2015 Kia Sedona: A Redesigned Kid Hauler [Review]

2015 Kia Sedona

The minivan. Love them or hate them, they are here to stay. Car manufacturers can market them as “Swagger Wagons” as much as they want – minivans continue to be practical kid haulers, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring. The 2015 Kia Sedona has been redesigned and hopes to capture the market of soccer parents and their respective kids.

The Sedona errs just on this side of too much bling on this redesign. The 19-inch wheels have a chrome finish, the tabbed grill is encircled with chrome, and there is a ring of chrome trim around the fog lights. Sharp headlights complete the front fascia.

2015 Kia Sedona

The “chromination” of the 2015 Kia Sedona continues in profile, with chrome door handles and a horizontal chrome accent from the A-pillar rearward. Thankfully, the chrome gets under control in the rear, with just a single horizontal accent line. In all, the design of the new Sedona is far from objectionable, though some may find it polarizing.

Under the hood we get a 3.3-L V6, the same power plant that can be found in the Kia Sorento and Cadenza. The V6 puts out 276 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. Power goes to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Our test SXL trim line gets an EPA estimated fuel economy of 17 mpg in the city, 22 mpg on the highway, and 19 mpg combined. Expect slightly higher numbers in the lesser trim lines.

STATS Starting Retail Price As Tested Price HP / Lb-Ft
2015 Kia Sedona SXL $39,700 $42,350 276/248
EPA Rating MPG As Tested MPG
Rating: LEASE IT!
17/22 Combined 19  17.3

Inside, the Sedona is a comfortable place to haul your little Dream Crushers around. Standard features on our top-of-the-line test model include dual glove boxes, one of which is cooled, cruise control, Bluetooth, satellite radio, iPod connectivity, leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, two rapid-charge USB ports, heated and cooled front seats, heated multi-functional steering wheel, keyless entry with push-button start, power driver and passenger seats, back-up camera, and eight-inch color touch screen with navigation.

2015 Kia Sedona

The center console is laid out nicely with everything within easy reach. Soft touch materials abound and there is no evidence of troublesome fit and finish, something that has plagued earlier Kia vehicles.

The navigation system is easy to use and inputs are accepted quickly. The UVO system offers apps such as Pandora, weather, gas prices, and Google search with real time traffic. The system also has a geo-fencing feature, which allows real-time tracking of selected drivers.  For example, if your teenager is so desperate to get out of the house that they ask for the keys, the Sedona can alert a parent’s smartphone if it travels outside a predetermined area or over a certain speed. It even has a curfew alert. Helicopter parents, rejoice.

The second row of seats features two captain’s chairs that recline and even have a footrest. There is a 110V outlet for laptops and such, which is good as the Sedona does not have a rear seat entertainment system (RSE). According to the Kia website, it’s not even an option. RSE is pretty much standard fare on competitors like the Honda Odyssey.

2015 Kia Sedona

The second row seats slide towards the center to offer easier access to the third row seats. It’s fine for the kiddos, but adults might still have a difficult time squeezing through.

With the third row seats in place there is 33.9 cubic feet of space. The third row seats fold down, although it’s a bit of a process, and reveal 78.4 cubic feet of space. In other trim lines the second row of seats will slide forward and stow. and produce a total of 142 cubic feet of space. However, in our top of the line SXL, they will only slide forward. No stowage is possible.

Behind the wheel, the 2015 Kia Sedona should satisfy most consumers. It’s a bit sluggish off the line due to is 4000 plus pounds of heft, but once up to speed, the engine puts out more mid-range torque than in previous years. The transmission has to search around for a second to find the right gear, but it settles in nicely. The ride is tuned for comfort and the Sedona can handle potholes with ease. Steering is light but responsive and the Sedona can easily flip a u-turn on a residential street.

2015 Kia Sedona

The good folks at Kia have included three different drive modes: eco, normal, and comfort. While ostensibly these modes change steering weight and transmission mapping, it’s so minimal it becomes difficult to notice. The Sedona can even be shifted manually via the console-mounted shifter, though it’s doubtful most consumers will use this feature.

A minivan wouldn’t be complete without a slew of safety features. Standard on the SXL. are front and rear parking sensors, blind spot detection, and rear cross traffic alert. Optional on our test model are surround view camera, forward collision warning and lane departure warning. The warnings are all audible only; the brakes are not applied nor is there any kind of haptic feedback to let you know you’ve gone astray. These nannies can easily be disabled.

The 2015 Kia Sedona SXL starts at $39,700 and with our $2700 technology package and destination charge, the grand total is $43,295. There are a few hearty competitors, though. A similarly-equipped Honda Odyssey will set you back $42,030 and the Chrysler Town and Country $39,995, respectively. Those who want a sportier ride might want to look at the Dodge Grand Caravan. You can get an R/T trim line with performance suspension starting at a mere $29,995.

On the TFLcar scale of:

  • Buy it!
  • Lease it!
  • Rent it!
  • … or Forget it!

The 2015 Kia Sedona SXL gets a Lease It! While it’s a comfortable place to spend some time, there is no rear-seat entertainment system, the third row is difficult to stow away and the second row seat does not stow away at all. One would be better served to look at the lower trim lines for more storage space, or competitors such as the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, or Nissan Quest.

Check out this TFLcar Everything You Ever Wanted to Know video of the 2015 Kia Sedona.

emme hall tflcar


Emme is a driver, reviewer, rabble rouser, and Gazelle who can be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and either one of her blogs.