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2015 Kia Sedona Road Test Review by Bob Plunkett

2015 Kia Sedona Minivan
Road Test Review

By Bob Plunkett

Traffic flows freely on East Cactus Road in the tony Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale as we steer toward Arizona 88 the Beeline Highway driving the latest incarnation of Sedona, the minivan of South Korea's crafty automaker Kia.

The all-new 2015 Sedona sports a slick new sheetmetal package that seems akin to a crossover utility vehicle.

Its platform has a 120.5-inch wheelbase that's longer than past iterations to increase legroom for riders on second- and third-row seats and the cabin brings unique seating configurations including available "First Class" second-row lounge seats -- with reclining seatbacks, airplane-style winged headrests and extending footrests -- that amount to mobile Barcaloungers.

Sedona's revamped cabin contains seats for seven or eight passengers, depending on the configuration of second-row seats -- 2 buckets or a 3-seat bench.

Two tall captain's chairs on the front row are clad in fine fabric or soft leather. The standard driver's bucket comes with 8-way adjustments plus 2-way lumbar support, while the passenger's seat gains 8-way adjustments with trim upgrades.

Sedona's second row also holds two captain's chairs or an optional 3-person bench. The Slide-N-Stow tracked seating slides forward and folds upright to make more floor space for a load of cargo.

The back row bench has room for three with seatback split 60/40 percent. Also, the bench folds up entirely in several simple motions and slips into a below-deck recess, leaving a flat floor in the cargo bay.

With all seats in place, Sedona's rear cargo area contains 33.9 cubic feet of room -- about twice the trunk space of a full-size sedan. With second-row buckets folded forward and the back-row bench tucked into the floor, the cargo bay becomes downright cavernous -- 142 cubic feet.

Sedona 2015 is built on a new platform designed with static torsional stiffness. More than 75 percent of the rigid structure consists of Advanced High Strength Steel and Press Hardened Steel.

The suspension setup is precise and fully independent with front MacPherson struts plus amplitude selected dampers and a rear multi-link arrangement with coil springs. Tuning of the suspension feels firm and a stabilizer bar added in front helps to check excessive body roll when steering the minivan along a twisty route.

For active safety, every issue also posts a disc brake at each wheel, with electronic linkage to a 4-channel anti-lock brake system with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist system. The two top trim tiers gain a vehicle stability management device to coordinate the electronic stability control system, traction control system and motor-driven electric power steering system.

Kia lights a fire in the 2015 Sedona by adding a forceful new Lambda gasoline direct injection V6 engine which produces high power and torque numbers. The 3.3-liter V6 has an aluminum block and aluminum cylinder heads, dual overhead cams and dual continuously variable valve timing for high-tech metering of the fuel burn.

It generates 276 hp at 6000 rpm plus 248 lb-ft of torque at 5200 rpm operating with regular unleaded (87 Octane) fuel and links exclusively to Kia's electronically controlled 6-speed automatic transaxle.

EPA fuel economy scores for Sedona 2015 come in at 18 mpg for city driving and 24 mpg on the highway.

Sedona looks strong and athletic with contemporary forms and a long cabin perched above the horizontal underbody. The vehicle's width is emphasized up front by Kia's signature grille with honeycomb mesh and narrow corner headlamp clusters housing new eyebrow LED positioning lamps and projector headlights.

Kia builds the 2015 Sedona in five content versions, labeled L, LX, EX, SX and SX Limited, with additional equipment clustered in add-on packages: Premium Package, Premium Plus Package, Technology Package and 8-Passenger Package.

In addition, new driver aid technology hardware is available:  Forward Collision Warning System, Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Kia's MSRP chart for the 2015 Sedona stretches from $26,100 to $39,700.