2004 Kia Sedona EX 2.9 from North America


Car - not so good. Warranty - worthless


Brakes have been turned twice, oil leak developed at about 25,000 miles, and the trans "twitches" and bogs.

General Comments:

Brake issues are a known quantity for Kia - the dealers we've been to always gripe and try to charge us, but so far just they have relented and fixed them under warranty. I expect they'll charge us next time no matter what.

The oil leak? That was "our fault", according to Kia's corporate offices: we failed to keep our records for oil changes, and Kia assumes we failed to appropriately service the car, therefore the oil leak is due to poor maintenance - it sludged, clogged something, and the pressure created the leak. Never mind the 3000 oil change rule we followed. Kia’s stance? We’re obviously full of crap, and it’s our fault. That’s pretty offensive.

Then there's the transmission. It started to, um, "twitch", for lack of better word. Rough hesitations occur when we drive - not under acceleration, but when cruising or stopped. Speed is irrelevant. We had the trans fluid flushed at about 18K, and recently at 52K, but the problem persists. The other problem that persists is our record keeping: I have no record for the first trans flush, and the service center that did it is gone. In other words: it’s our fault, too. Doubly offensive.

This car is cheap, and that makes it very attractive, but the warranty is the kicker here: 10 years, 100K miles my ass. Keep every receipt, keep every scrap of paper, and be prepared to do battle at the dealership, because even the brake repairs were a struggle. Time to own up - it was not particularly bright of me not to keep better records, but my Windstar (which I hated) was at a dealership a dozen times in it’s life, and I was never questioned, and I developed a bad habit. Never again.

We’re facing about $2,000 in trans rebuild costs, and given we have a relatively young car and two years of financing left, it behooves us to do it. Mathematically, with $2000 in repairs to the trans, we’re still talking $17,000 for the car, total, which beats the hell out of anything else out there. My assumption, though, was we’d have a car that didn’t spew oil and stutter down the road like a Model T for the agreed-upon price.

As for my view of Kia Motors, I am on a one-man campaign to talk people out of buying them. I have a pretty good record so far –15 people I know have ditched their plans to buy one, and I’m working on more as I write this. Just doing my little bit to save the world.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th August, 2007

13th Aug 2007, 08:56

Keep on the good work ;-)

These cars are cheap as you are saying, even if I don't understand how you got it THAT CHEAP. Guess you didn't pay that sticker price. Anyhow these are seriously cheaper in the US than in Europe. Still it's cheaper than anything here. I guess a few really want them.

Kia are often giving out rebates by the truckloads, so it's difficult to quite know what to pay.

We had the 2.9 CRDI Camper model. Here in mainland Europe it's called the Carnival, but it's the same car. What a piece of crap. It just fell to pieces within a couple of years.

I know it isn't me, since I talked to consumer affairs, and there are a lot of issues related to these cars. I also saw a quality survey some days ago. The Carnival/Sedona was the worst car in the 2-3 years old category and 4-5 years old category according to the German TUV. This model was in a class of its own when numbers of problems were concerned, having almost twice as many errors than the next car on the list, and 10-20 times as much errors than the best cars on the list. 1 in 4 (25%) 2-3 year old Carnivals have potential security related errors, typically defective brakes. I mean you drive around in a 2 year old car and it's a security hazard? That's just Kia.

What really irritates me is their warranties that they never live up to. Only thing that works is running cases through the consumer affairs and threatening legal action.

I should never have bought this car. It's not constructed for diesel use. Sound insulation and vibration damping is probably adjusted to a petrol engine and not a diesel engine. It's very noisy inside and vibrates like mad upon acceleration and idling. They probably just slotted in a diesel without doing any engineering. Crappy and cheap Kia engineering. Doesn't matter that Hyundai bought Kia some years back. Kia still makes crappy cars.

2004 Kia Sedona LX 3.5 V6 from North America


With all the competition the Sedona is about average


Front brake pads replaced at 28000 miles.

Toothed timing belt hydraulic tensioner failed.

General Comments:

This van is built like a tank and takes a lot of abuse.

It does a very good job when I'm towing my fishing boat.

The fit and finish (paint) is holding up very well.

The KIA compares about the same as my Dodge Caravan, but is quieter inside the cabin and less road noise.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 8th February, 2007