Sedona hasn’t been a major player in the shrinking minivan game, but this third generation could well raise the ante. A bit bigger, roomier, and more structurally robust, with a new powertrain, the Sedona is more refined, quieter, and offers a broader range of trim levels. Just one caveat: The word "minivan" has been expunged from the Kia lexicon.
You'll Like The 2015 Kia Sedona If...
The new Kia Sedona prioritize smooth ride quality, quiet operation, lots of room, handsome interior appointments, and, always a key element in family vehicles, top safety ratings. The Sedona also offers an exceptionally broad range of features and trim levels, and like other Kia-Hyundai vehicles, a strong value proposition.
You May Not Like The 2015 Kia Sedona If...
While the new Sedona is exemplary in terms of quiet comfort, its fun-to-drive index trails that of Honda’s Odyssey. Though thoroughly competent and devoid of unpleasant surprises, its agility lags behind the Odyssey, and its electric power steering leaves something to be desired in terms of on-center tactile information.
All-new truly applies to the 2015 Kia Sedona, which shares almost nothing with the previous edition: Its chassis has been redesigned and strengthened, and its wheelbase and overall length have been stretched. The minivan's interior and exterior have been restyled, and a more powerful 3.3-liter V6 engine replaces the previous 3.5-liter.
The new Sedona’s exterior dimensions haven’t expanded significantly, but the interior designers have created more legroom and shoulder room in all three rows, in both the 7- and 8-passenger configurations. Like most new vehicles today, the 2015 Kia Sedona has plenty of soft-touch surfaces. There’s an open, airy feel inside, and attention to sound-deadening makes the going more serene. Kia is keeping pace in terms of infotainment and connectivity with its UVO telematics, including new features such as Curfew Alert and Geo Fencing that allow parents to monitor what the vehicle is doing when their kids are at the wheel.
Kia’s design objective was to make the 2015 Sedona look more like an SUV and less like a minivan. Key elements are a hoodline with less slope, side panels with minimal creases, and a beltline rising from the windshield pillar to the rear of the van. The new front fascia features Kia’s signature “tiger nose” grille and LED accents for the headlights, while the rear sports a roof spoiler and LED taillights. While it’s unlikely to be mistaken for a sport-utility vehicle, the new Sedona does project a more muscular persona.
A key element in the new Sedona’s redesign was noise suppression, a priority that pays off in an exceptionally quiet interior at all speeds. The V6 engine is unobtrusive as it goes about its business, and road noise is all but absent, regardless of pavement composition. Similarly, ride quality is exceptionally creamy, without descending into the wallowy behavior of a 1975 Lincoln Town Car. These are all desirable traits in a family vehicle. On the other hand, while devoid of any real vices, the Kia Sedona’s responses in quick maneuvers are deliberate, rather than eager. The electric power steering system could benefit from improved tactile feedback, and the V6 engine, while smooth, delivers acceleration that’s classifiable as adequate, rather than brisk. On the other hand, there’s no hesitation in the engine’s throttle response, and the operation of the minivan's 6-speed automatic transmission is generally seamless.
Manufacturer Suggested Retail Prices (MSRPs) for the 2015 Kia Sedona open at $26,700 for the basic L trim level and rise through four more trim levels to $40,500 for the new Sedona SX Limited, the top-of-the-line Kia minivan. That price range is consistent with key competitors such as the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Town & Country, a little lower at the top and bottom of the scale. For the record, we'd recommend the $33,000 Sedona EX, which includes leather seating, a 6-speaker audio system, power sliding doors and liftgate, 18-inch wheels, and a host of other valuable comfort, convenience and style features. And while the 2015 Sedona is too new for resale value predictions, you can always get a good idea of what new-car buyers in your area are paying for their Kias by checking out the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price.
Although the Sedona’s higher trim levels include a number of tempting features, the basic L model can’t be classified as a stripper. Elements you might not expect to see on a base model include steering-wheel audio controls, a tilt/telescoping steering column, air conditioning with front and rear controls, a backup warning system, side mirrors with turn signal repeaters, Bluetooth, 12 cup holders, and a new soil-resistant upholstery material. Navigation comes standard only on the SX and SX Limited models.
Stepping up to the new SX Limited trim brings a higher level of luxury to the Kia Sedona line, with features that include 19-inch chromed aluminum-alloy wheels, reclining 2nd-row captain's chairs with legrests (7-passenger configuration), Nappa leather seating, and a heated, wood-trimmed steering wheel. Options unique to the Sedona SX Limited include adaptive cruise control, auto-leveling xenon headlights, a surround view monitor, lane departure warning, and a forward-collision alert system.
FIRST-CLASS LOUNGE SEATING
Available on the Sedona SX Limited models, these 2nd-row captain’s chairs recline within about 25 degrees of horizontal, and the vertical sections below the seat cushions extend to become footrests. Behaving very much like First Class airline accommodations, the seats are aptly named.
The new Sedona’s solution for achieving maximum cargo volume with a flat floor is track-mounted middle row seats that fold up and slide forward to stack against the front row. Third-row seats fold below floor level to create a substantial cargo hold.
Under the Hood
As in previous generations, the new Sedona is limited to one engine, one transmission, and front-wheel drive. However, the engine and transmission are both new, though not new to Kia’s powertrain inventory. The engine, a 3.3-liter V6 with direct fuel injection, is shared with the Kia Cadenza sedan and Sorento SUV. It replaces the previous port-injection 3.5-liter V-6 and raises peak horsepower by 32, to 276 at 6,000 rpm. A 6-speed automatic transmission replaces the previous 5-speed. EPA fuel economy ratings are 18 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway.
276 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
248 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24 mpg
The 2015 Kia Sedona shuns the minivan label. Officially, it’s a “multipurpose vehicle.” That’s accurate, though it embraces a range of vehicles well beyond those with sliding side doors. To fortify the SUV illusion, the new Sedona has more of a bull nose, a flatter hood, and vertical sides. While this isn’t likely to fool anyone, it does help the Sedona stand out versus stylish competitors like the Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest, and Toyota Sienna. Call it what you will, the redesigned Sedona is improved in the areas that count: more room, more power, more safety features, more refinement, more comfort, more choices, and less interior noise. That, plus a strong value story, gives the Sedona a stronger presence in a thinly populated minivan field.