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2015 Kia Sedona SX Limited: Redefining The Luxury Minivan Segment

 Highlights: The Sedona wears a similar instrument panel to that of the flagship K900 and its sibling, the Hyundai Genesis sedan.

 Test vehicle’s MSRP: $43,295 (Base Model starts at $26,995)

Seating Capacity: 7 (with buckets; and 8 without)

Standard Safety Features: air bags; electronic brake distribution; electronic stability control; a rear view camera; a hill start assist system; and a traction control system

Standard Equipment (Base Model): 17-inch wheels; keyless entry; sun visors with extensions; 3-12 volt power outlets; manual operated sliding doors and tailgates; a manual operated tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel; a/c with front and rear controls; cloth seats; slide-and-stow second-row seats; third-row seats; and steering wheel audio controls

(SX Limited Model): 19-inch wheels; a keyless ignition starter system; second and third-row sunshade screens; a blind spot detection system; a navigation system; an automatic rearview mirror with Homelink; an 8-speaker Infinity audio system with a satellite system; dual glove box with cooling; premium leather seats; heated (and ventilated) front seats; heated wood trim steering wheel; memory controlled power front driver’s seat; power front passenger seat; bucket sliding second-row seats; a tri-zone a/c with a filtration system; dual sunroofs; heated outside mirrors; power folding outdoor mirrors; power sliding doors; power liftgate with sensors; LED taillights; and wiper deicer

 Options: a tech package, which consist of a forward collision assist system, a radar-activated cruise control system and a rear traffic cross alert system

 Suspension System:

 Front- MacPherson

Rear– Multi-link with struts

Standard Audio: a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles

Bluetooth CompatibilityYes

Standard Engine/Horsepower:

3.3-liter, 6-cylinder/276-horsepower

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 18-city/24-hwy

Other Trim Levels:

L

LX

EX

SX

iPod and USB ports: Yes

What’s New:  The second generation Sedona has been reworked inside and out, making it a true competitor in the minivan segment.

Pros: The second generation Sedona has literally stepped up its game, giving consumers who feel as though they must drive a minivan to meet the needs of their family another alternative. Unlike some of its competitors, the stylish Sedona offers a fresh and contemporary approach to the minivan segment, without being too futuristic or too bland. The Sedona finds the perfect balance by almost giving the appearance of being a crossover.

The 2015 Sedona is available in a variety trim levels, with a new high end trim, the SX Limited, added to the mix. The Sedona also offers the best warranty in the minivan segment. And while Chrysler (and Dodge) have long been king of the segment, as it relates to providing creativity with the seating, the 2015 Sedona has stepped up, becoming a class leader by providing sliding second row seats that not only move back-and-forth, but side-to-side, too. When outfitted with the segment’s only airplane-like bucket seats, the seats not only fully recline, they also offer footrests. Yes, that’s a first in minivans.

The top of the line Sedona, which we reviewed, also can be outfitted with dual functional sunroofs. Both the front and rear sunroofs are fully operational.

Yes, the ugly duckling Sedona of the past, has been transformed into what seems to be a well-built people (or cargo mover). Ironically, the instrument panel of the Sedona closely mirrors that of the Kia K900, the Hyundai Genesis sedan and the Hyundai Sonata, all which are siblings to the minivan. All of the controls were designed and formed with simplicity and usability in mind. The Sedona also offers a premium car-like ride, too!

In the Sedona, the rear hatch can open without lifting a finger (or foot, in the case of Ford’s products). Yes, this is another much-needed minivan exclusive.

When all the seats were in use, the Sedona still manages to offer cargo carrying capabilities, too. A number of SUVs and crossovers with third row seats aren’t able to accommodate cargo, but this one can.

Cons: With the new SX Limited model being a new trim to line up, we believe there are just a few more touches that could be made to make this a true premium-class minivan. The interior designers should add a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel and more soft touch points (or padding) should be added to the door trim and the instrument panel.

In fact, more padding should be offered for the front center armrest or the interior designers should consider adding adjustable folding armrests to the front seat, too. The second-row bucket seats are too heavy to remove and they require one to be seated in order to navigate the seats on the track system. There is no rear-wheel drive capability, as a competitor offers. 

 The Verdict: With the arrival of the larger and more premium class Sedona, this minivan comes with a sense of style that many critics believe has caused the explosive shift toward crossovers, i.e. car-based utility vehicles. Unlike a crossover, which is today’s modern-day version of a station wagon, the Sedona offers utility, cargo (and people) carrying capability, respectable fuel mileage, a host of high-tech features (if so desired), and great road manners, too. The Sedona definitely goes to the top of list in the minivan segment. In fact, we would strongly consider this minivan over most crossovers.

Competition: Chrysler T&C; Dodge Grand Caravan; Honda Odyssey; Nissan Quest; and Toyota Sienna

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Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to www.JeffCars.com. Follow him @ Twitter/JeffCars.

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