By on May 25, 2016

2016 Kia Sedona Exterior Front, Image: © 2016 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars

Let’s face it: Nobody wants to drive what their parents drove, even if it’s the right vehicle for the task at hand. Minivan shoppers balked at their parent’s station wagon, and CUV shoppers seem to believe that minivans are the gateway to mom-jeans and velcro sneakers.

My sister-in-law is the perfect example of a conflicted minivan shopper. With four kids, she needs a minivan. However, because she grew up sitting in the back of a string of Chevrolet Astro vans, she has a special hatred reserved for minivans. It probably doesn’t help that her parents recently traded in an Oldsmobile Silhouette for a Chrysler Town & Country.

Technically, a family of six will fit in your average three-row crossover, but even the biggest CUVs have a cramped back seat and limited cargo compared to the average minivan.

Seeing an opportunity to differentiate itself, Kia decided to put a different twist on the Sedona when it was redesigned for 2015. The latest Sedona gives up some traditional minivan practicality in an attempt to appeal to crossover shoppers on the fence.

Although Chrysler has done an excellent job styling the new Chrysler Pacifica, its overall shape still screams “I’m a minivan!” The Sedona, however, uses a front-end design lifted from Kia’s popular Sorento crossover. The result is a minivan that looks like a traditional people-hauler from the side or rear, but more like a crossover in someone’s rearview mirror. The styling team’s attempt to “crossover-ify” the rear 3/4 view results in much smaller windows for third-row folks, but the windows give the Sedona more style than we see in the Pacifica or Toyota Sienna.

2016 Kia Sedona Interior, Image: © 2016 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars

Also more stylish than the competition is the Sedona’s interior. The clean-sheet design is as impressive as the previous Sedona was drab. So dramatically changed is the interior, the casual observer is unlikely to believe they were produced by the same company just one year apart. Don’t believe me? Ward’s Auto even put this cabin on its 2015 best interiors list.

In an un-minivan move, Kia designed the new Sedona with a fixed center console, console-mounted shifter, and a shared center armrest. The result is less utilitarian than your run-of-the-mill minivan — you can’t jam purses or backpacks between the front seats — but it does make the Sedona look more modern than a Honda Odyssey and less minivan-y than a Dodge Grand Caravan.

In addition to style, plastics quality is surprisingly high with soft touch materials used liberally across the dashboard and doors.

2016 Kia Sedona Interior, Image: © 2016 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars

Moving one row back, you won’t find a bench seat in any Sedona. The base L trim starts with two captain’s chairs in fabric, which limits the passenger count to seven. Want to seat eight? No problem, jump up to the LX or EX trim and Kia inserts a small (and less comfortable) seat between the two captain’s chairs. Migrate to the SX or SXL trim and the center seat is once again removed, but can be re-added by checking the right option box.

Our tester was the SXL trim, which bumps the captain’s chairs up to a 14-way manual adjustable design with integrated ottoman and butterfly headrests. Clearly aimed at empty-nesters, the seats are more usable than the luxury thrones found in the Sienna. Kia allows the second row to slide so far back in the Sedona that the third-row can be made unusable.

Kia Sedona Second-Row Captain Chair Conversion, Image: Kia

Snazzy seats in a minivan aren’t new, of course. What’s new is that these seats don’t come out. You heard that right: the SXL’s thrones contort in a million different directions, but cannot be removed from the vehicle (unless you have a ratchet and plenty of time). The other trim levels use Kia’s “slide and stow” seat that collapses forward as you see above, but they still don’t come out of the vehicle or descend into the floor like the Chrysler Town & Country.

Hop in the way-back and you’ll find a traditional 60/40 split third-row bench seat with three belts. Riding in the back isn’t as comfortable as the other rows, or as comfy as the same seats in the Odyssey or Pacifica, but it’s miles ahead of any three-row crossover. Although the window line limits visibility at the third row, the actual roofline is just as square as the rest of the minivan crowd. This allows the seat bottom cushion to be significantly higher off the floor than in a Nissan Pathfinder or Chevrolet Traverse while still offering more headroom than the largest CUVs. In addition to the more comfortable seating position, the Sedona offers a whopping 5-inches more combined legroom than Chevy’s large CUV.

