2020 Kia Sedona

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2019
The Car Connection
2019
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Brian León Brian León Contributing Writer
November 6, 2019

Buying tip

The 2020 Sedona is unchanged from last year, so try to find a deal on a 2019 model if you can, preferably with the optional package that includes active safety tech.

The 2020 Kia Sedona provides minivan versatility, but it’s overshadowed by its crossover SUV stablemates.

The 2020 Kia Sedona carries the torch for the minivan, even as SUVs and crossovers pass it by. The stylish Sorento and new Telluride make the Sedona a hard sell even on its own showroom. 

With the 2020 Sedona, Kia still omits some safety features on base models, a major oversight on a family-friendly vehicle. We award points for its style, comfortable ride, and spacious interior, but take some away for that lack of standard safety tech. At 5.6 out of 10 overall it sits firmly in the middle of the pack among minivans. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

For 2020 the Sedona carries over completely, retaining its option packages and four trim levels. A sedate exterior and spacious, high-quality interior are among the Sedona’s highlights, but it’s no runway model like the Chrysler Pacifica. While it lacks the interior versatility of rivals like the Pacifica, with its Stow ’n Go seats, the Sedona is vast and quiet inside.

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A 276-horsepower V-6 and 8-speed automatic provide decent forward motivation, but fuel economy suffers at just 21 mpg combined. The Sedona is soft and composed in normal driving and features capable handling, but don’t expect anything other than careful handling.

At around $28,500 to start, the Sedona is relatively inexpensive for a minivan, and that base price includes 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. The Sedona EX represents the best value with easy-to-clean leather upholstery, but active safety features like automatic braking and handy options like a power liftgate require an option package that pushes the total price to nearly $40,000. For that money, we’d opt for another minivan—or one of Kia’s fancy new SUVs.

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2020 Kia Sedona

Styling

The 2020 Kia Sedona is inoffensive and uninspiring all at once, which may appeal to some minivan buyers.

The 2020 Kia Sedona isn’t ugly by any standard, but its sedate looks appear dated next to the rest of the brand’s lineup. We give it 4 out of 10, docking it a style point in comparison with newer rivals from Chrysler and Honda.

Minivans don’t sell well, so redesigning or even refreshing them is often low on designers’ to-do lists. As such, the Sedona has hardly changed since its introduction in 2015, but its simple two-box shape and sleek lines are hard to find fault with.

The interior features a plain dashboard design with controls set high, just where you’d need them to be. A standard 7.0-inch touchscreen sits front and center, underscored by three rows of buttons and knobs. It feels and looks upscale, but that appearance comes at the expense of extra storage cubbies.

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5

2020 Kia Sedona

Performance

The 2020 Kia Sedona features good V-6 power and a comfortable ride, all you need from a minivan.

The 2020 Kia Sedona makes do with a tried-and-true powertrain and features a comfortable ride. That’s all most people want in a minivan, but it handles worse than many crossovers. It’s a 5 for performance here, barely.

A 3.3-liter V-6 does the motivating, and with 276 horsepower sent to the front wheels through an 8-speed automatic that was new last year, the Sedona has decent pickup getting up to highway speeds.

The ride quality is the star of the show here though, especially on the base 17-inch alloy wheels. Handling is competent but uninspiring, and the Sedona is outmatched in that department by its more contemporary competitors. Not that it matters much, as minivans aren’t exactly a regular feature at track days—but an Odyssey or a Pacifica have some hustle hidden in their bustle.

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2020 Kia Sedona

Comfort & Quality

The 2020 Kia Sedona is plenty practical and comfortable, but other competitors do both better.

Though spacious and quiet inside, the 2020 Kia Sedona features fewer creature comforts and practical features than competitors. It’s still a minivan though, making it one of the most capable vehicles on the road for hauling people and stuff, and that warrants a 9 out of 10 here. 

The Sedona features comfortable seats in all three rows, but we recommend spending for the EX or SX model with their standard leather upholstery, as the base cloth is harder to clean and feels thrifty. We miss the business class-style lounge seating that used to be available in the second row, but passengers out back will have plenty of leg and headroom.

In terms of practicality, the Sedona’s cavernous interior can fit up to 142 cubic feet of cargo, with 78.4 and 33.9 cubes available behind the second and third rows, respectively. That’s big enough for a 4-by-8 sheet of plywood, but it has to be loaded over the rear seats, which flip forward and fold flat, not into the floor like those in the Chrysler Pacifica.

In terms of small item storage, the Sedona is short on cubbies compared to the Chrysler and endlessly practical Honda Odyssey, but there are still plenty of bins, USB ports, cupholders, and more.

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5

2020 Kia Sedona

Safety

The 2020 Kia Sedona manages good crash test scores but keeps active safety tech behind a paywall.

The 2020 Kia Sedona is curiously lacking in the safety department for a family-oriented vehicle. It manages good crash test scores but puts active safety features behind a paywall. That’s good for only 5 out of 10 here.

At five stars overall, the NHTSA thinks highly of the Sedona, but the IIHS has some reservations, giving it an “Acceptable” score in the passenger-side front overlap test and a “Poor” rating for its headlights.

While the Sedona does offer active safety features like automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warnings, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control, they’re available only on the EX and SX models, the two most expensive trims. That means a total cost of nearly $40,000 for a Sedona EX with the safety equipment package equipped, negating this Kia’s value proposition.

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2020 Kia Sedona

Features

The 2020 Kia Sedona misses out on the safety equipment family vehicles must have.

The 2020 Kia Sedona misses out on key safety features, but has a good infotainment system and an excellent warranty. It’s a 7 for features.

At $28,445 to start (including $1,045 destination charge) the Sedona L is reasonably well-equipped, offering a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 17-inch alloy wheels, seating for 7 passengers, and USB charging ports.

The LX model adds an additional seat, as well as a power-adjustable driver’s seat, power sliding doors, tinted windows, and two additional speakers for $31,245, but we’d bypass that model and go for the EX, which starts at $34,545.

For that price, you get bigger wheels, leather upholstery, heated front seats, additional fast-charge USB ports, and more. Unfortunately, active safety tech is bundled with tri-zone climate control, a power liftgate, and power moonroof for an additional $4,800, bringing the total price to near $40,000 for the Sedona you really want.

Top-tier SX models include Harman/Kardon audio, cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with navigation as well as a rear-seat entertainment system. Active safety tech is still optional on this loaded model, however, and at $42,345 to start, it’s out of our acceptable price range.

Every Sedona has a longer than usual warranty of 5 years/60,000 miles.

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2020 Kia Sedona

Fuel Economy

The 2020 Kia Sedona is a thirsty minivan at 21 mpg combined.

The 2020 Kia Sedona is thirsty even for a minivan, thanks to its hefty weight and old-school V-6. We give it 4 out of 10 here.

The EPA rates all Sedona models at 18 mpg city, 24 highway, 21 combined. That puts the Sedona on par with its SUV brethren like the Sorento and Telluride. We’d probably pick the all-wheel-drive capability and higher ride height of one of those two crossovers, as it represents nearly no fuel economy penalty.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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5.7
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 4
Performance 5
Comfort & Quality 9
Safety 5
Features 7
Fuel Economy 4
Compare the 2020 Kia Sedona against the competition
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  • 2020 Honda Odyssey

    6.7
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  • 2020 Kia Telluride

    7.0
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