Here’s our review of the 2015 Kia Sedona SXL
Even though the minivan continues to be one of the most versatile vehicles on the market, the stigma that’s attached to the people mover continues to hamper its appeal. In the 1990s almost every automaker had a minivan, but since then the number of offerings continues to disappear as more buyers flock to crossovers. So how can an automaker make their minivan stand out? By targeting a different segment altogether – active buyers that may not actually have kids. According to Kia, almost half of all minivan buyers don’t even have kids, but actually buy minivans because of the added space and versatility that comes with them.
So with that new goal in mind, Kia actually designed the new Sedona to combine the attributes of a traditional minivan, but with more crossover like styling. Does it work? Well sales of the new Sedona have shot up significantly with over 21k sales so far this year. And even better, Kia gave me the keys to the Sedona for a week to check it out and guess what, I don’t have any kids either, well if my nine year old pug doesn’t count. After a week of carting around coworkers to the beach, running errands to the grocery store and even a few trips commuting back and forth from the office I actually liked the Sedona.
Compared to the last Sedona, the latest generation stands out with its more aggressive exterior that looks a bit sportier than the last model. It’s squared off face looks a bit more manly and the character line that runs from the front to the back gives it a strong presence. Throw in the extra chrome bits, large alloy wheels and LED lighting and you’ll see that Kia put its designers to work here to make us forget all about the boring last Sedona. There’s even a rear spoiler to top things off.
Inside the overall styling is reminiscent of Kia’s more upscale offerings, like the Cadenza and K900 models. My top spec Sedona SXL had a nice two tone interior with leather seats, a panoramic moonroof and rear captain chairs with footrests that are easily more comfortable than some seats that you’ll find in the first-class section of your favorite airline. It would have been great if the second row seats were power operated, but they are still easy to configure. To access the third row you’ll need to pull a lever that easily slides the second row seats forward. The third row is better for smaller adults and children, but a pair of six-foot tall friends were able to fit back there for a short trip.
Behind the third row there is 33.9 cubic feet of space, but if you fold down the third row you’ll have up to 78.4 cubic feet of space. With the second row stowed, the Sedona packs a total 142 cubic feet of space, which is unfortunately lower than the Honda Odyssey’s 172.6 cubic feet and the Chrysler Town & Country with its max 163.5 space.
Even though it’s exterior may look a bit more crossover like, behind the wheel there’s no mistaking the Sedona for anything other than a minivan. The Sedona is powered by a 3.3L V6 with 276 horsepower and 248 lb-ft. of torque that is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine can gets the Sedona moving with ease, but I wouldn’t call it sporty. At almost 5,000 pounds, the Sedona is a heavy vehicle, but its suspension keeps everything in check and its ride is smooth and comfortable. The one negative is the fact that the Sedona makes you pay at the pump, with a rating of 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. To compare, the Honda Odyssey is rated at 19/28 mpg.
Pricing for the Sedona starts at $26,400, but my top spec SXL model starts at $39,700 and with the Technology Package, the out the door price will set you back $43,295.