We know that minivans get a bad rap and most of it is justified. But when was the last time you sat in a minivan with a luxury, jet-style, lounge chair with retracting leg rests and winged headrests? Most likely you never have unless you’ve been in the new Kia Sedona SXL. It’s a minivan that’s definitely not like your typical, boring family hauler. The Kia Sedona will transport you in enhanced comfort.
Over the weekend, we drove the top-of-the-line 2016 Kia Sedona SXL.
What’s New For 2016?
New Kia Sedona features for 2016 include a rearview camera as standard equipment. Chrome-accent side sills are available for the 2016 Sedona SXL. SXL trims get seating for eight with the optional Technology Package.
Features & Options
The top-trim Kia Sedona SXL ($39,900) comes loaded with features like heated mirrors, an adjustable-height power liftgate, power sliding doors, keyless ignition and entry, upgraded leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a refrigerated lower glovebox, tri-zone automatic climate control, rear sunshades, a heated steering wheel and an eight-speaker Infinity audio system with HD radio.
It also gets navigation, voice controls, and a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert. The second-row seats are replaced by lounge seats with airplane-style, winged headrests and extendable leg rests.
This tester also came with the optional Technology Package ($2,800), which adds xenon headlights with automatic high beam control, a surround-view parking camera, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, a forward-collision warning system, and an additional 115-volt power outlet in the cargo area. The rear-seat entertainment system ($1,095) was also an option for a total MSRP of $44,690, including destination.
The cabin of the Sedona SXL is exceptionally classy in front with a two-tone instrument panel and glossy piano-black trim. There are soft-touch surfaces throughout and high-quality materials are evident, matching Kia’s upper-level sedans. The front seats are comfortable enough for settling in and taking a long road trip. This interior stands out from the ordinary cabins in most other minivans.
In the back is where the SXL has another notch up on the competition. This top-of-the-line model gets airline-style, lounge chairs with retracting leg rests and winged headrests, aimed at enhanced comfort for second-row passengers. Just lower the shades, slip in a DVD in the rear-seat entertainment system, and you can stretch out for a most comfortable ride.
The Sedona offers 33.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third-row seat and a significant 78.4 cubes with the rear seats folded into the floor. Although, there’s not as much cargo-carrying ability in the SXL as other models due to its fixed lounge chairs. The third row is average size and adults can fit comfortably for short distances.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
Sedona is powered by a 3.3-liter V6 engine that generates 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. It is coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels but gas mileage is only average with an EPA estimated 17/22 mpg city/highway and 19 combined.
On the road, the Sedona is as quiet as any minivan we’ve tested. The performance is what you would expect from a family hauler and it delivers smooth power on the highway. It handles like an ordinary vehicle meant for utility over driving dynamics, but it always felt solid and secure. If lightly loaded, the Sedona has plenty of power for most driving situations. Ride quality is excellent even with the SXL’s larger 19-inch wheels, though it can get bouncy over the rough spots.
We pushed the front-wheel-drive Sedona a bit harder through the mountain corners than any family will ever do and it held its own for a heavy vehicle – Sedona’s weight keeps fuel economy down.
In the city, Sedona moves easily through traffic and it’s a comfortable place to sit in heavy traffic too.
For families looking for a top-of-the-line minivan, you won’t find a more comfortable and classy cabin. It’s a pleasant way to move people and cargo on the open road and in the city. Those second-row lounge seats will spoil any passenger regardless of age.
Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy
*Kia Sedona SX and EX Models shown