The minivan market no longer brims with choices, but Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Chrysler have very good recently redesigned or heavily updated models. So why would one choose the Kia Sedona? Price. The Sedona is less expensive than its competitors. The better news is that the Sedona was significantly enhanced for 2011. A 303-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 has replaced the larger and less powerful 3.8-liter six-cylinder. The automatic transmission gained another gear, making it a six-speed. Also part of the refresh were a redesigned front grille and new wheels. Still, this is an older design that doesn’t match the newer vans in ride, handling, or refinement. That’s not to say that the Sedona is missing any key equipment. The requisite minivan feature, a rear-seat DVD player, is optional on both models. Power sliding doors, Bluetooth, and steering-wheel audio controls are standard. The EX can be fancied up somewhat, with a navigation system, leather seats, and a power sunroof. Don’t expect to find the latest and greatest features, such as a backup camera and a blind-spot warning system. The Sedona isn’t quite as luxurious or as ingeniously equipped (no folding picnic tables) as some other minivans, but it does most of what they can do just as well and has all the essential safety equipment we have come to rely on. The Sedona is a perfectly good option if you want to spend less for a minivan.

Drive: Front-wheel
Trim levels: LX, EX
Body style: Minivan, 7-passenger
Engine: 3.5L V-6, 303 hp, 262 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Passenger volume: 140.1 cu ft
Capacities: Towing 3500 lb; cargo (behind third/middle/front seats) 32.2/80.1/141.5 cu ft

The Sedona now has revised exterior color selections, and the available rear-seat entertainment system, previously only available on EX models, can now be had on the LX. All Sedonas get an updated electrochromatic mirror.

Dual front, side, and side curtain air bags for all three seating rows; front-seat active headrests; ABS; and traction and stability control are standard.

All: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway

  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Covers the essentials
  • New engine is more powerful
  • Interior is rather basic
  • Short list of high-end equipment

The bargain minivan.

  • Dodge Grand Caravan
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Nissan Quest
  • Toyota Sienna

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