At first glance the 2015 Kia Sedona minivan is different. It has a sporting yet business-like feel that has a more upscale sense than most in its class. You would almost say if Audi built a minivan, it might look similar.
That’s no accident, as the lead designer for Kia spent much of his career at Audi and helped pen many of their iconic models. It’s more daring than Audi tends to be in some ways like in the rear three-quarter where the hip line kicks up somewhat dramatically.
The front view on the other hand takes on a more blunt and purposeful theme with stance more akin to a crossover SUV. It’s upright and even bold. The up-sized 19-inch wheels on our SXL really give it the look of big paws too.
At first sit behind the wheel what comes across is the wide horizontal dash design that looks handsome and a high center console with the transmission shifter mounted there much like you would find in an SUV.
The look is fresh for a minivan and places controls smartly in the center-stack in a layout similar to many higher-end luxury sedans. The steering wheel has plenty of controls too which give you redundancies for infotainment as well as instrument cluster displays.
The seats in our Sedona SXL had a two-tone Nappa leather treatment that was tasteful and they offered up both heating and ventilation with power adjustments for both up front. Comfort and adjustability was excellent across the board.
The latest UVO infotainment and navigation system offers up excellent sound and improved menus. Best of all, Kia no longer forces you to press their legal disclaimer button to access menus. It will disappear on its own.
It offers plenty of device connectivity including Bluetooth wireless as wells as USB and auxiliary plugs. There’s also a 115v outlet for smaller devices on the console in addition to plenty of 12v power points. In the rear cargo area there’s even a 115v and 12v plug in addition to a removable flashlight.
That gets us to the seating which includes a fold flat third row which is manually folded here, but not too difficult. They give you a flat floor when folded and a nice deep well cargo area when in the upright position.
Second row lounge chairs in our Sedona SXL slide a good distance front to rear and offer a side-to-side sliding adjustment to allow for a center aisle pass through when needed.
The only major critique of the Sedona’s interior was the quality of some plastic finishes which are already showing wear in our relatively new tester.
Under the hood is a 3.3 liter direct-injected V6 engine good for 276 horsepower but only 248 lb.-ft which comes at a pretty high 5,200 rpm. Power is delivered to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission
The chassis is all-new for 2015 with a torsional strength Kia says is 36 percent stiffer than its closest competitor. It’s made of 76 percent high strength steel which contributes to its tight feel and increased safety over last year’s Sedona.
It has a MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link rear which is more precise than the twist-beam axle found in some minivans. Electric power assisted steering here has a good feel and balance that doesn’t get any negative attention by feeling artificial.
The EPA rates the 2015 Kia Sedona at 17 mpg city, 22 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined. We were able to achieve a bit higher with 22 mpg combined city and highway actual in our time with the Sedona.
When it comes to safety, the IIHS rates the 2015 Kia Sedona as a Top Safety Pick. It achieves a good rating in all of their crash tests including the brutal new small-overlap crash. It offers only basic crash prevention systems however which is why it didn’t achieve Top Safety Pick +.