Our Kia Sedona Mini-Van is Cursed


[Update: we had many problems with the door the first year. However, we only a few door problems the second year. And in the third year, the door only malfunctioned a couple of times. It appears the power sliding doors need to settle like a new house.]

Kia SedonaLast October, we finally got rid of our SUV and purchased a mini-van. Our very first mini-van. A guy’s dream come true. Who needs a Porsche when you can drive a Kia Sedona? And it’s huge. I’m probably the envy of every man in the universe.

My wife actually wanted a Honda Odyssey or a Toyota Sienna, but why pay an extra ten grand for a car you know the kids will trash? Plus I did my research. Last year, the Sedona was ranked third in Consumer Reports behind the Odyssey and the Sienna. Around the web, the Sedona generated mostly good reviews.

But it was just an illusion. A couple weeks after we purchased the mini-van, we started having problems with the electric sliding door. Sometimes it would close, then pop back open a few inches. My wife called the dealer and they said they’ve seen that problem before. Naturally, when my wife took the car to the dealer, the door worked fine. The service people said they can’t work on our car unless they see the problem. My wife offered to video tape the problem the next time it happens. But the service people said a video isn’t good enough. They have to see the problem in person. You know, because we have nothing better to do than make a fake video of our mini-van’s door.

It’s been ten months now and we’re still having problems with the door. Yesterday, I finally Googled the problem to see if there was a fix for this. I didn’t find a solution, but I did discover a lot of other people were having the same problem. The malfunctioning door appears to be a known problem that Kia doesn’t know how to fix. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think a car manufacturer should sell a car with a known door problem. What happens if the door pops open while you’re driving?

After owning a mini-van, I liking it. I love the cargo space and the extra row of seats. But I’m never going to buy a Kia again. Or a Hyundai (they manufacture the Kia Sedona). Our next car will be a mini-van made by Porsche.


76 thoughts on “Our Kia Sedona Mini-Van is Cursed

  1. We have a Kia Sedona, My wife loves it but we do not have the electric sliding doors, but she has complained about them sticking if she does not open them just right. I would still rather drive something more…..sporty, with more power, and that just looks better!

  2. I think it’s funny that the dealer has to see the problem first-hand, as if you’re trying to trick them into fixing something that isn’t broken. So then you can what? Shout, “Ha ha! We got you Kia dealer!”


    I have an old Dodge Caravan. It sounds as if it’s just about to disintegrate into pieces around us when we drive really fast. But the doors work ok.

    1. OK, you caught me. I actually do go around trying to make people fix things that are not broken. Once, I had the doctor replace my “broken” heart. Boy did that doctor feel silly afterwards when I told him my heart wasn’t actually broken. Gotcha!

  3. Argh! Don’t you know by know? ALWAYS spend the extra money on the Toyota or Honda! Guaranteed to be the best buy, year over year.

    Just say NO to Kia and Hyundai.

    I didn’t think I’d like a mini-van, but I must admit to liking it more than I do. Still, my next car will probably be a Honda CR-V.

    1. My sedona is far better than the odyssey . check the reliability ratings the honda is one of the worst mechanically. The sedona is one of the best.

  4. I’m sorry to hear of your mini-van woes but this does not surprise me. We bought a Kia Sephia about 10 years ago when they first came out. It sucked!!! It blew through the 3 strike rule in 6 months.

    Run away! Run far, far away!

    1. In Oregon it’s 4 strikes and the dealer has the option of a new car or a refund minus the use of the car. Something tells me the dealer would charge us several thousands for the use of the car if we tried to use the lemon law.

      1. i did the lemon law on first piece of junk kia a 2005 Sedonna…, they made me pay for the miles used on the piece of garbage…Then in return i got a 2007 Sedonna a little better but have the same problem with the electric door…I will never never own Kia its junk and the old saying goes You get what you pay for sure stands true here…..

    2. you think Kia is bad ? what about Ford ? any better . they are recalling thousands of their new 2013 Escape with the Ecoboost engine , Catching on fire. Oh yeah that is reliable. heck they had same problem with first generation Escape if i remember right. Just don’t get all greedy and having all this electric or electronic junk the manufacturer think that we want.like electric sliding doors .use your hand to open it , or throttle by wire.

  5. We have an electrical problem with our car. The horn and signal lights only work when we take the car to get fixed. They say the samething. Maybe my car is the reincarnation of Herby.

