Kia Sedona

2016 Kia Sedona

Once a staple of the industry, minivans are a niche market nowadays. Redesigned for 2015, the Kia Sedona grew in size to serve as a more appealing alternative to the top four sellers: Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, and Toyota Sienna.

As a result, the current Sedona is considerably more competitive than its predecessors in terms of refinement, functionality, and space, while displaying a tasteful profile. Measured in specific cubic feet, Odyssey is more spacious; but both the Odyssey and the Sedona feature roomy, comfortable front seats.

New features for 2016 include a rearview camera as standard equipment. Tricot cloth seat material replaces knit on 2016 Kia Sedona L and 2016 Sedona LX models, while the 2016 Sedona EX gains heated front seats. Eight-passenger seating is available for the 2016 Sedona SX when equipped with the Technology package, and chrome-accent side sills are available for 2016 Sedona SXL.

Although the most sought-after features are standard only in top trim levels, even the base Sedona L is amply equipped.

Sedona lacks stow-away seats, but its Slide-N-Stow system shrinks that middle row into a tight upright space, flipping the bottom cushions upward. Third-row seats are smaller than in some minivans, but theyre split 60/40 and fold flat into the floor. The top model gets airline-style lounge chairs with retracting legrests and winged headrests, aimed at enhanced comfort.

Sedona uses the same 3.3-liter V6 engine as the Kia Cadenza sedan and Sorento crossover SUV, both of which weigh far less than a minivan. Generating 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque, the V6 mates with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Passengers can expect a smooth ride, but gas mileage ranks only average: no more than 18/25 mpg City/Highway, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Thats at least partly due to the fact that Sedona remains something of a heavyweight, topping 4,400 pounds even in base trim.

Sedona has earned good crash-test ratings from the federal government, but its particular group of safety technologies falls short. Only the more costly models can be fitted with such features as surround-view cameras, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. Cornering brake control is standard.

2015 Kia Sedona

The 2015 Sedona is Kias response to a minivan market that has been shrinking steadily over the years in response to the growing popularity of crossovers (CUVs) as well as the peculiar stigma with which minivans seem to have been afflicted. This negative-image issue appears particularly pronounced among men, who somehow feel their masculinity is called into question by the family-life connotations of a minivan.

Even the actual number of players is reducing: three more minivan models go away this year. Paradoxically, minivan distribution has become what Kia calls bi-modal. They are being purchased just about as much by so-called empty-nesters (couples whose children have already left home) as they are by young families.

And you can see why. These vehicles offer extra seating capacity for two- or three-couple dinner outings as well as for growing families. Access is generally better than in other vehicle styles, luggage space is flexible and large, and the driving position is higher than in conventional sedans.

This in mind, Kia has decided to continue to go after the bi-modal buyers, but has shifted the new Sedonas styling emphasis in the direction of the crossovers. There are still sliding side doors, with the prominent slots that Toyotas Sienna has craftily eliminated, which may have most people identifying it as a minivan rather than as the multi-purpose vehicle that Kia personnel prefer to have it known.

Still, with an overall length some 1.6 inches greater than before, and with shorter front and rear overhangs, the 2015 Kia Sedona does look something like the big crossovers that have been steadily poaching minivan sales.

With the new look of the 2015 Sedona comes a new engine: the 3.3-liter direct-injection V6 also fitted to the Kia Cadenza and Sorento, boasting better power and torque characteristics than the 3.5-liter V6 it replaces. Kia claims the new body has 36-percent-greater torsional rigidity than that of a Honda Odyssey. Add independent rear suspension revised for better isolation, amplitude-sensing dampers, and an elaborately insulated passenger compartment, and its clear that the engineers were looking for a smooth and quiet ride.


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