15 Best & Worst Kia Sedona Years (With Facts & Stats)

The Sedona is a handsome and affordable minivan that was launched in North America for the 2002 model year.

It was replaced by the Kia Carnival for the 2022 model year following the recent downfall of other minivans.

Despite its demise it remains a popular choice thanks to its stellar safety ratings and smooth powertrain.

In this article we’ll take a closer look at the Sedonas best and worst years…

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Kia Sedona Are:

The best Kia Sedona model years are 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2014, 2009, and 2008. The worst model years of the Sedona are 2016, 2015, 2012, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2002. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Kia Sedona?

Kia has produced a lot of great Sedonas in the model’s double-decade lifespan.

Listed below are those that deserve to be viewed as the best of the best.

2021 Kia Sedona

There were limited changes to the 2021 model year (as most of the overhaul plans were reserved for the 2022 replacement model – the Kia Carnival).

The 2021 model stayed true to its roots offering attractive looks, lots of value and a silky-smooth V-6.

The entry-level L trim was omitted from this model year and the (less popular) Venetian Red shade was likewise removed.

  • Edmunds: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 76 / 100

2021 Kia Sedona, Kelley Blue Book review:

“Simple, no gimmickry or overloaded with technology”

2021 Kia Sedona, Edmunds review:

“Just took delivery of the van so far very impressed with it and the highway mileage 26 mpg not bad at all. Excellent room inside and very comfortable seats. Overall I’m very happy.”

2020 Kia Sedona

The 2020 Sedona did not change much (in comparison to the 2019 model year), but it is important to note that significantly fewer problems and complaints were reported for this model year.

the 2019 Sedona stays true to form with excellent safety scores and an effortless V-6.

  • Edmunds: 3.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 76 / 100

2020 Kia Sedona, Kelley Blue Book review:

“This minivan should be considered by anyone who is in the market for a minivan. It has most of the “bells and whistles” of the more expensive brands, without the price tag. Plus, it’s the best-looking minivan on the market – it doesn’t look like a spaceship or giant egg on wheels!”

2020 Kia Sedona, Edmunds review:

“This van has a comfortable, quiet ride, nicely finished interior, 3rd row roomy enough for adults. Great for long trips, better utility than an SUV”

2019 Kia Sedona

The 2019 Kia Sedona received some subtle changes in terms of exterior design – it has a more premium-looking set of rear bumpers and front grille.

New available features for 2019 included:

  • wireless smartphone charging pad
  • Dual-touchscreen rear-seat entertainment system
  • Harman/Kardon audio system
  • e-parking brake
  • Driver-attention monitor.

The transmission system was also upgraded to an eight-speed (from a six-speed transmission).

The 2019 model much like its successors has proven to be very reliable and there have been few reported problems according to NHTSA data.

  • Edmunds: 4.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 72 / 100

2019 Kia Sedona, Kelley Blue Book review:

“First off yes the gas is not great but it’s a big people hauler and almost any vehicle that can carry 7-8 people doesn’t get great gas mileage but if you drive somewhat normal you will get what Kia says you should get or better so that’s good. Overall ride is very nice and comfortable especially with 4 adults and two kids in the car, the motor does not struggle at all…” 

2018 Kia Sedona

There were no big updates to the 2018 Kia Sedona. However, it still retains the great features of its immediate predecessor and comes in various trims: L, LX, EX, SX, and SX-L.

The 2018 Sedona has proven to be a reliable and safety-conscious choice.

  • Edmunds: 5.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 72 / 100

2018 Kia Sedona, Edmunds review:

“So far the Sedona has been a wonderful purchase. When a vehicle meets or exceeds every imaginable expectation at a most competitive cost the customer is more than satisfied. The decision to purchase a new KIA was well informed…”

2018 Kia Sedona, Kelley Blue Book review:

“This is my second Sedona and the seventh minivan overall. The van handles very well with a minimum of lean on turns. Throttle response is excellent without ECO feature and a bit slower when enabled. However performance is there anytime it is needed. I really like the value the Sedona offers and I have absolutely no complaints thus far.”

