The old Kia Sedona was quite a bland machine, much like most MPVs however, the likes of the Volkswagen Caravelle and the new Mercedes-Benz V-Class have shown that an MPV can be quite sophisticated. The new Kia Grand Sedona, as I discovered, shares the same sort of aspirations.
Modern MPV looks
The Grand Sedona certainly makes the bread loaf-like silhouette inherent in all MPVs more palatable. It features the same corporate grille as its Sorento SUV sibling, while the front lights appear to wrap around the front end. The side profile is dominated by a crease, which breaks this section into two and makes the car look a bit more streamline. The rear section features a spoiler, large tail lights, a massive rear window and an aluminium faux diffuser of sorts.
The interior of this new model is massive; from the driver’s seat a glance backward would remind you of an airplane cabin. Glance forward and the massive front windscreen lets you know that this is a big vehicle. The perceived quality and feel is good, especially when compared to a segment stalwart like the Chrysler Voyager, which feels inferior.
The interior is also full of storage areas. For example, under the driver’s armrest there’s a storage area big enough for a tablet or notebook; the passengers up front and in the second and third rows get a couple of storage areas each, too. The seven-seat models get a whopping 960 litres behind the third row, 2 220 litres behind the second row and a gargantuan 4 022 litres when all rear passenger seats are folded.
The models that we will receive locally can seat seven occupants while later in the year expect an 11-seater model. For now, expect the model range to include a base, middle and high-spec variant. The base model EX comes with stain-resistant cloth seats, 4.3-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth/USB/AUX compatibility, multi-function steering wheel, fog lamps, conversation mirror and a six-speaker sound system.
The mid-range SX model comes with leather seats, climate control, sunshade blinds, auto defog system, cooling glove box, a rear-view camera, electric sliding passenger doors, automatic tailgate that can be opened with the key and aerodynamic windscreen wipers. The range-topping SXL gets niceties such as an electric driver’s seat, ventilated/heated seats for the driver, passenger and second row occupants, along with a dual sunroof.
The model range comes with a choice of petrol or diesel engine. The petrol variant comes in the form of a 199kW/318Nm 3.3-litre V6 petrol motor, while the oil burner is the tried-and-tested 2.2-litre turbo-diesel with 147kW/440Nm on tap. After driving the car I have to say the diesel is the motor to go for; the V6 is just a bit sluggish and very thirsty. The diesel should outperform the petrol in most departments. Both models come with a six-speed automatic gearbox, which suits the laid-back character of the vehicle.
Is it safe?
This car will be transporting families around, so safety is important. The MPV has received a five-starNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration rating, not the more locally recognized Euro NCAP but still commendable. The car gets features such as Blind-spot Detection, Lane-Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, ABS brakes, dual front airbags and curtain airbags.
The Sedona isn’t made to be a volume seller or to set consumer imaginations ablaze. But for the rather reasonable money Kia is asking, you do get a practical, safe and inoffensive people-carrier from a brand on the up, meaning that it ticks all the large MPV boxes.
Warranty and service plan
All models come with a five-year/100 000km maintenance plan as well as a five-year/150 000km warranty.
|Grand Sedona 2.2 CRDi EX 7-Seat||R499 995|
|Grand Sedona 2.2 CRDi EX 11-Seat||R515 995|
|Grand Sedona 2.2 CRDi SX 7-Seat||R625 995|
|Grand Sedona 2.2 CRDi SXL 7-Seat||R669 995|
|Grand Sedona 3.3 V6 SX 7-Seat||R605 995|
|Grand Sedona 3.3 V6 SXL 7-seat||R649 995|
|Grand Sedona 3.3 V6 SXL 11-Seat||To be Confirmed|