2006 Kia Sedona Reliability

I'm not looking to buy another vehicle for another couple of years, but I'm wondering how people are finding the 2006 Kia Sedona vans. We just
had one for a week as a rental and it seems like a really nice vechicle, especially for the money. We had an LX, which is not the top of the line model and were impressed with the roominess i the interior, and particularly the trunk space. Having had a couple of Chrysler SWB minivans, the trunk space is a major plus in the Sedona, but I have quesitons about the reliability of the vehicles.I'm thinking along these lines:
- who makes the motor? Has it been used in other vechicles? How has it held up? Any problems typical to this motor (e.g. Mitsu 3.0 valve seals, Ford 3.8 head gaskets, etc.) Does it really get 25 MPG? - Who makes the transmission? The thought of a 5 speed automatic is kind of appealing as it seems to be able to match engine speed to give rather snappy performance. However, the 'auto-stick' shifter is a waste of time because it doesn't shift briskly enough (IMHO). After my experiences with Chrysler transmissions, both 3 and 4 speed, I'm gun-shy here! Who makes the transission? Is it prone to failure? - How are the dealers? - Given Ford's major investment in Kia industries, I wonder if any of the toolings or systems are based on Ford designs. - Anyone got one with high miles on it already? With any car, I'd be more interested in a test drive in a 5 year old vehicle with 100K to see how it behaves. I live 30 miles from my job, and from most of the shopping that we do, so we tend to keep cars until they have at least 150 to 200K miles on them. 100K miles is a relatively new vehicle in my mind...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
We now have 14K miles on our 2006 Sedona and we are in NY, so those are pretty hard miles. Our van has been 100% reliable with not a single problem. After engine break-in we get about 18 city and 23 highway. The very large fuel tank gives a nice highway range of 400 miles on one tank. Handling and power is pretty good for such a heavy van and all of the nift features comes in handy...such as the power doors and hatch and DVD 7.1 surround system. The van is obviously a hit, but I think some of the reviews are more enthusiastic because no one expected Kia to build anything like it. Here's what MT had to say as the van made into their car of the year arena....video clip:
http://www.motortrend.com/av/reviews/112_0612_2007_kia_sedona
So far it's a great van and we came from a nice Subaru Tribeca, also a nice car. Since we're moving into a house with some winding and hilly roads, we may add another AWD, but the Kia's FWD with traction control has been excellent. Another thing to consider is resale value, typically at the low end for these Korean cars. But the Sedona's glowing reviews and growing reputation seems to be working in it's favor. We'll trade ours in 4 years and see what happens.
Good luck,
Robert B NY
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I hear it's better quality than the older Sedonas. Personally, I wouldn't want to take the plunge until it has a proven track record.
Look around at http://www.kia-forums.com/kia-carnival-sedona-forum/ to get an idea of some of the pros and cons owners have experienced.
-- Christian
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I hear it's better quality than the older Sedonas. Personally, I wouldn't want to take the plunge until it has a proven track record.

