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2017 Kia Sedona vs Dodge Grand Caravan

2017 Kia Sedona vs Honda Odyssey

Just because you need a minivan doesn't mean you're happy to settle for anything as long as it's got enough seats and storage space to cater to your needs. Today's minivan buyers are just as demanding as consumers in any other automotive segment, and it's clear manufacturers are either upping their game with their new vans or getting out of the segment altogether. Two legendary models are the 2017 Kia Sedona and the Dodge Grand Caravan, so let's take a look at how they compare.

2017 Kia Sedona vs Dodge Grand Caravan

Exterior Styling

Exterior styling hasn't traditionally been a strong point for minivans in the past, but that has to change now that vans face such a relentless fight for market share with crossovers. The Sedona, which Kia calls its "multi-purpose vehicle," was redesigned for the 2015 model year, and to say it was a big step forward is an understatement. Kia designers have made what normally is a boxy minivan a sleek and sporty vehicle, which is not an easy feat.

The body of the Grand Caravan is more the result of the vehicle's practicality rather than a concerted attempt to be attractive. It looks like most people's idea of what a minivan will look like, and the amount of glass does deliver great visibility for those inside. The Dodge isn't particularly stylish from any angle, and it looks at least a decade older than the Kia. The Sedona wins this one by a landslide.

Interior

A minivan is all about interior space and practicality, and the 2017 Kia Sedona delivers in spades. Apart from the third-row seats only being big enough for kids, which is true for nearly any third row vehicle, it's hard to find anything to criticize about the Kia's interior. With seating for up to eight people and a second row with the neat Slide-n-Stow feature, buyers get all the practicality they could wish for. The Sedona has ample storage throughout, and the quality and luxury of the materials is impressive, especially in higher trims.

In 2011 Dodge went out of its way to upgrade the quality of the build and materials inside the Grand Caravan's cabin. The combination of the airy feel from the large windows and the comfort afforded by the appealing textures makes the interior of the Dodge a very nice place to be. It's not as plush and luxurious as the Kia, but it's a decent effort.

Performance and Fuel Economy

Nobody expects thrilling performance from a minivan, but the Kia Sedona is a capable performer that won't disappoint anyone who has realistic expectations. It's a comfortable and quiet ride and the 3.3-liter V-6 has enough power to handle a full load with some ease. Fuel economy can vary slightly with different models, but the best EPA ratings for the Sedona are 18 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg combined.

The Dodge Grand Caravan's 3.6-liter V-6 offers a bit more power, which provides plenty of get-up and go in the low and mid-range. However, fuel-efficiency isn't as good as the Kia as the EPA rates the Dodge at 17 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg combined. Since the performance difference is so slight, this category goes to the more powerful Grand Caravan.

Safety

Safety is a big deal in this segment, which makes sense because these are passenger-focused family vehicles. The Kia can claim to be one of only two models to be rated as a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. It also gets a full five star rating from the NHTSA, so you're going to struggle to find a safer minivan.

The Dodge Grand Caravan is an aging vehicle, and that's reflected in its dimming safety ratings. The NHTSA only gives it a four star rating, and in its tough new small-overlap crash test, the IIHS gives it a "Poor" rating.

Learn More about the Kia Sedona

2017 Kia Sedona vs Honda Odyssey

You will have to pay more for a 2017 Kia Sedona than a Dodge Grand Caravan, but at the entry level that's difference is less than $500. That's a small price to pay for what is a more attractive, modern, safer, and better performing vehicle. In a head-to-head comparison, the Kia is a much better minivan in almost every way.