Living with the Sedona is convenient and comfortable. Visibility from the driver's seat is excellent. The view through the rearview mirror is hindered somewhat by the headrests, but there's a clear view down the middle. Big power side mirrors offer a good view rearward.
All seating positions are roomy and comfortable. The cloth seats in the LX are supportive, with a manually adjustable lumbar support, and the steering wheel is comfortable. The seat fabric feels like mouse fur, and may be a bit warm in the summer. Better are the EX model's optional leather-covered seats, which are firm and offer power lumbar adjustment. Sedona's seats seem smaller than those in a big SUV, and they suited us, though we would have preferred more side bolstering. Adjustable-height shoulder belts come standard and enhance comfort. (So make sure you use them, as seatbelts are your best defense in a crash.) The front-inside door handles are easy to find and operate, which isn't true in many SUVs.
The second row of seats is comfortable, particularly the captain's chairs in the EX. Second- and third-row seats recline, and occupants each have their own reading lights and cup holders.
Even the third row is a comfortable place for two adults, much more comfortable than the third-row seating in most sport-utility vehicles, even the big, expensive ones. There's lots of leg room and good hip room. Headroom is a little more limited, but fine for an average size adult. The rear quarter windows open manually on the LX, and electrically on the EX, where separate switches allow both the driver and the third-row passengers to control them.
Getting into and out of the third row is very easy, something that can't be said of any SUV, including the giant Suburban. To get out of the Sedona's third-row seat, simply press a foot lever, and the second-row seatback flips forward, then the whole seat automatically slides forward. Dual side doors easily slide open and closed manually. Power-operated doors are not available.
There isn't a whole lot of room for cargo behind the third row, but enough for a dozen bags of groceries, and hooks are provided on the backs of the third-row seats to help keep plastic grocery bags in place. To make room for more cargo, the third row flips forward, then tumbles; but you must first remove the headrests. The third-row seats can be removed, but they are heavy and cumbersome to carry, like those in many other minivans. The Kia's seats have grab handles, but the seatback doesn't stay locked down, making the whole package awkward to handle. The second-row seats are easy to latch in or out and, like the rearmost seats, are mounted on rollers. But like most minivan or SUV seats, when it comes time to lift them, they are still heavy and awkward.
Sedona's transmission lever comes out of the dash. A somewhat similar design is used for the Toyota Sienna and Lexus RX330. Odd at first glance, this design takes up less room and opens up some floor space between the front seats, a good spot for tote bags, purses, or a couple of sacks of groceries. This may help you reduce the number of items rolling around in the passenger-side footwell. And with the second-row captain's chairs in the EX, there's a nice aisle through the first and second rows for carrying long items.
Interior switchgear is functional, but not elegant to the touch. It does not impart a feeling of quality. Buttons for cruise control, rear defrost, and the audio system are mounted high for accessibility. But the buttons are small and fussy and lack sufficient tactile feedback.
Nice details include visor extensions for early morning or late afternoon driving. Two glove boxes provide storage, along with a compartment on top of the dash. The 2004 Sedona provides 10 cup holders for your drinking pleasure. For 2004, a folding tray table is standard on both models.