Big Kia multi-talented beyond its tag

There's something particularly handsome about this big, practical Kia Grand Sedona. It has an imposing look to it — at first sight it seems perhaps a little more conventional than its MPV promise and is a pleasing vehicle to look at. Spend a few days with it and those first impressions are cemented by a grand character — it's a friendly, if imposing family friend we really enjoyed living with.

Subtly updated late last year, Grand Sedona gained a chunky new front bumper and tiger nose grille, revised headlamps now packing LED DRLs and a few more tweaks toward the rear of its sizeable form, while its immense cabin gained a reimagined fascia with new graphics for the dials too.

This range-topping SXL seven seater gains spec over the generous EX+ through the likes of Smart Entry with Push Button Start, Blind Spot Detection, an Electric Parking Brake with Auto Hold, a cool dual sunroof and LED lighting and automatic levelling for those headlamps, plus LEDs for the fog lamps and taillights. Add a Smart Power Tailgate, power rear doors that slide open or closed at the touch of a button, eight-way power front pews, rear seat warmers and two more speakers 

Grand Sedona now also only comes with Kia's 2.2-litre R turbodiesel four pot with a healthy 440Nm torque with a meaty low to midrange for carefree cruising, while the ample 147kW makes for a handy performance envelope that far out-punches Kia’s claims. The quiet and responsive revised four-pot also gains fourth-generation fuel-injection and is now mated to a silky 8-speed autobox to that, all conspire to significantly improve fuel economy too.

So, while Grand Sedona is an imposing machine in its own right, its lofty, friendly character comes through in every facet of driving it — comfortable, quite serene and cavernous, it’s luxurious in there too. Best of all is its quite surprising alter ego —  it drives impressively, with predictable handling and a road holding character to defy both its subtle ride and generous proportions. The big Kia is multi talented in quite a few more ways than just its MPV designation... - Michele Lupini

Images: Marcella Lupini
ROAD TESTED:  Kia Grand Sedona 2.2CRDi SXL
Engine: 147kW 440Nm 2197cc turbo diesel I4                 
Drive: 8-speed manual FWD
0-60km/h:                 4.55 sec
0-100km/h:               6.94 sec                      
0-160km/h:               14.13 sec       
400m:                        17.1 sec @ 133km/h            
80-120km/h:             7.19 sec
120-160km/h:           11.97 sec          
VMax:                        290km/h                               
Fuel:                          8.0 l/100km                         
CO2:                          208 g/km
Warranty/Service :  5y unl. km/5y 100Kkm 
LIST PRICE:               R805K           
RATED:                      83%