2015 Kia Sedona Long-Term Review Update: Between a rock and a…



We’ve put 10,000 miles on our long-term Kia Sedona since our last update here at Carbuzzard.com. It hasn’t been that long between write ups; we just really, really, really love driving this multi-purpose (don’t call it a mini) van.

IMG_8354ADuring that period, we’ve completed its 22,000-mile service (next one due at 30,000), replaced a seriously cracked windshield, and taken a trip to Arizona for Dodgers spring training. The rest of the mileage has been round trips back and forth to Los Angeles, where we are following an amazing car that will be the subject of Team Killeen’s next Build Book.

IMG_4215ABSo what story should we start with first? Aw, let’s just go in order. It makes life so much easier. Our service experience continues to be phenomenal. There’s so much to be said for finding a good dealership for maintenance, and we did, at Henderson Kia. In and out quickly, and the service techs really care if they do a good job and treat the customer well. I hope more Kia dealerships follow suit.

Next is the cracked windshield. Since we drive so many highways miles, the law of averages usually catches up, and this time it did. On one of the return trips from Victorville where the Build Book car is being worked on, we heard a big thunk, but although we looked, didn’t see anything on the car, and breathed a sigh of relief. Later on, however, we saw the rock chip, and it was considerable. Although it took about two weeks to develop into a full-blown crack, we knew we had to replace the windshield. Not only for safety, but it’s illegal in many states (Nevada and California for sure) to drive with cracked glass, especially one that cuts across the driver’s line of sight.

IMG_6270A little windshield history for y’all: once upon a time (isn’t that how all great stories start?), windshields were made out of plate glass. Early windshields beat the heck out of goggles, and they cut down on the amount of bugs early drivers were ingesting. Plate-glass windshields in cars started off as a great idea, at least until the first head-on collision, when they realized that ramming your head through the glass was extremely detrimental to your health because of an effect called “collaring.” Collaring basically decapitated the person as the energy force threw you through the glass, and then the equal force pulled you back into the vehicle. Not a pretty sight. In 1903, a French chemist discovered shatter-resistant glass by accident when he dropped a beaker filled with dried film. This laminated glass was a huge breakthrough, but didn’t make it into the automobile until the 1920s. Fast forward to today, where windshields now not only are laminated for safety, but also feature integrated defrosters, sun tints, forward-vision cameras, rain-sensors, and frit. More learning here: frit is that black enamel band that’s baked into the edges of the windshield. Frit provides an etched surface that allows adhesive to bond to glass. It also acts as a shield against UV radiation to protect the glue bond from dissolving. Amazing information you can only learn at CarBuzzard.com, friends!

Anyway, all that aside, we needed to replace the windshield. Now you can do this one of two ways. You can call Safelite AutoGlass and have it conveniently come to your house and replace the glass. We got an estimate of around $450 to do this. However, since the vehicle belongs to Kia, and we wanted to keep any repairs factory, not generic like the Safelite glass, we ordered an actual factory windshield. While we have paid for every service out of our own pocket, and will continue to do so, Kia picked up the tab for this one because of the insurance paperwork. The cost of the windshield was $1,060 including tax, and we picked up the $125 tab for the install. If this were our own vehicle, we probably would have done the factory windshield and gone through our insurance. We feel it’s always better to go with the factory parts if available; they’ll fit and work right the first time. It’s all about peace of mind. Once the windshield was replaced, we were amazed at how clear it was, and how we didn’t notice how much pitting the old windshield had just from everyday highway driving.

IMG_7259AAs far as the road trip, our annual trek to Glendale, Arizona, and Camelback Ranch, spring training home of the Los Angeles Dodgers (and the Chicago White Sox, but who cares), happens every March. Last year, we were hoping to take the Sedona there, but the vehicle didn’t arrive until after training camp was over. So this year we were determined to take it. We thought for a nanosecond about another press car to drive to Arizona, but kept coming back to the Sedona for its comfort, roominess, and all the other reasons we rave about it in these pages. We set the navigation system and were delighted that, since our move to Nevada, we shaved two hours off our drive time versus coming from Los Angeles; a huge plus. The biggest difference, though, is from LA, it’s a fairly straight shot on Interstate 10. From Henderson, it’s now on highways and not the interstate. In a few years, however, that should change, as a new interstate is being developed that runs from Phoenix, Arizona, to Las Vegas, and then directly to Reno, Nevada. Interstate 11 is its name, and while some roadside towns might dry up (á la Radiator Springs), travel times and congestion savings will be greatly welcomed.

We are fortunate enough (maybe because we begged, pleaded, and proffered an embarrassing amount of crying) to get to keep the Sedona for another 12-month stint because we really want to more than double the mileage, and do a longer- test to see how just how bulletproof this Kia really is. We’ve got a few cross-country trips planned, as well as some additional workload. There’s no question this MPV can handle anything we throw at it. As long as it’s not rocks at the windshield.

Photography © Scott Killeen/Team Killeen, Inc.