With the third row in place, the Sedona’s cargo area lags behind the Odyssey and Sienna at 33.9 cubic feet but manages to beat the Caravan and new Pacifica by a hair. More importantly, the Kia swallows 42-percent more cargo than the aforementioned Traverse with the seats in place. Even though the Sedona has a less practical second row that doesn’t come out, you can still squeeze 33-percent more cargo behind the front row than you can in a GM Lambda crossover.

2016 Kia Sedona Engine-001

Powering the Sedona is the same 3.3-liter direct-injection V6 engine used in a variety of Kia products from the Sorento to the Cadenza. Despite being one of the smaller displacement engines, the modern design with direct injection, dual variable valve timing and a high 11.5:1 compression ratio means that power and torque are among the best in class at 276 horsepower and 248 lbs-ft of torque.

The only transmission on offer is a six-speed automatic shared with the Sorento crossover. Unfortunately, the Sorento’s optional all-wheel-drive system does not make it into the Sedona. Optional AWD would have been one way to completely differentiate the Sedona from the average minivan, so this seems like a truly missed opportunity. If you want all four wheels to make your school-bus-wheels go round and round, the Sienna is your only option and you’ll have to kiss your spare tire goodbye as well.

2016 Kia Sedona Driving, Interior View, Image: © 2016 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars

Most crossover shoppers are convinced that their large car/truck hybrid handles better than a minivan. Are you ready for a serving of reality? Sippy-cup haulers may have softer springs, but they generally handle better than a large three-row crossover. When you start pushing the Sedona in the corners, you’ll notice less body roll and less tip and dive than a large CUV. The greater poise is primarily thanks to a lower center of gravity, although the suspension travel likely contributes as well. Thanks to the planted nature and the standard 235-width tires, lateral grip is actually better than most three-row CUVs sized like the Highlander or larger, especially GM’s Lambda triplets. Compared to other minivans on the market, the Sedona also fares well exhibiting better road manners and more grip than the Honda, Toyota or the Chrysler.

Getting from 0-60 takes 6/10ths longer in the Sedona (7.6 seconds) than the Sorento with the same engine due to the Sedona’s 4,658-pound curb weight, yet the Sedona actually stops shorter — 127 feet vs 135 feet in the Kia crossover. Obviously, the heftier curb weight explains the acceleration time, but the deceleration time surprised me since neither vehicle’s ABS system engaged in the panic stop testing. The added heft, long wheelbase, and a suspension that didn’t need to be designed for off-road travel give the Sedona a plush highway ride that can’t be matched in the crossover segment.

2016 Kia Sedona Steering Wheel, Image: © 2016 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars

L through EX trims of the Sedona get a traditional hydraulic steering rack while SX and SXL trims swap in a rack-mounted electric power steering system. The hydraulic system gives the base models a more traditional feel while the SX and SXL have the same isolated steering feel as any other vehicle with EPAS. You might be wondering, “if the system saps feel, why do they use it in the top trims?” The reason is fuel economy. L, LX and EX are rated for 18/24/20 (city / highway / combined) in the EPA cycle, but adding EPAS bumps the EX trim to 18/25/21. For reasons not fully explained, the SXL trim then drops to 17/22/19 even though it is not significantly heavier than the SX and employs the fuel-sipping electric steering rack.

As you’d expect from Kia, the Sedona undercuts the Odyssey, Sienna, and the new Pacifica with a base price of $27,295 (after an $895 destination charge) while delivering a longer warranty and more standard feature content. $29,395 is the point of entry for the eight-passenger LX and $33,595 gets you leather and a host of other upgrades like power sliding doors, power tailgate, 18-inch wheels, a touchscreen infotainment system, backup sensors, keyless go, tri-zone climate control, auto dimming mirrors, integrated window shades, heated seats, and a leather steering wheel. A fully decked out SXL model with Nappa leather, HID lamps, radar cruise control and everything else you can think of will set you back $43,595 with the snazzy second-row seats or $42,595 if you check the option box to get the 8-seat SXL, which deletes the integrated ottoman.

