Kia calls its Sedona a multi-purpose vehicle, rather than a minivan, despite the presence of sliding side doors. Said to “transcend” the conventional minivan, and thereby erase any remaining stigma of that prosaic body style, Kia gives Sedona some design touches that suggest a more modern appearance, approaching a crossover look. Sedonas come in seven- or eight-passenger seating configurations.
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2016 Kia Sedona Overview
What's New for 2016
Redesigned totally for 2015, the Sedona sees only limited changes for its second model year. All models now have a standard rear backup camera. L and LX versions get new tricot seat material, replacing knit, and the EX gains standard heated front seats. When equipped with a Technology Package, SX and SXL now have eight-passenger seating. SXL now has side sills with chrome accents, said to complement the standard 19-inch chrome wheels.
Choosing Your Kia Sedona
Plenty of appealing features are available on current Sedonas, but choosing more technology raises the price substantially. Sedonas include 2.1-amp USB charging ports and 115-volt AC outlets. The dual glove box includes cooled lower storage area. Kia’s UVO infotainment and telematics system (standard on upper models) incorporates features that let parents track teenage drivers: Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert, and Driving Score. SX/SXL trims may be equipped with Lane Departure and Front Collision Warnings.
All Kia Sedonas are front-wheel drive. The 3.3-liter V6 develops 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. Kia says midrange torque has been enhanced for 2016. A six-speed Sportmatic is the sole transmission. Expect to get about 18 mpg in city driving and 24 or 25 mpg on the highway (20-21 mpg combined), but the EPA estimates only 17/22 mpg from the SXL (Limited) model.
The 2016 Kia Sedona comes in five trim levels.
Substantial price differences between each trim level give the customer a wide range to choose from, but can raise the outlay considerably. A practical, basic LX will satisfy a lot of shoppers, though those with a deeper purse might be tempted by the extras in an EX. Reduced gas mileage helps make the SXL the least-prudent choice.
2016 Kia Sedona Review
With a lively powertrain and comfortable seating for seven or eight, the 2016 Kia Sedona is a minivan that offers great value and crossover styling.
Pricing and Equipment
All 2016 Kia Sedona trims are powered by a 3.3-liter V6 engine that produces 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. Shifting comes courtesy of a six-speed automatic transmission. The Sedona is available with seating for seven or eight passengers, and is available in five trim levels:
- The $26,400 base L boasts standard second-row Slide-N-Stow seats now wrapped in long-wearing tricot material.
- The $28,500 LX
- The $32,700 EX
- The $36,400 SX includes an Infinity surround sound system, voice command navigation, and a drive mode selector.
- Sedona's top-of-the-line $39,900 SXL features premium Nappa leather lounge seating, a leather-and-wood steering wheel, and a list of extras that could fill the entire review.
Prices do not include an $895 destination charge.
We've found that the Sedona's powertrain offers plenty of power and excellent mid-range torque that provides extra go when you need it. Driving dynamics are excellent for a larger vehicle, especially in typical day-to-day situations. Sudden avoidance emergency maneuvers will never be the strong point of a vehicle in this segment and the Sedona is no exception.
- That said, a few minutes behind the wheel and you might forget you're driving what Kia calls a "multipurpose vehicle" (sorry Kia, it's a minivan) and your senses will tell you that the Sedona has much more in common with driving a large sedan than a massive SUV.
- Higher trim levels are equipped with three selectable drive modes: Normal, Comfort and Eco. The Comfort mode gently reduces steering effort at the expense of fuel economy, while the Eco mode reduces transmission and throttle response to improve efficiency.
Gas mileage, while not bad for the segment, is reduced significantly in the highest SXL trim level:
- L, LX, & EX trims earn a decent 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined.
- The SX trim, thanks to its selectable Eco mode, produces a respectable 18 city, 25 mpg highway, 21 combined.
- For the luxurious SXL trim, gas mileage drops to 17 mpg city, 22 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined.
The 2016 Sedona, like all minivans, strives to provide maximum space for passengers and cargo. Seating is nicely bolstered and comfortable.
- The standard tricot material found in the lower trim levels is designed to resist stains and hold up well over time.
- The leather-trimmed seats found in the EX and SX models are of the highest quality, and the Nappa leather found in the SXL is downright luxurious and plentiful. I cannot even imagine how many hides it takes to wrap that many seats in leather.
Kia's technology packages are thorough and up-to-date, with plenty of outlets for charging in all but the L and LX trims.
- Bluetooth connectivity comes standard in all trim levels as does an AM/FM/CD/MP3/SiriusXM Audio System, with a 4.3-inch touchscreen.
- Higher trim levels are fit with Kia's Uvo services and a brilliant sounding 8-speaker Infinity surround sound system.
The Sedona's total cargo space is dead last in the segment. Kia has designed the Sedona to maximize the utility of all 142 cubic feet, though, and it feels just as big as almost any competitor -- with the exception of the cavernous Toyota Sienna, which beats the Sedona by 8 cubic feet.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
The Sedona bucks the minivan trend by keeping its gear shifter in the center console -- like an SUV. It's much better than a gear shifter that screams "minivan" by protruding from the dashboard.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
The Sedona may look a lot like an SUV, but my teenagers repeatedly reminded me that I was, indeed, driving a minivan.
The Bottom Line
The 2016 Kia Sedona is a value leader in the minivan segment, offering more standard and optional features at a significantly lower price point than many of its comparably equipped competitors. The SUV-like styling is good enough to fool most passersby, and its fit and finish is nearly impeccable.
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