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Sienna vs Sedona Mini Vans

April 26, 2012

The mini van is the perfect family means of transportation. A mini van can carry not just family members. It can also carry groceries and other items, at the same time. Over the years we have had various mini vans since 2000. All of them have served us very satisfactorily

Some people are very partial to name brands like Ford or Chevy. Other people look for a vehicle that will meet there personal needs. Still there are people who look at the name brand as well as their needs. In an effort to help those people, we have started looking a two different makes and models, at the same time. Looking a two different makes and models shows the individual. but when you put two vehicles side by side you get to see the benefits and short comings of each.

This week we are going to look at the 2012 Toyota Sienna, and the 2012 Kia Sedona.  At first look they are both considered fairly equal. By the end of this post you will see the differences. From time on the road the Kia Sedona has been on roads in the US since 2002, while the Toyota Sienna has been on American roads since 1998.

The Toyota Sienna comes in five different trims, Basic LE, SE, XLE, and Limited. Under the hood you have a choice of a four cylinder 2.7 liter  producing 187 horsepower or a six cylinder 3.5 liter pushing 266 horsepower to the wheels. All the trims come with a six speed automatic transmission. All but the Limited trim has front wheel drive. The Limited comes with all wheel drive.

The 2012 KIA Sedona comes in only two trim options, LX and EX. The Sedona has only one engine size option. It is a 3.5 liter engine six cylinder producing 271 horsepower. The horsepower is pushed to the wheels through a six speed automatic transmission.

US News Rankings and Reviews rated the Toyota Sienna #1 out of 8, in the Minivans category. The reviewers liked the Sienna’s only minivan with available AWD, lots of options with different price points, and called the V6 engine is smooth, powerful, efficient. What they did not like was the price of the upper trims, and the four cylinder engine was what they can be sluggish.

The 2012 Kia Sedona got ranked 4 out of 8 in the Minivan category by US News Rankings and Reviews. The reviewers liked the  long warranty, impressive standard features, powerful V6, and low price. They did not like the dull exterior styling, and thought the interior materials could be nicer.

According to AutomobileMag.com, the Toyota Sienna has had serious issues every year since 1998. Serious enough to classify them as recalls. Over the past five years there has been continual issues around the labeling? Yes, they have been miss labeling load specs.

AutomobileMag.com reports only six recalls for the Kia Sedona. The last one was in 2009. It was for a brake light switch issue.

I wanted to get a sense of comparative repair cost. So I looked at the cost of replacing the fuel pump, also I found an amazing difference in cost. The Toyota Sienna cost for fuel pump and labor was a good $200 to $400 more than the Kia Sedonna. The difference in labor alone was $50 to $200 higher. The variation depended upon which garage was doing the work.

The Toyota Sienna has a mileage rating of 19 miles per gallon in the city, and 24 miles per gallon on the open road. The Kia Sedona fuel mileage rating is 18 miles per gallon in the city, and 25 miles per gallon on the open road. Not much difference in mileage. Such a small difference can be made by the way the driver drives.

Buying a Toyota Sienna will cost you between $25,000 and $40,000, depending on trim and features. The Kia does not have as big  of a price spread. The Sedonna will cost between $26,000 and $30,000.

Bottom-line: Looking at the Toyota Sienna, I see as the more popular of the brand of the two. The Kia Sedona does have less choices in options and features. Like I stated earlier there is little difference in mileage. The big factor in price, and repair costs. Looking at the overall cost over say a five year period the Kia Sedona will be definitely cheaper to own and drive.


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