2016 Kia Sedona Rear, Image: © 2016 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars

By marching to a slightly different tune, Kia has created a slightly different minivan. However, in doing so, it has created a minivan that’s less practical than the elephant in the room: the Dodge Grand Caravan. The Caravan doesn’t handle as well, it’s not as comfortable,not as stylish, not as well configured, and the warranty is shorter than the Sedona — but it’s also a whopping $4,200 less than the Sedona before you factor in the inevitable and massive FCA incentives. As a minivan, the Grand Caravan’s biggest trump card is the fold-flat second row, which allows you to head to Home Depot and slide a 4×8 sheet of plywood into your minivan on a whim.

Oddly enough, the overt practicality of the Caravan is ultimately its undoing in my sister-in-law’s eyes. The Caravan, Odyssey, and Sienna are better at the job of cargo carrying and people hauling. Removable second-row seats are almost essential to the “traditional” minivan shopper. On the other hand, a quick poll of minivan owners proved Kia’s point that the second row seems to rarely (if ever) leave the van. By leaving the seats in, Kia was able to make them more comfortable and offer a heated seat option. Likewise, the center console isn’t as practical as an open space where you can store your shopping, but it gives the Sedona a more premium look inside. Then there’s the price. The Sedona also manages to deliver more feature content than the competition, with a longer warranty for less.

I’m not sure if the Sedona’s brand of “un-minivan” is “cool” enough to haul my sister-in-law’s family, but it has the best chance of the bunch.

[Images: © 2016 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars, Kia]

Kia provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30 mph: 3.1 seconds

0-60 mph: 7.6 seconds

1/4 mile: 16.7 seconds @ 89 mph

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81 Comments on “2016 Kia Sedona Review – Minivan in a Crossover Suit...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    “Let’s face it: Nobody wants to drive what their parents drove…”

    Not true! My parents had stuff like a Mercedes 450SL, a BMW 733, and so on…

    And I wouldn’t mind one of these Sedonas if I actually needed one. Nice review.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Yeah, my dad commuted in a pretty basic Plymouth Sundance. As much as I don’t want that specific car, I’d love a Shelby CSX, and I’m on board with utilitarian hatchbacks. For that matter, my parents also had a couple of Grand Caravans, and I’m still fond of minivans.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I was about to say, I’ll take a Scout, Suburban, GTO, etc etc every day of the week, my parents drove vehicles that influenced what I love today.

      As Mike said, I liked your review!

      • 0 avatar
        Shiv91

        Not true for me either! My dad’s ’92 Caravan and ’96 Windstar (and, much later, my uncle’s ’06 Sedona that I borrowed for a month after a deer ran in front of my Sonata at 60 mph) had the opposite effect on me, they lead me to develop a taste for minivans lol. IMO minivans are the best value out there- comfort, cargo and decent power for a low price. I actually considered a couple when I was car-shopping last year even though I don’t have kids. I suppose it helps that I never really had a “I hate my parents” phase and have never given a s- about image. Prior to to becoming a parent my dad drove big BOF RWD boats (two B-bodies, a ’75 Pontiac Catalina and then an ’80 Olds Delta 88) which also became another personal favorite of mine.

        Anyway, as for the new Sedona, even though I’m not a HyunKia fan, I was impressed. I REALLY liked the easy chair-style rear seats with footrests!

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      What he said. My dad always had – still has – odd choices in cars but a few stand out: a Volvo station wagon, two Olds 98s (the BOFs), and two mint Cadillac Fleetwoods.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      I dream of driving some of the cars my dad drove, and he did drive some of the cars his dad drove (and I also dream of some of my grandpas cars)
      Which means, I guess, that good taste in cars is inherited, or that European Fords from the 60’s and 70’s were just that awesome.
      Granted, there were never any vans in our family, and there never will be…

      • 0 avatar
        mshenzi

        Yep, my dad’s cars became my aspirations. He had just moved on from a string of Cadillacs to an XJ12 when I first got my licence– a ’76 with four carburetors that stayed in tune for about a week after it left the shop, but what a glorious week it always was. Then he got a late ’70’s 530i, then a first generation 730. I’ve mostly been happy with my cars, but never (yet) as happy as I was with his.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      My parents bought a new Aerostar ex-length in 1990. Ive had an 89 ex-length, 94 Sport, 94 XL, and a 96 XLT.

