2016 Kia Sedona vs. 2017 Kia Sedona: Which is Better?

While the 2016 Kia Sedona is a bargain, the 2017 model adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.
Written by Brittni Brinn
Reviewed by Hillary Kobayashi
The 2017 Kia Sedona introduces a new Technology Package and adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The 2016 Kia Sedona is available for around $1,500 cheaper than the 2017 model on the used market.
A distinctive minivan that doesn’t skimp on features, the Kia Sedona offers a lot of value for the budget-conscious shopper. Plus, its generous warranty and top safety scores make it a stand-out choice for families that need a bit of extra space.
But which model year is better? While the 2016 Sedona provides a quiet interior, the 2017 model ups the ante with added available features. Let’s compare the two model years to help you decide which Sedona is right for you!

2016 Kia Sedona vs. 2017 Kia Sedona: what’s the difference?

The Kia Sedona is a minivan that has great value and keeps up with competitors like the
Toyota Sienna
and the
Honda Odyssey
in terms of style. The 2016 Sedona is a carryover from the 2015 redesign, which used the more popular crossover body style as inspiration. 
The 2017 Sedona doesn’t change much in terms of build design, but it does have a few new features that may sway you in its direction.
Let’s consider the differences between the 2016 and 2017 Sedona. 


When it comes to cost alone, the 2016 Sedona can range from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars cheaper than the 2017 model, depending on the trim. 
Here’s a comparison of the original manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) for each Sedona trim from these two model years.
2017 MSRP
2016 MSRP
Kia Sedona L
Kia Sedona LX
Kia Sedona EX
Kia Sedona SX
Kia Sedona SX-L
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General specs

Even though engine performance is probably not your priority when shopping for a minivan, it’s still worth considering what a vehicle is capable of before you buy it. 
For the 2016 and 2017 Kia Sedona, you’ll get a 276-horsepower 3.3-liter V6 engine with direct fuel injection and front-wheel drive regardless of your trim level. The engine provides a calm and easy-to-handle drive with the benefit of a smooth—if a little bit slow—six-speed automatic transmission. 
Both models prioritize a quiet cabin and although they don’t excel in terms of engine performance, their V6 engine is adequate for families wanting a pleasant on-road driving experience.
2017 Kia Sedona
2016 Kia Sedona
Base engine
276-horsepower 3.3-liter V6 engine
276-horsepower 3.3-liter V6 engine
Six-speed automatic
Six-speed automatic
Front-wheel drive
Front-wheel drive
Maximum towing capacity
3,500 lbs
3,500 lbs

Fuel economy

Since the 2016 and 2017 Kia Sedona models use the same build with few changes to the actual body, they both have the same fuel efficiency rating from the EPA: 18 city/24 highway/20 combined miles per gallon (mpg).
This rating isn’t great, but considering the Sedona is a large vehicle and its ratings are comparable to other minivans, it’s one drawback that may be unavoidable if you’re shopping for a minivan.

Safety ratings

The 2016 and the 2017 Kia Sedona models get a perfect five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with five-star ratings across the board except for in the rollover category where they both scored four out of five.
The 2016 Kia Sedona safety features include: 
  • Child door locks
  • Child seat anchors
  • Driver and passenger airbags
  • Front head curtain and front side airbags
  • Rear head curtain airbag
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rearview camera
The 2017 Kia Sedona comes with all of these safety features and adds a new Technology Package that comes with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and upgraded high-intensity-discharge headlights.
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Styling and interior changes

The 2016 and 2017 Sedonas are the same inside and out with just a few tweaks. Here’s what you can expect to come standard in the interior of both models:
  • AM/FM/CD/satellite audio system
  • A 4.3-inch touchscreen
  • Bluetooth wireless connectivity
  • USB/auxiliary inputs
  • A pop-out conversation mirror
  • 12 cup holders
  • Tricot fabric seats with built-in stain-resistance
Since both of these models are on the used market, you won’t always be able to find some of the additional factory options that were offered. Here’s a list of upgrades to look out for as you go up the trim ladder of both model years:
  • Eight-way-power driver’s seat
  • Roof rails
  • Power-folding outside mirrors
  • Power-operated sliding doors and liftgate
  • Leather seating
  • Kia’s UVO infotainment system
  • Backup warning system
  • Tri-zone climate control
  • Infinity premium audio
  • Eight-inch touch screen with navigation
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • LED headlights
  • Nappa leather
  • Lounge seating
  • Dual sunroofs
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Smart cruise control
  • Forward collision and lane-departure warnings
The main difference between the two models is that the 2017 Sedona has an upgraded infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities. So if hands-free tech and phone usage in your vehicle is a priority, this could push the 2017 model to the top of your list.
MORE: 7 things to look for when buying a used car

2016 Kia Sedona vs. 2017 Kia Sedona: Which should you buy?

Since the 2016 and 2017 Sedonas are very similar, it really comes down to two factors: cost and features.
The 2016 Sedona is generally going to cost you less at the dealership than the comparable 2017 model. If you’re looking for a minivan on a budget, the 2016 model might be the one for you.
However, if you can’t live without your phone while driving, the 2017 Sedona’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities might make the decision easy for you.  
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