2018 Kia Sedona SX-L new car reviews

SUVs, CUVs and other such things might get most of the attention, but there’s still a place in our world for the traditional minivan–which Kia continues to offer.

We drove the 2018 Sedona SX-L, but look for some changes in 2019 as Kia’s freshening the nose and tail so that it fits in with the rest of the manufacturer’s lineup. The 276-horsepower, 3.3-liter V6 will remain under the hood, but it will be paired with an eight-speed automatic–previously, the transmission offered six forward speeds.

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Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard
General Manager

Back when my kids were little, I spent several years acting as a sort of minivan messiah. While my fellow moms ditched these uber-utilitarian vehicles in favor of less agile, less efficient, and less accommodating SUVs in the name of Looking Cool, I happily and very vocally drove a succession of first Chrysler and, later, Honda minivans.

They were what I needed at the time, and I understood denying that reality would not make hipsters stop sneering at me and mumbling about “breeders” when I happened into their presence–once the car stopped rolling, I still had young children with me.

And while it was rolling, my fellow drivers usually made it very clear that respect on the roads was gone for everyone, not just Soccer Moms. (For the record, my kids refused to play soccer. This is something that troubled me at the time, but is now a point of twisted pride.)

These days, the empty-nester version of me rarely gets behind the wheel of a minivan, but when I do, I still expect a comfortable, capable experience. And that’s what the Kia Sedona delivers.

The six-cylinder, almost 250-horsepower engine delivers ample power very smoothly via the six-speed transmission, the suspension is blandly capable, and the interior brings along all the comforts of home including video entertainment, a wireless phone charger, and lots of comfortable seating (with available eight-passenger configuration) with plenty of leg room. The 3500-pound towing capacity means that most aspiring SUV drivers still should rethink their ambitions.

The entire experience is still the opposite of cool, unless driving a monorail is your idea of cool. But, hey, if it’s good enough for Homer Simpson, shouldn’t it be good enough for the rest of us?

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pinchvalve GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/4/19 4:23 p.m.

I'll save you the link, here is the rest of the story: 




Yep, nothing more to say about a minivan LOL.  Shame, I was wondering if it was geared well to stay in 2nd on most autocross courses, are there sway bars available, what's the widest tire it will fit, and do they make Hawk HP+ for it?  

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
2/4/19 4:31 p.m.

I'm currently on my second minivan (Dodge GC) and while I would prefer to have a wagon and a full-sized van (and eventually will again), as a pure Swiss-army knife of vehicles, the minivan is hard to beat.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid UltimaDork
2/4/19 5:08 p.m.

I have sat in a top end Sedona and they’re pretty damn nice for a minivan. I have no need for one, but it would be on the shortlist if I did. 

mtn MegaDork
2/4/19 5:08 p.m.

Glad to hear it is getting an 8 speed. The one downfall of this minivan vs. its competitors is the mpg. Of course, that could just be my foot on the freeway. 


In any case, we love our '17 SX. We discussed selling it or trading it in after our recent heartbreak, but decided that we loved the vehicle way too much overall. So the AngieVan stays.

slefain PowerDork
2/4/19 6:15 p.m.

I just bought a '17 LX. We love it. I got 25 mpg in it the first highway trip, and 27.8 mpg on the second trip. Mind boggling. It rides great, is quiet, and has tons of room. I like it better than the Sienna.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
2/4/19 6:18 p.m.

We had a rental Sedona in Puerto Rico almost two years ago and I loved that thing. By the end of the week I was pouring over maps to find the twistiest way across the island. 

Stefan GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/4/19 6:18 p.m.

In reply to mtn :

We just picked up a '19 Pacifica Hybrid.  Its pretty awesome so far and after a couple weeks of commuting in it, the wife has only used about 2 miles worth of gas.

Wife didn't want a minivan, was dead set against them, but we went to the auto show and looked at them first, crawled around inside, etc. then looked at 3-row SUVs and none of them were as roomy or affordable as the minivan. 

So you can convert a minivan-hater, you just have to lead them to water and let them drink :)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/4/19 6:57 p.m.

Glad to hear the minivan love. You all know how much we adore them. 

Dave Reader
2/4/19 7:31 p.m.

We bought a '19 Sedona for the wife. She is quite happy with it.

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