  6. ROFL – mini vans made by Porsche – that’ll be the day. :) I did love my Sienna and we never had any problems but I can totally relate to that duplicate the problem scenario as it happened with one of our electric windows on our Chrysler Concord and I drove it to the dealer like 3 times to show them and the darn thing never cooperated. Made me SO mad!


  7. I have been driving a van for over 20 years now! Usually a Toyota HI Ace or Toyota Estima… love the space… never had a door problem luckily. Bummer about your door!

      1. Hiace is the OLD Toyota minivan. Sold in the USA from 84-89. Mid-engine under the front seats, rear-wheel-drive (or 4wd) The marketing geniuses at Toyota called it Van. Replaced by the Previa in 1991. You’d remember the Previa for the eternally “pregnant” dashboard.

        1. We had that Toyota Van and it sucked!! We could have put our kids thru college with all the repairs we did. The head gasket blew. the cooling system died. So many things and it all happened within a short time after th 80K extended warrenty was up. We kept fixing it thinking Toyota was supposed to be a great car and it would be fine aftyer this one last thing. Uh uh! it sucked and we decided never to by another Toyota van. Oh yeah, someone stole it and drove it away without damaging the ignition. A week later it was left on the street with no external damage because the thief realized it needed another expensive repair. At least our mechanic put his kid thru college!

  8. Save up your money and buy the Honda. We’ve got a Pontiac Montana and although it’s always been reliable we’ve lots of had problems with minor systems, like power door locks & power windows. So what if we can never lock our car? My next van is a Honda Odyssey.

    1. Will do. I already have several hundred pennies in my piggy bank. Just a little more and I’m on my way to a new mini-van. I do like the Odyssey with the engine that can drive with only 3 cylinders.

  9. Just climb in and out the windows. ;)

    The kids wanted a van. I just couldn’t do it. Lots of room, but it wasn’t me. Bought a Buick Rendezvous CXL with 3 rows of seats, and love it!

    By the way, Hyundai’s are quite expensive to insure. And they are easily totaled out.

  10. I had a Kia when it first came out (a sephia)…that car was horrible…we then bought a taurus…not liking that one much better…I think next time around we’ll go honda or toyota…my husband drove his honda from 1989 until last year…he only got rid of it because he got his ‘cool’ car(FJ cruiser,he won’t let the kids drink or eat in it)…he could have probably driven the honda another 10 years…the neighbor teenage boy drives it now…

  11. I think it may be a feature of all minivans because we’ve had tons of problems with our electric door also. Only one side is electric on ours, but it takes a lot of effort to slam the other side. I’ve had to drive the Chevy Venture with the door OPEN up a state highway to the service station one time when it wouldn’t QUITE shut (4 in. gap, and I figured OK, it’s about two miles away and the tow truck does NOT fit six children and I don’t want to be stranded…). Then of course the door flew open when I was at the busiest intersection in the entire city. My van was full of children. Yayyy. They “fixed” the problem in about thirty seconds by doing some magical reset thing. But it was scary there for a minute.

    It never really gets fixed. They say to open it all the way again and shut it again, but that doesn’t always work. I think that God has a sense of humour, though, and He makes it work only after I’ve been driven to the point of saying something I shouldn’t have. Bet He’s going Bwa ha haa, and you thought you had it all together this morning, didn’t ya?? LOL!!

        1. Not because it’s easier. It’s because the power doors cost several thousand dollars extra. If I known about the door problems, I’ve would have purchased a different mini-van. Plus powered doors are hard for my wife and kids to push close manually.

  12. That really stinks. You wait your whole life to drive a mini van and it messes up on you!
    On a serious note, maybe you should check into the lemon laws in your area. John is an expert witness/car inspector for an attorney in Atlanta that specializes in Lemon Law. You would be surprised how many vehicle owners have similar problems.

    1. I did check it. I have to give the dealer 4 chances to fix it. Then the dealer has the option to give us a new car or a refund minus a “reasonable” fee for the use of the car. Who gets to decide what is a reasonable fee for driving a mini-van for 10 months?

      1. That is true, though. Sometimes pursuing the Lemon Law is more trouble than it’s worth. And seems very expensive since you have to pay everything up front then wait for the settlement. Good Luck!

