2014 Kia Sedona
The Sedona minivan sat out the 2013 model year without joining the official Kia lineup. Even so, the practical seven-seater notched up nearly 15,000 sales of old stock to families seeking the upmarket style of the Honda Odyssey but the value pricing of the Dodge Grand Caravan.
Value is the Sedona’s key niche as it languishes without the chassis and tech overhauls that have done wonders for the Optima and Sportage. There are many benefits to the Sedona offering and the core model is refreshed in reintroduced for 2014 with a new grille design, new LED running lights in front and a new taillight design out back.
The space and features in this V-6 Kia minivan are beyond criticism – this wide and airy cabin makes full-size SUVs like the Chevy Suburban seem like a foolish extravagance that puts image ahead of actual vehicle priorities of kid and family transport. The Sedona’s 24 mpg on the highway will also shame any SUV and most large crossovers.
Inevitably, there are big compromises to be made. The Kia’s sloppy driving experience and interior design are a relic of the bad old Kia days. Do the new grille and LED accent lights turn the also-ran 2014 Kia Sedona into a real player in the minivan segment?
Click past the jump for the full review with highlights on the new features and desirable options.
2014 Kia Sedona
Horsepower @ RPM:269 @ 6300
Torque @ RPM:246 @ 4500
0-60 time:8.2 sec.
Top Speed:108 mph (Est.)
The Kia Sedona could be called a shameless copy of the previous Honda Odyssey’s crisp and lean styling, especially in the bodysides and the shape of the window glass. Honda has since moved away from this style in favor of the overwrought creases and drooping rear glass – leaving the humble Kia as one of the most elegant vans on the market.
The 2014 changes include a new grille with a Sportage-like dark 3D mesh that extends lower into the bumper than before. The halogen projector headlights stay the same but the lower foglights are new.
Standard-fit LED driving lights are mounted just above the foglights. It is not exactly a flawless OEM appearance and looks much more like an LED kit from an auto parts store.
New wheel covers on the LX and a new wheel designs for the up-market EX model brings a 17-inch multi-spoke unit with dark trim details. The wheels look tiny but help the Sedona look relatively current versus the similar wheels on the Honda Odyssey. LED blinkers in the mirrors are the only other change up front.
A new taillight design shows up in back with angled ridges appearing along the red plastic assembly in a way that instantly evokes the same effect used on the long-dead Ford Aerostar.
2014 Kia Sedona – Exterior Dimensions:
|Track - Front (in.)||66.3|
|Track - Rear (in.)||66.5|
2014 Kia Sedona LX – Exterior Features:
- 16-inch steel wheels with full covers
- Dual body-color power mirrors with LED turn-signal indicators
- Privacy glass
- Roof rails
- Fog lamps
- LED positioning lights
- Rear-window defroster
- Power Package ($1900): Dual power sliding doors, 17-inch alloy wheels, Auto light control, Auto dimming mirror with Homelink and backup display
2014 Kia Sedona EX – Exterior Features:
- All LX equipment
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- Power lift gate; Dual power sliding doors
- Rear spoiler trim
- Exterior chrome trim
- Optional Tow Hitch ($400)
The Kia Sedona is a piece of cake to buy, thanks to two simple trim levels and an option pack for power sliding doors on the LX for $1900 extra. The top EX trim builds in all the available LX features as standard plus leather seats, a power tailgate, adjustable pedals for a total MSRP that is $5,000 higher than the Sedona LX’s $26,000 base price. Overall, the interior of the Sedona is functional and roomy with a completely flat floor to allow movement around the cabin.
A somewhat interesting technical woodgrain replaces the hideous previous fake wood that wraps the whole center stack. Small radio and climate controls continue this year but navigation is an option for $1,000 extra. It is a small and dated unit – possibly explaining why a portable Garmin Nuvi is on the official accessories list.
The Sedona comes standard with twin buckets in the second row that are a godsend for their individual adjustments, armrests and forward flip to allow rear seat access for adults. These buckets must be manually removed from the Kia to create a flat load floor, unlike Stow ‘N Go from the Town & Country and Grand Caravan. On the plus side, the seats are deep and supportive with comfort that gets close to the front buckets.
