If you have two or more kids a Kia Sedona minivan may be in your future. Currently we’re looking for a vehicle that seats six or more. The 2016 Kia Sedona SXL arrived and we were all delighted. The minivans of my youth were not good looking vehicles. The Sedona is as good looking as any car can be with a sliding door.
Here’s a rundown of my week in the 2016 Kia Sedona SX Limited. Please keep in mind that it never rains in Los Angeles.
RAIN: I was caught in the rain on the way home from my mom’s house in a ranch area of Los Angeles. There wasn’t a lot of light and I wasn’t familiar the roads I was taking. The GPS in the vehicle was intuitive and I was able to use it with no hiccoughs. Sometimes there’s a learning curve with a new GPS but that wasn’t the case here.
In a new vehicle (or even an older one) anything the manufacturer can do to limit the amount of time I need to spend studying the controls is welcome. The Sedona features a lit display in front of the driver which explains exactly what wipers are on & what speed they are in.
A little shout out to the fog lights too.
Unfortunately it took the bulk of the week to adjust to the brakes. They’re softer than the Prius I drive each day and it takes a bit longer to stop. This is to be expected with a vehicle that has a curb weight of 4,656 pounds. Minivans aren’t nimble by their nature.
COMFORT: The moment my six year old discovered she could put up a footrest on her second row seat it never came back down. She lounged in her seat with plenty of legroom. The bucket seats in the second row help give them their own space and cut down on the general discomfort of being a child strapped into a machine that’s hurtling around town when instead they could be running around a park. My husband and I are suckers for heated & cooled seats. The built-in shades are absolutely essential because there’s so much glass on the vehicle and they help little ones enjoy naps. Hint: You can park the car and take your own nap there too.
The back up camera is out of this world. It displays a view of the vehicle from above as well as a 360° view of everything surrounding the vehicle. There are digital lines to show the driver where they’re headed and auditory alerts when you’re a little too close to another car. The side mirrors lower when backing up increasing safety as minivan drivers are sure to be parking where there are kids around and it might save your rims when you’re parking.
SOUND: The touch screen display is very user friendly and came in handy when we wanted to listen to adult music or talk. Being able to load many favorite channels is a huge bonus as my day job is radio. The audio controls on the steering wheel were easy to reach and navigate, sometimes they’re oddly spaced or meant for larger hands, that wasn’t the case here. I appreciate that the music stays on after I turn the car off, anyone who has had a child’s song abruptly end knows that it can ruin a good mood.
TECHNOLOGY: There a thousand plugs! Okay, not really but there are three USB ports, two with high power, two traditional 12 volt outlets (think cigarette lighter) and two 110 inverter outlets (think household outlet). No one has to sacrifice charging their mobile devices, making the Sedona a great option for busy parents who are on the run all day long.
The built in DVD player is hidden and sleek. Because it’s between the two front seats the driver can easily reach it in order to pause or change a disc. Wireless headphones are a hit with younger kids, there is no chance of getting tangled, everyone has their own volume control, and the adults can listen to the DVD in the regular car stereo if you’re interested.
I worry that at some point the flip up DVD monitor will get pushed back and be compromised. I was aware to close it as we arrived to each destination. Kids love to climb around the car the minute they’ve been set loose. One step towards the front cargo area could break that screen.
Automatically folding side view mirrors are nice in a sedan and a joy in an SUV. Elementary aged kids are the perfect height to hit their heads on side view mirrors and parking spots in a big city seldom leave room for a car this size to have their mirrors out safely.
ACCIDENT AVOIDANCE: When turned on, an indicator beeps to alert me when there is a car in the blind spot so that the driver doesn’t change lanes into it. I didn’t notice any blind spots worth mentioning but it was nice to have that extra set of sensors while maneuvering lanes on the freeways.
CONVENIENCE: The automatic door opening features on the key fob came in handy more than I had anticipated. My kids only shut doors half the time if I don’t remind them. With the key fob button I didn’t have to walk around the car closing doors like a valet or a butler. My four year old was able to open & shut the sliders independently.
When you’re busy with little kids being able to open and close the trunk with a key fob is a blessing. The automatic trunk closure button is high and out of the average child’s reacha and the door beeps an alert before it closes as a warning.
Moving seats in the second row, folding them shut and installing car seats was a breeze which is a good thing because there isn’t enough space between the captain’s chairs in the second row for an adult to easily maneuver. My dog hopped in the car and tried to be a stow-away. In order to reach him back in the third row I had to fold down a second row seat. It’s something to think about if you have two kids in car seats.
HANDLING: The 2016 handles surprisingly well. The drive is smooth, I felt like I was gliding on the freeway and it was easy to park. With a curb to curb turning circle of 36.8 feet this spacious minivan has a better turning radius than a compact Ford C-Max.
The 2016 Kia Sedona has a 276 hp 3.3 liter V6 engine at every trim level.
LIFESTYLE BONUS: I averaged 20 miles a gallon and the SX Limited has a 80 liter (21.1 gallon) capacity fuel tank. When you’re driving kids around town they do not want to stop at a gas station where they’ll only ask you to buy them a Coke. If they do the good news is that all models boast 12 cupholders in the car. I’m not sure how they’d all be used at once but I’m guessing the engineers are thirsty people. The dual sunroof can be helpful with lighting the back of the car naturally. Often children find it dark in the back seat and ask for the dome lights. Opening the sunroof is a much gentler experience.
THE DOWNSIDES: It’s a minivan. There’s a whiff of defeat with every minivan purchase. It screams, “Mom” and not in a complimentary way, it’s more of a, “You’ve got Cheerios stuck in your unbrushed hair” way. It’s okay, we love the life we’ve chosen and wouldn’t have it any other way.
PRICING: I drove the SXL with a technology package that stickered at $43,795.
2016 Kia Sedona L $26,400
2016 Kia Sedona LX $28,500
2016 Kia Sedona EX $32,700
2016 Kia Sedona SX $36,400
2016 Kia Sedona SX Limited $39,900