  13. mmmmmmmmm…I am with you. I have a Kia Spectra. I bought it new in 2006 and while it’s okay for the price in regard to bells and whistles I will never buy another Kia. After you drive it for a while it’s pretty damn clear why it’s so cheap.

  14. Hate to tell you this but a huge load of Kia’s were recalled here in OZ. They have a really bad name over here and are knon for breaking down and not being able to be fixed…..

    I have a friend who cant even get parts for hers..

    What is it with Bloody cars these days ?…

  15. You may want to recheck with your dealer to have the adjust the slider per the factor proceedure and reset the door. it will take them some time but I asure it will fix your probolem

  16. We had a 2005 Honda Odyssey that was just totaled in an accident. Fortuanately, it did the job and we were all realatively safe. Now, my husband is thinking of replacing it with the Kia. He drove a Kia and said the ride was so nice,better pick up, and we can get all the extras and still save 7,000 dollars. I’m thinking “I don’t know, go from a Honda to a Kia? Will I regret it?”

    Another note, we had some issues with our elec. door on the Honda, the rubber molding got in the way of the track from the kids stepping on it, poor design and they have since fixed that on the new ones. Overall, I really liked my Honda. Any advice I can relay to my husband???

    1. Except for the door problem, the Kia Sedona is a good value. Plus since it’s a lot cheaper than the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, it doesn’t bother me as much when the kids get the inside dirty.

      In regards to the door problem, I think it’s related to temperature. We had not had a problem with the door since last summer. I think the hotter it is, the more likely the door will get out of alignment.

      My advice is: if you can afford it, spend the extra on the Odyssey and Sienna. It will give you peace of mind. If you’re looking for value, the Sedona is a decent choice. Make sure to test the power doors on a very hot day at the dealer.

  17. I have a 2006 kia sedona and DO NOT like it. My advice is to go with the toyota or honda. My sedona shakes on the highway (always has). We’ve done alignments and balancing and new tires and nothing fixes it. We’ve also had to replace the rotors a bunch of times (it only has 40,000 miles on it). They keep getting warped. It’s not worth it. I will never buy a kia again.

    1. i have been looking for info on 2006 kia sedona’s. Mine shakes too… real winner of a car but they are not that cheap and shouldn’t have sooo many probs… i took mine to the dealer and told them the HANDLE, NOT THE DOOR STICKS…so they lubed and cleaned the tracks? the door always slid fine…as for the handle, they had to say…oh yea we have seen them come right off the truck like that! oh thanks, i thought but its not fixed. my car shakes badly in the right front pass side..my mechanic states it is wheel barons and that they are under warranty so..i take it back to the dealer and they say no its not that its my brake pads floating around in the calipur…i said that would be kinda insulting to my mechanic….so i took it back to him and he doubled checked…but the brakes are fine…I did over hear a conversation in the parts dept. that wheel barons are expensive so we need to make sure that is the problem. They came back and said no….so now i am taking it to s diff. dealership and hoping maybe they will be honest? But if they 000pu0s0h me off for 9000 more miles, i guess it would me my prob. not theirs? so i just wanted to vent and know if anyone knew anything that could help or how to know its a wheel baron prob…have a good nite!

  18. Thanks for all the comments folks. I’m trying to decide right now what minivan to buy. I was going to go check out the Sedona but after reading this blog I think I’ll skip it. I lean toward the Toyota Sienna anyway so I should just suck it up and pay the extra $, if for no other reason than the peace of mind it will give me knowing I got a good product. Thanks again!

  19. hi i want to know hows the fuel efficiency of sedona? i mean how many kilometers per liter? im planning to buy one, but i want to see your testimony with fuel consumption case. thanks. hope u can help me out

  20. I have a 2005 sadona.The front brakes are worped.the side view mirrors work off and on. and have you been informed of the “routine” maintanence issue? The spark plugs need to replaced at 30k.The intake manifold must be removed to get to the rear plugs.The timing belt and they recommend the water pump at the same time,must be done at 60k. At the dealer the spark plug job is $400. the timing belt is well over $1000. I will never buy a Kia again.I wish i had bought a FORD.

  21. I have a 2007 KIA Sedona XL love the Van except for two things the side doors have always been hard to open after they have not been opened for awhile, maybe a good thing Kids don’t fall out….

