Some think that the motoring battlefield is reserved for sports cars, trying to outrun each other on the Nurburgring for prestige and bragging rights. But little do they know that the minivan market is just as contested, and to most, more relevant than six-figure supercars. The Kia Sedona is a bit of a dark horse in the land of minivans and makes for an interesting alternative to industry sweethearts such as the Chrysler Voyager and Honda Odyssey. For 2020 the Sedona remains relatively unchanged and holds on to its 3.3-liter V6 engine, eight-speed transmission, and low asking price. The Sedona isn't particularly great at anything, but it's good enough at everything, and for the price, it is very hard to ignore, especially in EX trim. The 2020 Sedona starts with an MSRP of $27,400 and is well worth looking at if you're keen on driving seven to eight people around.
The Kia Sedona comes hot off of a mild makeover from the previous model year and carries over unchanged. What this means is you get the relatively fresh-looking front and rear bumper design from 2019, as well as a revised grille, and, more importantly, an eight-speed automatic transmission.
See trim levels and configurations:
Unlike rivals such as the Toyota Sienna, the 2020 Kia Sedona takes a more traditional approach to minivan design, and resembles the Chrysler Voyager, especially in the rear where its non-sloping roofline gives it an almost SUV-like appeal and corresponding interior space. The Sedona's trademark tiger-nose grille comes in a black mesh finish on the 2020 car and gives its nose a distinctive look that can't be mistaken for anything other than a Kia. Standard exterior features for 2020 include a rear spoiler and body-color mirrors with LED turn-signals and projector beam headlights. The base model rolls on a set of 17-inch alloy wheels finished off in silver, growing to 18-inch items on EX and SX models. All Sedona minivans come with auto light control, but advanced features such as high beam assist, LED headlights, and LED foglights are reserved for the top of the range SX. Roof rails and a power sunroof only make an appearance at the top-end of the range.
The modern minivan is larger than ever: the arms race to provide the maximum amount of interior and cargo space, one of the minivan's strongpoints, has caused the modern family carrier to bloat, and the Kia Sedona is no different. Total length is measured at 201.4 inches, which is slightly longer than the Toyota Sienna, but almost two inches shorter than the Honda Odyssey. Maximum height is 68.5 inches, growing to 69.1 inches when fitted with roof rails, and the Sedona sits 78.1 inches wide. Ground clearance is a handy 6.7 inches, higher than most of its competitors, and the whole deal rolls on a 120.5-inch wheelbase, the longest in our comparison. The Sedona's large size and big V6 engine mean this Korean weighs a hefty 4,411 pounds in base form, and the fully optioned SX will tip the scales at4,736 lbs.
When it comes to minivan design, there's really no need for over the top spoilers and crazy paint jobs, and unless you're planning on entering your Sedona int the minivan class at SEMA, the standard palette of six colors should suffice. Kia has separated color availability between trim levels, with the base model getting only three, namely Silky Silver, Snow White Pearl, and Aurora Black, the latter costing $395 extra. LX, EX, and SX models get the full range of colors, which includes Venetian Red ($295) and Celestial Blue - two of the best low-key cocaine smuggling colors we've ever seen. If we had our way we'd get the Sedona in Panthera Metal, not only because it sounds like a band name, but because it makes the Sedona look as handsome as it's ever going to be.
If you're looking for sports car-like acceleration and handling dynamics then you'd better look elsewhere: the 2020 Kia Sedona takes a very linear approach to acceleration and overtaking, which means you'll have to learn how to work with it, instead of trying to whip it into action with your right foot. With a naturally aspirated V6 under the hood producing 276 horsepower, the circa 4,500-pound Sedona will accelerate from 0-60 mph in the upper-seven second range. In-town driving is a smooth and hassle-free affair, but overtaking on the highway takes some planning, and the Sedona struggles to pick up pace after 60 mph. The fact that this Korean minivan offers one of the lowest power outputs in its class doesn't help much, and things can get a bit lethargic when this minivan is fully loaded with people and their stuff, but on the flip side, it offers towing capacities par for the class at 3,500 lbs.
Powering the 2020 Kia Sedona is a naturally aspirated 3.3-liter V6 engine that features direct fuel injection, dual overhead cams, and 24-valves in total. Running a naturally-aspirated V6 engine seems to be the industry standard, with the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna making use of similar units albeit with larger displacements. There's a good reason for this: V6 engines tend to be smooth running things that offer a good balance of power and refinement, exactly what you need in a large, semi-luxurious people carrier. The 3.3-liter engine in the Sedona produces 276 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque at a heady 5,200 rpm, which translates into a vehicle that needs to be kept at the top end of its rev range to get the most performance and pull. Despite this, the engine never sounds strained, and the well-insulated cabin keeps engine noise to a minimum. Power is sent to the front wheels via an eight-speed auto transmission, which is a relatively new unit, replacing a six-speed automatic transmission in 2019. Shifts are silky smooth and suit the nature of the V6 engine perfectly.
