Road-trips are not my favorite pastime. But if my vehicle is comfortable and has the right features, it can make the trip so much better. Landon and I set out on a 4-5 hour road-trip to Chicago a little over a week ago. I was a bit nervous because Landon has not been a fan of riding in the car in the past. He cries and doesn’t self settle, resulting in puking all over himself. So I normally make several pit-stops along the way.
This road-trip I drove the 2016 Kia Sedona, courtesy of Kia. Due to Tommie’s work schedule, I had to pack all of our bags in the van myself. Not only did we have 2 weeks worth of luggage, but because Landon is a baby, I had extra items to pack. For instance, the stroller, pack n play, and a bin of toys.
It was surprisingly easy to load up while Landon took a nap. The rear slide-n-go seats folded into the recessed space in the back with no problem. This opened up plenty of room for me to load everything we had packed. And it all fit perfectly.
I initially installed Landon’s car seat rear facing since it is recommended as long as possible. But during our trip I had to turn him around so he could see me. Since he is over a year old, and exceeds the height and weight limits, it is still legal for him to ride in a front facing car seat. Facing backwards for so long made him feel alone and neglected no matter how much I talked to him. I tried to occupy him with his iPad, however, he threw it on the floor as soon as he got bored with it. I feel like it was asking a lot of a 1 year old to sit rear facing with not much interaction for such a long trip. When I installed his seat rear facing I used the lap-shoulder belt and checked to make sure the seat was level and the belt had tight tension. When I installed the seat forward facing I was able to utilize the latch system easily using the tether and lower vehicle anchors.
There were initially a few features of the Kia Sedona that I loved and made Landon’s ride more comfortable. One of my favorite was the sun shades over the back windows. They pulled up and hooked to the top of the windows and covered 90% of the window. Landon gets really irritated with the sun gets in his eyes so this feature made his ride so much more comfortable hands down.
The DVD player was another great feature. Although it was useless while Landon was rear facing. It was extremely handy when I turned him around to front facing. I stopped by a RedBox and rented Landon Kung Fu Panda 3 and Alpha and Omega Dina Dogs to keep him entertained during the trip. And it did exactly that. After I popped a movie in he was content for the rest of the trip.
Since I had never been to my moms new place, I used the Voice-Command Navigation with 8″ Touch Screen Display, & SiriusXM® Traffic. I’m not really sure how the voice command part works, but I was able to easily input the destination address and get directions. I wasn’t extremely happy with the directions that the navigation gave. I feel like I could have followed another route that would have been faster but it was not an option. I loved the touch screen display. To be honest, I like my Google or iPhone navigation more since it has traffic and delay re-route options. I feel like the Kia Navigation system is lacking a bit from other systems I am accustomed to.
I really loved the Rear-Camera Display, Back-Up Warning System, Parking Assist, with Front and Rear Sensors and Surround View Monitor (SVM). These features made maneuvering the Kia Sedona in and out of parking amazingly easy. And the Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Smart Cruise Control (SCC), and Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) made me feel more safe while driving. Especially since I am not familiar with driving this vehicle.
We had fun along our roadtrip and it actually took us 7 hours to complete our 4-5 hour drive. We had a few meltdowns and made several stops along the way. I must admit, it was kind of a boring drive. Luckily I vlogged the trip and it was a bit entertaining. Especially when Landon tosses his iPad on the floor.