The distinctive cockpit looks more like a car's than a minivan's
Cabin remains pleasantly quiet on the highway
Slightly less cargo capacity than rivals
Fuel economy is subpar, especially on the SX Limited model
Second-row seats aren't removable, and don't fold up on the SX Limited
The ride is busy over rough pavement and large bumps
The 2018 Kia Sedona is a seven- or eight-passenger minivan sold in five trim levels. The base L model is very reasonably priced, with a light features list that includes a rearview camera and a USB input for the audio system. The LX doesn't cost much more, and its power-sliding doors and other features are worth the modest price bump. The EX is quite a bit more, but we find its power tailgate, 7-inch touchscreen and leather upholstery to be irresistible. The SX doubles down on the luxury, safety and tech features, and even more are added when you select the range-topping SX Limited.
Like every Sedona, the base L model is powered by a 3.3-liter V6 engine (276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque) that sends power to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard feature highlights include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, Slide-N-Stow forward-collapsing second-row captain's chairs (reducing seating capacity to seven), stain-resistant cloth upholstery, a 60/40-split reclining and folding third-row bench seat, dual-zone climate control (with front and rear controls), Bluetooth, a 5-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and a USB port.
The LX trim adds power-folding mirrors, power-sliding doors, rear privacy glass, a second-row bench seat (increasing passenger capacity to eight), an eight-way power driver seat (with two-way power lumbar) and a six-speaker audio system.
The EX hits what we think is the sweet spot of the Sedona lineup. This trim adds 18-inch wheels, foglights, LED daytime running lights, a windshield wiper de-icer, heated mirrors, roof rails, a height-adjustable power tailgate, front and rear parking sensors, upgraded shock absorbers, keyless ignition and entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, tri-zone automatic climate control, a driver information display, leather upholstery, heated front seats, sunshades for the second and third rows, a cooled glovebox, a portable flashlight, a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, Uvo3 eServices emergency telematics and additional USB charge ports.
The SX trim reverts back to the seven-passenger configuration with second-row captain's chairs (the bench is available as an option) and adds LED taillights, driver-seat memory functions, four-way lumbar adjustment for the driver, an eight-way power front passenger seat, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, an 8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system and an eight-speaker Infinity premium audio system. A blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert is also included.
The range-topping eight-passenger SX Limited trim adds 19-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights with automatic high-beam control, upgraded foglights, a sound-reducing windshield, chrome door handles, adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel and a household-style power outlet. Even more advanced safety features come with the SX Limited, including forward collision warning and mitigation (with automatic emergency braking), a lane departure warning system and a surround-view camera system.
Many features on the higher trims are available as options on the lower trims. A dual-panel sunroof; first-class, lounge-style seating for the second row (without Slide-N-Stow); and premium leather upholstery are available solely on the SX Limited trim via the Prestige package. A rear-seat entertainment system is offered on all models.