When it comes to versatility and convenience, minivans remain outmatched as a family vehicle. While the segment may not be the sexiest, it has attracted some new players, namely, the Kia Sedona. All new for 2015, the Sedona combines a handsome exterior with roominess and flexibility on the inside. I received the Sedona SX Limited (SX-L) in August for a six-month long-term loan. After only a few months on the road, the Sedona has impressed me with its elegance, comfort, and handling.
The beauty of a long-term loan is the chance it affords to explore all aspects of the vehicle in day-to-day driving conditions. This real world experience got a little too real, however, when the Sedona was vandalized while parked at the local post office, only weeks into the loan. The driver’s side window was broken and certain contents were stolen from inside, all in broad daylight and in a matter of seconds. The test drive was suspended for about a month until the window could be repaired.
Once back on the road, the Sedona has been quite a pleasure to drive. As with all Kias, it packs more features than normally associated with its segment, like ventilated as well as heated front seats, heated second-row cushions, a dual sunroof, and a driver mode select button (Eco, Normal, or Comfort), that helps improve the ride and handling as well as fuel economy.
I’ve only taken a few quick road trips but the miles per gallon have remained above the EPA estimated 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, averaging above 20 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. All Sedonas come with a 3.3-liter V6 engine matched to a six-speed automatic transmission with Sport-matic simulated manual shifting.
The keyless system with burglar and panic alarm, air conditioning, an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Satellite stereo system, back-up warning, Bluetooth wireless technology, and cruise control are also standard.
As the top-of-the-line model, the SX-L offers another unique feature, first class lounge chairs in the second row that give it seating for seven. Equipped with footrests, they recline as well as slide forward to improve access to the third row. They don’t however fold flat for extra cargo room and the manual levers can be a bit clunky to deploy. The third row, however, folds flat easily and quickly, expanding cargo room behind the second row to 78.4 cubic feet. The lower trims do include a second-row bench or traditional captain’s chairs.
Pricing for the 2015 Sedona starts at $26,995 but you won’t be able to get features like a power liftgate or sliding doors or upgrade it with any option packages. The as-tested price, with $2,700 of additional equipment like lane departure warning and a surround view monitor, came to $43,295.