Instead of telling you how bad the Sedona is at driving around a racetrack, we should rather discuss its strong points, and there are more than you'd think: low-speed bumps are soaked up with a smile, and maneuvering this big ship through tight spaces such as mall parking lots and narrow city streets is easier than you'd think, thanks to a beautifully weighted steering feel and relatively good turning radius. Fast steering inputs result in a slightly delayed and spongy response, but the nose of the Sedona obediently follows. At highway cruising speed, the big Korean is a pleasure to drive, and its soft-sprung suspension and insulated cabin give you the feeling that you're hovering above the road - perfect, then, for long family road trips. While the Odyssey and Pacifica give some semblance of pleasure to whoever's driving, the Sedona is a little more laid back.
The combination of hefty curb weight and a normally aspirated V6 engine mated to an automatic transmission isn't exactly a fuel-sipping combination, but the Sedona manages to keep its fuel consumption figures in the 20s. The EPA rates the Sedona's fuel consumption at 18/24/21 mpg city/highway/combined, which is on the heavier side of things, and less impressive than most rivals. The Toyota Sienna in 2WD guise will consume 19/26/21 mpg, and the Honda Odyssey will do slightly better at 19/28/22 mpg. Expect to see The Sedona's numbers drop into the late teens when fully loaded. A large 21.1-gallon fuel tank gives the 2020 Sedona a maximum range of 443 miles.
The interior of the 2020 Sedona isn't as stylish as some of its competitors and misses out on Kia's latest generation design language, but still, it looks good and is definitely a family-friendly place, with minimal clutter on the dashboard and easily accessible controls and lots of space in all directions. As we've come to expect from Kia, there's an impressive number of features inside the Sedona, even in base form, and those who'll have the honor of owning this majestic people-mover will be impressed with the base model's offering. Standard interior features for 2020 include air conditioning, a day/night rearview mirror, dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors, a manually adjustable driver's seat as well as a rear-camera display, remote keyless entry, and steering-wheel-mounted audio, hands-free phone, and cruise control buttons. Higher up in the range, the Sedona offers premium features such as an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink on SX models and even tri-zone front and rear automatic climate control.
Sports cars get judged by how fast they can accelerate, and how good they are at going around corners. Minivans, on the other hand, are all about seating and interior space; after all, they are specifically built to transport a large number of people in relative comfort. SX models can be outfitted with yacht-levels of luxury, including second-row captain's chairs. Occupants in the front will appreciate the 39.8 inches of headroom, which remains relatively equal as you go down the seat rows, with the second row offering 39.4 inches, and the third 38.9. Shoulder room is also an impressive 63.9/63.1/59.4 inches for the front, second row, and third-row, respectively. To stretch out their legs, even taller occupants will appreciate the Sedona's 40.9 inches of leg space in the front, growing to 41.1 inches for second-row passengers, while third-row passengers get a tighter 34.8 inches. LX models and those above get eight-passenger seating with three-passenger second-row seating.
The 2020 Sedona's interior ranges from abuse-friendly and hard-wearing to all-out luxury depending on your choice of trim level, and we appreciated the overall quality feel of the interior, even in base form. Kia offers the base model with cloth-trimmed seats in Dark Graphite or Camel Beige. Kia's YES Essentials fabric treatment, which protects the seats from spills, stains, and any bodily waste matter that should befall the average Sedona, is a thoughtful touch most families will appreciate. The entire range is offered with a two-tone upholstery effect with breaks up the otherwise monotonous feel of the cabin. Base model cars have cloth seats; from the EX models upwards, Camel Beige leather or Dark Graphite leather is available. Interior plastics do feel solid, but we wish Kia would make more use of soft-touch materials in the cabin.
Although the 2020 Kia Sedona's trunk and cargo space figures sound impressive, they fall short of being class-leading, and both the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey offer more space. Behind the third-row seats, the Sedona offers 33.9 cubic feet of space, which is enough for a whole week's worth of grocery shopping for a medium-sized family. The Slide-n-Stow second-row seats fold down with a lever and a firm push, but aren't removable which counts against the Sedona's overall practicality, but offer a decent 78.4 cubic feet of space. Behind the first row, you get a roomy 142 cubic feet, which is slightly less than what you get in the Honda Odyssey. The Toyota Sienna offers the most space at 150 cubic feet. Small-item storage is ample: there's a total of 12 cupholders scattered around the interior as well as front and rear bottle holders, a dual glove box with a cooling option available on the EX, and standard on SX models.
