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Views on Kia...the 2002 year models

Well looks like I am going to go with a used Kia Sedona as my next car. Its a 2002 with about 134,000 miles. Ran well, engine looks to be in good shape, as was the body and interior and better yet they gave me $400 for my taurus with the bad headgasket. So how are Kia Sedona’s viewed?

Kia used to be an independent Korean car company building unreilable and short lived cars. Since they were bought by Hyundai, many good engineering and building methods have been transferred, and now Kia’s are good buys.

The 2002 Sedona lists as “much worse than average” in all categories of reliability except engine cooling, transmission and the audio system. In 2002, of the Korean companies, only Hyundai had achieved quality and reliability levels approaching Japanese and the better US brands.

Since Kia cars, unlike your Taurus, are not over-designed in any area, these cars need to be treated with kid gloves, and the maintenance religiously observed. If you live in an area with a moderate climate and not much salt on the roads, the body should hold up reasonably well. If the climate is extreme (hot or cold) expect the plastic to disintegrate, and if there is a lot of salt, the body will appear bio-degradable.

Sorry I can’t be more positive, but you should be prepared to drive the automotive equivalent of a hothouse plant.

Car like the 2002 Kia that are ranked poorly can provide a lot of transportation for the money. When I started out ,young and always broke, we didn’t have imported cars to choose from so I usually drove Studebakers because they cost less than Fords and Chevys.
You would be well advised to get a manual and learn to do maintenance and repairs yourself.

My experiences, up until very recently Kia’s were alot like the Hyundais of the 80’s. They beat walking, but just barely. There’s a reason Kias don’t have many repeat buyers. I wouldn’t willingly buy any Kia made before 2007 or so. Actually I wouldn’t buy any Kia period as they don’t make a single vehicle that appeals to me, but the more recent models are supposed to be pretty decent within their categories. I would not buy a 2002 Kia anything though.

New car reviews are always good, especially if the car offers good value for money. I remember the rave reviews of the Hyundai Pony in the early 80s. Great value for money! Except this was one of the original, along with Fiats, bi-degradable cars.

Even Consumer Reports rated the 1986 Taurus “the best domestic car we have ever driven”. A year later they regretted that statement, since the 1986 Taurus was a good car on paper, and handled well, but was very unreliable, even for an American car.

I’ve stopped reading new car reports, except for what they say about inerior space and how quiet they are on the road. Consumer Reports will not give a recommendation on any really new car until it has proven reliable. They will only comment on the handling, etc.

I would pass on the Kia’s in the early 2000’s. They were not built very well or with longevity in mind. A known to be unreliable VW is still better than a Kia in durability of that vintage.

The body and underframe are in great condition for a car 8 years old and 134,000. Given it was a northern owned car they took good car of it.

Thanks for the links, they also seem to go along with the info I have found on the web on this mini van. The only negative I have really come across is it’s poor gas milage. Everything else seems to get positive reviews from owners to professional reviewers. Since the one I am buying seems in good condition and priced under what Kelly has as it’s used sale value i may be okay.