Reviews

2018 Kia Sedona Introduction

A competitor in the minivan market since the 1990s, Kia soldiers on with its latest, third-generation Sedona. Last redesigned for the 2015 model year, the Sedona shows no significant change for 2018.

Other minivan makers have modified their offerings in recent years to reflect a new age of family transportation. Kia’s Sedona sticks closer to the past.

Five Sedona trim levels are available: L, LX, EX, SX, and SX Limited trim levels. In each Sedona, a 3.3-liter V6 develops 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. All versions use a somewhat antiquated 6-speed automatic transmission, mating with front-wheel drive. In the interest of fuel economy, most automakers have moved to transmissions with a greater number of gear ratios. Gas mileage for the Sedona scores right around average for the minivan class.

Compared to some minivans that have been redesigned lately, Kia’s version tends to lean toward the old-fashioned, if not antiquated, end of the spectrum. Such competitors as the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and Chrysler Pacifica tend to stand taller in terms of contemporary features and passenger conveniences. Still, Kia’s people-carrier gets the nod in overall value, priced at a more accessible value than most of its rivals.

Crash-test ratings have been quite good, but advanced safety features are limited to higher trim levels or extra-cost option packages.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the Sedona a five-star rating overall, as well as for both frontal- and side-impact crash tests. Like most taller vehicles, the Sedona got a four-star rating for rollover resistance (a calculated figure).

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2018 Sedona Good scores for each crash test, but it was not rated in the small-overlap front test for the passenger side. The Superior rating for frontal crash prevention is valid only when certain optional equipment is installed. Headlights are rated Good; but again, only if optional units are installed.

All Sedonas have a rearview camera. Surround-view cameras are standard only on the top model. Additional safety technology on the SX Limited includes forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring. Such features cost thousands of dollars extra, bundled into option packages for lower trim levels.

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