One of Kia's strongest selling points has always been its ability to pack a large number of standard features into its cars without raising the price above its competitors. The 2020 Sedona carries on that tradition with pride, but you'll have to go for the LX or EX if you want to see premium features. The base model of the range gets standard air conditioning, a manually adjustable driver's seat, a rearview camera, remote keyless access, hill start assist, brake assist, and Siri Eyes Free. Moving up to the LX model will bag you a power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support. The Sedona isn't a one-trick pony; you can spec this Korean minivan to the moon and create a truly luxurious experience. Some of the more advanced features include an eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, a cooling glove box, a front passenger chauffeur seat switch, as well as wireless phone charging and tri-zone climate control. Active driver assistance tech, such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic control, only becomes available on EX models and above, and heated front seats come standard from the EX.
The 2020 Sedona is here to party with its modern infotainment system and easy to use interface. In base form, you get a seven-inch touchscreen display with AM/FM/MP3 integration, as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, Bluetooth streaming and a four-speaker sound system, which is slightly underpowered but is powerful enough to make Taylor Swift or the Frozen theme song really come to life. LX and EX models get six speakers, including a pair of dash-mounted tweeters. Stepping up to the SX will bag you a more serious infotainment system, which consists of an eight-inch touchscreen display with integrated navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio, and HD Radio. Sound is channeled through a premium Harman Kardon sound system with eight speakers including a subwoofer. The available dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system includes a built-in DVD player and is smartphone and tablet compatible.
If you're worried about the reliability of this Korean people mover, fear not: the Sedona received the lowest rate of recalls and issues among Minivans in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Initial Quality Study; the authority also awarded it a 76 out of 100 overall rating. In 2018 the Sedona was recalled twice for a faulty power-sliding door and occupant detection system, while 2019 saw the Sedona being recalled once for an improperly installed seat belt buckle. At the tme of writing, however, the 2020 model is recall-free. Kia sells the 2020 Sedona with a class-leading five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which includes a five-year/100,000-mile corrosion warranty, and an industry-leading ten-year/100,000-mile drivetrain warranty, as well as a five-year roadside assistance plan.
Large people carriers are expected to be inherently safe cars, and most buyers intent on carting around their families will place great importance on the level of safety provided. The 2020 Sedona was scored with a five-star overall rating by the NHTSA. The 2020 model was also put through its paces by the IIHS, and although it didn't score a Top Safety Pick award, it still managed to impress with Good scores in five of six crash tests, although the headlights were scored Poor.
In base form, the 2020 Sedona offers only the safety essentials. Standard safety gear across the range includes six airbags, including full-length side curtain airbags, rollover mitigation, electronic stability control, brake assist, hill start assist, and structural tricks such as side-impact door beams and front and rear crumple zones. If you're interested in more advanced tech, you'll have to go for an EX with standard blind-spot assistance, rear cross-traffic alert, available forward collision avoidance and pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, driver attention warning, and park distance warning. SX models get all of these safety features as standard, too, as well as adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality and a trim exclusive surround-view camera system.
The Kia Sedona might not be the most popular name in the world of minivans, but it is slowly gaining followers, thanks to its low asking price, a good list of standard features, and a solid safety and reliability track record. The 2020 model sees no changes but comes hot off of a 2019 feature and design reshuffle, which added a new eight-speed automatic transmission in place of the old six-speed unit. From the outside, the Sedona adopts a more traditional minivan profile; we think it looks quite good, especially in Panthera Metal. Under the skin and inside the cabin, the Sedona adopts a "jack of all trades, master of none" approach, offering a class-average interior and cargo space, but its list of standard entertainment and safety features in the mid-range impressed us. In terms of driving, the Sedona does exactly what is expected of a minivan: there's some semblance of acceleration, but the whole experience feels pleasantly disconnected and insulated from the outside world. For the money, the Sedona offers a very attractive package, despite not being particularly exceptional at anything.
Kia has adopted an aggressive pricing strategy, with the base model starting at only $27,400, which undercuts the Honda Odyssey by a significant $3,290, and the Toyota Sienna by a massive $4,165. After the base model, you get the LX, which starts at $30,200, followed by the EX, which will set you back $33,500. At the top of the range, you get the SX, which takes a big leap in pricing with an MSRP of $41,300. Still, the Sedona in its fanciest trim will cost you over $8,000 less than the Sienna, and over $6,000 less than the Odyssey when fully-specced. Fully kitted, the Sedona SX will cost you closer to $44,000. The above-mentioned prices do not include a destination fee of $1,045, and excludes taxes, licensing and registration.
