Roadshow Video Reviews
2015 Kia SedonaBrian Cooley test drives the Kia Sedona and offers his take on how it stacks up against its minivan rivals.
The minivan. The great maligned of the auto industry. No one gets their kicks by buying one and yet an awful lot of people live with one every day. Kia says they do one really well. Let's see in the latest version of the Sedona. Definitely outside the realm of the big three. But maybe that's, a mistake. [MUSIC] We're driving a 2015 Sedona SXL, as we check the tech. [MUSIC] When you put a mini-van in your line you don't exactly expect it to be a Halo vehicle do you? You leave that to your sport coups and your sexy crossover. This guy just has to sell well bottom line. What Kia has done to make their argument to that direction is to take their inarguably slick looking very urbanized style they have these days. Put in some good [UNKNOWN] we've seen in their cars before, and try to make the second row a special place all of that at a special price. Let's see how well they do. [MUSIC] Now, of course, in a high [UNKNOWN] minivan, you almost care more about the second row than the first row. So, here we are in what they call first class lounge seats in the second row. You do give up one **** in the second row. So now you're down to seven total passengers. However, you get adjustable footrests. You've got one of these butterfly headrests, like you have on those nice airline seats. Of course you can recline this thing way back, almost flat. This is a weird control here, look at this. I can slide left and right. Same one with that guy. So if you get two folks back here who hate each other, like when you're going to a family reunion, this is perfect. Now familiar Kia cabin design in here, this has got the sporty, fresh. it's got a really handsome look that a lot of other KIAs have. You're not giving that up because you're driving a minivan, that's the good news. Here's the star of the show, 8-inch touch LCD, and in typical KIA fashion, the touch response is quick. Crisp and responsive. You've also got voice command on this guy, but there is no other type of controller. So we're in a high trim Sedona, that means we have navigation, and I've always found pretty good from these guys. We've also got Infinity surround sound. Just about every source you want. We're not missing anything here, from satellite radio, to Pandora, to Spotify. Huh, a lot of the stuff comes into what they call Uvo services platform. You've also got the ability to go to what they call their app store, that's where you go to add in things like Pandora, iHeartradio, Yelp. There's also built in support for Siri eyes free. And you may have noticed on that voice command screen there's a tab there for Google Local Search. The frustrating part is this works through the Wi-Fi connection, not through a pairing to your phone. So your phone either needs to be a hotspot or you gotta be parked in the driveway or somewhere. Connecting to a fixed hot spot that's goofy. Now our vehicles also got several drivers assist on it from cameras, rear cameras available pretty low on these guys. We've also got a surround view camera on here that works particularly well good sharp imagery. One choice only on the transmission 6 speed automatic, so this shifter's gonna be common to all of them. No paddles or anything on the wheel they don't do that on Sedona's. And while I like the touch response on the screen, I think these home run buttons here were all nicely done. Some of the switch gear is crap in this car. When you put the shifter over in the sport gate, the shiftable gate on the left, and kick it back and forth, you can't even tell if you've made a gear change or not by its feel. It's just gummy and weird. Ditto for the headlight dimming stalk. I had to fiddle with it twice every time I wanted to take the headlights up or down. There's like, no feedback to it weird, sloppy, mushy. Now, up front the Sedona has gone down an engine size, not too unusual these days but still notable. Three point three liter V-6 now, down the three and a half liter V-6 that was in here last year. The power numbers went up, though. Two hundred and seventy six horsepower, 248 pound feet of torque. MPG is okay, it's 18/24, which is disappointing for a smaller engine. To go look at Nissan, Honda, Chrysler, they're all doing better on average MPG than this guy. One last note before we go for a drive, this is front wheel drive. Like most minivans however some folks really like to have all wheel drive in their minivan. Imagine that. You want to get around all year long. And that's where you got to go shop a Toyota Sienna. So what am I going to tell you about a Kia Sedona that is different than other minivans? mini van. Not a whole lot, to be honest. Its an isolated, quiet, riding vehicle, modern mini vans all do that, and do that really well. Its got very good road manners, but not if you press it, there's no performance in this vehicle. The engine, I gotta say, seems a little bit on the underpowered side, but Not criminally so. The bottom line is, I think, that, normally, I never think of KIA as making a minivan. When folks as me for a recommendation for one, I don't think I ever remember to mention them. So that might be the main takeaway. It should be one you consider with the big boys. We've got a very high end Sedona, here. So don't blanch when I tell you it starts a little bit over $40,000. But this is an SX. Now on top of that I am going to add nearly three grand, $2700 to be specific for the tech package. That gets us better headlights, the lane departure warning, forward collision warning, a very nice surround view camera, and adaptive cruise control. Now, we're a little over $43,000. This vehicle's not thrilling to drive although it's also competent on the road. The second row is, definitely one of the more luxurious places you can sit in a car today at just about any price, and Kia's cabin tech has been strong with the exception of a couple of weird quirks we showed you there. It's definitely a worthy challenger to what is a much better selling set of competitions. [MUSIC]