      They have a Taurus now, and so do I. But, there’s is a far different car, and I convinced them to get it, lol. Ive also had a Sable previously, and they had one at one time as well.

      I had an Escort (a GT, my first car and what I taught myself to drive with), so did they many moons ago (a base 85.5).

      I can’t think of any other models we have both owned at the moment.

      Of course, they bought their examples new or nearly new, and all mine were used.

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    Had one as a rental and generally agree. However I found the ride quality to be very un-plush. I also found the 3.3L to be extremely peaky in its power delivery; an experience I didn’t have with a Pentastar T&C. Addtionally the buttons to open/close the side doors and rear hatch do not actually unlock those things; they’re still locked when they open. I found that puzzling.

    Also my parents drove big RWD GM station wagons; I LOVE those and would buy a new one in a heartbeat.

  • avatar
    kefkafloyd

    Looks like Kia is succumbing to BMW’s lazy hood cut aesthetic. I mean, it is in line with the joins between the quarter panels and the fascia, but it still looks dumb.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Once I started my home buying, I mean the real beginning and starter homes, the Dodge van and its removable seats was important.
    Kids AND work.
    The rear seats were always out and plywood and drywall sheets were a main purchase.
    Plus traveling was strange.
    Long distant family vacations were when the middle seats were out.
    The rear bench became the rear seat and the middle of the van became the sleeping and game playing section of the car.
    Sometimes we would put in a small TV and hook up the movies and game consoles.
    Worked like a real living room on wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      ^This. Years ago, no manufacturer would dream of building a minivan with a non-removable center console and/or second row seating.

      But times have changed. Most all minivans now have a non-removable center console. And with the non-removable second row seats, the Sedona has crossed into a whole new category: the ‘un-minivan’, much more like a larger, more practical SUV. It’s a shame Kia couldn’t somehow manage to squeeze in an AWD system, too. That would have lured in a whole raft of cross-shopping big SUV buyers.

      But the truly practical and rationale auto shopper will still go with a real minivan in which the the second row seats can be removed or, ideally, simply be folded into the floor for that ‘living room on wheels’ experience. In fact, Chrysler even took this idea to the next level when they offered the short-lived ‘Swivel-N-Go’ center table option just a few years ago. The poor reception of what one would have thought would have been a no-brainer (and, now, the much more SUV-like Sedona) really shows how far the minivan market has changed.

      Only time will tell if Kia’s gambit pays off.

  • avatar

    Currently in the closing stages of buying one of these. Some points of interest or pseudo-interest:

    1) My wife wanted one of these in part because she loves her ‘Nox and doesn’t want to give up an SUV, but found the Sedona’s styling and luxury features are making the somewhat-painful transition easier.
    2) Discussions with other minivan owners, including Caravan owners, were very fruitful. We haven’t seen any yet who actually fold the seats flat on a regular basis.
    3) The best trim value in this vehicle seems to be the LX with the convenience package. This gets you the sliding rear doors, heated seats, chilled glove box, rear sun shades, etc, without having to spring for the EX and its leather and other accouterments that might be wasted if you’re kid-hauling.
    4) The biggest tradeoff in this vehicle, other than AWD not being available, as the reviewer stated, is the total bone-headed absence of a rear-seat DVD system. They’re dealer-installed only and are not available even on upper trims.
    5) Where’s the remote start? Do Sienna and Odyssey make it available? The Kia doesn’t.
    6) This thing is a looker and very comfy inside.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “We haven’t seen any yet who actually fold the seats flat on a regular basis.”

      This.

      Seriously, these vehicles are all amazingly large with the third row seats down. I can’t see needing the second row clear unless you’re trying to bring home a Tuff Shed or something.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        It became necessary to fold the middle and rear seats into the floor of my friend’s Caravan when I bought a sofa a few years back. If it was this Kia I would have had to rent a truck so the middle fold seats came in hand for that. Also when we had to move him and his family last year.

