Grab a chair and let’s discuss the minivan segment, because it looks nothing like what it was just a year ago.
Suddenly there are several competitors to this 2021 Kia Sedona that offer all-wheel drive, fuel-efficient hybrid technology and stylish features. Does that mean there is no room for the more traditional Sedona? If you look at it by comparing this loaded SX Tech to top trims elsewhere, you’ll dismiss it pretty quickly. But there’s an important detail involved: The more expensive model here is closer to the average prices of its competitors, which makes for a very different discussion.
The Sedona remains one of the prettiest minivans on the market, as far as I’m concerned. But while most manufacturers who still build minivans have incorporated the channel for the rear sliding doors into the rear-most window frames, those of the Sedona remain prominently below the shoulder line. It’s a design element that’s present in the renderings that have been released for the next next-gen model, which is a shame as it’s a detail that makes a pickup look somewhat dated. Otherwise, the tiger nose grille and clean, symmetrical lines make the Sedona a better looking vehicle than a box with casters should be.
The 2021 Sedona doesn’t get a particularly high rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and it’s not just because of the flagship rating it received: it also received a ” Acceptable âin the small front overlap on the passenger side test. The IIHS requires that each test return a “Good” rating to give a vehicle the Top Safety Pick designation, which the Sedona does not achieve.
However, if you’re spending at the SX Tech level, the suite of safety tech on offer is quite good: Driver Attention Warning, Blind Spot Detection, Front Collision Avoidance, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning. , beams and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function are equipped. It’s important to note, however, that many of these features are available from competitors at lower prices.
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For the price, the SX Tech’s feature set is decent. It includes an upgraded audio system, leather upholstery, heated front and second row exterior seats and heated steering wheel, 18-inch wheels, third-row USB port and wireless phone charger (which is offered in all versions except the base, a great added value). However, some of the cooler features offered by competitors, such as second-row seat storage, kick-activated doors, entertainment systems, ventilated front seats, or on-board vacuums, are not. available.
An eight-inch infotainment system comes with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features and in-car navigation in the SX Tech category, and it generally performs well and is well laid out. However, the position of the screen relative to the driver meant that my short arms couldn’t reach most of the important buttons and dials without a significant stretch. The second row seats fold up nicely to provide good access to the third row, and if captain’s seats aren’t an option, it’s good that the middle position has an armrest with sturdy cup holders that are properly usable. by the youngest. But in this test unit at least, the third row seats don’t rest particularly firmly in their floor supports, meaning the seat backs allow more movement than they should.
It would take something pretty blatant for a van to have poor practical results. With 960 L of cargo space behind the third row, 2,220 L behind the second and 4,022 L behind the first, the ability to haul just about anything one might expect is hampered only by second row seats that do not fold flat enough to hold items securely on top and must be removed to use all of the rear space. Three LATCH-compatible seating positions are available: two are in the second row, while a third is placed in the right-most third-row seat, which is decently roomy for the head and legs, although slightly less than its new competitors.
The SX Tech version has heated front and second row seats and a heated steering wheel. There are no ventilated seats, but it’s reasonable for the price. The leather upholstery is comfortable and visually interesting with layers of color. The ride is steep enough to leave room for improvement, however.
The Sedona’s 3.3L V6, generating 276 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque that peaks at 5,200 rpm, provides enough power for the needs of most drivers. Is it particularly exciting? No, but if you are shopping in this segment, I cannot imagine that you are deeply concerned about such issues. The eight-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and downshifts predictably enough to confidently pass through the highway. Its towing capacity of 1,588 kg (3,500 lb) is typical of the segment.
Driving feeling: 7/10
The Sedona drives as expected for a minivan, and maybe even slightly better as the body roll isn’t as pronounced as in some models over the years, although newcomers perform even better. But it would cost more to integrate those models into the Sedona’s feature content, so it’s a matter of balancing what is important to each buyer. More importantly, all-wheel drive is not available on the Sedona, which means it might not be considered a comparable substitute for an SUV.
Fuel economy: 7/10
The fuel consumption figures tell a similar story: at a Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) rating of 12.7 L / 100 km city driving, 10.0 on the highway and 11.5 combined – and my own rating from a busy week in the city landing at 12.2 L / 100 km – the Sedona would have been considered average performance. But then the new Toyota Sienna came with a standard hybrid powertrain and the average fuel mileage is in single digits. But Sienna’s prices don’t start too far below the Sedona price end, so that’s another factor forcing buyers to prioritize.
While the Sedona is laudable for offering desirable features at affordable prices, it is outperformed by its competitors in powertrain and fuel economy. It will be interesting to see what happens with the next generation slated for 2022.
Overall, the 2021 Kia Sedona is best viewed as a profitable people transporter, with pricing and packaging that sits roughly between what’s offered by the Chrysler Grand Caravan and Chrysler Pacifica and down to the bottom of. the model lineup of the Toyota Sienna. There is a small subset of buyers who will find the Sedona good value for money, especially the attractive styling of the SX Tech trim and the well-priced feature set. But it seems people aren’t afraid to spend on their vehicles these days – given the ever-rising average selling price of new vehicles now exceeding $ 40,000 – and buyers will find more spice, better efficiency. energy efficiency or improved functionality elsewhere in the segment.