You can have your 2020 Kia Sedona in four different trim levels, starting with the L and followed by the LX, EX, and finally, the SX. All models share the same 3.3-liter V6 engine, which is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, which sends power to the front wheels. The base model offers owners standard auto light control, body-colored door handles and wing mirrors with LED indicators as well as a set of 17-inch alloy wheels. On the inside, you get a manually adjustable air conditioning system and driver's seat, as well as a seven-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
Go with the LX, and you'll also get dual power-sliding rear doors, rear privacy glass, a six-speaker sound system with dash-mounted tweeters, as well as eight-passenger seating, and eight-way power driver's seat adjustment.
EX models start to feel premium thanks to the inclusion of heated front seats, rear sunshades, leather steering wheel and upholstery trim, and a wireless phone charging pad. The Kia Drive Wise Assist tech package also becomes a standard feature and includes tech such as blind-spot collision warning, rear cross-traffic collision warning, and forward and reverse park distance warning.
If you're looking for a premium minivan experience, then the SX is for you: you get ventilated front seats, an upgraded eight-inch touchscreen display with integrated navigation and a banging Harman Kardon sound system, tri-zone climate control and advanced safety features such as adaptive cruise control and a surround-view camera system.
Unlike other car brands who love to keep a long list of optional extras on standby, Kia goes in the opposite direction by offering basically no options. If you want to get a base model van, but you're keen on leather seats, you'll have to cough up for the EX model. Keen on adaptive cruise control? You'll have to stretch for the range-topping SX. This makes choosing your preferred model easier, but it can also cause some frustration when you only want one or two features from the model above. The EX model is, however, available with a $4,800 Premium Package, which adds goodies such as a power sunroof and liftgate, as well as active driver assistance tech such as forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control.
Kia also offers a number of stand-alone accessories such as a hands-free liftgate, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and a rear-seat entertainment system with dual screens, but at that price, you might as well just get the SX.
You can have your Sedona with a relatively bare-bones setup, or you can go all-out and get yourself a soccer mom starship with second-row captain's chairs, a rear-seat entertainment system, and a premium sound system - it all depends on what you're looking for. To us, the clear winner has to be the EX, which packs in the features for a price increase of $6,100 over the base model. Going up to the SX will cost you $7,800 more. So for a total asking price of $33,500, the EX offers smart sliding rear doors, heated front seats, rear sunshades, leather seat trim, and most importantly, adds forward and reverse park distance warning, blind-spot monitoring as well as rear cross-traffic control and vehicle stability management. Toe to toe, the Sedona EX offers a stunning amount of value when compared to its competitors.
The Honda Odyssey is a household name in the minivan market, and has been a trusted carriage for budding soccer stars and spotted teenagers for a quarter of a century. That sounds quite intimidating, and it should be, as the Odyssey is close to the top of the minivan pile. The front wheels of the Odyssey rotate with the help of a 3.5-liter V6 engine, which pushes out a healthy 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque, and it will return a fuel economy figure of 19/28/22 mpg city/highway/combined. Out on the road, the Odyssey feels like a more agile car and is eager to follow quick steering inputs, despite feeling unavoidably heavy and spongy. Inside, the Odyssey offers similar space for passengers but dominates in the trunk and overall cargo category. The 2020 Odyssey is the proud title holder of a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS, which means it's safer than the Sedona by a good margin. The Odyssey is quite a bit more expensive, so you'll have to cough up over $3,000 more to get inside a base model. We think it's worth the price; the Odyssey is just too good to be ignored.
The 2020 Toyota Sienna carries over from 2019 unchanged, which means you get a 3.5-liter V6 engine sending 296 hp and 263 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels, or all four wheels, via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Sienna will manage 19/36/21 mpg city/highway/combined. Out on the road, the Sienna feels supple and manages low-speed bumps well, but can get tricky to navigate in tight spots, which can require hand-to-hand turning. Inside the cabin, a few squeaks and rattles had us wondering about the Sienna's overall build quality, but this Japanese minivan has a good track record with reliability. Inside, you get a busier dashboard and dash-mounted shift knob, which feels more minivan than car, and the standard infotainment system isn't as great as that of the Sedona. Safety-wise, both cars are comparable, and the Kia beats the Sienna in terms of warranty cover and price. We think the Sedona offers more value for money and would be our first choice.
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