It’s not often that a new minivan hits the streets, but this year the Kia Sedona is fresh from a world debut at the New York auto show. It goes on sale later this year, and Kia thinks it’s ready to take on the Chrysler minivans, the Toyota Sienna, and the Honda Odyssey.
The new Sedona is no risk taker. There’s no lighting strike down its sides like the one on the Honda. The styling’s clean and unremarkable, without any drama but also without any major flaws. The flow of glass at the rear end is a particularly nice touch.
The cockpit is much more stylish. The dash is handsome, laid out in a wide horizontal band, with a two-tone look and glossy piano-black trim. It’s lined with soft-touch plastics, and some fine details that’s made its way from Kia’s upmarket Cadenza and K900 sedans.
The Sedona gets a better flip-and-fold seating system for 2015 too. We still think the Chrysler fold-away seats are a better idea—but maybe the Sedona’s flip-flat seats will change our mind. The second-row seats stow vertically and slide on a track to expand cargo space, without having to remove them. The third-row seats fold flat into the floor. It’s a step up from the old Sedona’s arrangement, and makes the most of the minivan’s huge interior room — it’s almost the size of the Odyssey now.
Performance in the Sedona comes from a 3.3-liter V-6 that’s also found in the Sorento crossover and Cadenza sedan. It makes 276 horsepower and sends power to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.
We expect much better crash-test performance from the new Sedona—it was a sore point on some older versions. This new van has a much stronger body, and Kia is working toward top safety ratings. The Sedona also comes with options for a surround-view camera.
Other new features include an infotainment system with Bluetooth audio streaming and smartphone connectivity, a high-output USB charging port, and a 115-volt outlet. Gotta keep those devices on to keep the backseaters quiet.
There’s no official gas mileage or pricing yet, but we expect more this summer, including our first drive. Until then, read more in our 2015 Kia Sedona Preview.