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          So then the question becomes at what price comfort? In both cases you cited, pop the $200 for a Uhaul van and then live with more comfortable seats the rest of the time, no?

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      I’ve removed the center row middle seat of our older Sienna a handful of times in 12 years. They’re much easier to remove with the newer design, but folding the seats forwards has been sufficient for large loads. The lack of a factory DVD/Blu-ray player hasn’t been a big deal, a portable player was sufficient and our kids are using tablets these days.

      Both Sienna and Odyssey offer remote start as a factory accessory.

    • 0 avatar
      RS

      The nice thing about the Chrysler/Dodge Stow-n-go 2nd row is covered storage space available when the seats are up. They are nice sized storage compartments and we use them all the time. And it is extremely convenient not having to remove the seat(s) if you need the room – even if it is infrequently.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Remote start is a factory accessory option on the Sedona, just like the DVD player.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      “We haven’t seen any yet who actually fold the seats flat on a regular basis.”

      Odd. The Caravan owners I know, love stow-and-go and re-buy primarily because of it.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I was happy as hell to get my dad’s 1995 Maxima. Custom ordered, black on black leather, stickshift. I enjoyed the hell out of that car. Now my mom had a Nissan Quest… that was less fun… but it beat walking!

    The question for me is not if this beats the ancient DGC, but if it is better than the Pacifica. I’m trying to do everything in my power to not buy a minivan after we have our first kid, but I can’t knock the practicality aspect, and my wife genuinely does not care what she drives. She actually likes her mom’s off-rental Grand Caravan. This is a stylish van for sure though, which is about all I can hope for in that segment.

    Other thing I’m wondering about is how this powertrain fares against the one in the Pacifica. I’d imagine 30HP + 3 more gears would help a good bit in accelerating and saving gas. I like how the top trim Pacifica looks a lot too… I’d argue it’s more stylish than this. And FCA dealers have no choice but to play ball at the negotiating table.

    Still though my parents didn’t get a minivan until they had 3 kids in school. I am really hoping a CR-V sized CUV will be enough.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    We’re thinking about a mini-van and I’m torn about what to get. I never would’ve thought I’d consider a Chrysler, but the Town & Country is a lot of van for the money. Still scared of FCA vehicles though.

    The Kia also seems really nice.

    Both the Kia and Chrylser are more appealing to me than the Sienna, but Kia and Chrysler scare me, reliability, resale, etc.

    Can’t make up my mind.

    Get a Sienna?

    Get a brand new Chrylser with a lifetime Mopar max care warranty for the same price or less?

    Get a Kia with the 100K mile powertrain warranty?

    The auto transmissions seem to be an expensive weak link in all of these mini-vans, so these strong warranties are appealing to me.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      I think this thing will fail for the same reason the original Odyssey did: because it’s not comfortable in its own skin. Minivan buyers will choose a vehicle that’s better at being a minivan. SUV buyers will choose an actual SUV. This will succeed at being everybody’s third choice.

      In all fields of endeavor, in vehicles, brands or people, he who tries to be all things to all people ends up being nothing in particular to anyone.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      Kia and Chrysler resale is more than made up for by the decreased transaction price. All the car sites rate depreciation versus MSRP; not average transaction price.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Chrysler extended warranties are reasonable priced, but you would need to take that price into account.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The 3.3L V6 and the 6 spd AT in the Sedona is a tried and true combo.

      If maximum utility/cargo space is a priority, then the T&C is the better bet (the downside to the stow & go seats is comfort as there isn’t as much padding). At this juncture, all the kinks/problems have likely been worked out of the T&C. Also, the deals on the T&C these days can’t be beat.

      If a more stylish mini-van with more interior comforts/luxury is a priority – then the Sedona is the better bet (one long-time Lexus owner who needed to move from the family crossover to someone more spacious picked the Sedona even over the Sienna b/c wanted something more luxurious – ended up getting the SXL trim).

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    …am I the only one that sees a “Honda HR-V” spec sheet on the right under the minivan picture?