    But the shaking shimmy in the front end at between 65 and 80, it moves around and sometimes goes away so it can’t be wheel balance I have a car with a wheel out of balance and the shake is always there at the same speed and doesn’t go away until you have the wheel balanced again. I had rotors, brake pads, tires replaced and it still shakes. The KIA is a good ride but I will never buy a KIA again. Had it worked on by 4 different Dealers since I bought it in 2007. One told me don’t bring it back take it back where you bought it. I envy the guy driving next to me on the highway his hands are not vibrating on the steering wheel like mine. If I drive under 65 or over 85 it is smooth but the speed limit on the roads I usually drive on is 70, it needs new tires now but I am not going t buy them I will buy a Ford or Chevy.. Good by KIA

    1. Hi
      I have a 2007 Kia Sedona The same problem. It has now 58000 km still a vibration on the highway plus three transmission in the last year and a half plus numerous front end parts.
      this is the worst vehicle that I have bought in 30 years but the warranty is great the van still sucks.
      Did they ever repair the vibration ? It’s not a Honda or a Toyota.

      Is it a lemon or are they all the same ????????

  22. Kia Sedona 2006.Had the side door not want to latch and then a day later the electrical shut down, boosted the van, it would then start and it did it once more….drove it to the dealership and it actually shut down in the bay …luckily! After a couple of days they said it was a ground wire and fixed it. All was fine for about 6 weeks now the side door is not latching again….off to the dealership tomorrow…

  23. Kia dealership says they will order replacement parts for us, naturally we will be paying the full bill……even if the van is off warranty I thing Kia should have these parts as “RECALLS” not just replacement, because to the number of problems

  24. What the heck is the matter with you people? I’m on my 4th KIA, and my NEXT car will be a KIA as well. We always trade about a year before that fabulous warranty expires. I did have a problem once, with the cooling system, I had a small pool of anti-frereze on the floor of my garage. What did KIA do about that? THEY SENT A TOW TRUCK TO MY HOUSE TO TAKE THE CAR TO THE DEALERSHIP WHERE THEY DID WHAT THEY SAID THEY’D DO….THEY FIXED IT. Oh, we did have the inconvenience of having to drive back to the dealership to pick the car up after service, oh my.

    5 years, 60 frigging thousand mile bumper to bumper warranty folks. What don’t you understand about that?

    Oh, and the the guy who is going to purchase a Porsche mini van? You’d better buy two, because just like Jaguars’ one is always in the fix it shop.

    1. I can’t believe you only got a 5yr/60k. The standard Kia warranty is 10yr/100k miles. But the 10-yr warranty is worthless if they won’t fix a known problem.

      You’re right about the Porsche mini-van problems. That’s why we got seven of them. One for each day of the week.

      1. 5 year 60k for everything, 10 year 100,000 for powertrain. Hey wiseass, if you’re so rich (a Portsche ofr every day of the week) what the hell are you doing even LOOKING at a KIA?

  25. I wrote about a year ago, my 2007 KIA Sedona would shake at speeds around 70 to 75 MPH. The Dealer changed thr front tires and rotors still shook took it to a tire shop had the wheels rebalanced Etc, Etc, still shook depending on who balanced the wheels at 65 to 80 MPH even took off the hub caps still shook. Finally I went to Sears when they had a sale on Bridgstone tires buy three get one free, made a deal with them if it still shook they woul put my old tires back on and refund my money. Guess what! HEAVEN my KIA rolls like a dream now. KUHMO SOLUS tires can’t be balanced apparently. Otherwise the KIA has been great!! 46,000 Mi. no trouble!!!

  26. Carl H,
    have the same problem you described, even happeds at similar speeds. I’d describe it as vibration at the steering wheel at 73-78mph. Thanks for the description of the measures you took, it’ll save me money. I’ll just wait until it’s time to replace tires. Wonder if just replacing the two front tires would be sufficient.

  27. Currently own a 2006 Kia Sedona, premium model, with all options which now has 48k miles. I’ve been extremely pleased with the performance (it’s basically a V-6 Genesis engine) and reliability. I replaced the original Michelin tires with V-rated Kumho tires which greatly improves the handling, cornering and high speed driveablility (at over 100 mph it feels like a sedan). The high speed rated tires feels like a suspension upgrade. The 0-60 mph acceleration is in the 7 second range. Yes, it’s a minivan…but if that’s what you bought and need…live with it.

