We know minivans get a bad rap and most of them are right. But when was the last time you sat in a van with a luxury jet-style lounge chair with retractable legrests and wing headrests? Most likely, you never did it unless you were in the new one Kia Sedona SXL. It’s a minivan that certainly isn’t like your typical, boring family transporter. The Kia Sedona will transport you in increased comfort.
Over the weekend we drove the premium 2016 Kia Sedona SXL.
What’s new for 2016?
New features for the Kia Sedona for 2016 include a rear view camera as standard equipment. Chrome side sills are available for the 2016 Sedona SXL. SXL trims can accommodate eight people with the optional Technology Package.
Features and options
The top-of-the-line Kia Sedona SXL ($ 39,900) comes with features like heated mirrors, height-adjustable power tailgate, power sliding doors, keyless ignition and entry, upgraded leather upholstery, seats heated and ventilated fronts, a refrigerated lower glove box, automatic tri-climate control by zone, rear sun visor, heated steering wheel and Infinity audio system with eight speakers with HD radio.
It also benefits from navigation, voice commands and a blind spot warning system with rear cross traffic alert. The second row seats are replaced by lounge seats with winged airplane-style headrests and extendable legrests.
This tester also came with the optional tech package ($ 2,800), which adds xenon headlights with automatic high beam control, panoramic view parking camera, lane departure warning, cruise control adaptive, forward collision warning system and 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 interior of the Sedona SXL is exceptionally stylish up front with a two-tone instrument panel and glossy piano black accents. There are soft-touch surfaces throughout and high-quality materials are evident, matching Kia’s top-tier sedans. The front seats are comfortable enough to settle in and take a long road trip. This interior stands out from the regular cabins of most other MPVs.
Out back is where the SXL takes another step up from the competition. This premium model features airplane-style lounge chairs with retractable legrests and winged headrests, aimed at improving the comfort of second-row passengers. Simply lower the blinds, slide a DVD into the rear entertainment system and you can lie back for the most comfortable ride.
The Sedona offers 33.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row seat and a sizable 78.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded into the floor. However, there isn’t as much cargo carrying capacity in the SXL as the other models due to its fixed lounge chairs. The third row is medium in size and adults can fit comfortably over short distances.
Engine and fuel consumption specifications
Sedona is powered by a 3.3-liter V6 engine that generates 276 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels, but gas mileage is only average with an EPA estimated at 17/22 mpg city / highway and 19 combined.
On the road, the Sedona is as quiet as any minivan we’ve tested. Performance is what you expect from a family hauler and it delivers smooth power on the highway. It behaves like a regular vehicle intended for utility rather than driving dynamics, but it always felt solid and secure. If it’s 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, although it can bounce in rough spots.
We pushed the front-wheel drive Sedona a little harder through the mountain bends than any family ever will and it held up for a heavy vehicle – The weight of the Sedona reduces fuel economy.
In the city, Sedona moves easily in traffic and is also a comfortable place to sit in heavy traffic.
For families looking for a top-of-the-range minivan, you won’t find a more comfortable and classier cabin. It is a pleasant way to move people and goods on the open road and in the city. These second row lounge seats will spoil any passenger of any 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