Though it's the oldest minivan on the market, the Kia Sedona still merits consideration due to its family-friendly interior and strong engine. A healthy list of standard features also means it represents an excellent value.
After sitting out the previous model year, the Sedona has returned with a mildly restyled front end -including LED headlights - and a new interior storage console meant specifically for iPads and other tablet devices.
With a basic design that dates all the way back to 2006, the Sedona isn't exactly the freshest or the most polished model in its competitive set. Luckily for Kia, what makes a great minivan hasn't changed over the years, and the Sedona still has what it takes to be a capable people-hauler.
Chief among the Sedona's virtues is a roomy interior that can be configured to prioritize passenger capacity or cargo space. With all of its seats - which include second row captain's chairs and a third row bench seat - in place, there's ample room for seven passengers to sit in comfort, in addition to 32.2 cubic feet of cargo space.
The third-row bench seat is split 60/40, and each section can fold flush into a well in the floor. With both stowed away, there's room for 80.1 cubic feet of gear.
Moving up to the second row, both captain's chairs can fold forward to provide easy access to the rearmost seats. Unlike some rival models, which feature second-row seats that can fold into the floor, the Sedona's captain's chairs must be carried out of the minivan to unlock the maximum 141.5 cubes of cargo space.
Up front, the Sedona's dashboard is a bit dated, and the materials aren't quite as upscale as those of many newer minivans. Still, the controls are well-placed and easy to operate, and there are numerous cupholders and storage nooks.
Just one powertrain combination is available: a 3.5-liter V6 that teams with a six-speed automatic and produces 269 horsepower along with 246 lb-ft of torque. The pair provides above-average acceleration, and fuel economy is rated at a respectable 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.
With a suspension consisting of MacPherson struts up front and a multilink setup at the rear, the Sedona's chassis provides a cushy ride and predictable, albeit uninspired, handling dynamics.
Trim Level Breakdown: The Nitty-Gritty Details
The Sedona is offered in LX and EX trim levels.
The LX base model comes standard with A/C, full power accessories, remote keyless entry, an AM/FM/CD/SiriusXM stereo system with Aux and USB inputs, Bluetooth connectivity, and sonar-based rear parking aid.
An available Power Package spruces up the LX with power sliding doors, automatic light control, 17-inch alloy wheels and an auto-diming mirror with backup display and HomeLink.
The EX ups the feature quotient with leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated exterior mirrors, an upgraded sound system, a rearview camera, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power rear-quarter windows, an auto-dimming rear mirror with HomeLink, a trip computer with a compass and a roof rack.
The Luxury Package adds to the EX's appeal with a sunroof, automatic rain sensing wipers, power-adjustable pedals and driver's memory seat and mirrors.
The EX can also be ordered with a navigation system that's bundled with a Infinity-branded audio system.
All Sedona models are equipped with dual front, front side and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems, electronic brakeforce distribution and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Low sales have thinned out the minivan heard, leaving only the strongest models remaining on the market. These alternatives to the Sedona include radically styled (for a minivan) models like the Honda Odyssey and Nissan Quest as well as more conservative-looking rides like the Dodge Grand Caravan and Toyota Sienna.