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2019 Kia Sedona
New Car Test Drive

Introduction

The 2019 Kia Sedona minivan returns for the new model year with some changes visible to the naked eye, and some invisible.

For 2019 the Sedona gets a new grille, headlights and taillights, as well as a new 8-speed automatic transmission.

There’s one engine, a smooth 3.3-liter V-6 making 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. The ride and handling are composed, and the interior is spacious, though Kia has dropped the former option for airline-style second-row lounge seats. The base Sedona seats seven, while other models optionally seat eight with a three-seat third row.

The Sedona’s crash-test scores are good, with five stars overall from the NHTSA, with four stars in the calculated rollover test. The IIHS gave the Sedona ΓÇ£GoodΓÇ¥ scores in all but the passenger-side small-overlap test that simulates impact with an oncoming car or a telephone pole. In that test, it earned ΓÇ£Acceptable.ΓÇ¥

Model Lineup

The Sedona costs $28,200 in L trim, and comes with cloth upholstery, manual seats, power features, a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a single USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, a four-speaker sound system, and alloy wheels.

The $31,000 LX adds a middle seat in the third row, a power driver’s seat, power sliding doors, tinted windows, and two more speakers.

The $34,300 EX has larger wheels, roof rails, leather upholstery, heated front seats, extra USB ports, blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alerts. Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warnings, and adaptive cruise control come with a $4,800 package that also includes a power moonroof, power liftgate, and three-zone automatic climate control.

The $42,100 Sedona SX gets a Harman Kardon sound system and cooled front seats.

Walkaround

The Sedona design wears creases in its sheetmetal that are eye-catching. From the sideview, the Sedona’s shoulder line rises toward the rear, which appears to narrow the glass and make the roof almost disappear toward the back.

For 2019 the Sedona gets a new grille, headlights and taillights. Even the base L model has alloy wheels. The SX gets LED exterior lights.

Interior

The Sedona’s cabin is spacious and quiet. The dashboard is well organized, with controls that are conveniently located up high and a wide center stack. Most models have a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment, while the SX has an 8.0-inch display. UVO infotainment is simple to use and is Apple CarPlay-compatible.

There are two gloveboxes, one of which is cooled, and deep door and dashboard bins, and a massive center console. Top models add a tiered tray and a sliding console armrest.

The front seats are reasonably comfortable, wide and well padded, and the cloth upholstery on the base L model is fine. It has manual adjustment while the other models are eight-way power adjustable, and the EX and SX have leather upholstery with soft-touch materials on the door panels. The SX also features two-tone upholstery and a power tailgate.

The second row comes standard with captain’s chairs, with an available removable middle seat on all but the L model; it seats seven while the others optionally seat eight.

The second row doesn’t fold into the floor as it might on some rivals. The outboard seatbacks drop down and the seat bottoms tilt forward to create more space, and the Sedona’s available middle seat folds flat to create an armrest with cupholders, or it can be removed.

The third row is best for small passengers; it’s fairly easy to reach when the second row is moved fully forward, and it does fold into the floor. The Sedona can carry a sheet of plywood, loaded at a slope on top of the tipped-forward second row.

In that configuration, the cargo space is 142 cubic feet. With the second row upright and third row flat, there’s 78.4 cubic feet. Behind the third row, there is a very healthy 33.9 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The Sedona’s 3.3-liter V-6 makes a reasonable 276 horsepower but it still works hard to overcome the Sedona’s weight of about 4,500 pounds. It can run out of passing power in hilly terrain. It can tow up to 3,500 pounds, however.

The Sedona’s strongest dynamic feature is its ride, which is soft, supple, and well composed. It glides over bumps like a luxury vehicle, and even feels well-damped in lower trim levels, because of the smaller 17-inch alloy wheels. The 18-inch wheels on the EX and SX deliver a bit firmer ride because their tires have less sidewall. It handles predictably, but it’s no canyon carver.

Summary

The 2019 Kia Sedona has a smooth engine and a new 8-speed automatic to go with its supple ride. It also scores well in crash tests and comes with the best warranty of its kind. It leaves some of the latest safety gear on the options list, but otherwise is well-equipped in nearly every model.


J.D. Power Rating
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Overall Dependability Not Available
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J.D. Power Rating Legend
Among the Best
5 / 5
Better than Most
4 / 5
About Average
3 / 5
The Rest
2 / 5

* The J.D. Power Ratings are calculated based on the range between the car manufacturer or car model with the highest score and the car manufacturer or car model with the lowest score. J.D. Power generates a rating of a five, four, three, or two. If there is insufficient data to calculate a rating, “Not Available” is used in its place.

J.D. Power Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power awards, visit the Car Ratings page to learn more about awards and ratings.

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