Three rows of roof-mounted grab handles and air vents help with third row comfort, as do the power-operated tilt quarter windows and roll-down glass in both sliding doors. The rear-most seat is narrow for three but includes the integrated armrest containers and cupholders that have been a minivan staple since the first Plymouth Voyager in 1984.
The Sedna’s third row folds flat into the cargo floor but it is heavy and not nearly as easy to flip as the Honda Odyssey’s back seat.
The leather trim that comes standard on the EX model feels nice with the heated front seats. The leather has few deep crevasses and seams where kids can bury half-eaten candy, and is treated to make it easier to clean than the low-quality cloth in the LX base model.
A small power sunroof is an option but is not a fixed panoramic glass like the swankiest competitors. There are a few good features that bring out the Kia’s value by coming as standard equipment: a backup sensor, backup camera in the rearview mirror, tinted windows and steering wheel audio controls. This goes so way toward balancing the low rent atmosphere of all the buttons, controls and materials.
Lastly, the Kia is huge. It is larger in all seating dimensions than a Chevrolet Suburban and has more total possible cargo space: 141 cubic-feet makes the Sedona one of the most versatile minivans out there and begs the question – could this be a better-value urban commercial vehicle than the Ford Transit Connect?
2014 Kia Sedona – Interior Dimensions:
|Front Seating Capacity||2|
|Middle Seating Capacity||2|
|Rear Seating Capacity||3|
|Headroom - Front (in.)||40.9|
|Headroom - Middle (in.)||39.8|
|Headroom - Rear (in.)||38.3|
|Legroom - Front (in.)||41.7|
|Legroom - Middle (in.)||40.9|
|Legroom - Rear (in.)||34|
|Shoulder Room - Front (in.)||63.2|
|Shoulder Room - Middle (in.)||65.3|
|Shoulder Room - Rear (in.)||60.5|
|Hip Room - Front (in.)||59.2|
|Hip Room - Middle (in.)||65.9|
|Hip Room - Rear (in.)||50.1|
|EPA Cargo Volume - All Seats Up (cubic-feet)||32.2|
|EPA Cargo Volume - Rear Seat Folded (cubic-feet)||80.1|
|EPA Cargo Volume - All Rear Seats Down (cubic-feet)||141.5|
2014 Kia Sedona LX and EX – Standard Interior Features:
- Backup warning system
- Bluetooth Wireless Technology
- Rear camera display in rear view mirror with HomeLink
- Steering wheel audio controls
- Cruise control
- Tilt steering column
- Air conditioning with front and rear controls
- Power front windows
- Power door locks with two-turn entry system and Remote Fob
- Variable intermittent front wipers
2014 Kia Sedona EX – Standard Interior Features:
- All LX equipment
- Leather trim seating, 6-way power driver seat, 4-way power front passenger seat, Front seat warmer
- Power Rear Quarter Glass
- Automatic Temperature Control with Ionized Filtration
- Auto dimming mirror with Homelink and backup display
- Wood insert and leather wrapped steering wheel
- Auto light control
2014 Kia Sedona EX – Optional Interior Features:
- Luxury Package ($1000): Power sunroof, Power adjustable pedals, Memory for driver’s seat, outside mirrors and adjustable pedals, Automatic Rain-Sensing Wipers
- Navigation Package ($1900 – requires Luxury Package): GPS In-dash Navigation, Infinity audio and speakers
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
As with the pre-2008 olden days of Kia dynamics and performance, the Sedona’s on-paper excellence and long features list really fall apart in aggressive driving. While the Odyssey does not love being thrown into corners or taking tight on-ramps, the Honda driver has a sense of control and confidence that the Sedona driver lacks.
The best-handling minivans will still flop around, squeal tires and protest this type of driving… but the Sienna and Odyssey still feel consistent and predictable in these scenarios.
A combination of wandering steering feel, lots of play in the steering rack and the ancient suspension design conspire to make the Kia Sedona feel very wayward and risky in high-speed avoidance maneuvers or mountain roads. The solid rear axle is prone to sideways hops and the whole car feels like it is moments away from losing control completely.
