A six-month test drive can lead to many adventures. The Kia Sedona minivan I drove from August through February for Latino Traffic Report got me through good times and bad, but then, what else would you expect from a family vehicle?
Redesigned in 2015, the Sedona offers a handsome option in the minivan segment. I received the Sedona SX-Limited (SX-L), the top-of-the-line trim level, and from the beginning, it impressed me with its elegance, comfort, and handling.
As with all Kias, it packs more features than normally associated with its segment, like ventilated as well as heated front seats, heated second-row cushions, a dual sunroof, and a driver mode select button (Eco, Normal, or Comfort), that helped improve the ride and handling as well as fuel economy.
The minivan should earn an EPA estimated 17miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, averaging around 23 mpg. All Sedonas come with a 3.3-liter V6 engine matched to a six-speed automatic transmission with Sport-matic simulated manual shifting. I traveled nearly 5,000 miles, spent $333 on gasoline and my final average fuel economy, utilizing the Eco mode, ranged between 20–24 mpg.
After six-months I took a few quick road trips to Bryan, Texas and San Antonio to visit family over the holidays. The majority of the mileage, however, accrued through city driving, particularly during a three-week stint as a holiday mail carrier for the United States Postal Service (USPS). For the most part, I drove rented cargo vans, but there were a couple times when the Sedona came through, in a pinch. This gave me ample opportunity to test the fold flat seating and take advantage of the Sedona’s 142 cu. ft. of cargo volume.
The optional first-class lounge chairs with footrests in the second row on the test model had manual levers that made them clunky to manipulate. The third row, however, folded flat more easily and quickly.
The navigation system, standard on the SX-L, also proved essential and easy to use as the postal routes I was given lacked serious detail. Not only did I come away with an appreciation of the system but also the mail carriers of the USPS—they work hard for the money
The cargo room also fit a six-foot Christmas tree with ease. Added convenience came with the smart power liftgate with a sensor that automatically opened in three seconds when I approached from behind with the keys in my pocket and I didn’t have to wave my foot under the bumper like other systems require.
The keyless system with burglar and panic alarm, air conditioning, an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Satellite stereo system, back-up warning, Bluetooth wireless technology, and cruise control are also standard. Only weeks into the loan, however, the Sedona was vandalized outside of the neighborhood post office. The police officer who took down my report after the robbery explained that the alarm did not engage during the break-in because the vandals didn’t open the door, they just reached in to get what they wanted.
One feature that was lacking on the Sedona, however, was a rear entertainment system for viewing DVDs that most minivans offer—they’re a must-have for families on a road trip. According to Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, it is available as a dealer-installed option.
Pricing for the 2015 Sedona starts at $26,995 but you won’t be able to get features like a power liftgate or sliding doors or upgrade it with any options. The as-tested price, with $2,700 of additional equipment like lane departure warning and a surround view monitor, came to $43,295.
Sí: The Kia Sedona Is a handsome option, with versatility and a good list of standard and available features.
No: A rear entertainment system is a must for a minivan and it should be a factory option rather than dealer installed.