2015 Kia Sedona long-term review update: The shining star continues to glow

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Have you ever wanted to say I told you so? Of course you have. We all have, and most of us have said it once or 100 times. Sure, it’s smug, but those who say it mean they we’re right about something that hadn’t happened yet. Well, we’ve been saying for the past 16 months that we told you Kia has come a long way in the past two decades since it first appeared in America. With the recent announcement that Kia Motors ranked highest nameplate in the automotive industry for initial quality by JD Power and Associates, we just want to say, told you so! (Smirk included.)

DSCN3017AWe’ve been driving the Sedona for almost 40,000 miles now, and every time we write an article or talk about it on air, we mention how this MPV has been trouble-free. The number-one ranking means that Kia owners reported fewer issues with their vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership than all other car and truck brands in the U.S. We’ve talked more people into putting Kia on their shopping lists, and more than a few have purchased Kia vehicles because we — and everyone else who owns one — say nothing but good things. And now that we found a great dealership for service, we can add that to the heaping pile of goodness that is the Kia brand. And if that weren’t enough, Kia also won the 2016 Highest Satisfaction Popular Brand award from AutoPacific and the Kia Sedona recently won the Best-in-Class Vehicle Satisfaction Award from AutoPacific.

While other manufacturers still struggle to find their way (some will succeed and some won’t), whoever came up with the five- or 10-year plan for Kia deserves a big raise and a huge pat on the back. Regardless of the Kia model, the brand has done a tremendous job since it first appeared on U.S. soil.

DSCN2009ABut enough about the Kia brand, let’s get back to talking about one of our favorite subjects, our Kia Sedona long-term MPV. Our last update in April had us logging nearly 22,000 miles, which seemed like a lot, but as of last count, we are edging over the 38,000 mark. To say that we drive this van a lot is an understatement. Yes, we have other press cars, but the Sedona’s comfort, roominess, practicality, and enjoyable nature is so off the charts that when comparison time comes, the Sedona wins virtually every “what are we taking to dinner tonight” contest.

A lot of those miles we racked up since the previous review have come from a daily commute between Henderson (Las Vegas), Nevada, and Hesperia, California, as we followed the build of the Big Red Camaro for our next BUILD BOOK ( you can follow the story on Instagram at BIG RED CAMARO). We thought our commuting days were behind us as the Camaro was finished and ready to run Pikes Peak; however, an unfortunate fire at a racetrack has the builders starting all over again, so Interstate 15 will continue to be familiar landscape for the Sedona for the near future.

IMG_0163A big chunk of the miles also came from a pre-race run to Pike’s Peak, an 1,800-mile round trip, or roughly 22 hours of driving. The Sedona continues to impress us with its fuel economy. The trip averaged over 24 mpg, with us witnessing some tanks at nearly 28 mpg. This is economy car territory, folks. We also took a day trip to Death Valley to do our own personal heat-sink test. We were looking for daytime temps of over 120 degrees, but the best the Valley could muster up for us was 117. The Sedona performed flawlessly, and we were extremely grateful for features like the rear window sunshades, the cooled seats, and the air conditioning system that delivered chilly temperatures to contented occupants.

DSCN2917AAs far as service goes, we’ve done another three: oil, filter, tire rotation and wiper blades at 28,000 miles for a total of $95.48, a major 30,000-mile maintenance for $411.14, and an oil change at 35,000 miles for $17,46 (we had a coupon, yeah!)

DSCN1879ABSo far, regular maintenance on the Kia Sedona, pre-40,000 miles, is a little over $900. That may seem a lot, but remember, we’ve put these 40,000 miles on the Sedona in 16 months. Most people might take over two years to do the same. We call this a long-term test for a reason, folks!

 

SK2_5214AGetting back to the JD Power and Associates report, we can’t think of anything that has failed us on this van. All the electronics work well, the power doors open and close with no binding, and the build quality continues to impress. It’s humorous how many times we’re in the Sedona and discuss how comfortable it is, or how quiet it is, or how much fun it is to drive. We sound like a broken record, but then so do other Kia owners. After living with this van for over a year, there’s no question every award the Sedona, or Kia wins, is wholeheartedly deserved.

We’re still planning on getting in a run to Chicago before the weather turns, so stay tuned!

Photography © Scott Killeen/Team Killeen, Inc.