Our KIA Sedona camping adventure

Sponsored postI need to preface this review by stating that I am NOT a minivan person. When I think minivan, I think "grandma mobile", complete with character-emblazoned steering wheel and cross stitch caddy just waiting for a long drive. I know I'm not alone in this because there are legit sites proclaiming their distaste for the minivan movement. I had always firmly believed that minivans were not what the cool kids drove, no matter how practical they may be.

My husband, however, has been trying to convince me how awesome minivans are since well before we had kids. Quite frankly, I thought he was crazy. I'm all about small cars, and compact sedans are where my heart has always been.

BUT I CHANGED MY MIND! It turns out I do think minivans can be pretty darn cool, and after riding in the Kia Sedona last week and taking a fun road trip with the family to go camping, I will admit that I fully get it. I get why they are awesome, and I get why parents {and grandparents} love them.

You hear me, hubby? I get it.  Not your Grandmas minivan

Imagine this for a second: No one complaining about how long the car ride is or that their sister is sitting too close. No one asking you for toys, drinks, more A/C, or anything else. In the Sedona, everyone is in charge of their own journey. Too hot? Turn on your A/C, darling. Bored? Play with one of the millions of toys you squirreled away in the back seat. Sun in your eyes? Lower your sunshade, sunshine.

And, let me tell you, the kids were SOLD on the van as soon as it arrived. Once they experienced all the bells and whistles of the loaded Sedona van, they decided it was pretty much kid heaven and they immediately agreed with their dad that we should be a minivan family.

It’s hard to argue when you see this picture of our little slice of camping heaven that we got to experience when we took the RV-in-law out for a Whidbey Island camping trip with the family. This. Is. The. Life. Kia Sedona campingHere’s what we liked best in our week of rolling in a family-mobile:

Daddy-O Likes

Easy loading and unloading – Since he’s the official loader and unloader, I can see why he doesn’t love our compact car. After seeing the joys of minivan life with all the stuff the kids require {seriously, so much STUFF}, he is all the more resolved that we need a bigger vehicle to transport all our kids, and their stuff. KIA Sedona back openSUV good looks, minivan functions – Although the Sedona is definitely a minivan, it has a longer front end that makes it look a whole lot more like an SUV. It definitely doesn’t look like your grandma’s minivan with the tough, stylish front end and the side surfacing that gave it a more distinct shape than a slab-sided design. Perhaps that's why KIA prefers to call the Sedona a "Multi-Purpose Vehicle" as opposed to a "minivan". Because it truly is the best of both worlds.Kia Sedona front endTech, tech, everywhere is high tech – As much as hubby likes a simple dash with minimal styling, he also loves all the new tech features that they are cramming into vehicles these days. For this reason, he’s a big fan of the KIA system that seems really natural and can easily navigate through the menus on the screen to control just about everything.  KIA Sedona front seatO Captain, My Captain  The minivan feel is further shattered by this luxurious front seat that is far more SUV than van with a larger center console to hold everything from drinks to tech devices. Cubbies keep everything organized and stored away nicely, but never out of reach of passenger and driver.  

Luxury in everything – The minivan has always been synonymous with comfort, but the Sedona truly takes it to a whole new level. With fully adjustable seats, including rear captains’ seats that recline way back and footrests that allow you to relax while you ride, it makes the backseats even more comfy than riding shotgun. KIA Sedona captains seatKicking it Old School – As much as we appreciate the screen options to navigate all the different features of the Sedona, we still love knobs for quick changes without having to search through electronic menus. For that reason, we love that many of the controls are knobs and buttons so we can quickly make changes as we drive to fine tune the ride, the music, and the temperature. Overall, we both agree it was a good mix of buttons and screen options, which is the best of both worlds. Kia Sedona steering wheel

Mama Likes

Mama likes a lot. A whole lot. Here's only a partial list of faves.Kia Sedona under mirror cameraMagic mirrors – I love the KIA backup cams and wish that every car had this awesome safety feature, but the Sedona takes it one step further by adding additional cameras under the mirrors and to the front of the vehicle that is able to give you a pseudo-top-view to help you see virtually all around your car at once. This makes parking goof-proof since you can see any cars, obstructions, or curbs as you parallel park or back in. It even has cross-traffic warnings that alert you to traffic from the sides as you are backing out of a spot.
KIA Sedona van camera
Heated and cooled passenger and driver seats – Everyone wins when there are heated and cooled seats.

