Last year, the Kia Sedona added three additional trim levels to their all-new ________ fill in the blank. Choose either mid-size multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) or Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV). But please don?t call the design led transformation a (shudder) minivan. I personally like minivans, so I?m not sure what the big deal is. If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck and is perceived to be a duck then it?s a duck ? same thing goes for minivans.
Trim levels for Kia Sedona lineup include: L, LX, EX, SX, and SXL Pricing for the L begins at $26,400; LX starts at $28,500; the EX at $32,700; base price for the SX is $36,400; and the base sticker for the SX Limited (SXL) is $39,900.
All models or trim levels are powered by a 3.3-liter, DOHC, 24-valve GDI V6 engine with high-pressure direct fuel injection and electronic positive ignition. The transversely forward mounted engine makes 276 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, while developing 248 pound feet of torque at 5,200 rpm. Energy is geared to the front wheels through an electronically controlled 6-speed Sportmatic automatic transmission with overdrive.
In terms of its visual appeal, the 2016 Kia Sedona lineup displays a modernistic exterior image that reaches beyond mere functionality. The cab-forward design and bold front fascia project strength, with the muscular face and clean, smooth look featuring a fully integrated version of Kia?s signature grille along with headlamps with LED positioning lights. The side profile, showcases reduced front and rear overhangs, which combine with the sharply rearward raked windshield and available 19-inch alloy wheels creating a personality that?s not only exceptionally attractive, but distinctively purposeful as well. The rear design layout, with LED taillights, integrated bumper guard and standard roof spoiler, delivers a broad, planted look.
Even though the overall width and height remain virtually unchanged, the Sedona provides ample front shoulder room, along with comfortable front leg room in the, second and third rows, along with a high hip-point that provides the driver with excellent outward visibility. The instrument panel?s horizontal design cues create a pronounced sense of width, and the extensive use of soft-touch materials adds to the premium ambiance.
The interior proportions provide flexible seating in either the seven- or eight-passenger configuration with lots of storage options. The front center console is unique to the segment and allows for generous and cleverly convenient storage space between the front seats. Second row Slide-N-Stow tracked seating slides and folds upright allowing for ?on-the-go? cargo hauling, while eliminating the hassle of removing heavy and cumbersome seats. Also offered is the choice of second row ?First Class? lounge seating that may be positioned rearward for additional legroom. All 2016 Sedona models offer a third-row that provides the convenience of a split folding 60/40, in-floor-retractable design.
The Sedona?s upscale interior design theme delivers a modern color palette that offers solid or two-tone color options in beige, gray and burgundy. The top-of-the line SXL trim features standard ultra-soft, Chromium-free Nappa leather trim and seating surfaces throughout the cabin.
For those who want or need to stay connected, the UVO Infotainment & Telematics system provides a most viable solution. Last year, the Sedona was the first Kia vehicle to offer four new eServices features: Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert and Driving Score ? all for to monitoring the activities of teen-age drivers. With the introduction of the Kia App store, select apps may be downloaded for free from iTunes or Google Play. The Kia app connector is available for partnership with the entertainment content community, including Pandora, iHeart Radio and Yelp. Many more technologies for comfort and convenience are featured in the UVO system, including Siri ?Eyes Free? and Local Search ? powered by Google ? for finding locations, addresses and points of interest. Sirius XM Travel Link, offering access to traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports scores, stock information and movie times.
In terms of driving dynamics and safety, the Sedona is built on a chassis with static torsional stiffness that is claimed to exceed that of its closest segment competitor. For enhanced roof strength, the Sedona is engineered with reinforced pillars that distribute impact loads with ultra-high-strength steel tubes installed inside the A-pillars.
The 2016 Sedona utilizes Amplitude Selected Dampers along with independent rear suspension to strike an optimal balance of ride comfort and handling. A high priority was placed on active and passive safety features as well as technology throughout the design and development process. All Sedona models come standard with active safety features such as Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control System, Brake Assist System, Hill-start Assist Control, Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Antilock Braking System. Other technologies such as Roll Over Mitigation and Cornering Brake Control were also added as standard fare.
New optional driver aid technology, including Vehicle Stability Management, Forward Collision Warning System, Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert help to provide a more convenient and secure daily driving experience.
From nose to tail, the Sedona offers numerous convenience features, including Kia?s application of high-power (2.1 Amp) USB charging ports and 115-volt AC outlets to charge small electronics, as well as a dual glove box that offers a cooled lower storage area. For easier parking and vehicle maneuvering, the available Surround View Monitor provides real-time images from cameras placed around the vehicle. Smart Welcome automatically illuminates the door handles and unfolds the power retractable side mirrors when the vehicle key fob is detected. A hands-free ?Smart Power Liftgate? opens the rear lift gate automatically when the key fob is sensed for three seconds, and its programmable function can be tailored to the user?s height preference.
My test 2016 Kia Sedona came in the top SXL trim finished outside in Bright Silver metallic and inside in Gray and Burgundy. The base sticker price was set at $39,900 (only $200. more than last year), while the final tally totaled $44,690 after adding; the SXL Technology Package with Xenon HID headlamps, Lane Departure Warning System, Forward Collision Warning System, Surround View Monitor, Smart Cruise Control; Rear Seat Entertainment System and the Inland Freight and Handling charge.
SUMMARY: The 2016 Kia Sedona in SXL trim with the Technology Package makes for an outstanding mover of either people or things, or both. It is quite attractive, as Multi-Purpose Vehicles go (almost slipped there and called it a minivan), while providing versatility and functionality in a comfortable and practical form.
The 3.3-liter V6 delivers plenty of energy in a smooth and linear fashion, although it readily makes its presence known when prodded with gusto. The handling leans toward the sporty side of the equation, with a precise steering response. It remains flat and stable even in challenging scenarios.
Given its price point and impressive feature and equipment content, the top-of-the-line Kia Sedona also represents a sensible and worthwhile value. In the final analysis, it serves up a fresh viewpoint on what a Multi-Purpose Vehicle can and should be in today?s highly competitive marketplace, even if you insist on referring to it as a minivan. Let?s face it, if it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, and is perceived to be a duck, then in all probability, it is a duck.
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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 Kia Sedona SXL FWD [/wptabtitle]
|Price as Tested:
|Engine Type and Size:
|3.3-liter, DOHC, 24-valve GDI V6 with high pressure direct fuel injection and electronic positive ignition.
|276 @ 6,000 rpm
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):
|248 @ 5,200 rpm
|Electronically controlled 6-speed automatic with Sportmatic.
|Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive.
Front – MacPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar.
Rear – Multi-link with struts, coil springs.
|Hydraulic, Power-assisted vacuum four-wheel discs (vented front) with Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS).
|Kumho7 Crugen Premium P235/55 R19 101H mounted on chrome 5-?V?-spoke alloy wheels.
|89.3 inches with side mirrors.
|69.1 inches with roof rack.
|EPA Mileage Estimates:
|17 mpg city / 22 mpg highway
|0 – 60 mph:
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.