With 14K on ours and not a single problem, it's surpassed our Toyota and Subaru for reliability in OUR case. Motor Trend is doing a long term test on one. As they said, Kia so believes in the newly designed Sedona that they are offering them for long term tests. We'll wait and see...but I have a good indicaton that these new vans will do well. The problem....they really aren't that much less expensive when fully loaded anymore. So if Kia is charging 30K for a good van...then they're doing pretty much what Honda is doing. There was a time when Honda was "the budget car" with questionable track records, but Honda improved fast. Of course a Honda is no longer a budget car optioning out at the top end for most models against many other makes in every size division. Kia will probably do the same, perhaps retaining one or two low cost models down the road.
Robert B NY
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hello, When I did the test drive, the salesman said the UK engine was Mercedes made under license. Nobody in the UK will have high mileage yet on this new model, introduced here in July 2006, I have just done 3K without any problems. The engine is a diesel 2.9Ltr 4 cyl 16 valve 183bhp with 5-speed Auto box. Have done (UK) 2960 miles and used 119.64 Imp.Gallons = Average consumption = 24.9 MPG (UK) Mixed conditions Motorway and urban traffic queuing 50/50. Oil consumption Nil. Very good turning circle, the UK version is 7 seater, with shorter body length and 5" less on wheelbase, but track and width is the same as the USA version. I think the ride is better with a good load in car, at least 5 passengers. Quality is very good, considering the price, only time will tell if the mechanics & electronics will go the distance. If anything, I think Kia could be let down by the lack of training at the Garages, but this may be Kia's own doing, I'm not convinced about the available expertise yet, but I have not yet had any problems with this car. Gordon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My site provides reliability information, but just started collecting information on the 2006 Sedona -- too few owners were signed up earlier. More would still help a great deal. Info:
http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php
I have been seeing low repair rates for Hyundais.
bruce wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You might check the forums on edmunds.com for comments from owners. Also Consumer Reports can be used as a basic flag for cars with a history of problems.
My fist experience with a KIA car was not positive. I rented one about 6 years ago with about 400 miles on it at LA International airport. The brakes were in poor condition and the car rattled so badly I turned it in for something else. I understand their cars have improved however.
I would look for a long warranty along the lines of the one Hyundai offers.
bruce wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John S. said: "I would look for a long warranty along the lines of the one Hyundai offers."......
Er, all new Kias come with the exact same 10/100,000 (60,000 transferrable) warranty that Hyundais do.
Tom Wenndt

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Good news.
Rev. Tom Wenndt wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Greetings,
We own a Kia Sorento, but I can still answer a few of the questions you have below.

Kia makes the motor, and it's made in Korea. This motor line is shared between the Kia Sedona and Sorento and the Hyundai Santa Fe (and probably other in both Kia and Hyundai, but I don't know that). However, the Sorento is rear-wheel drive and the Sedona and Santa Fe are front-wheel drive - the only difference is the transmission and layout (side-to-side vs. front-to-back for the different drivelines). We have over 50,000 miles on our Sorento's motor with only one bad spark plug and a sticky cruise control, both fixed quickly and cheerfully by our dealer.

The Sorento's rear-wheel drive tranny is made in Japan, but I can't speak for the Sedona's FWD unit. Look at the window sticker and it will tell you in the fine print. The first year of the Sorento's 5-speed auto were problematic (since has been worked out), but again it's not the same tranny as the FWD Sedona.

Some good, some bad - just like all car dealers. Ours is good (fortunately for us) but others here on this group have reported bad dealings with theirs. This is typical and not unlike any other dealer network from any other manufacturer.

To the best of my knowledge, Ford and Kia share nothing. Ford and Nissan share minivan platforms, and Kia is owned entirely by Hyundai.

