2011 Kia Sedona
2011 Kia Sedona
2011 Kia Sedona. Click image to enlarge

Vehicle Type: Minivan

History/Description: Kia’s affordable Sedona minivan was designed to deliver plenty of safety, convenience and affordability – as well as a high ‘volume per dollar’ ratio – that challenged competitors like the Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest, Toyota Sienna and the segment’s sales superstar, the Dodge Grand Caravan.

Feature content included power accessories, cruise control, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, Bluetooth and more. Projector lights and a windshield wiper defroster helped with all-season visibility. Top-line models got a power driver’s seat, heated front seats, full leather cabin, sunroof, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, USB connectivity, universal remote, automatic climate control and plenty more. For safety and convenience, a back-up camera, power sliding doors, a power tailgate and power adjustable pedals were available too.

Further, second-row captain’s chairs with one-touch flip-and-fold, ensuring plenty of room and comfort for passengers, as well as easy access to the third-row bench seat. That rear bench seat can fold into the Sedona’s floor to create more cargo space when a full complement of passengers isn’t on board. Total interior capacity was rated at nearly 5,000 litres, over 4,000 of which could be used as cargo space.

Nomenclature saw the LX badge worn by basic models, with LX Convenience indicating the inclusion of numerous must-have features at value pricing. Upscale models were called EX and EX Luxury, respectively.

Engines / Trim: Initially, this second-generation Sedona was powered by a 3.8L quad-cam V6 with 244 hp and slightly more torque. All units were front-wheel drive and go a five-speed automatic. From 2011 and on, Kia installed a smaller, 3.5L V6 with 271 hp. The new engine got a six-speed automatic transmission to help with improved fuel efficiency and performance. Shoppers should expect a 2011 or 2012 Sedona to turn in better mileage and acceleration thanks to the updated powerplant. Note that 2011 brought a new grille, mirrors and other minor updates to the table as well.

2011 Kia Sedona2011 Kia Sedona2011 Kia Sedona2011 Kia Sedona
2011 Kia Sedona. Click image to enlarge

What Owners Like: Ride comfort, seat comfort, space, at-hand storage facilities and overall flexibility were all highly rated by Sedona owners taking to the internet to share their ownership experiences. Performance is very highly rated with either powerplant, and the second-row climate control system was a hit with parents, too. Other owners note a solid feel to the doors, and ride, adding to a sense of security.

What Owners Dislike: Some cheap interior controls, a potentially noisy air conditioning system, easily-chipped paint and mediocre gas mileage are among the most common complaints of the Sedona. Numerous owners complain of the location of the emergency flasher switch, which is easily hit by accident when adjusting climate controls.

2011 Kia Sedona
2011 Kia Sedona
2011 Kia Sedona. Click image to enlarge

Kia Sedona Owner Reviews (TRADER.ca)
Kia Sedona Owner Reviews (carreview.com)

Common Issues: Owners have reported electrical problems with their Sedonas, ranging from accessories to drivetrain sensor issues.

Since numerous owners have reported alternator problems, as well as problems with battery charging, a check of the Sedona’s electrical system by a Kia-trained mechanic should be made ahead of your purchase. The out-of-warranty cost of parts and labor to replace an alternator on a Sedona are relatively high.

Drivability issues like sporadic acceleration, hard starting, stalling, reduced power output or ‘lumpy’ power delivery could be the result of a wonky sensor attached to the engine. A scan of the engine control computer system can reveal any hidden sensor-related issues, even if the vehicle is running properly on your test-drive. To coax any issues out of the Sedona’s engine control system, be sure to test the acceleration at light, moderate and full throttle several times.

Sensors also control the Sedona’s transmission – and if they are experiencing issues, hard shifting, slipping or failure to shift may be the result. If you note any strange or unwelcomed behavior from the transmission during your test-drive, be sure to have it investigated before agreeing to purchase. Here’s one discussion.

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