  • avatar
    nickoo

    The answer we all want: how does it compare to pacifica?

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Compared to Pacifica? The Honda Odyssey is beat down by the KIA Sedona.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        If you could have afforded any new Oddysey, ever, chances are good that you’d also be able to articulate your claim beyond “beat down”.

        Funny how things correlate.

        • 0 avatar
          VW16v

          Simply the Sedona looks like a step above a Honda Odyssey. And I’ve yet to meet a Odyssey owner without a transmission, engine, electrical, or squeak/rattle issue. Those Odyssey’s were all 2014 and older. Can’t comment on the updated 2015-16 model. The first generation 4 cylinder Odyssey were extremely durable.

          • 0 avatar
            ponchoman49

            I also know a few Odyssey owners and two out of three have had issues with the electronics, power doors, A/C, transmission, and suspension with the famous rear tire camber issues and premature wear being the first problem noticed.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Our 09 Sedona has been excellent. We bought it 1-year used (former rental) with 18k on it; now it’s up to almost 90k.

    The 3.8L V6 is strong, with a nice note to it. The 5-spd AT shifts smoothly and with no drama; I change its fluid every 25k. Climbing a decent grade at 70 mph at 2000 rpm with a normal load illustrates the impressive torque and nicely-matched drivetrain.

    We’ve used it for towing, camping (including the roof rack), people-hauling, and large-item hauling. Removable middle seats have been essential.

    However, now that our kids are moving out, and our fleet is down from 3 cars to 2, the Sedona is my daily driver. Its replacement is likely NOT another van, but a CUV (Sportage) with some towing capability, or just a car (I’m a Model 3 reservist). Heaving hauling might go to a rental, but that’s a hassle. I hate giving up the total utility of this vehicle.

    If Kia has built the new Sedona as well as our 09, they have a winner. Sales have been decent for it (relatively speaking) in the shrinking minivan market.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Shrinking? With this, there are now four major models, soon to be five for a brief period (This, Oddy, Sienna, Caravan/TC, with Pacifica joining alongside Caravan which will continue to exist mark my words).

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Used to be more, tho…not too long ago, Ford sold two variations on the whatever-Star, GM sold God knows how many variations of the same design, and Mazda had one. I believe Hyundai also sold one not too long ago.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          The Hyundai Entourage was just a rebadged Sedona, nothing special.

        • 0 avatar
          Shiv91

          I still think it was stupid of GM and Ford to exit the minivan segment, they basically handed it over to the Japanese and Koreans, and Chrysler.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            GM’s done well with their Lambda minivans, er “suvs”. Ford had numerous problems with Winstar and Freestar, its probably something they should stay out of, unless they are going to import a Nissan again as a Mercury.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            The Explorer and, as he said, the Lambda crossovers are selling quite well, and I’m betting have a far higher profit margin than the minivans they replaced.

            The Wind/Freestar was awful, as were GM’s FWD offerings. The Aerostar sold well in its time, but really, there isn’t much need for it today with the Transit Connect and the big Transit, the latter of which probably gets similar MPG with more room and power. Explorer handles soccer mom duties.

            The only thing I find disappointing is that the Flex isn’t any more successful than it is. People who have them LOVE them, but maybe its the styling that relegates it to being a bit player.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The big Transit doesn’t get that good of fuel economy, from what I’ve seen the base V6 only beats the base V8 in the Econolines by about 1 MPG.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            That 1 MPG actually does add up if you’re a fleet manager running even two or three Transits vs. the Econolines. Not to mention the Transit has better packaging and is better put-together, being a brand-new vehicle vs. a 20+ year-old vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Fuel costs are way down on the list of priorities for fleet operators. Up time and total cost of operation are the concerns.

            Take a paratransit operator that runs a van 50K per year. Real world the fuel savings are $400 or so per year. 2 extra days of down time in a year and that savings is wiped out. Those little Transit tires are another concern will the last like they do on the over tired Econolines? How about durability will the trans last 350k miles like the 4R75W? How about the engine will it do 500K like an 2v 4.6? Or the overall truck retirement for the paratransit Econolines seems to be 350K, or 7 years. If the Transit only last to 250K before it is ready to retire that means replacing the fleet every 5 years instead of 7 and there went well more than the less than 1 mpg difference.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        The Grand Caravan will exist until 2019, according to this TTAC article. I see no issue with that.

