Room for one more?
Yes, add the Kia Sedona to the list as a minivan sector player.
I did not have an opportunity sample the Sedona’s extensive upgrades for the 2015 model year, and it turns out that I missed a lot.
My recent tester was the 2016 Kia Sedona SXL with a fairly hefty starting price of $39,900 and a bottom line of $44,690 with a generous package of extras added on.
This Sedona offers a high level of luxury and freeway cruising comfort. And it’s capable of transporting up to eight passengers and their stuff.
The exterior look is classic, not-too-flashy minivan, but my ride looked good with bright silver paint and a burgundy interior color scheme.
The Sedona’s wide stance translated to a firm, secure ride on the roadways. Very little noise reached the passenger cabin, even when I planted the accelerator.
Kia says it worked hard to get this desired result, with liberal applications of wheel-house padding, double-seal sliding doors and sound-deadening foam in the engine compartment.
The 3.3-liter V-6 engine with 276 horsepower performed well in most situations, but it did struggle at the top of some steep hill climbs. On the flatlands, it accelerated smoothly into small holes in freeway traffic. It was surprisingly agile in the crush of downtown traffic.
Volunteer passengers felt spoiled with tri-zone climate control, leather seating surfaces and enough room to spread out. Yes, this Sedona was made for the long family road trip, or that visit to 40 states in one sweep adventure that you’ve been planning.
The tested Sedona was loaded with driving-enhancement and safety features, and it earned a string of top-tier, five-star federal safety ratings.
The hands-free, power rear liftgate is convenient, and entertaining.
My tester included an optional Technology Package that included xenon high-intensity headlights, a Surround View monitor and smart cruise control.
Safe, serene and luxurious, the Sedona reminds that, while minivans are not necessarily hip in this day and age, they can be supremely functional and fun to drive.