For years, we had a Ford Windstar. It was a great vehicle for our family and served us well. Especially when it came to taking vacations. We are chronic over packers and tend to take way more than we should. This means we needed a lot of space.
Over the years, our Windstar got long in the tooth. It needed repairs and stopped being trustworthy for long trips. Finances didn’t allow for us to buy a new minivan, although we did look at a few. We ended up buying a Mercury Grand Marquis. This is basically just a huge car. One guy joked about how a family could live in the trunk. It was a big trunk, but it wasn’t minivan big. We lived with that for about 3 years while we saved and worked on improving our credit. Trips were tight, but we just took the essentials and tried our best to squeeze everything in around the kids.
This year we actively started looking at minivans again. We had a few we were considering. The Kia Sedona was one. In the beginning of our search, we were trying to keep things under $20,000 and found a Certified 2014 Sedona with about 40,000 miles on it for about $15,000. We bit the bullet and drove the 2 1/2 hours one way to look at it. It was a horror show. The paint was scraped, the hood was covered it what looked like constant rock hits, it had dents. All things that were covered up in the pictures online and not disclosed to us when we specifically asked the condition before driving there. The worst part was the inside smelled like someone died in it and they did everything they could to cover up the horrible smell.
We took it for a test drive anyway and it was LOUD. Like, I could barely hold a conversation with my husband loud. When we got back to the dealership, we both knew this wasn’t the one for us, but continued to look it over.
I’m a tire girl. My dad always hammered home that good tires are one of the most important things a car should have. I focus in on the back tires and notice the passenger side tire is bald. Like, no bumps. Smooth as a babies bottom. Alarm bells go off in my head and I walk around to the other side. I can see steel belts sticking out of this one. Now remember.. this vehicle is supposed to be CERTIFIED by Kia. I say something to the salesman about the tires and he has the audacity to tell me, “Well they must have met Kia’s minimum standard to pass certification!” I’m dumbfounded and stand there in shock for a minute. I compose myself and I guide him over to the tire on the drivers side and point to the tire. “The steel belts are poking out of this tire. You’re telling me this passed certification?!?” Now he’s stammering. “Uhm, Errr, Well thanks for pointing that out to me. I don’t know anything about this vehicle!”, is what I’m told. If there was even a sliver of hope of us buying that vehicle, that was the end of that. We thanked Hunter for his time and left.
After that setback, we were pretty upset. 5 hours in the car to come home empty handed wasn’t what we were hoping for, but we moved on with our search.
The Toyota Sienna was one another vehicle we were considering. New, they were WAY out of our price range, but if we went with something around a 2014, they started getting into where we could handle a payment on them. We found one we liked and were preparing to take the 3 hour, 1 way drive to look at it, and hopefully purchase it, when the girl we’d been talking to about it with, texted us to say someone sold it that morning. Well, that was a huge disappointment since we’d been looking for about a month and a half and figured we’d finally found, “the one”.
There was another dealership that had several 2017 Kia Sedona’s with low mileage and since we’d already been planning a long journey the day the Sienna was sold, we called them to make sure they had what we wanted. Of course the salesman told us they did, even though the van we were most interested in, wasn’t on the lot when we got there! After a 3 hour one way trip, I sort of lost my cool and flipped out. We walked out of the dealership angry.
Then we sat in the car awhile. They did have other Sedona’s and they were right in range with what we were looking for. It wasn’t the color we wanted, but when you buy used, you learn to deal with that. After about 15 minutes, I mustered up every bit of my inner strength and walked back into the dealership. We told the salesman, Bryant, that since we’d already driven all the way there, we decided to take one of them out for a test drive.
After getting in the van and driving it, the color of the paint and interior seemed a lot less important. It was quiet in the cabin. Nothing like the 2014. It had more nobs and buttons than I’ve ever seen in a car and most of all, it was comfortable and spacious! We could fit the kids and all our vacation stuff inside with no issues. It had the roof track for the rails, but no rails. Something a lot of new vehicles do now, so no shot at putting the cargo box on there unless we added the rails. Not a deal breaker.
We ended up inside talking numbers and decided to buy it. We knew we wanted a minivan. We knew we liked this one and most of all, we knew we were tired of trolling the internet, making phone calls and long trips to look at vehicles. We drove it home that night and couldn’t be happier with it.
The Kia Sedona we purchased was a 2017 with about 11,000 miles on it. It was certified, so came with the remainder of the 10 year/100000 mile warranty. That meant we had about 9 years and 89000 miles left on it.
It has the Premium Essentials Package which includes the push button start, the EVO entertainment package, Leather seats, A nice, big screen to display the back up camera on, 3 months of Sirrus radio, really just about everything we could possibly want in a new minivan. The kids are no longer crushed in the back seat behind the front seats. They have ton’s of leg room. The third row folds down into a well in the back, so there’s tons and tons of room to pack our vacation stuff in.
The vehicle itself rides incredibly smoothly and is everything we’ve been looking for in a vehicle. We will be taking it on our first family vacation in about a week and I’m really looking forward to having a reliable, comfortable, spacious vehicle to take our family to the beach in.
If you’re looking for a vehicle with ton’s of room for your family, I can’t say enough good things about the Kia Sedona!