Reviews

2015 Kia Sedona Walk Around

The 2015 Kia Sedona has an aggressive face, with a prominent version of the Kia signature grille adjoining large headlamps and LED positioning lights. The bumper is conspicuously slotted, with end panels that echo the grille shape. On up-level models, fog lights punctuate the bumper side edges. An under bumper panel mimics a bash plate, helping associate the Sedona with the CUVs it's trying to resemble.

In profile, the Sedona presents a slightly wedged greenhouse with a steeply raked windshield and a shallower rear side glass shape to reduce the boxy silhouette. It helps a little, but isn't as artful at that job as the latest Honda Odyssey. However, the wheel housings are muscular and the wheels fill them to produce a reasonably sporty stance.

The rear aspect has a standard roof spoiler, angular rear window glass and asymmetrical light shapes to add interest to an essentially rectangular space. Of course, there is another contrasting-color under-bumper guard to hint at off-road fantasies.

Interior

Ease of access and general comfort levels are strong points for the Kia Sedona. Despite largely unchanged dimensions, the Sedona's interior has more space throughout, with a higher hip point for the driver to provide that elevated, CUV-like, vantage point.

The driver's seat is roomy and supportive, and it provides a good view down the road. 2015 Sedona models come standard with YES Essentials anti-microbial, anti-static fabrics for protection against spills and shock.

The dashboard has more of a horizontal, symmetrical emphasis, though the instrument panel features two large gauges with pronounced slash-cut tubular housings that incline toward the driver. The transmission selector has been moved from the dashboard to the center console, again to get away from the minivan milieu, but also because research indicated that nobody really needs a walk-through from the front to the center seats.

Access to the center row is made easy by the wide, powered sliding doors, and the First Class seats featured in the Sedona SXL are comfortable and commodious. Access to the third-row seats is somewhat compromised by the center row and the fairly high floor, but this six-footer managed to crawl in.

Unfortunately, the relatively low headroom back there suggests that the third row is better suited to kids or smaller adults. No big deal, that's true of most three-row vehicles. And it's more than made up for by the generous space and accommodations of the other two rows.

The seating arrangement itself is flexible depending on trim and option selected. The SXL models we drove on the introductory event had the second-row First Class two-seat arrangement, but a bench-type set up is also available for eight-passenger capacity.

Eschewing the notion of removable seats (too heavy, too awkward, says Kia), the Sedona has some novel solutions for seating arrangements, allowing the third row to fold and drop, and the center row to fold and slide against the front seatbacks for more cargo space.

Sedona is the first Kia to offer the company's UVO3 telematics package, which features various eService applications as well as access to Pandora, iHeart Radio and Yelp.

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