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Rides Revisited: The 2016 Kia Sorento vs The 2016 Kia Sedona

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#CAS16With the 2016 Chicago Auto Show rolling into McCormick Place this week, I figured it would be a good time to roll out some “Rides Revisited” features on a few vehicles that I’d driven before, but have since taken out to rock the road with my family. In this installment, it’s the 2016 Kia Sorento crossover vs. the 2016 Kia Sedonamulti-purpose vehicle minivan. I had the opportunity to drive pre-release versions of both of these vehicles back in 2014, hopping behind the wheel of the Sedona out near Dana Point, California, while I had a chance to drive a pair of Sorentos through multiple climates between Lake Tahoe, California and Reno, Nevada. While I certainly had formed an opinion of both vehicles (I liked the Sedona, but loved the Sorento), sometimes having the vehicle here at Rock Father HQ for some time with the family helps re-shape things. In the case of these, that’s just what we did late last year…

 The 2016 Kia Sedona SXL – Base Price Sedona, $26,400. As Driven with SXL Trim, $44,690

2016 Kia Sedona SXL - Chicago Auto Show Preview
Rockin’ the Holiday Road in the 2016 Kia Sedona

That guy that says he’s “never gonna buy a minivan?” That’s me. Up until a few years ago, I’d never even driven one, and to some small extent, may have even considered not featuring them here on the site. After all, minivan doesn’t exactly scream “rock and roll,” but that thinking is outdated as the category has changed. The Sedona is comfortable, spacious, and feels like riding in someone’s living room. The family absolutely loves it, and I like the styling better than the category-leading Toyota Sienna. 

Riding in the Sedona
My wife took this picture. It’s a comfy ride. 

The kids loved it. My wife loved it. We used it to hit-up some snow-less pre-Holiday gatherings, and I used it to hit up The Home Depot to pick up supplies for my always-in-progress #RockFatherRemodel projects. It handles really well, too – but one of the big points of endearment came based on it’s sheer cargo space. When Finley’s two-of-a-kind “Rock Daughter Edition” Hot Wheels Race Car Bed arrived here from The Step2 Company, I needed to go purchase a twin sized matress. After finding one on-sale at Big Lots, the Sedona carried the load perfectly.

Hauling with Kia
From supplies to trim to mattresses, the Kia Sedona can haul some stuff!

With five trim levels available, the Sedona starts near $26K and tops off around $45K. Function and style are both present here… a lot of both, but the function won me, and that’s something you can’t always gauge when driving at a press event.

The 2016 Kia Sorento: Starting Price, $25,100

2016 Kia Sorento - Chicago Auto Show Preview
The 2016 Kia Sorento is just a great-looking vehicle. I also like barns, so this picture has artistic synergy.

The crossover category is one that I’m a fan of – and since we actually own a crossover, it makes sense. While I went into detail on the different engines available in the Sorento during the press launch, getting one in our driveway was something I’d wanted for awhile (and I even mentioned that, too). In a crowded category, the Sorento just continues to impress me, and a lot of it has to do with styling and texture. As my wife put it, “it just feels grown-up.” Kia has become one Hell of a brand since its early days, and their line-wide design changes under design leader Peter Schreyer have been impactful.

The Sorento is a fantastic family vehicle that’s comfortable and spacious, fun to drive, and has some storage capacity to play with. In our case, we used it to attend a wedding, and for a weekend getaway – funny enough, “The Perfect Getaway” being part of its marketing tag at launch.


With eight trim levels available, there’s a massive spread to the type of Sorento you could drive, something I’d mentioned during my first run. Starting at $25K and topping off around $44K, the options are to be carefully considered. It’s really a matter of what you want between power, people and style.

The Winner: TIE

If you’d have asked me my opinion on these vehicles during my first run with each, I would’ve said the Sorento was my top pick, without question. That was largely my “never-gonna-buy-a-minivan” conscience speaking, which would’ve pointed me away from the Sedona regardless of how good or bad it was. Thing is, the sensible father in me has finally taken over in recent years, and now the decision between buying one or the other would probably have to be made via coin toss. They’re both great vehicles, and if I had to buy one today, the internal struggle of choice would be real.

See both at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, February 13-21 at McCormick Place. Check out Kia.com to build and price these vehicles and more.

Thanks to Driveshop USA for coordinating our test drive vehicles.

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