Being an automotive journalist means judging vehicles with a critical eye. It’s easy to love a car after driving it for a few hours in an amazing setting, but it’s completely different when you live with the car for a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years. We feel odd that we aren’t more critical of our long-term Kia Sedona MPV, but the truth is this is one of the best vehicle’s we’ve ever tested. For 45,000 miles, this has been the most trouble-free, comfortable, and practical rides we have ever experienced in our 30 plus years in the industry. We can see why Ford F-Series truck owners buy the same vehicle over and over again; when you build this kind of trust and affinity for a product, it’s hard to go somewhere else.
What is comforting to us is that we aren’t the only ones who feel this way about the Kia brand. We’ve been lucky enough to see Kia from the beginning, and in the relatively short time it’s been in America, it’s accomplished feats that other manufacturers dream about. Kia is the 69th most valuable brand in the world according to a study by Interbrand, leads all other industry nameplates in the JD Power and Associates U.S. Initial Quality Study, and is extremely popular with its owners. Just last week we were in a Kia Soul for Uber, and asked the driver what he thought about his car. “I love it,” was his answer, and pretty much the same answer from anyone we ask who owns a Kia.
We have been using the Sedona a lot as a work horse, moving gear around, using it during the SEMA show at a photographer’s shuttle, running errands, picking up tool chests, buying furniture, and hauling rocks for landscaping. The Kia Sedona does all this with exceptional style, excellent comfort, and impressive fuel economy. We consistently get over 20 mpg in combined driving; not bad when you realize the amount of power (276 hp/248 lb-ft of torque) coming from the 3.3-liter V6 engine.
Recently, Kia introduced the 2017 Sedona, which added some welcomed features like standard Dynamic Bending Light on SX and SXL trims, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) on all models, and a steering wheel and transmission gear shift knob design upgrade (although comparing photos, they look the same to us.) The 2017 Kia Sedona also earned an IIHI Top Safety Pick + rating, so it has that going for it as well.
We’ve taken a few short trips with the Sedona, with the most recent being a short jaunt to San Diego to take in a few end-of-season Dodger games at Petco Park. We have about three more planned before we have to give up the Sedona next year (or will we give it up?).
We did a total of our costs for our Facebook posts, and you can see it here: http://bit.ly/2fpIKBK. We’ve racked up over 45,000 miles, spent a little more than $5,000 on fuel, taken 25 trips, used over 2,000 gallons of gas, and spent over $1,000 on regular maintenance. But the amount of joy and usefulness we’ve received in return is priceless.
Without question, the Kia Sedona might just be one of the best vehicles ever made.