Due to warranties, the top two costs of a new car are its MSRP and its mpg. In these two categories, the Pacifica and Sedona come up somewhat even. The Pacifica’s starting MSRP of $28,595 is a little higher than the Sedona’s ($26,400). However, the base Pacifica has higher fuel economy, with 28 mpg on the highway versus the Sedona’s 25. That fuel economy number widens considerably if you decide to buy the Pacifica Hybrid, which delivers a whopping 84 MPGe highway thanks to its plug-in hybrid powertrain—and due to its 33 miles of electric range, the Pacifica Hybrid won’t even use gasoline most of the time.
Safety is also extremely important in a minivan, since it is meant to transport both items and passengers with the utmost security. Both the Sedona and Pacifica are strong in this category. The Sedona earned the title of IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK, meaning that it made top marks in each of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s crash tests. However, the Pacifica comes out ahead as it was named an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+. This title has the same qualifications as the regular TOP SAFETY PICK, but with the additional requirements that the Pacifica have “Good” or better automatic front crash prevention systems and strong, illuminating headlights.
Safety and utility are big drivers in the decision to buy a minivan, but that’s no reason to scrimp on performance. The Kia Sedona, regardless of trim level, comes with a 3.3-liter V6 engine, which delivers 276 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque that heads to the wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission, allowing a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. However, the Pacifica has the Sedona beat in all of those numbers, as it is powered by a Pentastar 3.6-liter V6, which produces 287 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque, with a best-in-class towing capacity of 3,600 pounds.
In conclusion, although the Sedona is a strong competitor, the Pacifica clearly has the advantage over its rival, and the critical acclaim backs that up. The Sedona was chosen as one of Kelley Blue Book’s 16 Best Family Cars, but the Pacifica was one of KBB’s Overall Best Buys, North American Utility Vehicle of the Year, a Consumer’s Digest Best Buy and Cars.com’s Best New Family Car.
This article is presented by Ingram Park Auto Center in San Antonio, Texas.