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2015/2016 Kia Sedona Convenience on Wheels - Review By Larry Nutson

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By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

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I don’t often drive and write about minivans, although I did drive a Chrysler Town & Country back in June. When one of my scheduled media-loan cars developed a hiccup, I took up the offer to drive the Sedona. I’ve heard lots of good things about it and wanted to experience it for myself. Especially since the Kia Sedona is extensively all-new for 2015.

Bob Gordon, president and publisher of The Auto Channel drove the new Kia Sedona not long ago on a trip to southern California and called it the “no problem minivan.” Here’s the link to his write-up if you might want to reads what Bob had to say, HERE

I had mentioned in my Chrysler T&C story that my octogenarian parents-in-law have been minivan drivers for about fifteen years. They love the convenience this vehicle type provides and treat it like a big closet on wheels when they make their annual snow-bird trip south.

My tester-for-a-week was a 2015 Sedona SX Limited that had a base price of $39,700. An optional SXL Technology package added $2,700 and rear seat entertainment system another $995. With $895 for freight and handling the bottom line came to $44,290. A tidy sum, at that.

For 2015, the Kia Sedona is offered in five trims: L, LX, EX, SX and SX Limited. You can choose seven or eight passenger seating. Prices start at $26,100. For 2016 there’s still five trims priced, with a slight bump-up, ranging from $26,400 to $39,900.

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The Sedona was all-new in 2015 and for 2016 a few tweaks have been made. All trims now come standard with a rear back-up camera, which is a great convenience and safety feature in backing-up as well as parking maneuvers in a crowded city. For the L and LX trims, cloth seat material is now tricot, described as a more modern-looking pattern that replaces the previous knit.  The EX trim now comes standard with heated front seats.  The SX and SXL trims now offer eight-passenger seating when equipped with the Technology package.  And, the SXL trim now offers side sills with chrome accents that complement the standard 19-inch chrome wheels.

Powering all Sedona models is a 3.3-liter V6 engine rated at 276 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and is tuned for enhanced mid-range torque, offering 248 lb.-ft. at 5,200 rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. I was pleased to find the Sedona using a conventional automatic transmission, and not a CVT. The engine/transmission combination offered plenty of response and wasn’t lacking in any driving mode or condition.

Even though gasoline prices are staying low for now, don’t hold your breath. EPA test fuel economy ratings for the Sedona SXL I drove are 19 mpg combined, or 5.3 gallons per 100 miles, with 17 city mpg and 22 highway mpg. A nice surprise on a highway road trip of about 120 miles was exceeding the EPA highway rating with a 26 mpg average, notwithstanding my spirited driving style.

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In my comings and goings in the Sedona I was continuously reminded of how convenient this vehicle is. It’s easy to slide slightly up and in to the driver’s seat. The high seating position offers a great view of the road ahead and your surroundings. Both sliding side doors are power operated on the SXL. A button-push on the key fob when approaching has the door conveniently open for you to load in anything you may be carrying. Push a button and they close. And sliding doors are great if the car parked next to you is close, or in a tight garage at home.

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Push a button and the rear hatch opens; another button push and it’s closed. A hands-free “Smart Power Liftgate” opens the rear lift gate automatically when the key fob is sensed for three seconds, and its programmable function can be tailored to the user’s height preference.  

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The outside mirrors have a power fold feature. Lock the doors when parked and they fold in. Drive down a narrow street to squeeze passed a parked large truck and push a button and the mirrors fold in to give you the extra inches you need to pass through.

The rear view camera is a god-send in a crowded parking lot or to eliminate the park-by-feel parallel parking that so often is the case on a crowded city street. Also available is a Surround View Monitor that provides camera images from all around the vehicle for further safety in maneuvering. The heating and air condition has separate controls for driver, passenger and the rear seat area. I can be cool; my wife can be warm; those in the rear can be cooler or warmer.

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I sometimes wished I wasn’t the diver. On the Sedona SX Limited I drove, second row “First Class” lounge seating can be positioned rearward for astonishing legroom and provides retractable lower-leg rests and airplane-style winged headrests.  Just sit back and enjoy the ride.
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You can have second-row seat cushion heaters for added comfort and all 2015/2016 Sedona models offer a third-row that provides the convenience of a split folding 60/40, in-floor-retractable design. Also, the Second row Slide-N-Stow tracked seating slides and folds upright to allow for “on-the-go” cargo hauling, eliminating the hassle of removing seats.

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If you are a frequent carrier of people or lots of packages and parcels you might want to check out more specifics and information on the Kia Sedona at To compare the Sedona to other minivans do that right here at

And, Kia also makes Sedona ownership convenient with 765 dealers across the U.S. and a 5 year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty.

The 2015 Kia Sedona has gotten lots of awards and recognition. With its family focus most important is its 5-star overall safety rating from NHTSA.

I found the Kia Sedona to be very user friendly and convenient. The sliding side door configuration is really the best solution for families with toddlers and also for elder folk with limited range of motion.

© 2015 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

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