By Mike Hanley on April 14, 2014
Competes with: Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna
Looks like: A minivan doing its hardest to look like a crossover
Drivetrain: 276-hp, 3.3-liter V-6 with a six-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Fall 2014
Kia's redesigned Sedona minivan features bolder styling that takes after crossover SUVs, new seats that offer greater passenger- and cargo-hauling flexibility, a new V-6 engine and a new high-end SXL trim level with Nappa leather upholstery. Kia says pricing will be announced closer to the Sedona's on-sale date this fall.
An upright grille gives the new Sedona a more assertive look than its predecessor. LEDs are used as accent lights up front and in the taillights. An integrated liftgate spoiler is standard, and 19-inch alloy wheels are available.
The Sedona also offers a Smart Welcome system that illuminates the door handles and unfolds the side mirrors when a key fob is nearby, while the Smart Tailgate feature opens the power liftgate when the key fob has been sensed for three seconds.
The three-row Sedona is available in seven- and eight-seat configurations, and the minivan offers Slide-n-Stow second-row seats that stack vertically against the back of the front seats, similar to the second-row bucket seats in the Chevrolet Traverse crossover. Kia says this seat design makes it easier to go from people- to cargo-hauling duty without having to remove a heavy second-row seat, which you have to do in other minivans. There are also available second-row seat heaters and seats with retractable leg rests. All models have a 60/40-split third-row bench seat that folds into the floor, which is the norm in the minivan segment.
The Sedona also debuts new services available with Kia's UVO entertainment system including geo-fencing as well as speed and curfew alerts. The system also works with select apps available from iTunes or Google Play. UVO also incorporates Siri Eyes Free technology and Google-powered search. Additional available features include a cooled storage area and a surround-view camera system.
The Sedona's all-new platform uses high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel for stiffness and lightness. It's powered by a 276-horsepower, 3.3-liter V-6 engine with direct-injection technology that teams with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Antilock brakes, an electronic stability system and traction control are standard. Available features include forward collision warning, a blind spot warning system and rear cross-traffic alert.
Senior Editor Mike Hanley is a father of three boys; he reviews new cars, admires classic cars and has embraced the minivan lifestyle. Email Mike