The Kia’s nail in the coffin for sporty drivers is almost a total lack of structural rigidity, as evidenced by extreme under-steer and some odd scuttle shake of the pillars and roof over the roughest surfaces. All these handling traits make the Kia Sedona much more like a 1990s Chrysler van than any current Town & Country.
Gripes aside, the Sedona is actually quicker than the Odyssey and comes with a V-6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission. The 3.5-liter engine makes 269 horsepower for an 8.2-second 0-to-60 mph run and 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway EPA ratings.
There’s lots of thrash in this old when revved hard – making the Toyota and Honda engines seem smooth, balanced and whisper-quiet by comparison.
2014 Kia Sedona – Mechanical Details:
|Engine Size and Type||3.5-liter 24-valve V-6 With DOHC|
|Peak power (Horsepower)||269 @ 6300|
|Peak torque (Pound-feet)||246 @ 4500|
|0-to-60 mph||8.2 seconds|
|Top Speed||108 mph, est|
|Fuel Economy Estimates (City/Combined/Highway)||17/20/24|
The Sedona is not the safest van out there but does have a Good score from IIHS since a 2012 seatbelt redesign improved the original 2006 model’s crash performance.
Overall, all the safety systems of the Kia do a good job of preventing crashes and protecting people inside if one does happen. A three-row curtain airbag brings peace of mind as do the active head restraints that protect front seat occupants from whiplash.
2014 Kia Sedona – Safety Features:
- Dual front airbags, front side airbags, full-length curtain
- 4-wheel disc brakes
- 4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes System (ABS)
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- Traction Control System (TCS)
- Brake Assist Control (BAS)
- Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD)
- Active Headrests
The Sedona majors on value and low, low entry prices. Heavy discounting means Sedona’s are frequently sold for just above $20,000. There are commercial-grade Ram Vans at this level but none with decent equipment like the cheapest Sedona LX models.
|2014 Kia Sedona||MSRP|
The Town & Country looks pretty lean and sharp in these photos, thanks to the special "S" model trim this van wears. In reality, the addition of LED taillights in the 2012 refresh is evidence of too little, too late for the segment creators. The T&C now has a powerful 3.6-liter engine and six-speed auto for up to 25 mpg on the highway, but is a far cry from the smooth and quiet rides in the back of the Sienna and Odyssey.
The Chrysler is available with or without the folding second row of seats that can disappear in the floor, as well as numerous other missing items from the Sedona like touchscreen audio and various rear seat entertainment systems.
The Odyssey is the best-selling minivan nameplate on the market and jostles for position with Toyota Sienna for best premium features. The 2014 Touring Elite Odyssey comes with an built-in shop vacuum in the trunk and a built-in fridge with its $45,000 price.
On paper, the Honda’s engine seems less powerful and less efficient than the Sedona’s, but in practice the Honda is much more refined on the road with similar sprint performances despite being down 30 horsepower to the Kia.
So, the Kia Sedona might seem too good to be true at prices so much lower than leather-lined Honda or Chrysler competitors. Like many things in life, there are tradeoffs for the Kia’s low entry price.
The Sedona seems two (or three) generations behind Toyota Sienna and Honda for interior design and technology, active safety features and driving manners. Perhaps only one generation behind Chrysler, but certainly not leading the pack.
Do these omissions really matter to family buyers who just need space and low running costs? Is getting all the kids to the water park safely more important than enjoying the drive there?
These are easy questions for most people and no-brainers for value-conscious parents. For these minivan shoppers, the Sedona will happily serve as a cheap and cheerful family truckster capable of doing cross-town school runs as well as cross-country road trips. With the savings over an Odyssey, the kids might even get an extra trip to the water park this summer.
|Driving||C-||Poor Handling Plus Crashy Ride And Scuttle Shake|
|Performance||C+||Quicker Than Odyssey With Good Highway Mileage|
|Look||B+||Small Wheels And Cheap Paints Hurt Overall Classy Lines|
|Value||B+||Very Good Value For Amount Of Interior Space|
|Overall||B-||The Most Affordable Seven-Seat Minivan... For A Reason|