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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

2014 Kia Sedona

Kia's high-value, family-oriented minivan is back, after being absent from the lineup for 2013. And while the 2014 Kia Sedona does pack some minor updates, it's essentially the same second-generation van that we've seen since the 2006 model year.

Compared to the 2012 Sedona, the 2014 model gets a new grille, as well as new lighting, including standard fog lamps on both trims. New 17-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels are optional on the LX but standard on the EX. That said, the look is going to be familiar, and not all that much different inside or out compared to used Sedonas—which leaves it as a plain-Jane outlier in a Kia lineup that's otherwise been completely, fashionably redesigned in recent years.

The powertrain is also mostly carry-over, with a 269-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission sending power to the front wheels and offering relatively smooth, strong acceleration and good responsiveness. Both versions now include Sportmatic manual control. A hydraulic power-assist steering system, multi-link rear suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes all add up to what we've noted in past model years is a pretty comfortable ride but handling that's uninspired compared to segment leaders like the Honda Odyssey. Fuel economy, however, remains about par for such a spacious, three-row vehicle, at 17 mpg city, 24 highway.

Interior appointments were significantly improved for the 2011 model year, when the Sedona got a modest mid-cycle refresh, and there have been further cabin improvements this year. The 2014 Sedona gets a storage console good for iPads or other tablets. Otherwise the seating arrangement carries through; in past model years we've found that it isn't nearly as good as Chrysler's Swivel n' Go setup or Honda's convenient new dual-purpose configuration in the Odyssey. Think movable, but not removable, so if you expect

The 2014 Sedona includes six standard airbags, four-channel anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control. A backup warning system is also included on all 2014 Sedonas, too. But what's still to be proven is whether or not the Sedona's structure has been reinforced for better crash-test performance; the 2012 Sedona earned a 'poor' score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in their roof strength test.

Base 2014 Kia Sedona LX models start at $26,750, including destination, while the Sedona EX starts at $31,750. Standard equipment on the LX includes air conditioning, cruise control, second-row captain's chairs, keyless entry, satellite radio compatibility, Bluetooth hands-free and streaming-audio connectivity, and an audio system with auxiliary input. EX models add alloy wheels plus leather upholstery, a heated power driver's seat (six-way for the driver, four-way for the passenger), an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a HomeLink universal garage-door opener, power rear-quarter glass, a trip computer, and a roof rack, plus an eight-speaker audio system.

Major option packages include the LX Power Package (adding dual power sliding doors, automatic light control, 17-inch alloys, auto-dimming mirror, and HomeLink to the LX); an EX Luxury Package (sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, power-adjustable pedals, and driver's memory settings); and an EX navigation option that adds Infinity premium audio and a speaker upgrade.

Seating arrangement lacks flexibilitySubpar safety scores?An aged designStyling not in step with other Kias

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