2015 Kia Sedona

Starting MSRP: $26,100 - $39,700

Estimated MPG: 18 city / 24 hwy

2015 Kia Sedona Review

The 2015 Sedona marks the beginning of a new generation for Kia’s minivan. The redesigned Sedona is made to be far more competitive with its rivals and succeeding in doing so with a more aggressive body style and a vastly improved interior.

By Aaron Turpen
Last Updated 05/17/2016

The 2015 Kia Sedona has a completely new design inside and out. Exterior styling is more crossover-like and the interior aims for an upscale and refined experience. A greater number of options, more well-defined trim levels, and much more comfort and convenience than before make this the best Sedona yet.

The 2015 Sedona is offered in five trim levels, starting with the base level L and working up to the high-end SX and SXL trims. Seating for seven or eight is available in most trim levels. The van itself is powered by a V6 engine, which is paired with an automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.

Exterior

Exterior
10

The new exterior look for the 2015 Kia Sedona is unique to the class. Some minivans aim for extreme styling while others go for variations of the square box with sliding doors. Kia instead tried for a halfway point between a boxy minivan and a sleek, capable-looking crossover. Elements of vehicles like the Kia Sorento can be seen in the design of the new Sedona.

The Sedona features a more masculine front grille and fenders, and a large spoiler to create a faster looking rear hatch. 

The front and rear are joined by a sinewy roofline that’s accentuated by character lines across the sheet metal of the doors and rear quarter. These elements all come together to make for a more aggressive looking Sedona. Still, the wide-swinging front doors and sliding rear doors are still there to provide accessibility.

Our test model also included the optional xenon headlamps, which add some zing to the already powerful front fascia.

Interior

Interior
9

The interior of the 2015 Sedona is completely new with a bolder, more modern look. “Upscale” is the word to use when describing even the base trim, which has robust, stain-resistant cloth seating and a “ready for work” appeal.

The Sedona has comfort, even in the third row, and convenience for everyday use, including the second row lounging pilot chairs in our SXL test model. Seating in the L, LX, SX, and SXL is for seven. An optional second-row bench boosts that to eight for the LX and SX trims. The EX trim level comes standard with seating for eight.

The third row of the Sedona folds down into the floor easily with just a tug of the release latch. The second row folds down and flips upward into the back of the front seat to allow maximum cargo space when needed. It also folds and pushes forward to give easier access to the third row. The manual sliding doors on the base model are light and easy to open and close, while the power-sliding doors on the upper trims are a boon.

Power accessories are standard, as are dual front glove boxes and rear climate controls. Option packages will depend on the trim level chosen. The LX trim has the Convenience package available, which adds a refrigerated glove box, heated front seats, power sliding doors, and the aforementioned eight-passenger seating. The Sedona EX has a Premium option that adds seating adjustment upgrades such as four-way power lumbar for the driver, memory functions and heated first- and second-row seats. The SXL trim, which we drove, also has a Technology package option that adds a surround-view (360-degree overhead) camera system for parking and safety features like forward collision warning. A rear seat entertainment system is an ala carte option on all trim levels.

Cargo space in the 2015 Sedona is cavernous, even with the third row up, but about average for the segment. That space is about 34 cubic feet and expands to 78.4 cubic feet when that third row is stowed in the floor. Pushing the second row seats into their “cargo” position (up against the front seats) opens up cargo space to a massive 142 cubic feet, with the exception of the SXL trim, where second-row lounge chairs reduce maximum cargo space. Note that this cargo space in most Sedona trims is gained without removing the second row, which is something that many rivals require to maximize space.

Performance

Performance
8

The 2015 Kia Sedona has a robust 3.3-liter V6 engine outputting 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. That runs through a six-speed automatic transmission to the front wheels. This powertrain provides a punchy, dynamic feel that is unusual for the minivan class. Fuel economy is, however, lower than expected.

The EPA gives the Sedona in all but its SX and SXL trim levels a rating of 20 mpg combined, or 18/24 mpg city/highway. The SX improves things to 21 mpg combined (18/25 mpg) with the addition of electric power-assist steering, which removes a little drag on the engine. 

The SXL, however, loses that benefit due to added vehicle weight, dropping fuel economy to 19 mpg combined, or 17/22 mpg. These estimates are slightly below the class averages for fuel economy.

With the optional towing kit, the 2015 Sedona is capable of towing up to 3,500 pounds.

On the road, the Kia Sedona is a confident vehicle with an excellent driver’s cockpit. Comfort and quiet ease are the 2015 Sedona’s new hallmarks.

Technology

Technology
10

The base Sedona is value-oriented with a price point below most competitors and fewer technology inclusions to match. It comes with basic Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a four-speaker sound system, satellite radio and a USB port.

Moving to the LX trim provides upgrades like a 4.3-inch touch-screen audio system with six speakers, a rearview camera and the Kia UVO eServices telematics system. This is a more impressive amount of technology for the buck.

The EX trim adds a driver-information display at the center of the instrument cluster, rapid charge USB ports and a blind sport warning system with rear cross-traffic alerts. The SX trim upgrades the driver information display to color and boosts the touch screen on the center console to 8 inches with navigation. Voice controls and other additions are also given at that trim. The top SXL trim adds parking sensors. Packages, as noted, include additions such as a four-camera 360-degree view parking system and adaptive cruise control.

The price paid for the 2015 Sedona is good given the inclusions given in the various trim levels. Kia’s UVO system itself is one of the easiest to use in the automotive market. It’s intuitive, relatively fast and simple. Even higher-level features, such as additional apps and streaming music, are simple to operate with only a short learning curve.

Safety

Safety
10

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Sedona a Top Safety Pick rating for 2015. Of note was its top score of “Good” in the small-overlap frontal-crash test, an unusual result for the segment. Additional technologies available in the Sedona are top-shelf for the minivan segment, and available apps for the UVO system can make parental control of a teenager using the van less stressful.

These monitoring services, available via the UVO eServices system, allow parents to set speed, location/distance and curfew alerts that both limit the capabilities of the van and alert parents via their smartphones when limits are near or exceeded. Tracking is available for the van through these services as well, allowing a parent to see where it is at any time.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
9

The base price and LX trim level pricing for the 2015 Sedona are excellent for the class. Few can rival the amount of van you’re getting for the cost. Others will offer more luxury at lower trim levels, however, but not at the same price point. The Sedona also impresses with new aggressive styling, a long powertrain warranty and better interior fit and finish that will add to its value.

One mark against the Kia is the brand’s overall low trade-in and resale values, which are likely to hold true for this new 2015 Sedona despite its significant upgrades.

Overall

Overall
9

The 2015 Kia Sedona is an excellent minivan that offers a unique option for those buying in the segment. Although the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna may be more contemporary, and the Chrysler Town & Country may be more luxurious, the Kia Sedona hits a nice middle-ground and adds robust styling flair to the bargain.

On the road, the 2015 Sedona is much more refined and far quieter than its predecessor of the last-generation and its interior is more upscale and well-fitted than it’s ever been before. Materials quality is on par or better than most of the competition. In our assessment, the 2015 Sedona is a top choice in the minivan market.