2015 Kia Sedona Test Drive

?Kia Sedona all new for 2015?

Kia Sedona adds three additional trim levels for 2015 to their all-new ________ fill in the blank. Choose either mid-size multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) or Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV). Just please don?t call the design led transformation a (shudder) minivan. I happen to like minivans, so I?m not sure what the big deal is. If it looks like a duck and acts like a duck, then it?s a duck ? same with minivans.

The additional trim levels joining the LX and EX existing trims ?are L, SX, and a premium SX Limited or L for 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 or trim levels draw their motive force from a 3.3-liter, DOHC, 24-valve GDI V6 engine with high-pressure direct fuel injection and electronic positive ignition. The transversely forward mounted engine makes 276 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, while developing 248 pound feet of torque at 5,200 rpm. Energy is geared to the front wheels through an electronically controlled 6-speed automatic with overdrive.
Visually, the 2015 Kia Sedona lineup displays a modernistic exterior image that reaches beyond mere functionality. The cab-forward design and bold front fascia project strength, with the muscular face and clean, smooth look featuring a fully integrated version of Kia?s signature grille along with headlamps with LED positioning lights. The wheelbase is 1.6-inches longer than before, and 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 allows for generous and cleverly convenient storage space between the front seats. Second row Slide-N-Stow tracked seating slides and folds upright allowing for ?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 or need to stay connected, via the next-generation UVO Infotainment & Telematics system, this latest Sedona will be the first Kia vehicle to offer four new eServices features: 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. Many more new technologies for comfort and convenience are featured in the new UVO system, including Siri ?Eyes Free? and Local Search ? powered by Google ? for finding locations, addresses and points of interest. Sirius XM Travel Link, offering access to traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports scores, stock information and movie times.

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 has been engineered with reinforced pillars that distribute impact loads with ultra-high-strength steel tubes installed inside the A-pillars.

The 2015 Sedona utilizes Amplitude Selected Dampers along with independent rear suspension to strike an optimal balance of ride comfort and handling. A high priority was placed on active and passive safety features as well as technology throughout the design and development process. All Sedona models come standard with active safety features such as Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control System, Brake Assist System, Hill-start Assist Control, Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Antilock Braking System. Other technologies such as Roll Over Mitigation and Cornering Brake Control also were also added as standard fare.

New optional driver aid technology, including Vehicle Stability Management, Forward Collision Warning System, Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert help in providing a more convenient and secure daily driving experience.

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 finished outside in Deep Formal Blue metallic and inside in Burgundy. The base price was set at $39,700 while the final sticker totaled $43,295 after adding the SXL Technology Package with Xenon HID headlamps, Lane Departure Warning System, Forward Collision Warning System, Surround View Monitor, Smart Cruise Control and the Inland Freight and Handling charge.

SUMMARY: 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, as Multi-Purpose Vehicles go (almost slipped and called it a minivan), while providing versatility and functionality in a comfortable and practical form.

The 3.3-liter V6 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.

Given its price point and impressive feature and equipment content, the top-of-the-line Kia Sedona also represents a sensible and worthwhile value. Bottom line, it serves up a fresh viewpoint on what a Multi-Purpose Vehicle can and should be in today?s highly competitive marketplace.

[wptabs style=”wpui-light” effect=”slide” mode=”horizontal”]
?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2015 Kia Sedona SXL [/wptabtitle]
?? [wptabcontent]

Base Price: $39,700.
Price as Tested: $43,295.
Engine Type and Size: 3.3-liter, DOHC, 24-valve GDI V6 with high pressure direct fuel injection and electronic positive ignition.
Horsepower (bhp): 276 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 248 @ 5,200 rpm
Transmission: Electronically controlled 6-speed automatic with overdrive.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front – MacPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar.
Rear – Multi-link with struts, coil springs.

Brakes: Hydraulic, Power-assisted vacuum four-wheel discs (vented front) with Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS).
Tires: Continental CrossContact P235/55 R19 101H mounted on chrome 5-“V”-spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 120.5 inches
Length Overall: 201.4 inches
Width: 89.3 inches with side mirrors.
Height: 69.1 inches with roof rack.
Curb Weight: 4,720 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 21.1 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 17 mpg city / 22 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 60 mph: Not tested

?? [/wptabcontent]
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.

More from Our Auto Expert