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/05/grand-caravan-given-stay-execution-report/

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    That wide console sure is wide. No thanks, I’ll keep relaxing my knees in the air in my Odyssey.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Color me confused, but it looks just as minivan-esque as any other minivan, just less useful and more [redacted] with the beltline rising for no reason behind the doors.

    And I agree that the console ruins the utility. Make it removable at least.

    Overall it seems they wanted to make a less useful minivan.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      When will designers learn, crack is whack?

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I like the way they made the slider mirror the front door to give it a suicide-door look. Other than that, meh. I prefer Chrysler’s “It’s a mini-van, deal with it” design language. And greenhouse.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      There is (or was) a cohort of senior citizens who drive minivans. Like CUVs, easy to get into (maybe easier, because of the slightly lower floor), and lots of room for grandkids, or golf clubs, or whatever active old people do. The Sedona seems custom made for them, giving up absolute practicality for a couple little things that improve the day-to-day experience.

      Mind you, the perception of needing absolute practicality is strong, and still a force in a fairly sensible segment.

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        I’ve read that since the demise of the PT Cruiser and Chevy HHR, the traditional minivan, particularly the Chrysler products, are the geezer equivalent of sensible shoes. A not very stylish two-box appliance, but what they lack in style, they make up for in practicality. I disagree with the folding second row seats not being all that necessary. Yeah, they’re not used everyday but, man, when you need to lose the second row seats for more cargo space, I’d be willing to bet the Stow-N-Go feature is mighty nice.

        So, the Sedona seems like a slightly less sensible and more stylish alternative to the bottom-feeder (but more versatile) Grand Caravan. My guess is the geezers will stick with the low-line Mopar and the Sedona will appeal more to a younger demographic willing to sacrifice a bit of utility for a little non-minivan pizzazz.

        I have to admit, the Sedona’s reclining second row seats look comfy for a long trip (even if they can’t easily be removed).

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Yep. It’s the U-body of KIA.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    IMO the new Sedona is the best looking Minivan out there. Unfortunately, being a “Value brand”, means it doesn’t retain value long. That being said, a year from now, you can pick one up for a song.
    I like the new products from Kia. I just can’t see paying actual retail price for one.

  • avatar

    I rented one of these while hosting the family last year. Overall, the review on this is spot-on. Over the course of a week, and about 800 miles, I fell in love with this van.

    It proved to extremely comfortable for six people, easy to get in and out of, and for me as the driver; quite fun. The handling was pretty good, and acceleration was pretty gutsy.

    I still don’t approve of the center console, as it hampers some of the minivan practicality, which is what these cars are really all about. But I never had the need to slip into the second row, so it wasn’t missed too much. Maybe Kia is onto something after all

  • avatar
    phlipski

    I’m the target audience of this review. We just had our 3rd kid a few days ago, to go along with our 4 year old twins. We’ve got a 2012 pathfinder which has the (small) third row, and a 2003 VW Jetta which I loathe. My wife and I both originally wanted a wagon to replace the VW, but the more I look at what’s available wagon wise and compare it to minivan the wagon just doesn’t make any sense. They’re expensive and small, and the only advantage seems to be better handling and potentially better fuel economy. As much as we abhored the thought of owning a minivan, the ration part of my brain has completely come around – I just can’t justify a wagon when the minivan makes so much sense! Now I just need to work on my wife! I never thought about the Kia before, but now it’s on the list!

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Congratulations on your third!

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      Congrats! And as the dad of a 15 year old, time will fly by like you wouldn’t believe.

      Minivans are Swiss army knives for families with kids and all their flotsam. Abhor the thought of a minivan? Look at it this way – what better badge of courage is there that you are a parent? And fill the back windows up with stickers as needed. Although my first car when we had the baby is now retired to vacation duty, it’s a blast seeing all the silly stickers we put on it. A rolling museum of my kid growing up.

