Kia Sedona adds three new trims for 2015 to the all-new people mover. Whether you choose to call it a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) or crossover utility vehicle, please, don't call the design-led transformation (shudder) a minivan. I happen to like minivans, so I'm not sure what the big deal is.
Joining the LX and EX for 2015 are the new L with a lower price point, SX, and a premium SX Limited -- also called the SXL. Pricing for the L begins at $25,900, LX starts at $32,100, the EX at $32,100, base price for the SX is $36,100, and the base sticker for the SX Limited is $39,700.
All models are powered by a 3.3-liter, 24-valve GDI V-6 engine with high-pressure direct fuel injection and electronic positive ignition. The engine makes 276 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, while developing 248 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,200 rpm. Energy is geared to the front wheels through an electronically controlled six-speed automatic with overdrive.
The 2015 Kia Sedona displays a modernistic exterior image that reaches beyond mere functionality. The cab-forward design and bold front fascia project strength, with a muscular face, and a clean, smooth look that features Kia's signature grille along with headlamps and LED positioning lights.
The wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than the previous model. The side profile showcases reduced front and rear overhangs, which combine with the sharply rearward raked windshield and available 19-inch alloy wheels, creating a personality that's distinctively purposeful. The rear design layout, with LED taillights, integrated bumper guard, and standard roof spoiler, delivers a broad, planted look.
Even though the overall width and height remain virtually unchanged, the all-new Sedona provides more front shoulder room, greater front leg room in the second and third rows, along with a slightly higher hip-point that improves the driver's outward visibility.
The instrument panel's horizontal design cues create a greater sense of width, and the extensive use of soft-touch materials adds to the premium ambiance. The interior proportions provide flexible seating in either the seven- or eight-passenger configuration with lots of storage options. The front/center console is unique to the segment and provides a generous and cleverly convenient storage space between the front seats.
Second-row Slide-N-Stow tracked seating slides and folds to allow "on-the-go" cargo hauling, while eliminating the hassle of removing heavy and cumbersome seats. Also offered is the choice of second-row "First Class" lounge seating that may be positioned rearward for additional legroom. All 2015 Sedona models offer a third-row that provides the convenience of a split folding 60/40, in-floor-retractable design.
The Sedona's upscale interior design theme delivers a modern color palette that offers solid or two-tone color options in beige, gray, and burgundy. Top-line SX Limited trim features standard ultra-soft, Chromium-free Nappa leather trim seating surfaces throughout the cabin.
For those who want to stay connected, this latest Sedona is the first Kia vehicle to offer four new eServices via the next-generation UVO Infotainment & Telematics system: Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert, and Driving Score. With the introduction of the Kia App store, select apps may be downloaded for free from iTunes or Google Play. The Kia app connector is now available for partnership with the content community, including Pandora, iHeart Radio and Yelp.
In terms of driving dynamics and safety, the Sedona is built on an all-new chassis with static torsional stiffness that is 36-percent greater than its closest segment competitor. For enhanced roof strength, the Sedona is engineered with reinforced pillars that distribute impact loads with ultra-high-strength steel tubes installed inside the A-pillars. A high priority was placed on active and passive safety features as well as technology throughout the design and development process.
From nose to tail, the Sedona offers numerous convenience features, including Kia's first application of the newest high-power (2.1 Amp) USB charging ports and 115-volt AC outlets to charge small electronics, as well as a dual glove box that offers a cooled lower storage area.
For easier parking and vehicle maneuvering, the available Surround View Monitor provides real-time images from cameras placed around the vehicle. Smart Welcome automatically illuminates the door handles and unfolds the power retractable side mirrors when the vehicle key fob is detected. A hands-free "Smart Power Liftgate" opens the rear lift gate automatically when the key fob is sensed for three seconds, and its programmable function can be tailored to the user's height preference.
My test 2015 Kia Sedona came in SXL trim with a base price $39,700 while the final sticker totaled $43,295 after adding the SXL Technology Package.
The 2015 Kia Sedona in SXL trim with the Technology Package makes for an outstanding mover of either people or things, or both. It is attractive while providing versatility and functionality in a comfortable and practical form.
The 3.3-liter V-6 delivers plenty of energy in a smooth and linear fashion, although it readily makes its presence known when prodded with gusto. The handling leans toward sporty, with a precise steering response. It remains flat and stable even in challenging scenarios. The 2015 Sedona utilizes amplitude selected dampers, along with an independent rear suspension, to strike an optimal balance of ride comfort and handling.
Sedona represents a sensible and worthwhile value. Bottom line, it serves up a fresh viewpoint on what an MPV can and should be in today's highly competitive marketplace.
Copyright © 2014 Motor Matters
|Base price||$39,700 (as tested: $43,295)|
|Curb weight||4,720 lbs.|
|Engine type||24-valve V-6 w/GDI|
|Epa mileage rating||17 mpg city, 22 mpg highway|
|Fuel capacity||21.1 gal.|
|Horsepower (net)||276 at 6000 rpm|
|Overall length||201.4 in.|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||248 at 5200 rpm|
|Vehicle type||7/8-passenger FWD midsize minivan|
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