2014 Kia Sedona

Aside from the updated V6 engine of the 2014 Kia Sedona, there were also subtle changes including the addition of 17-inch wheels (and updated wheel design), a signature tiger-nose grille, and LED positioning lamps and fog lamps.

2014 makes our “best years” list as it received minimal complaints.

  • Edmunds: 3.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 77 / 100

2014 Kia Sedona, Edmunds review:

“We have only had the Sedona for 2 weeks, but we really like it. It feels great, has plenty of power, and cost a lot less than the Toyota or the Honda vans. The pedals adjust for my wife, who is 5 feet tall, and she loves it. It has leather, power seat with memory, and everything I want…”

2008 and 2009 Kia Sedona

Both the 2008 and 2009 Kia Sedona model years are standouts in terms of reliability.

Critics have stated that these model years come with everything a minivan owner could want, ranging from a reliable drivetrain, sufficient electronic and infotainment components, and passenger space (with comfortable seating to boot).

  • Edmunds: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2008 Kia Sedona, Kelley Blue Book review:

“This has been the best vehicle I’ve ever owned it has been so dependable and reliable all I’ve had to do is change the tires and change the oil regularly it’s a great vehicle it cleans up easy the seats remove easy it has heated front seats it gets 18 19 miles to the gallon in the city…”

  • Edmunds: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2009 Kia Sedona, Kelley Blue Book review:

“This van is great, all it needs are brakes and steering fluid. I wish I could keep it forever, I’ve grown attached to it, it’s an awesome van…”

Consumer Scores For Best Kia Sedona Years

Below is a table that presents all the consumer ratings of the best Kia Sedona model years from reputable vehicle websites:

Model YearEdmunds’ Consumer RatingKelley Blue Book’s Consumer RatingJD Power’s Consumer Rating
2021 Kia Sedona4.0 / 5.04.3 / 5.076 / 100
2020 Kia Sedona3.7 / 5.04.3 / 5.076 / 100
2019 Kia Sedona4.6 / 5.04.3 / 5.072 / 100
2018 Kia Sedona5.0 / 5.04.3 / 5.072 / 100
2014 Kia Sedona3.6 / 5.04.2 / 5.077 / 100
2009 Kia Sedona4.0 / 5.04.2 / 5.0NA
2008 Kia Sedona4.5 / 5.04.2 / 5.0NA

Related: How Long Does a Chrysler Town & Country Last? (Useful Guide)

What Are The Worst Years For The Kia Sedona?

The Kia Sedona has also been on the receiving end of several complaints over the years.

Be cautious of the model years listed below…

2016 Kia Sedona

The 2016 Kia Sedona had notably more reported problems than its immediate successors and predecessors.

Although most were minor inconveniences, there were a few reports that noted some safety-related concerns.

A number of reports stated that turn signals would indicate the opposite of what was intended.

The 2016 Sedona had a total of 13 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 160 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Headlights flicker / go off randomly
  • Instrument cluster warning lights on
  • Limp mode (engine or transmission error detected)

2015 Kia Sedona

The 2015 Kia Sedona, much like its immediate successor, had various electrical problems. The most notable of which was headlight malfunction whilst driving, with said lamps blinking on and off, requiring constant replacement. 

The 2015 Sedona had a total of 30 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 105 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Headlight flickers
  • Faulty turn signals
  • Engine stalls, shuts off while driving
  • Annoying rattle noise

2012 Kia Sedona

The 2012 Kia Sedona had its own unique electrical problems.

Several reports stated that there were inconsistencies with the keyless entry, with the vehicle not responding to key fob functions, leading to inconvenient and time-consuming situations in parking lots or garages.

A number of owners reported various issues with the sliding doors, here’s an example:

“2012 kia Sedona doors freeze shut and will not open in cold weather when doors finally open they do not close all the way and alarm sounds the entire time doors are partially open. My children are at risk in this van and should be recalled to fix the problem. Many complaints online with no permanent solution.”

The 2012 Sedona had a total of 27 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 128 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Sliding doors freeze
  • Sliding door opened when driving
  • Engine failure
  • Jolts and engine shakes

2007 and 2008 Kia Sedona

The 2007 and 2008 shared common problems, most of which were related to electronic components.