      Like I said – it’ll be over in a quick minute. Then you can get your fun car.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    We drove the Sedona when it first came out and it was far and away the best minivan available. Honda and Toyota minivan interiors were a big step down in design and perceived interior quality.

    We wound up buying a CPO X5, which eventually lead us to driving our Chrysler T&C rental because of the airbag recall. 20/20 hindsight, we should have leased the Sedona. Yeah, the Sedona is a minivan and yeah it sucks driving, but it’s a lot better than the T&C and the Kia interior is MUCH nicer.

  • avatar
    sckid213

    Maybe it’s just me, but the faux-CUV styling isn’t convincing nor particularly stylish to me. It’s only CUV-looking when looking at it from the front. It reminds me of when GM made the U-bodies into “Sport Vans” with those SUV-like snouts up front. I find the Pacifica much more stylish because it’s an actual stylish minivan – not trying to be something else.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Longer wheelbase reduces fore aft weight transfer during stopping allowing the rears to contribute more before the fronts are overwhelmed? Unsprung weight reductions from smaller / lighter wheels, tires, suspension components? I’m not a vehicle dynamics expert, but I’ve read a few books here and there…

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    An 11 on the sensibility scale. I’d take one if offered.

  • avatar
    Syke

    As a very happy owner of a 2008 Sedona with 105k on the clock, I was really looking forward to this review. Having ridden in a new one as the dealer shuttle when I took mine in for the 105k service impressed me a lot. I was starting to get tempted . . . .

    The you mentioned that the second row of seats cannot be removed without unbolting and (I assume) unhooking wiring points. The day we bought our Sedona, the second row seats went into the storage barn and they will stay there until the day we sell the van. Our use for the van is: 1. Historical reenactment, where carry a three tent setup (I’m a sutler) plus muskets, small cannon, powder boxes, etc. 2. Racetracks, where we camp in the van. As in sleep there. 3. Occasional plywood hauling. I do a lot of home carpentry projects.

    Granted, our use would mean buying a third generation Sedona means unbolting the seats and putting them in storage. Which is possibly doable. My question, though, is what kind of impediments to a totally clear flat floor would we be facing?

    Not crazy on the permanent console either. Maggie and I do have a habit of needing to hit the cooler in the back while the other is drivin down I-95.

    I may be watching for a late second generation model when ours is due to be traded. Then again, I’ll wait a year or so and just ask the local dealer’s service department. They’ll know, by then.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      I was saddened when FCA began importing the Promaster City (aka Fiat Doblo) because it completely eliminated the cargo van (C/V) version of the Grand Caravan that had been in production for as long as Chrysler has been building minivans. For the final production C/V, it was, literally, possible to buy a vehicle that, for all intents and purposes, was a Grand Caravan that simply didn’t have rear seats or seat belts. The nice thing was it was possible to have a cargo van that didn’t ‘look’ like a cargo van.

      Nearly all of the options that you could get on a civilian Grand Caravan were available on the C/V, the most important being side windows (that rolled down, too!). Other than a flat load floor (with those under floor compartments), the interior retained most of the interior trim pieces, as well.

      None of the new, small ‘city’ vans offer this versatility. The only thing you can do for side windows is to get one with rear seats, or a cargo van with few side windows (and even less that roll down) with nothing but exposed sheet metal in the rear cargo area. The only real choice is to do exactly as described, i.e., buy the people-mover version, remove the seats, and toss them into storage until its time to sell or trade.

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        A 1984 Dodge Caravan C/V, custom finished on the inside, was my first van. Wonderful for medieval camping, and living for ten days at the Pennsic War.

  • avatar
    jimbo1126

    Glad to see the 2016 Sedona has a 5-star IIHS crash test rating. Previous Sedonas did not do well and that alone would have given me pause on buying one.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    1) Anybody with the chirrens who are young should not choose this two-tone luxury package, as they’ll ruin the light leather.

    2) Anybody with the chirrens who are young should choose a different van, unless you want to help them slide the second row forward every time you get in the car, since there’s no pass-through in the middle to the third row.


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