There’s nothing wrong with a minivan, the 2019 Kia Sedona pleads, as it watches shoppers pass it by in favor of crossover SUVs such as the automaker’s own Sorento and Telluride.
We agree. There’s nothing wrong with a minivan, and the 2019 Sedona is a solid bet with its spacious interior, soft ride, and pleasantly unadorned styling. The Sedona minivan’s biggest demerit is one that’s hard to overlook in a family car, however. Collision-avoiding active safety tech we consider essential in any vehicle, especially one designed for the whole gang, is a costly option on the Kia van.
Overall, we rate it at 5.2 out of 10, a score that would improve if Kia matched its competition by making automatic emergency braking standard or at least more widely available. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
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For 2019, the Sedona has a modestly updated look outside, a new 8-speed automatic transmission underneath, and it’s available in L, LX, EX, and SX trim levels. We’ve not driven the latest Sedona, but we’ve spent time in other cars with this 276-horsepower 3.3-liter V-6 and have found it to be a smooth if thirsty operator and we doubt the new 8-speed automatic will change our opinion. The Sedona’s 21-mpg combined rating from the EPA is low among minivans.
Previous Sedonas have had a soft, composed ride and handling that’s capable but far from entertaining.
The Sedona’s interior is spacious, but it lacks the middle-seat versatility of the Chrysler Pacifica’s seats that fold into the floor. Base Sedona Ls seat seven, while Sedona LX and higher vans add a middle seat to the third row. Row three can be folded and stowed into the floor, but row two’s always in the way. Even when the available second-row middle seat is removed, it’ll take up valuable garage space. Last year’s divine first class-style second-row lounge seats were dropped for 2019.
Starting at around $28,200, the 2019 Kia Sedona is inexpensive for a minivan. Base Sedona L vans come with a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with intuitive software complemented by standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The Sedona EX delivers the best value in the range with its easy-clean leather seats, but Kia frustratingly walls off automatic emergency braking, a power liftgate, and a moonroof in an option package that bumps the van’s price to nearly $40,000.
With the 2019 Sedona, Kia has a van that’s worth considering if crash-avoidance tech that’ll soon be standard on every car isn’t at the top of your priority list. Unfortunately, we can’t overlook that demerit, so we’d spend our money elsewhere.