Kia was one of the latecomers to the minivan segment, introducing its Sedona to North America buyers in 2002. Sixteen years later, Kia's most practical people mover is well into its third generation and has become one of the most luxurious vehicles in its class when fully optioned.
That's an approach that keeps the Sedona in the minds of buyers as mid-size crossovers continue to eat into the segment's market share and Kia's minivan competitors continue to gain sophistication and refinement.
For 2019, Kia gives the Sedona its first update since a full redesign four years ago. There are new front and rear bumpers, a revised grille, redesigned wheels and new LED headlights and fog lights.
Tech updates include the addition of the UVO Intelligence system, which connects you to your car via a smartphone app that can tell you where you parked and let you control the lights and door locks remotely through your device. Also new to the Sedona is the driver attention alert system, which monitors driver behaviour to detect a distracted or drowsy pilot and suggests a break from driving when it suspects the driver's attention has been significantly reduced.
Mechanical changes are limited to an eight-speed automatic transmission (replacing last year's six-speed). The new transmission is bolted to the same 3.3L V6 engine as last year, whose 276 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque goes to the front wheels.
The Sedona's fuel consumption has benefited from the two extra gear ratios, bringing the city estimate down to 12.7 L/100 km, but a highway rating of 10 L/100 km is still a bit high for the class.
Kia customers benefit for the work this company has done to create a van with a refined driving feel, but those who want more driving involvement will be more interested in the Honda Odyssey, which also boasts the segment's most interesting styling. The Odyssey also offers better fuel economy thanks to an available cylinder deactivation system, but you can do even better in the pricey Chrysler Pacifica PHEV, whose hybrid drive system can be charged for a limited amount of electric-only driving range.
Sedona's lineup once again starts with the stripper L trim, which exists so that Kia can offer a sub-$30,000 starting price. The LX is the real starting point, boasting a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, smartphone integration, auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated front seats, eight-way power driver's seat and parking sensors.
The top-end SXL remains notable for its second-row captains chairs with kick-out leg rests, among many other upscale features.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed