By BOB GRITZINGER, Contributing Editor | @bobgritzinger For some time…
Let me be clear. I am definitely not the authority on minivans because, well, I don’t have any youngins to cart around (you may want to check with real-life moms and dads who can better attest to the top family-haulers). BUT I must say that Kia’s Sedona is pretty baller. Yeah, I just called a minivan “baller”. I mean, what minivan comes with two sunroofs, 19-inch chromed-out rims, and plush two-tone leather seating for all three rows? And I didn’t even mention the reclining captain’s chairs available in the middle row with collapsable footrests. Boom!
Minivan or just really long SUV?
I didn’t feel embarrassed driving around in the Sedona…until I remembered that I was driving a minivan with the windows rolled down and some 90’s on 9 blaring. But whatever, I just kept thinking it was the 2016 Kia Sorento (which I really enjoyed, by the way).
But, I think I rocked the minivan look. I made the van look hip. Or was it the other way around? It might be a stretch to say that a minivan made its driver look cool.
Favorite Sedona SXL Features
- Two-toned Nappa Leather Seat Trim in the Platinum Silver / Burgundy combo (which read more like a chocolate brown)
- Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control that gives rear passengers full control over their comfort
- UVO infotainment system with navigation and the surround view monitor with backup camera
- Sliding and reclining seats in the second row for the ultimate lounging experience
- Infinity surround sound audio to pump our nostalgic SiriusXM 90’s on 9 tunes
- Dual sunroofs. Need we say more?
- Smart power tailgate that lifts upon key detection within 3 seconds with programmable height.
- Its full 5-Star overall safety rating from NHTSA
The Sedona impresses with its nimble yet sturdy ride, mirroring the driving dynamics of the brand’s Sorento SUV. Kia gives its multi-purpose vehicle enough power to haul the family and their stuff with a 3.3L V6 gas direct-injection (GDI) engine that puts out a respectable 276 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque.
Sedona is pretty efficient as well, garnering a 17 mpg city / 22 mpg highway / 19 mpg combined fuel economy rating from the EPA. I was surprised the Sedona didn’t burn more gas given the frequent short trips we took with it.
Launched last summer, the 2016 Kia Sedona continues the brand’s reputation for besting the competition with more upscale amenities at a comparable price for a multi-purpose vehicle (AKA the “minivan”, “mommy mobile”, “man van”–whatever you prefer).
Our test model was the top-of-the-line Sedona SX Limited, priced at $42,400 (excluding the $895 destination charge), which is not bad when considering SUV options that seat seven or eight passengers. Kia’s Technology Package comes at $2,700 and pushes the Sedona’s price tag above the $40k mark, adding Xenon HID headlights and passive safety features such as lane departure warning, forward collision warning, surround view monitor and smart cruise control.
But without the tech package, the Sedona is still a well-stocked vehicle, with a plethora of standard safety features, interior comforts and the manufacturer’s 10 Year / 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. The 2016 Kia Sedona also boasts a 5-star overall vehicle safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Overall, we enjoyed the versatility of the new Sedona. It’s sizable without giving the driver (sans passengers) the feeling of lugging around a lot of empty space and weight (as we understandably felt when toting around solo in the Yukon Denali XL).
So the only question that remains is–can you get over your own stigma of driving minivan?
I know. You promised yourself you’d never own a minivan. You’d be willing to take a station wagon, crossover, grocery hauler, horse and buggy — anything but a m.i.n.i.v.a.n.
My minivan challenge to you
If you’ve been mulling over whether or not to make the jump to a low-to-the-ground, comfortable, affordable and feature-laden family vehicle, then I’d recommend at least taking the Sedona for a spin. You never know. You might just feel like you’re driving an extra-long Sorento like I did!
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