Test Drive: 2015 Kia Sedona

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Kia calls it a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV). You will call it a minivan. Regardless which term one uses, though, the new Kia Sedona presents a fresh take on the seven-seat vehicle that once represented life in suburbia filled with soccer practices for kids and road trips complete with back seats covered in chip crumbs.

First Impressions

The 2015 Kia Sedona is a looker. Not necessarily a looker in the way you would describe Helen Mirren at the beach, but moreso in the way you would describe an old basement that was just renovated — you weren’t expecting it to look great and comfortable, but it surpassed all expectations.

The front grille really gives it a new life and, while it’s still a large vehicle, its lines give it a slim appearance. From the outside it already has a leg up on rivals Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey.

What I Liked

I test drove the top end SXL+, which transforms the Sedona into a luxury minivan. The 3.3L V6 engine capable of 276 HP is adequate, so Kia smartly used their top trim to add luxury features rather than trying to increase its sportiness. The result is a vehicle that is similarly equipped compared to luxe SUVs. And for less than $50,000 — $46,195 to be exact, for the recently released 2016 model. That’s impressive.

Features include: Nappa leather seats, eight-inch screen with voice activated navigation, heated and cooled seats, safety technology such as blindspot detection and a 360-degree camera.

The latter proved to be a game changer. It was a joy to be able to see all around when reversing such a large vehicle. It made backing in and out of tight spots incredibly easy and didn’t force me to crane my neck to ensure all was clear. It’s a nice addition that rarely finds itself inside a rather pedestrian segment.

Added touches such as the middle row captain chairs with leg rests that pop out, power side doors and dual-panel sunroof upped the comfort level.

Oh, and the third row folds flat to maximize cargo space when you need it.

What I Didn’t Like

There’s not much to dislike on the Kia Sedona — for its segment it has what you need, want and desire. While the driving experience is less than exciting, it’s not a surprise. No one is buying a minivan to race around the track. Perhaps they could increase the in-car entertainment package by adding a DVD/Blu-ray option, which would make the road trip with the grandkids that much better during those moments when everyone is done with talking.


If you’re looking for a vehicle to carry multiple passengers — and all their gear — look no further than a minivan. It has everything you need. Then make sure the Kia Sedona is near, or at, the top of your list. This latest design has made it a true rival for the Odyssey and Sienna.