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2016 Kia Sedona SXL

Kia releases memorable ‘un-minivan’

Sékou Writes, SimplyRides.com
2016 Kia Sedona SXL
The 2016 Kia Sedona SXL minivan (Photo: Simplyrides.com)

Minivans are not usually considered sexy. By and large, the purchase of a minivan is often heralded as the end of having fun and the beginning of a life focused on children.

Kia, best known for its best-selling Optima has attempted to address this hole in the marketplace with the Kia Sedona, a minivan that doesn’t feel like one.

Stepping out of Nashville’s airport, the first thing I noticed about my Sedona was the color. From a distance it looked black but, up close, when the sun touched it, it gleamed in shades of blue and gray. The color is called Midnight Sapphire and it was the first of many things that made this un-minivan memorable. Here are a few of the other things I enjoyed.

  • Power. The Sedona SXL comes with two dedicated USB plugs plus a cigarette lighter plug and a three-prong wall socket. With all that access to power, the Sedona is well equipped to serve as a mobile office.
  • Comfort. There is a “comfort” drive setting, which makes the Sedona float along the road with ease. Inside, the second row seats have reclining seats with footrests (First Class Lounge Seating). Very much like a household reclining chair. Your friends (or kids) are liable to fight to be chauffeured around in these seats.
  • Entertainment. There is an optional flip up DVD screen attached to the back of the front armrest. Your rear passengers can recline and watch movies as you drive. Plus, since the screen is low it won’t bock your rear view mirror and it also comes with wireless headsets so their movie need not disturb you.
  • Swagger. The aforementioned Midnight Sapphire color is one of six fancy exterior colors available for the Sedona. Inside, the Sedona offers Nappa leather of various tints plus polished wood grain accents with a metallic finish. Not to mention, the seats are comfortable and stylish with contrast stitching and two different colors.
  • Safety. Kia’s suite of safety technology is strong. My test drive Sedona included a tire pressure monitor (standard) as well as lane departure and blind spot warnings and surround view cameras that showed 360 degrees around the car at the push of a button.
  • Convenience. The two sliding rear doors can be operated from the remote key fob or from the buttons located near the overhead lights. Both options are perfect for getting the door open fast to get things (or people) in and out. Also, the rear lift-gate will open all by itself if you stand directly behind the car — as long as the key fob is in your purse/pocket. This is great when your hands are full. When starting the car, the navigation screen will show the most recent destinations, in case you need to plan a return trip.

Overall, the Kia Sedona is a minivan that feels much more like a SUV. It has more than enough style to make any adult feel like they haven’t given up on looking cute and it’s packed with convenient features that will make your driving life easier.

My complaints are few. The Sedona definitely needs a running board so that the very young and very elderly won’t have such a hard time getting in and out of the vehicle. Also, it seems odd to call the second row seats “first class” without adding an option for heated seats. Finally, the system lags a bit when you first crank the car. If you’re in a hurry, it’s best to sit and wait until everything comes online before moving.