A few reports indicated that features such as sliding doors, brake lights, and cruise control were not working.

The 2007 Sedona had a total of 15 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 223 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Alternator failure due to oil leak
  • Power doors malfunctioning 
  • Clunking sound

The 2008 Sedona had a total of 16 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 230 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Check engine light on
  • Hood popped open while driving
  • Sliding door not working properly

2006 Kia Sedona

The 2006 Kia Sedona stands out as the most problematic model year, the most prominent issue was rusting.

There have been many reports specifying that the front suspension control arm prematurely rusted and this can cause the vehicle to collapse.

There were also notable complaints about airbag warning lights coming on which was linked to the infamous Takata recall, whereby airbags were known to explode with the potential of causing serious harm.

The 2006 Sedona had a total of 30 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 564 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Rattle at startup
  • Rusting
  • Burns through tires quickly
  • Airbag light stays on

2005 Kia Sedona

The 2005 Kia Sedona was notorious for its brake-related issues.

Some owners reported rattling or overheating because of premature wear and tear of the brake disc, brake pads, and brake rotor, leading to frequent repair or replacement.

Owners complaint:

Continual problem with rotors warping. Causes vehicle to be difficult to stop or slow down.

The 2005 Sedona had a total of 16 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 264 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Premature brake, rotor wear
  • Vibration when brakes are deployed
  • Steering wheel difficult to turn at low speeds

2002 Kia Sedona

The 2002 Sedona was the first Sedona model in the US so it should come as no surprise that it was also one of the more problematic iterations.

The 2002 Sedona received frequent complaints because of electrical issues many of which were linked to the ABS control module.

Reports indicate multiple problems, including battery issues, alternator defects, and even a parking brake malfunction which led to a fire.

The 2002 Sedona had a total of 26 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 326 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Alternator malfunction
  • ABS lights ON
  • Phantom draw (battery drain) caused by bad switches and components
  • Rear heater pipes rusted out

Related: How Long Do Doge Grand Caravans Last? (Solved & Explained)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

There are several Kia Sedona model years, both old and new, that have received numerous complaints through the years. 

Take a look at the complaints and problems for each model year of the Sedona below

Model YearComplaints
(CarComplaints.com)
Problems
(CarProblemZoo.com)
2021 Kia Sedona03
2020 Kia Sedona05
2019 Kia Sedona218
2018 Kia Sedona123
2017 Kia Sedona274
2016 Kia Sedona13160
2015 Kia Sedona30105
2014 Kia Sedona1247
2013 Kia Sedona12
2012 Kia Sedona27128
2011 Kia Sedona1266
2010 Kia Sedona340
2009 Kia Sedona573
2008 Kia Sedona16230
2007 Kia Sedona15223
2006 Kia Sedona30564
2005 Kia Sedona16264
2004 Kia Sedona14223
2003 Kia Sedona9208
2002 Kia Sedona26326

What Problems Do Kia Sedonas Have?

  • Rusting suspension control arm
  • Sliding doors issues
  • Alternator broke
  • Check engine light on
  • Battery died

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Kia Sedona?

The Kia Sedona is considered one of the best-value minivans in the market.

Take note that the Sedona secured the fourth spot, with a great score of 8.0 out of 10. 

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Honda Odyssey8.5$34,697 – $47,437City: 19 /Highway: 28
Chrysler Pacifica8.3$34,459 – $43,126City: 19 /Highway: 28
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid8.3$38,169 – $45,228City: NA /Highway: NA
Kia Sedona8.0$28,635 – $39,886City: 18 /Highway: 24
Chrysler Voyager7.7$27,656 – $29,287City: 19 /Highway: 28
Toyota Sienna 7.6$34,439 – $49,404City: 18 – 19 /Highway: 24 – 26
Dodge Grand Caravan6.4$28,883 – $30,665City: 17 / Highway: 25

Source: cars.usnews.com

References

https://www.caranddriver.com/kia/sedona

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/kia/sedona

https://www.carcomplaints.com/Kia/Sedona/

https://www.carproblemzoo.com/kiamotor/sedona/

https://www.edmunds.com/kia/sedona/

https://www.kbb.com/kia/sedona/

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2021/kia/sedona