    I’ve owned BMWs, M-B, Jaguars, etc. This vehicle is no slouch. Get over the Kia bashing. Hyundai’s new Equus is going to compete w/ S series M-B.

  28. Have 2008 Sedona. Bought in 2009 used with 9k. a year later has 25k. Not a single problem. Manual doors would stick once in a while. Bought door contact plate lube from auto parts store, applied once, problem, much like my $$$ around tax time, just dissappeared.

    My Kia Rocks!

  29. Here it is 2011 and Kia still can’t get it right or own up to the problem with the sliding doors on the Sedona. I have a 2010 Sedona that I have had less than a year. It has been in the shop three times for the sliding doors opening and closing by themselves and for the sensors not recognizing an object/person in the way of the door. The lastest incident happened while I was driving to work, going 50 mph, the rear sliding door pops open. I have to pull over, get out and manaually close the door. The dealership replaced the latch system for the second time and said they were not certain that solved the issue but that was the only recommendation from the manufacturer. I called Kia and they told me I had to wait until it happened again and the dealership could dubplicate the problem before they could do anything. I said so you are telling me that I have to take a chance on the doors opening up again while I am driving and my kids getting injured AND the tech at the dealership has to duplicate that before you can do anything? Her answer was a simple, “Yes”. I am disgusted at the lack of concern from Kia regarding this major safety issue.

    For those of you stating ” whats wrong with you people hating Kia, they make great cars. Here’s why we hate: Not all Kia cars suck, every manufacturer create lemons. The odds are against them in the numbers they produce. The issue is when the consumer has notified them of MAJOR SAFETY issues with their vehicles and they will not own up to it or do anything to fix the problem. I have researched this and Kia’s issue with the sliding door has been cited as far back as the 2002 model for the same issues. Eight years later and all the technology we have and they can’t find a fix. But they have no problem putting these vehicles on the road knowing theres an issue with them. INTEGRITY rates high in my book and Kia would not know what Integrity meant if it slapped them in the face.

    1. Both doors stopped working in the last year and we had to replace the power door mechanism. At least our door problems happen when the car is parked. If I were you, I would seriously consider getting a lawyer. Having the door pop open while you’re driving is way too dangerous.

  30. We had a 2002 Kia Sedona and loved it. In fact it had over 250,000 miles and was still running well. There was a gentleman who had his van serviced at the same dealership who had a 2004 with over 400,000 miles and still going strong. I would still be driving mine if I had not been in an accident and the van was totaled. We replaced it with a certified used 2011 Sedona with all remaining warranty. This morning the rear passenger door would not close in the power mode and I had to manually shut it. It will not open or close in power mode now. It only beeps if you try. I am hoping there is a magic way to reset it and this is not an ongoing issue like yours. I will be taking it to the dealer to be checked as it is under warranty. I have been extremely satisfied otherwise. With three kids who are into lots of activities, you really can’t beat the options for the price. We normally get about 23 miles to the gallon – preety decent for a minivan.

    1. We bought a 2003 Sedona new.
      At that time people on the websites were also saying “you get what you pay for”. I guess only people with problems bother to post, since our Sedona has been and still is great, with only routine maintenance.
      For me, it’s been the most reliable car I’ve ever bought, and at an astoundingly great introductory price.
      As a result, I have a warm fuzzy feeling for my van, and I felt compelled to defend her honor here.

  31. We had the same problem with our 2012 Sedona. I tried to capture the car in the act and get it to the dealership as it was showing the problem, but after two tries it had a miraculous healing on the way. Finally, I did video the problem on my smart phone, and showed up at the dealership demanding they fix it. With kids riding in the back, it was a hazard to have a door that refused to close. They viewed the video, and immediately took the car back. They had to reset a computer glitch in the sequence of the door opening. It ended up being under warranty, and a quick fix. Our Kia dealer was very good about getting us back on the road! I haven’t had a problem with the doors since. I LOVE my Sedona!

    1. Our dealership said a video wasn’t good enough. They have to see the problem in person. Not sure why, but we rarely have the door not closing correctly anymore. But now we have other problems. The alternator died. The dealer said that’s not covered in the warranty so it ended up costing us almost $700 to fix. In addition, the power jack for devices doesn’t work. Also not covered. Now one of the power doors doesn’t lock unless we manually lock it from the inside. Not covered either.

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