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Once a staple of the industry, minivans are a niche market nowadays. Redesigned for 2015, the Kia Sedona grew in size to serve as a more appealing alternative to the top four sellers: Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, and Toyota Sienna.
As a result, the current Sedona is considerably more competitive than its predecessors in terms of refinement, functionality, and space, while displaying a tasteful profile. Measured in specific cubic feet, Odyssey is more spacious; but both the Odyssey and the Sedona feature roomy, comfortable front seats.
New features for 2016 include a rearview camera as standard equipment. Tricot cloth seat material replaces knit on 2016 Kia Sedona L and 2016 Sedona LX models, while the 2016 Sedona EX gains heated front seats. Eight-passenger seating is available for the 2016 Sedona SX when equipped with the Technology package, and chrome-accent side sills are available for 2016 Sedona SXL.
Although the most sought-after features are standard only in top trim levels, even the base Sedona L is amply equipped.
Sedona lacks stow-away seats, but its Slide-N-Stow system shrinks that middle row into a tight upright space, flipping the bottom cushions upward. Third-row seats are smaller than in some minivans, but they’re split 60/40 and fold flat into the floor. The top model gets airline-style lounge chairs with retracting legrests and winged headrests, aimed at enhanced comfort.
Sedona uses the same 3.3-liter V6 engine as the Kia Cadenza sedan and Sorento crossover SUV, both of which weigh far less than a minivan. Generating 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque, the V6 mates with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Passengers can expect a smooth ride, but gas mileage ranks only average: no more than 18/25 mpg City/Highway, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s at least partly due to the fact that Sedona remains something of a heavyweight, topping 4,400 pounds even in base trim.
Sedona has earned good crash-test ratings from the federal government, but its particular group of safety technologies falls short. Only the more costly models can be fitted with such features as surround-view cameras, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. Cornering brake control is standard.