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Minivan purchase

As the family is growing, we are looking into a minivan. The options are:

  1. 2017 new (not used) Kia Sedona ~$23500+dealer fees
  2. 2014 used 42k miles clean title Honda Odyssey for ~$19000
    Benefits for Kia are warranty and no history / maintenance record issues etc. Negative is that I am paying the immediate depreciation.
    Benefits for Honda are great reliability, savings of ~$5k. Negative is that I don’t know how exactly the car was maintained.
  3. What are the other major benefits and drawbacks of each option that I may be missing?
  4. Which one would you pick and why?
  5. How reliable is Kia Sedona over long term compared to a Honda Odyssey (or similarly reliable Toyota Sienna)?

If you’re keeping it long-term, don’t worry so much about depreciation. Yes, it will cost you more up front, but you will also get more use out of it and don’t have to worry that the previous owner was an idiot who never changed the oil.

I’d get the Kia. Kia/Hyundai have come a long way. The interior materials may not be as refined, and they tend to be a bit underpowered compared to the competition, but other than that, on the whole, they’re good, reliable cars now. 2014 was around what I hope was the tail-end of the malaise period for Honda. Nothing much interesting came from them for around 10 years, and their reliability wasn’t as rock solid as it used to be. Honda and Toyota both have been doing a lot of riding on reputation lately. They’re still excellent cars, but they’re not as excellent as they used to be, and the price premium is somewhat hard to justify.

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Why not a used Kia? They depreciate more than Honda/Toyota. I kind of agree with @shadowfax that in the long run it is not much of an issue, but then again if you can save some $$$ upfront, it goes a long way.

The purchase price of a car is usually the biggest cost in the ownership, so if you buy something cheaper you are ahead. The trick is to buy something cheaper that is not going to fall apart very fast.

I’d be tempted to pay a little more and go with the new Kia Sedona

As mentioned before, it won’t be quite as stellar as that Honda Odyssey

Yet . . . being 3 model years newer, I would expect it to have some safety features which the 2014 Odyssey is lacking.

And a few years of new car warranty, something the used Odyssey won’t have going for it

Kia builds competitive cars nowadays, almost at the same level as Honda and Toyota. Resale value won’t be quite as good, but if you plan on keeping the vehicle several years, it won’t really matter.

We’ve had 2 Honda Odysseys, both of which have been fantastic. Normally I’d recommend one in a heartbeat. But given your situation… I think I’d go with the Kia too.

Based on my experience… it’s rare to find a used Odyssey with so few miles (and years) on it. People generally drive them until they wear out. This one could be fine… or it could have a slipping transmission.

I’d go with the brand new Kia.

I am going to disagree with everyone here. Kia/Hyundai make much better vehicles EXCEPT for the Sedona, which has a notably poor repair history. Anecdotally, I know people who have owned Sedona’s and they were very trouble prone. If it were any model except the Sedona I would recommend Kia/Hyundai in a heartbeat but I think the OP will do better with a used Honda (or Toyota) minivan.

If you like the way it drives, I’d go with the Kia. Edmunds shows slightly lower repair costs than the Odyssey and maintenance is lower for the new Kia vs a 4 year old Honda. Also, the Odyssey’s engine will need a timing belt change at 105,000 miles or 7 years, whichever comes first. While your at it, change the water pump, coolant, and serpentine belt at the same time. Budget about $1000 for that. The Kia has a timing chain, not a belt, and does not need routine replacement.

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The starting price of a 2017 Sedona was 26000.00 before anything was added. I kind of doubt the 23500.00 price. OP, have you even seen these vehicles in person ? That said I personally prefer new over used and would not hesitate to buy a KIA product.

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If you like the Sedona, get it.
It has always been my belief that a late model used car is probably back on the lot for a reason; an insoluble problem, and accident, damage from neglect, and number of possibilities. Experience has borne out this theory. The exceptions would be if buying from a rental conglomerate like Hertz. They sell their late model used cars for the sole purpose of keeping their inventory current.

Like other mentioned,the Honda will need a timing belt replacement at 100,000k miles( $1000).Brake components wear out very fast too. Don’t know much about the Kia Sedona since they sell so few in my area.

This is good example of why getting help from a forum on vehicle purchases is personal preference of the responses

Are the two vehicles equipped close to same way, every vehicle made has different levels of trim ( ex. a new Odyssey can be as low as 30000.00 or almost to 50000.00 )

While I might feel I must have some features .the poster might not even want them.

The silly internet makes research easier than it has ever been. You can visit dealer sites and see prices of vehicles like the ones you are interested in (many will let you see the Carfax or Autocheck reports).

You can even do like my neighbor did, they decided on a certain vehicle , received several offers from dealers for vehicles equipped like they wanted and had one delivered to their house from a dealer 125 miles away and signed all paperwork in their driveway.

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My guess is that the Honda was leased for 4 years (Fall '13 to Fall '17) and then returned. The question of maintenance is difficult, but a Honda dealer service department can look in their computer to see if Honda has records. Is it being sold privately, or by a Honda dealer, or by another dealer?

Buying a used vehicle is a crap shoot, but there are tools available to help you check out a specific car. Things like Carfax are not perfect, but they do show what is known. It’s the unknowns that get you.

If you are getting a loan to pay for the car, compare the monthly payments for the two. Used car loans are generally shorter term, and higher interest. New car loans are sometimes subsidized by the manufacturer, and have very low or no interest.

Finally, it’s your choice. Sorry, there’s no magic solution.

According to Consumer Reports on predicted reliability for 2018 minivans, the Kia Sedona had the best reliability rating of the minivans. On a 100 point scale, here are the ratings for reliability;
Kia Sedona 79
Toyota Sienna. 70
Ford Transit Connect 63
Chrysler Pacifica. 48
Dodge Caravan 47
For entirely new models, the Honda Odyssey score was predicted as average. This comes from the CR December 2017 issue.
For several years the Sienna has been above average and the Odyssey has been average.
Last September when I bought a new 2017 Sienna, I didn’t look at the Sedona. I should have looked at it based on CR’s reliability predictions.
Keep in mind that if you buy a new vehicle you start with a new battery, tires, spark plugs and even wiper blades. An almost 4 year old vehicle may be due for these parts.

If I am not wrong the new Odyssey has the same drive train that is in the Pilot. The engine has the variable cylinder management that most drivers found annoying when it kicks in & out at 35-40 MPH speeds.
The transmission is a new 9 speed that apparently is not very reliable. The tested car for Motor Trend had to have its transmission replaced I believe before it hit the 10K mile mark. Your luck might be different.

Thanks all for the inputs. We welcome more inputs. We are continuing the search and hope to reach a final deal in the coming days. Thanks again!

To answer your last question, the Kia Sedona has a better reliability record than does the Honda Odyssey. The Odyssey has had a history of transmission problems, and is one reason why Honda’s reliability ratings overall have dropped. $23,500 sounds like a fantastic deal for a new vehicle that size. If you can get it, I jump at it. It must be a base model for that price, but even base model vehicles have great standard features in 2017. It’s too bad your budget isn’t around $30K. If it were, you could take advantage of the federal and state incentives on the new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivan (plug-in hybrid).