In all the years I have been doing car reviews, it’s not very often that I have the chance to review a mini van. As a matter of fact out of the 8 vehicles I have driven, only 2 have been in the van category at all. I have a family of 5 with an 18 year old and tall soon to be 13 year old, simply put, we need a family car with leg room.
Enter Kia Sedona SXL. Before I go on, I will preface this review by saying I LOVE KIA the most of all the brands. I have reviewed 3 different Kia models and every single time they are my favorite in each category. They just check all the marks for me and the Sorento definitely did. From the high end finishes to the most convenient storage places, the designers DEFINITELY had family in mind when they dreamed up this beauty.
The Sedona I got to test drive was fully loaded, and this package starts at $39k. If I could only buy one van forever this would be the one that I would invest in …
MPG 17 city / 22 highway*
Engine 3.3L GDI V6
19″ Chrome Alloy Wheels
Surround View Monitor
First-Class Lounge Seating with Premium Nappa Leather
Safety Features include front airbags and full length side curtain airbags, blind spot monitoring, lane deviation monitoring, tire pressure monitoring and many more which can be found on the Kia website
The number one feature I love about this van is the advanced safety features, specifically the multiple cameras that give you a view all around your van, and the smart cruise setting. First let’s explore those cameras 🙂
Back-up cameras are becoming standard on new vehicles but this one has four cameras that engage when you shift to reverse. The cool thing is that the super brainy computer stitches the views from those four cameras to produce an accurate view of your van from above. This means you can see if you parked straight in the lines! You also have the option to choose which camera view you want as you maneuvering. My entire family got a huge kick out of watching the screen when I reversed.
There is also a “conversation mirror that lets you see into the 3rd row, definite plus!
Next up is my 2nd favorite thing, the smart cruise setting. I drove this van to my college 4 days in a row. My college is 45 minutes away. Most of the drive is on highways but I do a small jog onto an expressway for about 30 seconds. When I get into Lansing there is a lot more braking than cruising. When you are using the smart cruise, the van will use the front cameras to keep a preset length in between the car in front of you, meaning if that car slows down, your van will automatically slow down too. Of course you don’t want to use this to brake at a stoplight but if you are behind that person who always goes slower, then faster, and vice versa, using the smart cruise will stop the need to keep turning the cruise on and off!
Bonus feature that I loved: I get out of classes around 9 or 10 PM and naturally have to use headlights. This van features automatic lights…what this means is that you don’t have to touch your lights. I am not kidding, the van detects lights and will automatically put your dims on, then after the car passes, it will put your brights back on. It works for city lights too, if it detects a bright source it will throw the dims on for you. It was SO convenient.
Luxury detail…the second row was literally as nice as first class on a plane, with its recliner chairs, it was a spot that was heavily fought over!
I’d have to say, knowing my old van is 15 years old, that these new smarter cars make me realize one thing, they are designed for safety. They make it so your hands don’t leave the wheel more than they have to, with bluetooth and radio controls in the steering wheel, smart lights, and a very SMOOTH drive with some power it makes me long for a new car and you can bet when that day happens, its going to be a KIA!