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Call the 2015 Kia Sedona Anything You Want, but Don't Call It a Minivan

By: Jeff Youngs, 4/15/2014
Kia introduced the redesigned 2015 Sedona at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, calling it a "midsize multi-purpose vehicle" with "CUV-like styling and proportions," which helps to explain the hint of skid plates on the new, top-of-the-line Sedona SXL trim level. Take one look at photos of the all-new 2015 Kia Sedona, though, and it's easy to recognize this vehicle for what it is: a minivan.

The new 2015 Sedona is the last Kia model to get a redesign under the direction of Peter Schreyer, the company's chief design officer and the person responsible for the automaker's current styling themes. Featuring what Kia calls European-inspired design, the new Sedona's width and height are unchanged but the minivan features reduced front and rear overhangs combined with a wheelbase stretched by 1.6 in.

"Throughout the development process, our engineers in the U.S. and Korea focused on adding the element of desire to the all-new Sedona with improved driving dynamics and power and the incorporation of modern styling cues, premium materials and technology," said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, Kia Motors America.

Exterior design elements include LED running lights, LED taillights, and a rear spoiler atop the back window. Inside, Kia employs horizontal design cues to emphasize the 2015 Sedona's width and spaciousness, along with soft-touch surfaces which help to provide an upscale look and feel. Extensive use of sound-deadening material reportedly quiets the cabin, and comfort is said to be improved thanks to higher front-seat hip points, more front shoulder room, and greater legroom in all three rows of seats.

Able to carry 8 passengers, the 2015 Sedona includes a standard center console between the front seats just like an SUV does, one equipped with a large storage area, cup holders, and a traditional gear selector. Second-row Slide-n-Stow seating is mounted on tracks and can be moved all the way forward and stored upright against the front seatbacks, thereby eliminating the need to unlatch and unload them to maximize cargo space. The 60/40 split-design third-row seat easily folds into the rearmost cargo well for storage.

Stain- and static-resistant Yes Essentials anti-microbial fabric is standard for the 2015 Sedona, with leather upholstery and second-row heated seats offered as options. The new Sedona can also be upgraded with second-row "First Class" lounge seats that include retractable leg-rests. For even greater levels of luxury, Kia offers the new Sedona SXL with the same premium leather that is supplied in the new K900 sedan.

Additional options for the 2015 Kia Sedona include a dual-panel sunroof, triple-zone automatic climate control system with Clean Air ionization, Smart Welcome exterior lighting, and a height-programmable Smart Tailgate. The Smart Tailgate senses the presence of a key fob and, if the key fob is near the rear of the minivan for three seconds, the tailgate powers open in hands- and foot-free fashion. A unique grille and 19-in. split-spoke polished aluminum wheels distinguish the Sedona SXL.

Kia's UVO eServices technology is available for the 2015 Sedona, featuring new Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert, and Driving Score services. A new Kia App Store offers Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Google Local Search applications, and Siri Eyes Free technology is included for Apple iPhone users, who can charge their smartphone using the 2.1-amp high-power USB charging port.

Kia builds the 2015 Sedona on a new platform that the automaker says is stiffer than any competitor, and uses plenty of ultra-high-strength steel to build the minivan. A 3.3-liter V-6 engine is standard, sending 276 horsepower and 248 lb.-ft. of torque to the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. Kia says it has optimized the Sedona's ride and handling characteristics through the use of standard Amplitude Selective Dampers.

In terms of safety, Kia says the new Sedona provides enhanced roof crush protection, and the automaker claims the minivan will get a 5-star overall crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A rollover-mitigation system is standard equipment, and buyers can upgrade the minivan with Smart Cruise Control, a forward-collision warning system, blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and a Surround View Monitor.

Kia expects the 2015 Sedona to go on sale in the fall, and prices will be announced closer to the minivan's arrival in showrooms.

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