Two sliding doors – Why have one when you can have TWO sliding doors that open with the touch of button? It is easier access to both sides, there’s no arguing over which side the kids want to sit, and it is so much easier to load babies in newborn car seats. As for the older kids, they loved the push button doors that made it easy for them to get in and out and sneak 100 of their favorite toys in with them {seriously, so many toys}. Kia Sedona all doors openDual temperature controls – I like it much hotter than hubby does, so I love that I get to control my side and he gets his. We had been driving for a day when I asked him if we could please turn down the AC and he showed me I had my own control that I could change WHENEVER I WANTED. Win, win. KIA Sedona fold up rear seatsHide-a-Seat – Removable seats have been pretty common for years, but they were so heavy and hard to store that they were more trouble than they were worth. But, with the Kia Sedona, the back seats fold down so incredibly easy that you can do it with one hand. Since we had so much gear with us, I appreciated being able to get extra space whenever we needed it.
Kia Sedona back seat downEverybody In – One thing I loved about the Sedona was that if fit 7 people, comfortably. The number of seats are nice on their own, but in the Sedona I loved that they were all nice sized seats to accommodate even large adults. This made it so much easier to pick up my sister and her boyfriend for dinner or to have the whole family pile in if we wanted to venture out of the camping site and didn’t want to take the full camper. KIA Sedona from backseat

Kiddos Like

Creature comforts galore – This car is literally a kiddo haven, so it’s hard to even list all the luxuries the kiddos enjoyed, but top of the list is definitely the captains’ seats that can adjust in multiple ways, including front to back, side to side, reclining ability, and footrests that can raise up and slide out to accommodate even older kids. Kia Sedona back sear adjustmentsHuge entertainment system, courtesy of Mother Nature – No, there wasn’t an electronic entertainment system in the model we tested {although there is one available in other models}, I’m talking about all the visibility out the huge side windows as well as their own sunroof. Yes, they had their own sunroof. It was very popular.   KIA Sedona sunroof for everyoneMother Nature at their fingertips  You know those huge side windows? They roll down, people. It was a huge hit with the kids, especially when we let our daughter pay for drinks in a drive thru on our camping trip. If only you could have heard the giggles – from our daughter and the guy working the drive thru. Kia Sedona in drive thruTemperature controls – In the Sedona, the kids got to control their backseat temperature and they loved it. Not only did it have vents back there for heat and AC, which they were already excited about, they loved that they could actually control their temperature directly which they have never been able to do before.
Kia Sedona sliding doors openSo, the question you're all asking, "Is Leanne a minivan convert?" The short answer is, yes.

It was truly awesome to be able to load everything we needed for our camping trip so easily. In fact, we even had room to spare since most of our gear and food fit down just in the area the back seats fold into, which is a far cry from having to draw straws to see who gets to bring their overnight bag when we're cramming into our little car. 

Beyond the extra space, I loved how luxurious and comfortable the Sedona was for getting to the campsite as well as transporting the whole family around the island once we arrived. Being able to fit so many people comfortably meant we could all ride together without having to pack up the RV for any family fun field trips, and it gave us even more time to bond and relax as a family.

I even had time to take up a new hobby while riding shotgun in the Sedona:

 Kia Sedona LoveThat's right, grandma. We've made your minivan cool and now we're taking on your hobbies. I swear I'm still a cool kid. All the cool kids cross stitch these days.

Leanne SignatureA big thank you to Drive Shop for this driving experience. It was a really awesome day when the Sedona arrived and I think we all shed a few tears when it went back. As always, all opinions are 100% ours. 

8 thoughts on “Our KIA Sedona camping adventure”

  1. Susan, I had to check with my loader/unloader, but he confirmed what the KIA site said that both have the LATCH system. Are you in the market for a van?

  2. It’s crazy. We rented a minivan last year, a few months after having our kid, on a trip to Eastern Washington/wine country, and we hated how much we loved it. Still haven’t pulled the trigger and bought one, but it’s obviously the practical thing to do, and probably inevitable.

  3. I love my minivan, too. Never thought I’d ever be saying that! LOL! The mini-cam on the KIA is a pretty awesome feature. Wish I had that. I need all the help I can get when reversing. LOL

  4. I’m with you – they are insanely practical and luxurious, but it’s still hard to make the leap. It is the next logical step when we have to fit three car seats across after baby graduates to a convertible seat, but as much as I’m going to love it, I’m going to miss my compact sedan when that happens. Now, if it was THIS ^ minivan, I wouldn’t shed a tear!

  5. Oh, I’m totally there with you! The camera system on the KIA is AMAZING. I don’t need a camera in my current car, but if I was driving this big of a car, you betcha I need it. There is no way I’m parallel parking a VAN in Seattle without it.


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