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2009 Kia Sedona ReviewThe Good
The 2009 Kia Sedona offers a wallet-friendly base price, oodles of standard features, decent handling, adequate performance, unimpeachable safety test results, spaciousness, seven-passenger seating, and a warranty that has competitors scrambling to catch up.The Bad
Chintzy cabin materials, lackluster styling, hesitant acceleration, and an often uncomfortably noisy interior won’t allow the 2009 Sedona to rise far above mediocrity.
The CarGurus View
Utilitarian and family oriented, the 2009 Kia Sedona places value and substance above style and comfort, which is fine for the budget-minded. While Kia is making strides to include more technology and convenience features in the Sedona, it’s clear that they have a considerable ways to go before this mini equals Honda’s Odyssey or Toyota’s Sienna.
At a Glance
For those families on a budget, the 2009 Kia Sedona minivan waits at the end of their rainbow. This often-overlooked treasure features standard seven-passenger seating, an unparalleled safety record, plenty of standard comfort and convenience features, a roomy, if not luxurious cabin, and V6 power. The 2009 Sedona comes in three trim levels, the Base, midlevel LX, and top-shelf EX, each of which is offered in front-wheel-drive only. The Base Sedona is some 13 inches shorter than the LX and EX trims, with a wheelbase that’s 5 inches shorter. This may make for a tad better maneuverability in tight quarters, but also reduces cargo capacity for the Base to 121 cubic feet with the second-row seats folded and third row removed. The longer LX and EX, on the other hand, offer 142 cubic feet of cargo area with their seatbacks – all split-folding – down.
With one of the best warranties in the business and a base price that causes folks at Honda and Toyota to cringe, the ’09 Sedona brings better-than-average family transportation to just about any family anywhere. But, a few words of caution: The Sedona is not the most economical minivan on the road, nor is it the most powerful. Ride and handling are merely adequate, and cabin materials are described as lackluster, at best.
The 2009 Sedona’s main competitors are Honda’s Odyssey and Toyota’s Sienna. Though each of these offers more refinement than the Sedona, this refinement comes at a significantly higher price. For 2009, the Sedona receives standard satellite radio reception, as well as MP3-capability and a USB connection, standard across the line, and available DVD navigation. The Sedona is aimed at a certain economic niche, and more often than not, it hits its mark.
The sole engine and transmission available for the 2009 Kia Sedona lineup consists of a DOHC 3.6-liter V6 and five-speed auto-manual transmission. This combination is capable of 250 hp at 6,000 rpm and 253 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm. Towing capacity for the Sedona is rated at 3,500 pounds when the available trailer hitch is selected, and fuel efficiency is estimated by the EPA to be a tepid 16/23 mpg.
A 0-60 time of between 8.4 and 9 seconds is claimed by various sources. However, several reviewers note reluctance on the part of the Sedona’s V6 engine to being hurried in its acceleration. More than a few reviewers are quick to mention that the Sedona has more than enough oomph to cruise comfortably with a full load of passengers, even when hauling a small trailer.
Professional reviewers also mention a most annoying lag in the five-speed auto-manual transmission’s downshifting capabilities when tasked with merging and passing. It’s been suggested that the “manual” feature of this transmission be utilized when immediate downshifting is needed. When shifting, the five-speed is described by virtually all reviewers as fluid and graceful.
Ride & Handling
Though not exactly sedan-like in its ride characteristics, according to most reviewers, it’s noted that the 2009 Kia Sedona is no worse in this respect than most of its competitors. Minivans are notorious for unseemly corner lean, and the Sedona is no exception. Small pavement imperfections are handled well, according to reviewers, but larger bumps and uneven road surfaces can be a challenge, with the 17-inch tires standard on the Sedona EX doing little to alleviate the problem.
Based on a platform shared with its Hyundai Entourage cousin, the Sedona sports a four wheel independent suspension, front and rear stabilizer bars, MacPherson front struts, and a multi-link rear end. The Base and ES Sedona trims are equipped with standard 16-inch steel wheels, while the EX boasts 17-inch alloy wheels. Despite this above-average suspension system, professional reviewers note a certain heaviness in the Sedona’s handling that takes a bit of getting used to. Additionally, steering feel is also described as adequate but far from engaging. Keep in mind that this is a minivan, not a Lamborghini.
Cabin & Comfort
Kia has been accused of lagging far behind its competition as far as comfort and convenience features, not to mention technological offerings, are concerned. Seems this is an inconvenience no more, with the Base 2009 Sedona offering standard front cloth bucket seats, second-row captain’s chairs, removable third-row seating, power windows, door locks, and mirrors, cruise control, tilt-wheel steering, front and overhead storage consoles, dual-zone air-conditioning, and a 172-watt single-CD player with eight speakers that now embraces MP3 compatibility and satellite radio. Going a step farther, the Sedona LX features standard premium cloth upholstery, reclining second-row seats, fold-down third-row seating, and remote power door locks. In keeping with its higher-end image, the EX sports standard valour upholstery, power liftgate, rear-quarter windows, and side doors, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, four-way power-adjustable passenger seat, heated mirrors, universal remote garage door opener, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and front and rear floor mats.
Options for the Base 2010 Sedona include the Convenience Package with roof rails and floor mats, while the LX offers available rear-seat DVD entertainment and a Power Package featuring power rear sliding doors and power liftgate, as well as rear backup sensors. The Sedona EX adds an optional Luxury Package featuring heated leather seats, power-adjustable pedals, a power sunroof, and rear-view camera system, as well as a Premium Entertainment package with 660 watts of audio power and a 6-CD changer. A stand-alone offering for the EX is an available touch-screen DVD navigation system.
Reviewers note that the 2010 Sedona offers a reasonably spacious cabin with plenty of storage spaces. The only serious glitch mentioned is a common one with this type of vehicle in that third-row seating seems to be intended for only the smallest of people, in both access and comfort. Controls and gauges are mentioned by professional reviewers as being easily reached and well marked.
Reviewers describe the Sedona’s cabin as only marginally quiet, with wind and road noise becoming almost intrusively apparent at highway speeds. Additionally, nearly all reviewers express disappointment with Kia’s use of sub-par plastics, trim, and fabrics for the otherwise commendable interior.
Considered among the safest minivans on the road, the 2009 Kia Sedona offers standard four-wheel disc ABS with emergency braking assist and electronic brakeforce distribution, traction and stability control, dual front side-mounted airbags, full-length head airbags, and active front headrests. The LX trim throws in a remote anti-theft alarm, and the EX adds dusk-sensing headlights and front fog/driving lights.
Virtually all reviewers point out that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2009 Sedona five stars in all categories except rollover testing, in which it earns a still-respectable four stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), meanwhile, gives the Sedona its highest rating of “good” across the board. Additionally, the IIHS awarded the ’09 Sedona a “Top Safety Pick” designation.
What Owners Think
While the 2009 Kia Sedona is considered by most owners a worthy and versatile family wagon, there are a few issues. A distinct lack of get-up-and-go is one of the most common complaints owners have with the Sedona. Uncomfortable seats, a lack of any sort of refinement in the cabin materials, and intrusive wind and road noise also disappoints a number of owners. Some owners complain of a rather rough ride in the ’09 Sedona, while others find that it smooths out all but the roughest surfaces.
Value, however, is what owners like most about the ’09 Sedona, as well as its over-the-top warranty protection. Price, mileage, reliability, roominess, and a plethora of creature comforts, not to mention numerous and generously sized cabin storage cubbies and the Sedona’s family-oriented safety image, continue to draw praise from owners.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.