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After a 1-year hiatus from the Kia lineup, the 2014 Kia Sedona minivan returns to service with a new look and a few new features. Unfortunately, the Sedona's aging body hasn't kept pace with newer minivan offerings. Despite the modest tweaks added for 2014, its interior still looks dated. Although the Dodge Grand Caravan now holds the title of least expensive minivan (starting at just over $20,000 for the AVP model), it isn't as well-equipped as the entry-level Sedona and doesn't include Kia's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Starting at just under $27,000 for the LX and topping out near $35,000 for a fully loaded EX, the Sedona falls somewhere between the Dodge Grand Caravan and the pricier Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. In horsepower, safety and fuel economy, the Sedona is competitive with all of them, though its resale value falls far short of the Honda and Toyota minivans and even the Dodge Grand Caravan. Still, in terms of comfort, equipment, capability and reliability, the Sedona's value to your family may be more of an incentive than what you'll get in trade six years down the road.

What's New for 2014?

The 2014 Kia Sedona returns with a fresh new face, redesigned interior amenities and new wheels. New options include full leather seating, rain-sensing wipers and a wood-insert steering wheel (EX).

What We Like

Great value for the money; lots of standard and optional features; roomy interior; great warranty; strong engine

What We Don't

Average fuel economy; poor results in roof-strength crash testing; low resale value; dated interior design; no rear-seat entertainment system

How Much?

$26,750-$35,079

Fuel Economy

The standard engine and transmission for the Sedona LX and EX are a 3.5-liter V6, rated at 269 hp and 246 lb-ft of torque, teamed with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy ratings for the Sedona are 17 miles per gallon city/24 mpg hwy. 

Standard Features & Options

The 2014 Kia Sedona comes in two trims: LX and EX. Both trims are powered by the same 3.5-liter V6 engine and pulled by their front wheels.

The Sedona LX ($26,750) offers helpful standard features such as power-operated windows in the sliding side doors, a rear backup detection system, manual rear vent windows, front and rear air conditioning, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, cruise control and a CD stereo with six speakers and Sirius satellite radio capability. Also standard are front- and second-row captain's chair style seating, a tilt steering column, power mirrors and keyless entry.

The Sedona EX ($35,079) adds power-operated front seats, heated side mirrors and power operation of the sliding side doors, rear lift gate and rear vent windows. Also standard are leather seats, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic temperature control, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and a rearview monitor.

The LX can be equipped with the Power Package that adds dual power sliding side doors, a rearview monitor, alloy wheels, automatic headlights and a garage door opener. The EX can be equipped with the Luxury Package that brings rain-sensing wipers, power-adjustable foot pedals, a power sunroof and memory for the driver's seat, mirrors and pedals. Standalone options for the EX include a navigation radio with an Infinity sound system, while both trims can be equipped with a trailer hitch and various dealer-installed options. Oddly, the one family-friendly feature missing from the Sedona's option sheet is a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

Safety

The 2014 Kia Sedona puts safety front and center, with front and side airbag coverage for the front passengers and side-curtain airbags covering all three rows. In the event you encounter a slippery patch in the road, the standard traction control will control the rate at which the front wheel spins, helping the Sedona regain traction. The Sedona is also equipped with electronic stability control, which can help the vehicle recover from the sudden loss of control that might happen when skidding or driving into a sharp turn too fast.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, the Sedona earned the top rating of Good in the frontal offset and side impact tests, but it received the lowest rating of Poor in rollover roof-strength testing.

Behind the Wheel

There are no surprises when driving the Sedona, which is to say, it rides and drives like most other minivans. The handling is not sporty, but it's not soft, either. There is moderate lean in hard cornering, but for the most part its steering feel is very precise and the van is easy to maneuver and control. Turning around, however, can be a chore since the Sedona's 39.6-foot turning circle is among the widest of any minivan. We found the interior acceptably quiet at highway speeds, though there seemed to be a bit more tire and engine noise than in the Odyssey and the Grand Caravan.

Other Cars to Consider

Toyota Sienna -- The Sienna has interior materials that are a step above the Sedona's plastics, and the Toyota's resale value is far superior. The Sienna can also be ordered with all-wheel drive. But the Sedona costs less and offers a far better powertrain and basic warranty.

Dodge Grand Caravan -- You can get into a Grand Caravan for around $21,000, but it won't have nearly as many features as the Sedona. And although the Dodge may have a more powerful engine and slightly better resale value, its 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty can't match the Sedona's 10-year/100,000-mile plan.

Honda Odyssey -- The Odyssey is the undisputed minivan resale leader. It's also more stylish and has an overall nicer interior, including a sliding center section for the second-row seat and a wide dual-screen DVD entertainment system. The Odyssey can also seat eight. But the Odyssey has a higher starting price at $28,000. It has less front-seat headroom and legroom, and less horsepower than the Sedona.

AutoTrader's Advice

Since we know big families usually have tight budgets, we think the Sedona LX with the Power Package (power sliding side doors, 17-in wheels and a rearview monitor) is the best deal. With destination charges, the price comes to around $28,650, but you can certainly move down from that number since the invoice price is closer to $26,000.

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