The 2017 Kia Sedona is a viable alternative to more popular vans that can cost much more. For less than $30,000 to start, it makes a strong case based on value.
The 2017 Kia Sedona is an pronouncement to the world that you're a productive member of the species—cheers for bringing up the next generation.
This year, the Sedona adds available advanced safety features such as forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking that help increase its safety standing. An upgraded infotainment system with Apple CarPlay has been added this year to most models as well. Base Sedonas start with L models, and go up to LX, EX, SX, and top out at SXL models.
The Sedona earns a very respectable 6.5 rating on our overall scale, thanks to its comfortable ride and high safety scores. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Styling and performance
The Kia Sedona doesn't commit many penalties in style or performance, but won't be confused with a sports car anytime soon. The Sedona does its best outside with clean and classy lines up front that won't offend. From the side, it's clear that the Sedona is a people mover, and we're OK with that.
Inside, the Sedona is mostly functional, with a horizontal dash layout that's a little chunky, but not offensive.
Same goes for under the hood. The Sedona borrows Kia's corporate 3.3-liter V-6 found in its upscale sedans that helps haul the two-ton van around town without much strain. A 6-speed automatic is standard in all vans, and helps it fade into the background and achieve combined mileage around 20 mpg. The best thing we can say about the powertrain is that it doesn't spoil the soft ride and we like it that way.
Front and rear multilink suspensions damp out most harsh road conditions, but when pressed into action, the minivan fail-safes into minivan mode. The cabin pitches and heaves, just like your passengers if you start carving up canyons in the Sedona.
Comfort, safety, and features
The Sedona's ace is its comfort inside the sheet metal. Most vans will be set up to seat eight people—top trims swap out a second-row bench for "first-class" captains chairs that are downright opulent.
The second row collapses forward—but doesn't fold flat into the floor like Chrysler's new Pacifica—that maximizes cargo-carrying capacity in the Sedona. Tradesmen may not appreciate that a 4-by-8 piece of building material doesn't fold flat, but most families may find plenty of cargo space in the available 142 cubes behind the first row.
It'd be best if third-row passengers were still working on multiplication tables and their spelling tests. Adults and longer-legged teenagers probably won't fit in the rear, unlike the Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna. By the numbers, the Sedona is competitive with bigger minivans, but its just missing a few inches in the third row to be more comfortable.
Like more and more minivans, the Kia Sedona is better about advanced safety now and its crash-test scores are impressive. It earned a five-star overall rating by the feds, and the insurance-funded IIHS called it a Top Safety Pick this year thanks to available advanced safety features such as forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
Those features can get pricey, however. In lower trims, it can cost more than $4,000 to add those features, and in top trims, it'll cost no less than $2,800. Thankfully, the Sedona boasts a standard rearview camera and all that skeletal strength that helped it nearly ace official crash tests.
In base trims, the Sedona includes Bluetooth streaming, a 5.0-inch touchscreen, 17-inch wheels, and seating for seven. Walking up through the trims adds comforts like a 7.0- or 8.0-inch touchscreen, leather heated and ventilated seats, bigger wheels, Apple CarPlay, nappa leather, dual sunroofs, 19-inch wheels, and a surround-view camera system.
An impressive rear-seat entertainment system isn't available in the Sedona—only the top SXL models can add a screen for the rear seats and even then, it's not all that impressive. For the same money, you can get a pair of iPads and charge them via the uprated USB chargers.