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Used Minivan Guide: 2015-2021 Kia Sedona

The Kia Sedona was all-new for model-year 2015, making its debut in the springtime of 2014 and flaunting a total redesign to push style, safety, space and comfort to new levels. The Sedona completed the restyle of Kia’s entire lineup under the direction of designer Peter Schreyer, and was available in 7- or 8-passenger configurations with a wide range of options, packages, and trim levels to choose from.

The overall footprint was largely unchanged versus the previous generation, though shoppers upgrading from an earlier Sedona to a model from this generation will find additional shoulder, leg, and hip room, as well as generous use of premium soft-touch materials throughout the new cabin.

Built-in fabric protection applied at the factory helps resist stains and smells, and second-row seats slide and fold upright for added flexibility. Kia says the Sedona’s new chassis boasts nearly a 40 percent advantage in torsional rigidity versus its closest competitor, to the benefit of ride comfort, refinement, and noise levels.

Look for a 3.5-litre V6 with Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI), good for 276 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. Elsewhere on board, you’ll find high-output USB charging ports, a household power outlet, a next-generation UVO infotainment system, surround-view parking monitor system, and more.

The Kia Sedona competes with popular minivans including the Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Grand Caravan, and others.

Check out the links below for more reviews, information, pictures, videos and specs on this generation of Kia Sedona, and read on for 5 tips to help find the best used example you can for the dollar.

Model year matters

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2019 Kia Sedona Photo by Jonathan Yarkony

For model-year 2016, the Sedona was largely carried over from the previous launch year. Model-year 2017 brought Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) to the mix of available driver assist systems, and the infotainment system was upgraded to include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. If you’re set on either of these features, look for a 2016 or later model. An acoustic windshield helps reduce noise, and dynamic bending lights steer illumination into corners.

Changes were made to available colours for 2018, and for model-year 2019, the Sedona was facelifted for a bolder appearance and fitted with a new 8-speed automatic transmission to improve performance and efficiency.

If it’s in your budget, a 2019 or newer unit may be the best bet for you.

    Locks and battery

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    2019 Kia Sedona Photo by Jonathan Yarkony

    Some owners have reported door locks that seem to develop a mind of their own; many have not. When turning the vehicle’s ignition on and off, watch for any unintended locking or unlocking of the doors via the power locks. If you notice locks that tend to rapidly cycle between locked and unlocked positions, or any issues with power sliding doors, be sure to proceed with caution.

    Though sensor problems aren’t unheard of, issues like this often seem to be the result of a dead or dying battery. This is especially likely if the vehicle is used infrequently, or commonly driven for short distances.

    At any sign of trouble with power locks, have the vehicle investigated professionally with an eye for testing and replacing the battery as a likely fix.

    Possessed sliding doors

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    2019 Kia Sedona Photo by Jonathan Yarkony

    Other owners have reported power sliding doors that open randomly while the vehicle is parked. In some cases, this is the result of accidentally touching the remote, though dealers have applied software updates to prevent other issues that can result in power sliding door problems.

    Other owners report power sliding doors that move through their entire range of motion without trouble, but fail to latch. Unwelcome straining and binding noises during power sliding door operation are other trouble signs.

    These are some of the most commonly reported issues with the Kia Sedona, but thankfully the owner’s community has come up with some helpful tips and troubleshooting measures if you encounter trouble.

    Though one or more faulty sliding doors commonly necessitate motor replacement, the owners’ community says not to fear the worst right away, as some drivers have had luck with a replacement weatherstrip that’s less likely to harden over time, strain the motor, or cause issues.

    If possible, skip the power sliding doors for minimized potential headaches.

      Head unit and electronics

      auto, autos, car, cars, kia, mini, reviews, android, used minivan guide: 2015-2021 kia sedona

      2019 Kia Sedona Photo by Jonathan Yarkony

      A notable number of owners have reported issues with non-functional or wonky infotainment head units, as well as associated electronic trouble elsewhere in the vehicle. After confirming the vehicle’s battery is healthy, be sure to try all hard buttons on both the head unit and steering wheel, confirming proper operation.

      Work the rear-seat entertainment system and climate control console (if equipped), and confirm that the backup camera works as expected when the vehicle is placed in reverse. Play some music on the stereo and confirm that the volume doesn’t change on its own.

      These are warning signs reported by some owners as a possible precursor to outright head unit failure, which can be expensive outside of warranty. In some cases, the entire head unit will need to be replaced by a new unit, though it’s unclear how widespread this problem is against total sales volume.

      A dead head unit can cost you a lot of money, so it pays to be on the lookout. While you’re at it, be sure to confirm that all navigation maps are up to date, that there are an adequate number of charge ports and that they’re working properly, and that the navigation history doesn’t show a bunch of airports and hotels, which can indicate that the vehicle may have had a former life as a taxi or shuttle.

      Spark plugs

      auto, autos, car, cars, kia, mini, reviews, android, used minivan guide: 2015-2021 kia sedona

      2019 Kia Sedona Photo by Jonathan Yarkony

      The Kia Sedona needs to have its spark plugs changed occasionally, and the full details can be found in its owner’s manual. The Sedona’s GDI engine relies heavily on optimal spark performance to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible, and stretching or skipping a spark-plug change can result in numerous problems like accelerated build up of engine valve gunk, misfires, and more.

      In any vehicle with a GDI-equipped engine, be sure to have your spark plugs changed in a dealer setting at or (ideally) before the intervals set out in the owner’s manual to keep your engine clean, healthy and smooth. Do not underestimate the damage that dirty or worn plugs can cause in this type of engine. Here’s some more information.

      Do not use pour-in-tank fuel-system additives hoping for a cleaning effect; these are a waste of money in this type of engine. Consistent use of quality gasoline and on-time oil changes should be sufficient to keep this engine clean and healthy for the duration of its life.

      Final thought

        These tips were designed to help test-driving shoppers more easily identify potential trouble reported by some owners. A careful test drive and shopping process that focuses on the areas we just covered can help you find a first-class example of a second-hand Kia Sedona.

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