Mommy Mobile: the 2018 Kia Sedona – Autoversed
Mommy Mobile: the 2018 Kia Sedona

Minivans are sometimes measured by number of cup holders — the Sedona has 12 — but more often, by their ability to transport a large crew. While Kia dabbles in many segments, most notably the sedan class, the Kia Sedona holds strong as the make’s only minivan offering. With an arrangement that can seat seven to eight passengers, depending on the second-row configuration, the Kia Sedona is more than capable of carting your kids around in comfort and style. All the same, it’ll still be running like new even after years on the road.

The Kia Sedona has been going strong since 2002, and the 2018 version stands out as a refined version, set at an affordable price (starting at $27,000) with a stout offering of luxury features and high-end accessories.

Performance Specifications

The 2018 Kia Sedona is offered in the following colors:

  • Silky Silver
  • Snow White Pearl
  • Platinum Graphite
  • Venetian Red
  • Celestial Blue
  • Titanium Bronze
  • Aurora Black
  • Clear White

A 3.3L V6, paired to a six-speed automatic, powers the 2018 Sedona. With 276 horsepower and 248 lb/ft of torque, this minivan ranks third in its class for horsepower, behind the Chrysler Pacifica and the Dodge Grand Caravan.

Entertainment and Safety Features

Earning a Top Safety Pick + rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2018 Sedona also received a five-star safety rating with the NHTSA in all aspects except for the Rollover Rating, where it sores a four out of five.

Kia offers the Sedona in the five following models:

The L model starts at $27,000 and is only offered in Clear White, Silky Silver, or Aurora Black. With cloth interior and 17-inch wheels, the front-wheel drive L model has a five-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, remote keyless entry, and Slide-n-Stow second-row seats. Advanced safety features include Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control System (TCS), Corner Braking Control (CBC), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), and Hill Start Assist Control (HAC). This model also offers steering wheel-mounted audio, phone, and cruise controls, Siri Eyes Free, and a rear-camera display.

LX models begin at $29,000. Coming with all the safety features listed above, this model also includes an optional seven-inch touchscreen, optional leather steering wheel and gear shift knob, optional heated front seats, optional leather trim, and optional push button start. Three-passenger second-row seating is standard, as well as dual power sliding doors. This model is available in all colors listed above.

Optional advanced safety features include Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Blind-Spot Detection (BSD) System, Smart Cruise Control (SCC), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Forward-Collision Warning System (FCWS), Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), and Parking Assist with Front and Rear Sensors. This model has an option to include voice recognition, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

A Smart Power Liftgate and height-adjustable hatch comes with the EX model, which also includes front fog lights, roof rails, 18-inch wheels, a seven-inch touchscreen, and push button start. Neat features like the cooling glove box and voice recognition are available as well. Customers also get all the optional advanced safety features above, along with heated front seats and optional heated rear seats.

SX models start at $37,000 and feature a ton of entertainment upgrades. With carpeted mats and an optional heated steering wheel, other features include an eight-inch touchscreen, 18-inch wheels, roof rails, and LED taillights. This vehicle includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and has an Infinity eight-speaker sound system. The second-row seats are heated, and standard advanced safety features include Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Drive Mode Select (DMS). Optional High Beam Assist (HBA) and HID Projector Beam Headlights with Auto-Leveling and Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) round out this model.

Top-of-the-line SX Limited models start at $42,000 and feature heated power folding mirrors, chrome handles, an optional dual power sunroof, sound-absorbing windshield glass, and HID headlights. Projector beam front fog lights, 19-inch wheels, an eight-inch touchscreen, and leather seats are also features of the SX Limited model. Customers can choose an optional Nappa leather for seats and headliner coverings, as well as First-Class Lounge Seating. A heated steering wheel, Bluetooth, and the Surround View Monitor (SVM) are standard as well.

Both Consumer Reports and Edmunds experts agree that the EX model has the best set of features for its price. At the middle of the pack, it’s easy to see why they’ve chosen it as the best balance between advanced features and cost.

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Fuel Efficiency

The 2018 Kia Sedona’s fuel efficiency varies by model. EPA fuel economy figures rate the L, LX, and EX models at18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.  The SX model ranks in at 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, and the SX Limited model dips down to 17 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.

The reason for this difference, even though all models share the same engine and transmission combination, is that higher-end models have more electronic gear on-board, so the draw upon the engine is greater. Add in the extra weight of the electronics, and you’ve also got more mass for the engine to move.

How the 2018 Kia Sedona Stacks Up

Kelley Blue Book ranks the 2018 Kia Sedona “among the least expensive full-size minivans.” Beginning at less than $30,000, it’s easy to see why you’d choose the Sedona over a large family-size sedan if you’re looking for space at an affordable price. Consumer Reports has negative and positive reviews about the Sedona, but most complaints centered around the minivan’s handling, which is to be expected. Not many people choose transit vans or buses for their handling, and minivans are no exception.

Edmunds experts lament that the second-row seating is not removable and compare the fuel efficiency of the Sedona to Honda’s minivan ­­— “SX Limited earns a full six mpg less than the new Honda Odyssey in the EPA’s highway test.” It’s pretty much a given that anyone looking to purchase a minivan is probably keeping an eye on their budget as well, so the Sedona is lacking in that regard.

Competitors in the minivan segment include the Honda Odyssey, Chrysler’s Town and Country and Pacifica, Toyota’s Sienna, the Dodge Grand Caravan, Volkswagen’s Routan, the Nissan Quest, Chevy Uplander, and Saturn Relay.

All the same, minivans face tough competition from the SUV segment, let alone each other. You might as well consider SUVs like the Buick Enclave, Ford Edge, and Mazda CX-9 while you’re at the dealership, if only perhaps for the AWD/4WD capabilities they offer.

As the only hybrid in the minivan segment, the Chrysler Pacifica hybrid is hard to beat, but the affordability isn’t always there in the top-end models. Kia offers a great affordable option that still performs well in several areas.

Pros

  • Has a “class-leading warranty”
  • Comfortable and classy interior
  • Tons of interior room
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Stiff ride
  • No AWD or hybrid option
  • Second-row seats not removable
  • Fuel efficiency

Even though the minivan segment might be suffocating under the pressure of the multitude of SUVs on the market, there are still quite a few options that keep these caravans running. If you’re in the market for a minivan, check out the 2018 Kia Sedona the next time you’re at a dealership.

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