Kia Sedona 2.9 CRDi people carrier

If you ever feel the need to buy a car with seven seats, it’s time to take yourself to the shed, put some Cure on the stereo and blow yourself away with a homemade pipe bomb.

Yes, life is over for you, but if you want to carry on with your miserable life you could do a lot worse than to save a shit load of cash and opt for the Sedona, a surprisingly enjoyable no-more-passion wagon.

Space requirements are the main reason you’d need a Sedona, and the Kia doesn’t disappoint. Boasting plenty of room for seven adults and some boot space beside, the car is indeed cavernous; chuck out the rear seats and coupled with the optional privacy glass, you could easily start a profitable people-smuggling operation for minimal costs. Unfortunately, it is all somewhat let down by the fact the rear pews have to be physically removed from the Sedona – and they each weigh the same as a Fiat Punto. Sort of.

Aside from the interior echoing from all that space, it’s actually fairly refined. Seats are comfy, colours and fittings are nice and sober – if a little cheap looking – there are cubby holes aplenty and, get this, for just a quid you get an in-car fold-down DVD unit that is actually rather good. Great for little kids, big kids and kidults alike. And the dash makes sense, too, with everything clear and functional for the bus driver. However, lack of steering column or wheel controls means you really have to stretch for the stereo.

Seeing as owning a Sedona is one of life’s unhappy necessities, perhaps the driving experience is of little importance. Then again, if you do have to invest in a large MPV, you do at least want to have some fun. The Sedona is far from being the worst handling example in its class (that dubious honour is shared by the Hyundai Trajet and Chrysler Grand Voyager) but by god the diesel is slow. In the 15.5 seconds it takes to hit 62mph, ice caps will melt and re-freeze.

However, it does – somewhat strangely for a diesel – seem to get more urgent at motorway speeds and it will go all the way to 108mph if you’ve left the kids at home, all your empty crisp packets have been chucked and you’re driving naked. Wind noise is a problem, though, probably owing to the boxy exterior shape. The Sedona isn’t exactly ugly but it’s no beauty queen either. Actually, its understated looks are quite appealing – and great for remaining anonymous.

Verdict

Ultimately, with prices starting at £14,750 for the 2.5 V6 L, the Sedona’s value is undeniable.

Shell out an extra £4000 for the version we tested with all the trimmings and it’s still cheap.

Also, residuals are good and they’re reliable. You will feel the pinch at the pump, though, with the manual diesel returning at best just 36.2mpg on the combined cycle.

If you have to get a car like this, then the Sedona makes a lot of sense. And with all that space inside, maybe you and the missus could find a way to compensate for its emasculating image while the kids are off staying at Granny’s.

Nudge, nudge and all that.

Kia Sedona 2.9 CRDi manual (auto figures in brackets)
Engine: 2.9 turbodiesel
0-62mph: 15.5 seconds (16.2)
Top speed: 108mph (111mph)
Economy: 36.2mpg (33.2mpg)
Emissions: 208g/km (226)