2015 Sedona New Car Test Drive
The 2015 Sedona is Kia's response to a minivan market that has been shrinking steadily over the years in response to the growing popularity of crossovers (CUVs) as well as the peculiar stigma with which minivans seem to have been afflicted. This negative-image issue appears particularly pronounced among men, who somehow feel their masculinity is called into question by the family-life connotations of a minivan.
Even the actual number of players is reducing: three more minivan models go away this year. Paradoxically, minivan distribution has become what Kia calls bi-modal. They are being purchased just about as much by so-called empty-nesters (couples whose children have already left home) as they are by young families.
And you can see why. These vehicles offer extra seating capacity for two- or three-couple dinner outings as well as for growing families. Access is generally better than in other vehicle styles, luggage space is flexible and large, and the driving position is higher than in conventional sedans.
This in mind, Kia has decided to continue to go after the bi-modal buyers, but has shifted the new Sedona's styling emphasis in the direction of the crossovers. There are still sliding side doors, with the prominent slots that Toyota's Sienna has craftily eliminated, which may have most people identifying it as a minivan rather than as the multi-purpose vehicle that Kia personnel prefer to have it known.
Still, with an overall length some 1.6 inches greater than before, and with shorter front and rear overhangs, the 2015 Kia Sedona does look something like the big crossovers that have been steadily poaching minivan sales.
With the new look of the 2015 Sedona comes a new engine: the 3.3-liter direct-injection V6 also fitted to the Kia Cadenza and Sorento, boasting better power and torque characteristics than the 3.5-liter V6 it replaces. Kia claims the new body has 36-percent-greater torsional rigidity than that of a Honda Odyssey. Add independent rear suspension revised for better isolation, amplitude-sensing dampers, and an elaborately insulated passenger compartment, and it's clear that the engineers were looking for a smooth and quiet ride.
All 2015 Kia Sedona models come with a 3.3-liter V6 engine, 6-speed Sportmatic automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive.
Sedona L ($25,900) comes with air conditioning with front and rear controls, YES Essentials fabric upholstery, seven passenger seating, Slide-N-Stow second-row, third-row sinking seat, third-row 60/40 split folding seats, polyurethane steering wheel, power door locks with remote keyless entry, AM/FM/CD with MP3, four speakers, satellite audio, USB, tilt and telescopic steering column, cruise control, Bluetooth, back-up warning system, 12 cup holders, three 12-volt power outlets, manual tailgate and sliding doors, 17-inch alloy wheels. (All New Car Test Drive prices are MSRP and do not include $895 destination charge and may change at any time without notice.)
Sedona LX ($28,100) upgrades with eight-way power driver's seat with two-way adjustable lumbar, six-speaker audio, UVO2 eServices and TMU with rearview camera and auto light control, privacy glass for second row and liftgate, power-folding outside mirrors, roof rails, upgraded exterior lighting.
Sedona EX ($32,100) upgrades further to tri-zone automatic air conditioning with filtration, eight-passenger seating, auto-up/down front and rear window switches, smart key with push-button start, leather-wrapped steering wheel, illuminated ignition lock, illuminated glove box, dual glovebox with cooling feature, upgraded interior trim, upgraded instrument cluster, rearview mirror, Homelink garage-door opener, 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, upgraded exterior lighting, heated mirrors, wiper de-icer, power sliding doors, smart power liftgate with sensor, upgraded exterior trim.
Sedona SX ($36,100) upgrades with navigation system, eight-speaker Infinity audio system, electric power steering (instead of the standard hydraulic system), memory for seating, seven-passenger seating, four-way adjustable lumbar for driver's seat, eight-way power front-passenger seat, heated front seats, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seat cushions, upgraded meter cluster, blind-spot detection system with rear cross traffic, 110-volt power inverter in console, Vehicle Stability Management System, premium finish on wheels, LED taillights.
Sedona SX Limited ($39,700) upgrades further with Nappa leather upholstery, seven-passenger seating with first-class lounge seating (deletes Slide-N-Stow), wood-trimmed steering wheel, heated steering wheel, premium headliner, upgraded center console with sliding storage tray, second-row floor console, front and rear sonar sensors, chrome outside door handles, unique grille, unique front and rear panel trim, aeroblade windshield wipers, dual sunroof, SUS door step and transverse trim, 19-inch chrome alloy wheels.
Options include the Convenience package ($1,800); 8-passenger package ($400); Premium package ($1,500); Technology package ($2,700); rear-seat entertainment ($995).
Safety features on all Sedona models includes dual front airbags, front side-impact airbags, full-length curtain, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, traction control, brake assist, electronic brake distribution, active headrests. Optional safety features include Vehicle Stability Management, Lane Departure Warning System, Forward Collision Warning System, front and rear sonar. All-wheel drive is not available.