You may think you know which make and model to choose for your next minivan, but the 2017 Kia Sedona challenges old ideas and presents new solutions. This capable family hauler delivers handsome sheet metal, a welcoming interior and a host of upscale amenities. What’s more, the Sedona pulls this off and maintains Kia’s commitment to provide affordable pricing.
The 2017 Kia Sedona is a minivan with seating for up to eight passengers. Front-wheel drive is standard, and the Sedona is powered by a 3.3-liter V6 that’s governed by a six-speed automatic transmission. Buyers have the choice of five trims: L, LX, EX, SX and SXL.
For 2017, the Sedona sees a few changes. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration is now available. The lineup of available safety features now includes autonomous emergency braking, which applies the brakes to prevent or mitigate a forward collision. The Sedona is now offered with adaptive headlights that improve cornering visibility by moving the headlight beam into oncoming turns. Special sound-absorbing windshield glass is now offered that minimizes wind noise at higher speeds. Finally, all Sedonas now come with a redesigned steering wheel and gear-shift knob.
Squat and stocky by nature, minivans don’t provide the most flattering canvas for aspirational automotive design. Still, the design engineers at Kia have done an excellent job of endowing the Sedona with a look that is modern and assertive.
Our top-of-the-line Sedona SXL featured slanted HID headlights flanking a mesh grille in front. A side view revealed features standard to the SXL trim, such as chrome lower side-sill accents, power-folding side mirrors, 19-inch chrome wheels and chrome outside door handles. In back, angular tail lamps bisected a massive liftgate.
Base Sedona L models come standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, body-colored door handles, power-adjustable side mirrors with integrated turn-signal indicators, a black-mesh front grille, manual sliding doors and a manual tailgate. Upgrades include a dual sunroof, power sliding rear doors. a smart power tailgate, a windshield wiper de-icer, LED taillights and 18- and 19-inch wheels.
The Sedona offers a spacious cabin with comfortable seating in all three rows. Seven-passenger seating is standard on L and SX models, while LX, EX and SXL models come standard with seating for eight.
Our test vehicle provided an accommodating interior. The minivan’s standard tilt-and-telescoping steering column paired with the available eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat made it easy for us to find an optimal seating position. When faced with chilly temperatures during one nighttime excursion, we made the most of our test vehicle’s heated front seats and heated steering wheel. Both these features are standard on the Sedona SXL. Our test vehicle was also equipped with the SXL trim’s optional second-row lounge-style captain’s chairs, and this feature provided our passengers with extendable leg rests for comfortable cruising.
Power-sliding rear doors are one of a minivan’s biggest draws. In the Sedona’s case, these doors and their wide door openings worked to make access to the Sedona’s second and third rows a no-fuss affair.
The Sedona’s interior boasts attractive materials and pleasing design. Our test vehicle was draped in optional Nappa leather upholstery and featured an available leather-and-wood-trimmed steering wheel. It all combined to give the minivan’s cabin a premium look.
People who purchase minivans typically need a vehicle that can handle lots of cargo. The Sedona offers 33.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the third row, and with the third row folded, that figure jumps to 78.4 cubic feet. With both the second and third rows folded, cargo capacity expands to 142 cubic feet. These are solid figures, but certain rivals offer more room. The Toyota Sienna, for example, provides 39.1 cubic feet behind the third row, 87.1 behind the second and 150 cubic feet with both rows folded.
The base Sedona L comes with cloth seats, a manually adjusted driver’s seat, air conditioning with front and rear controls, 60/40 split-folding third-row seats and a Slide-N-Stow second-row seat, which allows you to make room for cargo by sliding and folding the seats with the tug of a lever followed by a firm nudge.
Available features include an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats and heated second-row seats.
Minivans are huge, but the ones with the best handling feel smaller and tidier than their dimensions suggest when you’re behind the wheel. Such was the case with our Sorento SXL. The vehicle handled more like a crossover than a minivan. Unlike many similarly sized vehicles, it never once felt unwieldy during our adventures throughout the city.
All Sedonas are powered by a 3.3-liter V6 that generates 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, providing the Sedona with an EPA rating of 18/24 mpg city/highway with L, LX and EX models. SX models are rated 18/25 mpg, while the heavier SXL sees these numbers fall to 17/22 mpg.
Ride quality in our test vehicle was pleasant and free from harshness. The V6 provided quick and reliable acceleration when needed.
The 2017 Kia Sedona is capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds.
The base Kia Sedona comes with a nice array of technology features. The lineup of standard amenities includes Bluetooth connectivity, a 5-inch touch screen, a CD player, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, a four-speaker sound system and USB and auxiliary input jacks.
Our SXL test vehicle was equipped with the Sedona’s finest optional features. Standard on SX and SXL models, the navigation system was simple to use and featured an easily legible 8-inch screen. Our Sedona SXL also provided satellite radio, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay smartphone integration and HD radio. Sound from our Sedona’s Infinity eight-speaker audio system was bright and crisp. This sound system is standard on SX and SXL models.
In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests, the 2017 Kia Sedona managed a perfect five-star score overall. In evaluations conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Sedona nabbed a top score of Good in all crash tests, and the minivan was rated Superior for its crash avoidance and mitigation technology.
All Sedonas come with full-length side-curtain air bags, speed-sensing door lock, impact-sensing door unlock, antilock brakes, electronic stability control, hill-start assist, traction control, a rearview camera and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
The list of available driver-assistive technology includes front and rear park assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control and a surround-view parking monitor that provides a 360-degree view of the area surrounding the vehicle.
These driver-assistive features are all standard on the SXL and optional on most other trims. However, they aren’t available on base models.
We particularly appreciated our test minivan’s surround-view parking monitor. Parking a large minivan can be stressful, but the parking monitor provided visibility that made these maneuvers a breeze.
A base Sedona L costs $26,800, excluding the $895 destination fee. LX models start at $28,850 and EX models start at $33,600. The Sedona SX starts at $36,900, and range-topping SXL models like our test vehicle start at $41,900.
The Sedona provides an affordable gateway into the minivan segment, and the base model is less expensive than most rivals. The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica starts at $28,595, and the Toyota Sienna starts at $29,750.
We’d recommend a Sedona EX model, since this gives you standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration and access to most of the Sedona’s available driver-assistive safety features. The Advanced Premium Technology package ($2,800) adds features such as blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert and heated seats in the first two rows. An EX equipped with this package costs $37,295, including destination.
However, it pays to have an open mind. The 2017 Kia Sedona may not have topped your list of minivan choices, but if you take a close look, you’ll see it offers impressive quality and compelling value.