Editor’s note: You may want to read more of Autotrader’s model vs. model comparison car reviews as well as the 2016 Kia Sedona used car review, the 2016 Honda Odyssey used car review and A Look Back at The Honda Odyssey.
If you’re interested in a new minivan, you’ll probably notice there aren’t too many choices on the market. One of the most popular is the 2016 Honda Odyssey, while the newest van around is the 2016 Kia Sedona — an alluring new model that’s been recently redesigned with a sharp new look and a lot of new equipment. So which one is better? We’ve created a close comparison between the two vans in order to find out, but first let’s see what’s new with the Sedona and the Odyssey for the latest model year.
2016 Kia Sedona
The Kia Sedona is a stylish new minivan that was fully redesigned last year. For 2016, it adds a newly standard backup camera to all models along with standard heated front seats for the Sedona EX. See all 2016 Kia Sedona models available near you
2016 Honda Odyssey
The Honda Odyssey is a popular minivan that has been a minivan market benchmark for more than a decade. The Odyssey adds a new SE trim for 2016 that touts a few upscale features in a less expensive trim level. See all 2016 Honda Odyssey models available near you
According to reliability experts at J.D. Power, the Honda Odyssey’s reliability is above average. Because the Kia Sedona is so new, the firm has not yet rated it for reliability. The Sedona’s warranty coverage is stunning, though, as it offers 5 years or 60,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper protection and 10 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage — figures that easily trump the Odyssey’s 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and 5 years or 60,000 miles of powertrain coverage. As a result, this category is a draw — though it could easily go to the Sedona if it manages to earn excellent reliability ratings from J.D. Power.
Both the Odyssey and Sedona only offer one engine option. In the Odyssey, it’s a 3.5-liter V6 that touts 248 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy stands at 19 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
Meanwhile, the Sedona uses a 3.3-liter V6 that touts an impressive 276 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque, along with a 6-speed automatic transmission. It offers up to 18 mpg city/25 mpg hwy in upscale SX guise, though most Sedona models return 18 mpg city/24 mpg hwy.
Given these numbers, the Odyssey is the fuel economy leader here.
In crash testing carried out by the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, both the 2016 Kia Sedona and the 2016 Honda Odyssey earned a perfect 5-star overall rating. Both vans also earned a Top Safety Pick rating from the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, falling just short of the firm’s Top Safety Pick+ score because they don’t offer automatic forward-collision braking.
Despite that oversight, however, both the Odyssey and the Sedona offer just about every other safety feature on the market. Of course, both vans come standard with side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and traction control, but they also offer a wide range of options, including front and rear parking sensors, forward-collision warning (without automatic braking), rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, a blind spot monitoring system and more. In short, these vans are two of the safest ways you can transport your family today.
Just like in our safety section, the Odyssey and Sedona offer a lot of similarities when it comes to technology. We’ve already covered all of their similar safety equipment, but it doesn’t stop there: The two vans also share a long list of other modern gadgets, ranging from an 8-inch center screen to a modern infotainment system, voice controls, rear-seat entertainment, power-sliding doors and more.
Admittedly, there are a few features offered by one van and not the other. Only the Odyssey offers Honda’s excellent LaneWatch blind spot camera, for instance, while only the Sedona offers a 360-degree surround-view parking camera system. Only the Odyssey offers an in-car vacuum cleaner, while only the Sedona touts a cooled glove box. If there’s a feature that’s particularly important to you, you’ll want to check to make sure each van offers it. Otherwise, these two are virtually identical in terms of technology.
If you’ve followed along so far, you’ve probably realized that the Odyssey and Sedona are surprisingly similar, touting largely the same safety features, the same technology, the same crash-test scores and only small differences — most notably in terms of warranty length and gas mileage.
But there’s one big difference between the Odyssey and the Sedona: pricing. Despite similar standard equipment, the Sedona starts around $27,400 with shipping, compared to $30,400 for the Odyssey. That $3,000 difference — around 10 percent of the purchase price of either van — stays about the same as you progress through the trim levels, and it’s no small amount of money.
While this would normally ensure an easy victory for the Sedona in the value category, we think the Odyssey has a trick up its sleeve: resale value. While the Sedona may be cheaper to buy, the Odyssey will almost certainly retain more value than the Kia — a function of its stronger popularity and more desirable brand name. That means the Odyssey’s higher price may even out due to higher resale value, depending on how long you keep your van. As a result, this category, too, is a draw.
There’s a lot to like about both the Honda Odyssey and the Kia Sedona — and we strongly suspect you’ll appreciate either one. And while we do our best to pick a winner in our comparisons, this one is simply too close to call. The vans offer similar technology, similar powertrains and similar safety equipment. However, there is one area where the Kia beats the Honda — interior accommodations. The Sedona’s second-row captain’s chairs recline and move in ways most minivan seats can’t, plus Kia offers more interesting color choices and more modern-looking textures. It’s hardly a deal-breaker, but if this kind of thing is important to you, go with the Kia.
In the end, both vans are excellent with only a few minor advantages one way or the other — like the Odyssey’s better fuel economy and the Kia’s longer warranty. Simply put, both of these vans are among the best on the market — and it’s hard to go wrong with either one.