CA fun in the sun: test driving the Kia Sedona

One of the few things we miss living in Santa Fe is the ocean. Every once in a while we need our fix. Our recent trip to Southern California provided a much needed escape. It was the most relaxing trip we’ve had in years. For the most part, we stayed off the areas fabled highways. It wasn’t just because of the legendary traffic; it was because we love the Pacific Coast Highway. We got to drive it in a new Kia Sedona minivan courtesy of Drive Shop, a company that specializes in providing “driving experiences that inspire people to fall in love.” We did!

Meet the Kia Sedona

The Kia Sedona ready for at Wally Park near LAX photo/Billie Frank

The Kia Sedona ready for at Wally Park near LAX photo/Billie Frank

There’s nothing like cruising the coast from San Diego to Laguna Beach with the sun roofs open and the sea breeze blowing your hair. Our fully loaded Kia Sedona took us around San Diego and up the coast in style. There’s nothing like coming around a curve and finding the Pacific stretched out before you. It’s a breath-taking experience. Doing it in luxurious comfort, priceless!

Driving Ms. Billie

We had a wonderful time driving around San Diego, La Jolla and Coronado in the fully loaded Sedona. We went to beaches and rocky coves, the San Diego Botanic Gardens, the San Diego Natural History Museum and out to Point Loma and the Cabrillo National Monument.

Kia Sedona in San Diego

Billie and the Kia Sedona at Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma, photo/Steve Collins

Our car doesn’t have a lot of safety features. Put on your turn signal for a lane change and the Kia Sedona will beep if anyone’s in your blind spot or coming up fast. The one thing we didn’t like was when you went into reverse, the rear-view and side-view mirrors went down. Once we discovered that we could either manually adjust them or set them to be stationary, all was fine.

Kia Sedona

Sirius XM and the GPS navigation made it a pleasure, photo/Steve Collins

Some additional equipment beyond the the safety features and dual sun roofs, are keyless entry and push button ignition, a GPS system, Sirius XM and we could listen to our favorite stations, power/heated/cooled seats, power rear doors and back-hatch and lots more. It was a dream to drive. The comfortable front seats were very spacious with a big center console. There was ample legroom.

Kia Sedona meets the Pacific

Kia Sedona meets the Pacific in La Jolla, photo/Billie Frank

We forgot to test the rear seats, but friend and travel blogger, Elaine J. Masters of Trip Wellness rode in the back seat on our way to dinner at Rimel’s in La Jolla, a small chain locally famous for their rotisserie chicken. Here’s what she had to say, “the Kia was very comfy and quiet.” She pronounced it “surprisingly expansive.” We didn’t test the third row. We were able to stow our luggage comfortably in the way-back (we don’t travel light). Once inside, this mini-van feels surprisingly sporty. The peppy engine was surprisingly responsive. all in all we thoroughly enjoyed the driving experience.

Kia Sedona photo Steve Collins

We loved the easy access of sliding doors on both sides, photo/Steve Collins

They’ve come a long way baby!

We test-drove a Kia Sportage about a dozen years ago. We didn’t buy it. All we can say is “Kia, you’ve come a long way, baby.” In truth, we are not mini-van people. We’re empty nesters and a smaller car better fits our lifestyle. But, if we were looking for a mini-van, we’d give the Kia Sedona serious consideration; it shattered our stereotype of mini-vans. When we returned the vehicle to Wally Park at LAX, the most luxurious parking garage we’d ever seen, we were reluctant to say goodbye. We knew we’d miss it. Driving home from the Albuquerque Sunport that night, I sure missed that tell-tale beep when a car was in our blind spot. It had made me feel very safe.

Hasta Luego

Leaving Southern California with the pounding Pacific, sandy beaches, glorious ocean views, spectacular sunsets and our trusty Kia Sedona was hard but it was time to come home. We’ll be back and perhaps, we’ll be driving a new Kia Sedona.

 Author’s note: Kia and DrivShop provided the Kia Sedona to us in exchange for an honest review. We would have loved if no matter what. It’s a great vehicle!



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2 Responses to “CA fun in the sun: test driving the Kia Sedona”

  1. Karen Morris
    February 11, 2019 at 6:52 pm #

    We’re currently driving a Honda Odyssey and ready to replace it. I never thought of looking at the Kia- but I will now.

    • Billie Frank
      February 12, 2019 at 5:44 pm #

      Our son has an Odyssey and loves it- but we had a comparison chat last night and it sounds like the Kia is right uo there. Let me know if you check it out what you think. We loved it. If we were looking for a mini-van this would definitely be a contender. Next time we buy a car we’ll look at Kia’s which is something I never would have said before our week with the Sedona. Pleasantly surprised!

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