The 2018 Kia Sedona stays the same, while its key rivals launch themselves into a new family-car era.
Congratulations, you’re a family. Or you had one. Or maybe you want one. You’re shopping for a minivan, we take it? We assume a lot.
Since you’re here, we assume you want the most flexible, most useful, most safe vehicle you can buy. The 2018 Kia Sedona isn’t those things, but it’s close enough that it’s worth a bargain-hunting snoop.
The Sedona returns this year unchanged in Sedona L, LX, EX, SX, and SXL trims.
We give it a 6.2 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
It incurs no major penalties in the styling department, but the Sedona doesn’t punch through any extra points, either. At one time the floating-canopy roof seemed avant garde, but have you seen the latest Honda Odyssey or Chrysler Pacifica? We think you should, generally. Inside, the Sedona’s cabin is old-school luxury, which telegraphs the Sedona’s aim at richer, post-family buyers.
A 276-horsepower V-6 couples with a 6-speed automatic and front-wheel drive to give the Sedona uninspired but competent acceleration. Gas mileage isn’t great; it lags the newer minivans, and so does the Sedona’s portly handling. A smothering ride quality makes up for a lot of tire squeal in corners, though.
Minivans make the most sense when they’re reconfigurable. The Sedona can fold its third row out of sight, but in the middle, it’s either a bench seat that slides and tucks up against the front chairs, or captain’s chairs that deliver a lounge ambiance but cut into usable space. We prefer our seats to hide under the van floor, but the Sedona’s omnipresent middle seats leave behind 142 cubic feet of space when folded down.
Crash-test scores are good, but the latest safety features are walled off in expensive trims and packages. Otherwise the Sedona’s well-outfitted with a simple infotainment system, leather, ventilated front seats, and Apple CarPlay in its most lavishly equipped models. A mid-line Sedona EX with a careful hand on the order sheet offers fine new-minivan value, but if we could, another few thousand would get us a state of the art family shuttle with a Honda or Chrysler badge.