Since the current version of the Sedona has gone through some significant redesigns over the years you won't really find that test driving an older, high-mileage van will give you much of an indication how the newer ones will do because there have been so many changes. However, since this van has been evolving steadily over the years you can take some reassurance from the fact that it's not an entirely new design with no history (the kind you want to stay away from it's first year out) and instead is the product of several years of Kia seeing what works and what doesn't in the past to make what they offer today.
Cheers - Jonathan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
As the saying goes, you asked for it: We bought a 2006 LX Sedona in Miami Florida. The dealership was very inept. Could not do any information or business over the phone if they even bothered to return my calls. Pickings are slim for dealers here so we bought any way after I had researched the hell out of it on the net. We bought the extended "bumper to bumper" which bumped it from standard 60k to 100k. In almost two years and 22k miles, the best mileage I get driving the 5 miles to work with the A/C on is 15 mpg. On the road at 90 mph, we get 21. Burned out an A/C compressor at 15k. As far as drivability, pretty good... the systems work well for safety but the computer takeover in "safety envelope" pushing takes some getting used to. Powerful thirsty engine hauls ass after it decides to let you, kinda like old fashion turbo lag. Very roomy, comfortable, lots of room for stuff and options for seating. We owned a 1995 Dodge Grand Caravan and sold it at 162k miles after 2 trannies and a nagging electrical bug in the rear panel windows and the info icon lights, but we stilled loved it. As a reference between the two; Dodge had better mileage and more responsive, no computer takeover, less noises and overall nit picky problems (Sedona has makeup mirrors with no lights, doors relock after 30 seconds of no door open, but require manual locking after that.. ie: you can open the door and fall out (Dodge locked automatically at 15 mph.) It's little stuff, but you get spoiled to it. If I had it do all over again, I'd have put another grand in my Dodge, had I known the butts would bring out Lifetime drivetrain coverage. Hindsight right?!?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sorry about your experience, both with the van and the dealer.
I am noticing that Kia dealers tend to be either among the very best or very worst. I have one of each in my area.
But if you get a good one (I do have one), I have never met a more conscientious dealer of any make.
As for the van, one of the things I have REALLY appreciated about Kia is their ability to find potential wide-spread problems and get them fixed. It is something the Detroit 3 have never been able to do, for whatever reason.
2006 was the first year of a complete re-design for the Sedona. And while you would hope they would get it right the first time, if you would go back and check out the 2008, you would find a lot of things have been improved on, even though it is basically the same van. There are no reports of that acceleration lag anymore (try a bottle of good fuel system cleaner on yours). And a lot of little things (like the mirrors) have been improved.
There is still that Kia door lock thing, which all Sedonas since 2002 have (and many other Kias and Hyundais as well) which seems to be what some people in South Korea believe is security. But there are re-programs available, and one may be just what you are looking for. If you have a good dealer (sorry about that), they may even do it for free.
I am an apologist for the Sedona simply because they have built such a fine vehicle for thousands less than anybody else, especially Chrysler. These days, you would have to spend in the vicinity of $35-40,000 to even begin to equip a Chrysler van in a similar fashion to a Sedona, which is around $31,000 and down. That isn't chump change.
And since I still have not seen Chrysler produce a truly trouble-free tranny for their minivans (the new six-speed FINALLY has some promise), I have never had any confidence to get a Chrysler. Engine and transmission problems just don't hardly exist in the Kias, even in the rather troublesome 2002 model.
Again, sorry for your experience. Somehow I'd like to think that, if only you had a better dealer, you would have had a better experience. Take care!

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Rev. Tom Wenndt wrote:

snip stuff
The one thing that shines through for me, being in UK, is that KIA really should be selling the 2.9l diesel Sedona in the US. It's a great engine and returns an *average* of 34 mpg(uk gallon natch) If I drive carefully, ie not exceeding 60 to 70 mph, then 600 miles per tank is possible.
--
I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as
members. Groucho Marx
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

34mpg (uk gallon) does not sound all that impressive to me. Combined with the price of diesel being much higher than gasoline in the U.S. and I don't see the advantage.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It's more than that. Diesels have had a tough time meeting U.S. emission standards for cars.
Much of the U.S. is also mired in a Winter that makes having a diesel a distinct disadvantage. I have some people who work for some of the U.S. railroads, and they are having a dickens of a time keeping the locomotives running in the cold. A car wouldn't be any better - they just aren't the engine to have if you have to deal with temperatures at 0 and below (-15 to -20 C).
Thankfully, the gasoline engine in the U.S. Sedona (which is a joint venture with Mitsubishi I believe, as is the tranny) makes for a seriously good powertrain.
wrote:

34mpg (uk gallon) does not sound all that impressive to me. Combined with the price of diesel being much higher than gasoline in the U.S. and I don't see the advantage.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Actually the new generation of diesels can apparently meet the new standards for diesel emissions in the U.S., which are admitedly less stringent than those for gasoline engines.

Not really. Diesel fuel is mixed for winter in those areas that need it. And the block heater that is so useful on gasoline engine will help the diesel as well.

In the U.S. there is proably a slight cost disadvantage to owning a diesel. The maintenance costs are about the same, fuel costs are higher for diesel, diesels get higher mpg, and the initial price of a diesel motor is higher.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.