It’s not often that a new minivan hits the streets, but this year the Kia Sedona just made its world debut at the New York Auto Show. It goes on sale later this year and Kia thinks it’s ready to take on the Chrysler minivans, Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey.
The new Sedona takes no risks. There’s no lighting on its sides like the Honda’s. The style is clean and mundane, without any drama but also without major flaws. The flow of glass on the back is a particularly nice touch.
The cockpit is much more elegant. The dashboard is handsome, laid out in a wide horizontal strip, with a two-tone look and gloss piano black trim. It’s lined with soft-touch plastics and refined details taken from Kia’s top-end Cadenza and K900 sedans.
The Sedona also gets a better folding seat system for 2015. We still think the Chrysler folding seats are a better idea, but maybe the Sedona’s folding seats will change our minds. Second-row seats stash upright and slide on a rail to expand cargo space, without having to remove them. The third-row seats fold flat into the floor. It’s a step up from the layout of the old Sedona and makes the most of the minivan’s huge interior space – it’s almost the size of the Odyssey now.
The Sedona’s performance comes from a 3.3-liter V6 that’s also found in the Sorento crossover and Cadenza sedan. It develops 276 horsepower and sends power to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
We expect much better crash-test performance from the new Sedona – this was a sore point on some older versions. This new minivan has a much stronger body and Kia strives for the best safety ratings. The Sedona also comes with options for a surround-view camera.
Other new features include an infotainment system with Bluetooth audio streaming and smartphone connectivity, a high-output USB charging port and a 115-volt outlet. I have to keep those devices on to keep the back seats quiet.
There’s no official gas mileage or pricing yet, but we’re expecting more this summer, including our first ride. Until then, learn more in our preview of the 2015 Kia Sedona.
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