; poor results in roof strength crash testing; low resale value

There was a time when a minivan cost about the same as a nice family sedan or one of the few remaining station wagons. That's not the case anymore, especially for the most popular models from Honda, Nissan and Toyota. Dodge does offer a Grand Caravan model starting below $25,000, but it is stripped to the bare basics. But there is one minivan out there that is still reasonably priced, comes nicely equipped and even offers a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty at no extra charge: the 2012 Kia Sedona.

Starting at $24,900 for the LX and topping out near $34,000 for a fully loaded EX, the Sedona is one of the best minivan values out there. In horsepower, safety and fuel economy, the Sedona is competitive with the best minivans, although its resale value falls far short of the Honda and Toyota minivans and even the Dodge Grand Caravan. Still, in terms of comfort, equipment, capability and reliability, the Sedona's value to your family may be more of an incentive than what you'll get in trade six years down the road.

Comfort & Utility

Compare the 2012 Kia Sedona's list of standard features with its closest competitor, and you'll instantly see why we consider this minivan a value leader. The roomy interior can easily accommodate seven passengers, and the flush-folding third row seats can be tucked away conveniently to create a wide and deep cargo hold. First- and second-row captain's chair seating ensures maximum comfort for each passenger, although three sitting across the third row might feel a bit cramped. Removing the second-row seats requires a place to store them, but it opens up a massive 141.5 cubic feet of cargo space. The Sedona also has more front-seat head, hip and leg room than the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna or Grand Caravan.

In addition to the easily configured interior, the Sedona offers such helpful standard features as power-operated windows in the sliding side doors, a rear backup detection system, manual rear vent windows, front and rear air conditioning, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, cruise control and a CD stereo with six speakers and Sirius satellite radio capability. The EX adds power-operated front seats, heated side mirrors and power operation of the sliding side doors, rear liftgate and rear vent windows. The EX can also be equipped with a Luxury package that adds leather seating, heated front seats, tri-zone automatic temperature control, a power sunroof and power-adjustable pedals.


As one might expect, the bulk of the Sedona's technology offerings are based around safety and entertainment equipment. If the standard rear parking sensors with their audible beeping aren't enough to guide you, a rear camera with rear-view-mirror display is available on the LX and standard on the EX. The Luxury package adds memory functions for the seat, mirrors, and power adjustable pedals, while the EX's Navigation package includes navigation with an Infinity sound system and eight speakers. To keep the kids happy, the EX can have a rear-seat DVD entertainment system that includes two wireless headsets, a wireless remote and a 10-speaker Infinity 7.1 surround-sound setup for movie-theater-like sound. There is a similar, less expensive system for the LX but without the Infinity surround sound.

Performance & Fuel Economy

The standard engine and transmission for the Sedona LX and EX is a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 271 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque, teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission. EPA fuel economy ratings for the Sedona are 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.

With more horsepower and nearly the same torque as the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and Nissan Quest, only the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country have more power. As a result, even a fully loaded Sedona has no trouble accelerating briskly, and the six-speed Sportmatic automatic transmission does an excellent job of finding and holding the right gear in just about every driving situation we encountered, be it steep mountain passes, stop-and-go traffic or long, serene highway miles. The Sportmatic can also be shifted manually, for those times when you want more power or need to use engine braking to slow the vehicle.


The 2012 Kia Sedona puts safety front and center, with front and side airbag coverage for the front passengers and side curtain airbags covering all three rows. In the event you encounter a slippery patch in the road, the standard traction control will control the rate at which the front wheel spins, helping the Sedona regain traction. The Sedona is also equipped with electronic stability control, which can help the vehicle recover from the sudden loss of control that might happen when skidding or driving into a sharp turn too fast.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, the Sedona earned the top rating of "good" in the frontal offset and side impact tests but received the lowest rating of "poor" in rollover roof strength testing.

Driving Impressions

There are no surprises when driving the Sedona, which is to say that it rides and drives like most other minivans. The handling is not sporty, but it's not soft, either. There is moderate lean in hard cornering, but, for the most part, steering feel is very precise and the van is easy to maneuver and control. Turning around, however, can be a chore since the Sedona's 39.6-foot turning circle is among the widest of any minivan. We found the interior acceptably quiet at highway speeds, although there seemed to be a bit more tire and engine noise than in the Odyssey and the Grand Caravan.

Other Cars to Consider

Toyota Sienna - The Sienna has interior materials that are a step above the Sedona's plastics, and the Toyota's resale value is far superior. The Sienna can also be ordered with AWD. But the Sedona costs less and offers a far better powertrain and basic warranty.

Dodge Grand Caravan - You can get into a Grand Caravan for around $21,000, but it won't have nearly as many features as the Sedona. And although the Dodge may have a more powerful engine and slightly better resale value, its five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty can't match the Sedona's 10-year/100,000-mile plan.

Honda Odyssey - The Odyssey is the undisputed minivan resale leader; it's also more stylish and has an overall nicer interior, including a sliding center section for the second-row seat and a wide dual-screen DVD entertainment system. The Odyssey can also seat eight. But the Odyssey has a higher starting price at $28,000, and it has less front-seat headroom and legroom and less horsepower than the Sedona.

AutoTrader Recommends

Since we know big families usually have tight budgets, we think the Sedona LX with the Power package (power sliding side doors, 17-inch wheels and rear-view camera) is the best deal. With destination charges, the price comes to around $28,000, but you can certainly move down from that number since the invoice price is closer to $26,000. If you're a really good negotiator, you can save enough to toss in the $900 DVD entertainment package and still come out well under $30,000.

Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Kia Sedona LX
Used 2012 Kia Sedona
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2012 Kia Sedona: New Car Review - Autotrader