After years of also-ran status in the minivan segment, the Kia Sedona has been redesigned for 2015 in order to do battle with the dominant trio of the Honda Odyssey, the Dodge Grand Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country, and the Toyota Sienna. This 2015 Kia Sedona features increased practicality and a more upscale look inside and out, bringing this people-hauler in line with the rest of Kia’s updated lineup.
Kia’s corporate grille design displays prominently up front, with swept-back headlights that feature LED light accents like those on many other Kia models. The relatively slab-sided profile is par for the course given the Sedona’s practical nature, but Kia does add some interest with the kink at the C-pillar like that on the Honda Odyssey. Around back, there’s not much to distinguish the Sedona from other minivans, although the LED taillights and chrome trim do make for a relatively upscale appearance.
The 2015 Kia Sedona’s interior also adopts this much more upscale theme, with a design that resembles the luxurious interior in the Kia Cadenza sedan. The wide, horizontally-oriented dashboard centers around a large touchscreen that uses Kia’s UVO infotainment system. Refreshingly, Kia has adopted a simple control layout with a well-organized array of buttons and knobs that should make for greater ease-of-use compared with the Odyssey’s button-crazy center stack.
With minivans, though, it’s what’s behind the front seats that really counts, and the 2015 Sedona does not disappoint with its roomier second and third rows. Kia will offer seven- and eight-passenger versions, with both using a “Slide-n-Stow” system that allows the second row to slide forward and stow upright against the front seats to provide greater cargo volume without having to remove the heavy second-row seats altogether. The third row seats also split 60/40 and fold flat into the floor. In seven-passenger versions, the captain’s chairs can be equipped with a “First Class” lounge seating feature that essentially turn the second-row seats into a recliner complete with a retractable leg rest. The only other minivan that offers a similar feature is the Toyota Sienna.
Under the hood is the same 3.3-liter, direct-injection V-6 engine that can be found in the Kia Cadenza and Sorento models. In this application, it makes 276 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque and pairs with a six-speed automatic transmission. Kia claims the Sedona’s new chassis is significantly stiffer than before, and thus is expected to receive higher safety ratings than before. A host of active safety features is also available on the 2015 Kia Sedona, including forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, and rear cross traffic alert. An available surround view monitor, similar to Nissan’s AroundView system, helps with parking, and the Sedona also offers a hands-free Smart Tailgate system that automatically opens the liftgate when it senses the key fob in proximity for three seconds.
We don’t know pricing details or full trim levels for the 2015 Kia Sedona at this point, but there will be a range-topping SXL model (pictured) with special trimmings inside and out like the existing luxury-oriented Optima and Sorento SXL models. Stay tuned for more information about the 2015 Kia Sedona as it makes its public debut at the 2014 New York auto show.