Minivans

2019 Kia Sedona gets a fresh face and better tech

A few thoughtful improvements keep the Sedona competitive in the minivan segment.

A slightly redesigned front fascia sets the 2019 Sedona apart from its predecessor. 

Kia

Even though crossovers and SUVs are all the rage right now, there are still plenty of families who prefer the tried-and-true functionality of a minivan. (Sliding doors FTW.) Kia is one of the few automakers still playing in this segment, and its lovely Sedona minivan gets a handful of updates for the 2019 model year.

You'll have to really concentrate in order to spot the differences between the 2019 Sedona and its predecessor. The dead giveaway is up front, where the lower fascia houses more prominent foglight housings, similar to those on the updated 2019 Sorento. LED headlamps are standard on top-level SX and SXL trims, and buyers will have a choice of 17-, 18- or 19-inch wheels, depending on model.

The overall interior design doesn't change, but buyers will no doubt appreciated the cabin's updated technology. There's a wireless smartphone charger between the front seats, and SX and SXL models get an electronic parking brake. Rear occupants will enjoy an available entertainment system that uses a pair of 10.1-inch touchscreens, which replaces the outgoing van's single flip-down overhead screen. The two displays have smartphone-mirroring functionality, and come with wireless Bluetooth headphones.

All Sedonas are powered by a 3.3-liter V6 with 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. A new 8-speed automatic transmission replaces the old Sedona's 6-speed unit, which should result in improved fuel economy, though official EPA numbers aren't available just yet.

Kia will show the 2019 Sedona at the New York Auto Show this week, and sales are expected to start later in 2018.