2002 Kia Sedona EX 3.5 V6 from North America


3 years on, still doing well


Recalls only. Nothing. Nada.

General Comments:

K-K-K-Kia pet.

This is a low mileage vehicle, but that can often be a killer for cars. So far, so good. I think there are hundreds of us satisfied KIA owners out here, but while happy customers won't bother to write, the few unlucky owners will vent - often without cause in my opinion. Stop and talk to a KIA owner. We'll be honest with you. This is a budget econobox car that represents very fair value for money. We don't expect Honda or Toyota long-term quality. We made trade-offs in our purchasing decision and opted for a cheap car with a lot of features against an expensive Honda with far fewer features.

I earn over $100K a year and I'm no longer buying expensive "quality" cards that cost a fortune to own, insure, and service. What I saved on the KIA will more than pay for any conceivable out-of-warranty repair in its first 5 years of ownership.

My wife uses it mostly, and she has a very short commute. On summer weekends, we drive a regular 240 mile round trip, often towing a trailer. I use it when I need to take the trailer to Home Depot and load it up with building materials. I like the fact that this minivan can easily pull (and more importantly stop), a 3500lb trailer.

We have not had any significant problems with it. It still drives well and is comfortable. There is road and wind noise, but that has not worsened and there are no hardware rattles or squeaks. The tires are holding up very well.

During a recent service visit, the dealership skimmed the brake rotors under warranty even though we had not noticed any brake shudder (and with a trailer, that shudder shows up fast). I think they are watching this brake issue now.

Fuel economy is as bad as it was when we bought it, but fair enough for a 6-person people mover and tow vehicle. I'd recommend this car for owners of small campers or light travel trailers.

The seats are extremely heavy, but I often remove them all to create cargo space. (it actually improves gas milege a bit when they are out.). I find them firm and supportive - comfortable on our weekly 120-mile runs.

The value-add features in the Sedona are still very good compared to the competition. You get a lot of options for the money.

Contrary to other reports, the hardware has held up very well and the car looks good.

On the whole, I'm very happy with the first three years of ownership. It's been the least troublesome vehicle that I have ever owned.

When we bought the Sedona in 02, I was nervous enough to buy a top-up warranty. With that additional cost, we still came out at thousands less than any other comparably-equipped minivan at that time. Even my friend who owns a Dodge dealership could come nowhere near the price for a similarly-equipped Caravan.

So, even if the Sedona needs a whole new engine and tranny and the warranty fails me, I STILL have not lost any real dollars. (Think about that as you read comments by the KIA nay-sayers.)

One downside is the availability of repair parts. I was broadsided by a Saturn and it took 10 days for the body shop to get door skins. On the other hand, the KIA was like a rock in the crash, yet the Saturn had substantial front-end damage. My repair costs were very reasonable at only $1500. The only pain I suffered was after my wife found out about me damaging her KIA pet. (wasn't even my fault!)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th October, 2005

29th Oct 2005, 16:16

In three years, you've only accumulated a total of 21,000 miles on your Sedona and you say nothing has gone wrong. I would hope not! You suggest that the so called disgruntled Sedona owners who vent their frustrations really have no cause in your opinion! Do you think these so called disgruntled Sedona owners are exaggerating their tales somewhat?

You also suggest that Sedona owners should not complain if something breaks, like an engine or transmission, because you'll be saving so much money by not buying a Honda, Toyota, Nissan or whatever. You'll have all kinds of cash leftover to fix your broken down Sedona so don't worry?

Well I guess I just fell of the turnip truck. Where's Doctor Phil when you need em? What are you thinking?

For the rest of us disgruntled Sedona owners, and I mean the majority of Sedona owners, we live in the real world. Not all of us make $100K a year. Most of us drive on average 25,000 miles a year and most of us would not expect to, or hope not to, replace an engine or transmission due to some fallacy about saving money.

I do agree about one of your comments with perhaps a little emphasis to highlight reality. If you want to know the "truth", talk to an average Sedona owner. And yes, you probably guessed it, I am one of the outspoken disgruntled Kia Sedona owners and rightly so!

2002 Kia Sedona LX 3.5 Gas from North America




Here is a list of most of the items that have been replaced during 116,000k of ownership.

Power Steering Pump - warranty

Hydraulic Hoses - warranty

Coolant Pipes -warranty

Wiper Motor - warranty

Rear Shocks - warranty

Wheel bearing - warranty

Door locks - warranty

Alternator- initial cost of $1,100

Interior trim pieces - warranty

Tree sets of brake rotors - warranty

Front seat belt - warranty

Rear sear hold down hooks - recall

Exhaust system - warranty

10 Head light bulbs @ $20 a piece.

Driver seat back collapsed - cost $120.

General Comments:

I may appear to a bit of a cynic towards Kia but believe me, I do have just cause. My 2002 Sedona is proving to the worst automotive purchase I've ever made.

Kia manufactures low end vehicles for the north american market. I knew this when I purchased my Sedona, but I was willing to take the gamble. At the time, I wasn't prepared to pay more for a Honda or Toyota or for that matter, a domestic brand. In hind sight I wish I had.

This is one of the poorest built vehicles you could buy. What initially attracted me to the Sedona was the warranty which by the way, came in really handy. By the way, you'll get to know all the dealerships staff on a first name basis. The price plus the warranty were irresistible, so I bought one thinking I made a great buy.

I've owned the van for about four years and there's another year to go before it's paid for. Just recently, at 2,000k over warranty, the alternator failed. Kia and the dealer wanted over $1,100 to replace it. And yes, there is little in the way of after-market parts available for Kia's here in Canada. For your info, the alternator for my wife's Audi was two thirds the cost. It failed at 280,000k.

Just yesterday, while I was driving on a busy street, the drivers seat back collapsed. No, I didn't get into an accident, but if my wife or daughter were driving, the results may have been different. Upon initial investigation, I found a bolt and weld nut laying loose on the floor under the seat assembly. I called Kia Canada to advise them of this potential safety hazard, but the customer service adviser didn't seem all that concerned, but thanked me for calling anyway.

So, I took my Sedona to the Honda dealer here in town to talk trade. The salesperson quite politely told me that they really didn't want my Sedona and I would probably be better of if I sold it myself. I guess that means I'm stuck with it until it's paid for unless somebody wants to buy it as a family hauler. Gee, I wouldn't do that, my conscience would bother me. Better I sell it as road trash. I'll let you know what the scrap value is.

Before you buy stop to investigate what the actual cost of ownership will be. The initial purchase price plus the cost of repairs coupled with worthless trade in value make the Sedona an expensive vehicle to own. And another thing, the Sedona's a gas hog, it's reminds me of a drunk who's on a binge.

Most other Sedona owners would probably agree with my sentiments, but I can understand them being reluctant to speak out. At this point I don't care. I only hope I can dump it before something else breaks. It's not worth anything now and definitely not worth repairing. If you know this before you buy one then you've only got yourself to blame when it breaks.

I'd be happy to hear what other owners have to say, good or bad.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st October, 2005

22nd Oct 2005, 11:03

My review of our Sedona is parallel to yours. We are just holding on until the bleeping van gives out on us... which should be any day now. When researching vans in 02 we found nothing to lead us to believe we would have any trouble. Since then we have been in the service dept. so many times I can't even count. We are now to the point that we only go to the service dept. on a as needed basis. We are done sinking any more money into this disaster. We now know to only buy something tried and true. We will also speak to the service guys in private before buying our next auto. Good luck and realize that there are many of us out here in the same boat.