Kia Sedona YM (2014-present): Review, Problems, Specs
The third-generation Kia Sedona (known as the Carnival in South Korea and Australia) launched in North America in 2014 as a 2015 model. Based on the same platform as the third-generation Sorento SUV, the Sedona combines crossover styling cues with minivan space and practicality for an attractive overall package. A welcome change compared to the lackluster previous generation model, the 2015 Sedona closes the gap to segment leaders like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. Although cargo volume is slightly smaller than in Japanese rivals, the Sedona makes up with its impressive seating concept.
- Attractive crossover styling
- High-quality, quiet cabin
- Well-equipped, versatile interior with up to eight seats
- Competitive pricing
- Fuel-efficient diesel version (South Korea)
- Sedona L
- Carnival 2.2 CRDI (South Korea)
- No all-wheel drive option
- Cargo volume slightly smaller than segment's leaders
- Below-average fuel economy for SXL trim
- Lounge seats don't collapse forward on SXL models
Stay Away From
- Range-topping Sedona SXL (too expensive, less efficient)
Known Problems & Recalls
- There have been no recalls so far for the 2015-2016 Kia Sedona
The Kia Sedona is available with only one engine in the United States, a 3.3-liter V6 gasoline unit that delivers 276 hp and 248 lb-ft (336 Nm) of torque. The engine works with a six-speed automatic that sends power to the front wheels (all-wheel drive is not available). The Sedona goes from 0 to 60 mph in just under 8 seconds, making it one of the quicker minivans in the segment. The V6 is refined and the transmission shifts gears quickly and seamlessly. In South Korea and Australia, the Carnival offers a 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel unit as well, rated at 197 hp and 324 lb-ft (440 Nm) of torque.
The Sedona's suspension is set up to favor comfort, so the fact that it's not a fun car to drive will not surprise anyone. However, the big minivan is not awful in corners. The Sedona is not very eager to perform quick maneuvers, but it does that in an honorable way for a big minivan. The electric power-steering system does not offer enough feedback and body roll is present. The driving experience is deeply forgettable, but it's not like anyone would buy a Sedona to have fun behind the wheel in the first place.
In government testing (NHTSA), the 2015 Kia Sedona has received an overall rating of five stars out of five: five stars for frontal crash, five stars for side crash and four stars for rollover. The minivan's risk of rollover was determined to be 13 percent. In IIHS testing, the 2016 Sedona gained the 2016 Top Safety Pick award as it received the maximum "Good" rating in all crashworthiness tests (small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, head restraints & seats). Front crash prevention was rated as "Basic" with optional equipment.
The Kia Sedona is a truly comfortable vehicle, offering a soft, smooth ride quality on most surfaces. However, the SXL's 19-inch wheels have an impact on comfort, sending more information to passengers about road bumps than necessary. The Korean minivan is exceptionally quiet: wind, road, and engine noise stay at a minimum. All seats are comfortable, with the available eight-seat configuration made possible by a second-row middle seat that can slide and stow forward together with the outboard chairs.
The Korean minivan's cabin is one of the most attractive in the segment: the contemporary dashboard features stylish gauges and buttons, while the center console extends all the way between the front seats to provide a crossover feeling. The interior is good quality and is lined with soft-touch and textured surfaces. Higher grades feel upscale thanks to materials like soft leather, as well as aluminum and wood trim. Most models have a cooled glovebox to keep those drinks and snacks chilled.
The Sedona is a spacious minivan, offering up to eight seats that provide great comfort and legroom for adults – even in the third row. The range-topping SXL's lounge-style captain's chairs offer more maximum legroom than Toyota Sienna's similar seats. There's enough cargo volume for all passengers' needs as well, although some rivals offer larger trunks. The Sedona boasts 33.9 cu-ft of cargo volume behind the third-row seat and 78.4 cu-ft with the rear seats folded. That's slightly less than the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey.
Base Sedona models feature a four-speaker audio system that comes with a 4.3-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, CD-player, satellite radio, and a USB port. Kia's UVO eServices infotainment system is available as an option on the LX trim and standard on the EX, SX, and SXL. The interface features an 8-inch display with voice command navigation – only for the top SX and SXL grades. UVO eServices is user-friendly thanks to its big virtual buttons and clear labeling, but usability on the move suffers from the lack of a selector control.
The 3.3-liter V6 gasoline engine is EPA-rated at 20 mpg combined (18 mpg city/24 mpg highway) for the L, LX, and EX trim levels. These figures are average for the segment but not impressive for an all-new model. The SX grade is slightly more efficient (21 mpg combined/18 mpg city/25 mpg highway), thanks mainly to its electric power steering system. However, the range-topping Sedona SXL's fuel efficiency drops to 19 mpg combined (17 mpg city/22 mpg highway), despite sharing the same steering system. The worse mileage is due to the extra 100 lbs (45 kg) or so the SXL carries.
The 2016 Kia Sedona is available in five trim levels: L, LX, EX, SX, and SXL. The base Sedona L packs a reasonable amount of features including seven seats (with Slide-n-Stow forward-collapsing second-row seats), air-conditioning with rear controls, dual manual sliding doors, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and more. The range-topping SXL grade features 19-inch wheels, second-row lounge seats with winged headrests and extendable leg rests, upgraded leather upholstery, dual power sunroofs and much more.
The 2016 Kia Sedona L starts at $26,400 (excluding destination), placing it at the lower end of the price spectrum. It's about $2,300 cheaper than the base Toyota Sienna, and it undercuts the Honda Odyssey by $3,000. It's also about $2,200 cheaper than the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. The 2016 Sedona is a good deal even in mid-range EX trim, with a price of $32,700. Overall, the all-new Sedona is a massive improvement compared to the previous generation model and a very tempting proposition in the segment.