If you’re shopping for a minivan, you’re probably looking for one of the top four sellers – the Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. This year, Kia hopes you’ll discover a fifth new model, the new Sedona.
For 2015, Kia gave its Sedona minivan a new set of lines and a revamped feature set. Is that enough to make it a good alternative to the Big Four?
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Minivans are all about the interior. The Sedona’s cabin is downright charming, with its horizontally arranged dashboard, two-tone look and the finest materials applied to its surfaces. Up front, you’ll notice that Kia has raised the seating position of the driver’s seat a bit for better visibility.
In the second row, most Sedonas get what Kia calls Slide-‘N-Stow. It is a middle row seating system that can slide forward and upright to allow for a particularly low and level floor without the need to remove the seats. It’s not as versatile as Chrysler’s Stow-‘N-Go, but it offers ample cargo space when you need it.
The top Sedona SX-L drops Slide-N-Stow for “first-class” lounge seating with retractable legrests and winged headrests. These seats can be moved side to side to widen the path to the back row, but they cannot be removed.
This third-row seat is too small for teenagers and adults, unlike the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. Smaller kids will fit easily, though, and the seat splits 60/40 and folds flat right into the floor.
Kia took the time to upgrade the features of the Sedona for a new generation of minivans. The smart key fob opens the tailgate when the key is near the rear for approximately three seconds. There’s also a cooled glove box, power ports and USB ports, plus Bluetooth streaming and Kia’s UVO smartphone connectivity interface.
From the outside, the Sedona takes no chances when it comes to styling. The front end is now cleaner, with a Kia wagon grille that matches the Sedona’s big front end nicely. There’s no doubting its minivan profile, though.
Under the Sedona’s hood, you’ll find a 3.3-liter V6. The 276-horsepower six-cylinder works just fine behind many layers of soundproofing, but the Sedona weighs a lot, so acceleration is just adequate. Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission with smooth gear changes.
The Sedona rides quietly and comfortably, as long as you don’t throw it around corners. All-wheel drive is not available. Fuel economy on most models rings in at 20 mpg combined.
Kia says it’s aiming for the best crash scores, but no ratings are available yet. A backup camera is available on all but the base model, but surround cameras are fenced off in the most expensive model.
Read our full review of the 2015 Kia Sedona
The Sedona starts from just under $26.00 and is well equipped with Bluetooth, steering wheel audio controls and a back-up warning system. Load it up with everything from adaptive cruise control to a full leather interior, and the $43,000 Honda-like sticker balloons. The sweet spot is the $32,995 Sedona EX, which comes with power sliding side doors and a power tailgate; seats for eight passengers; start button; and leather seats.
So what’s the bottom line with the 2015 Kia Sedona? It’s now a great alternative to the Sienna and Odyssey – and beats the Chryslers on refinement, although it lacks ultimate flexibility.
For more information, be sure to read our full 2015 Kia Sedona review here.