To be straightforward, I may not be the most qualified individual to speak about minivans.
I don't have a wife and kids needing transport to soccer matches. Hopefully, I never will.
If I were to find myself in such a situation though, the market is pretty small these days. Everyone seems to have jumped the sport-utility vehicle boat. I'd say the only real players left are the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Siena. I am sure someone will speak up about Chrysler's minivans but, frankly, I haven't seen or heard much about them lately.
One brand that has dabbled in the minivan space is Kia. A former C-level colleague of mine in the technology space just raved on and on about her last-gen Sedona. She and her husband loved it — they also beat the hell out of it and it kept ticking without any problems. This is kind of the point of a minivan. To endure some serious pain and keep those wheels rolling.
Rarely do they have so much sophistication and style on the outside AND inside, though.
I mean, check out that steering wheel, center stack and two-tone interior trim. As I said I am not a minivan kind of person but this would certainly help lessen the blow if I had to take the plunge.
That said, do YOU think that the style and sophistication the all-new, 2015 Kia Sedona exudes will be enough to take a significant bite out of the Honda and Toyota pie?
What say you, Spies?
Kia's press release follows:
Completely Redesigned Midsize Multi-purpose Vehicle Raises the Bar in the Segment with Innovative Technology, Style and Added Safety Features
- With its modern appearance and CUV-like cab-forward design, the all-new Sedona completes the restyling of Kia’s entire U.S. lineup under the direction of Peter Schreyer
- Available in seven- and eight-passenger configurations, the 2015 Sedona advances value to new levels of sophistication with advanced safety features and available driving-aid technologies, premium materials and amenities
NEW YORK – Set against the backdrop of one of the world’s premier urban playgrounds, Kia Motors America (KMA) today took the wraps off the all-new 2015 Sedona midsize multi-purpose vehicle in New York City. As the final chapter in Kia’s design-led transformation story – which began in 2009 and has seen a comprehensive makeover of Kia’s entire model line under the direction of chief design officer Peter Schreyer – the all-new Sedona’s CUV-like styling and proportions offer all of the functional convenience of the segment while defying its design limitations. In addition to innovative European-inspired design, the 2015 Sedona also delivers the exceptional interior volume buyers expect in the segment with ample passenger and cargo room and a quiet and comfortable cabin. Following the philosophy that has guided Kia’s recent succession of highly successful redesigns, the Sedona advances value to new levels of sophistication with a host of segment-leading new technology and upscale features, all of which will be offered in a new premium trim level – SXL – which will be available when U.S. sales are scheduled to begin in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter of this year. Pricing will be announced closer to the Sedona’s launch date.
2014 New York Auto Show
“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, KMA. “Combined with a host of active and passive safety features and technology, the completely redesigned Sedona retains the functionality the nameplate has always been known for, while rising to meet the diverse needs – and tastes – of today's consumers."
Modern, Confident Exterior
Transcending mundane functionality, the Sedona’s wide stance exudes a modern, CUV-like exterior appearance highlighted by a front fascia and cab-forward design that project confidence and strength. The Sedona’s muscular face and clean, smooth look is highlighted by a fully integrated version of Kia’s signature grille and headlamps with LED positioning lights. The wheelbase is 1.6-inches longer than its predecessor, and the side profile, with its reduced front and rear overhangs, combines with the deeply swept windshield and available 19-inch alloy wheels to create a distinctive look. Meanwhile, the rear design layout, with LED taillights, integrated bumper guard and standard roof spoiler, presents a broad, stable bearing.
Open, Relaxed, Configurable Interior
Despite its overall width and height remaining virtually unchanged, the all-new Sedona provides more front shoulder room, greater leg room in the front, second and third rows, as well as a slightly higher hip-point, improving outward visibility for the driver. The horizontal design cues across the instrument panel create a greater sense of width, and the generous use of soft-touch materials adds to the all-new Sedona’s premium ambiance. The Sedona’s proportions provide flexible seating in both seven- and eight-passenger configurations and a multitude of storage options. The front center console is unique to the segment and allows for generous and cleverly convenient storage space between the front seats. Second row Slide-n-Stow tracked seating slides and folds upright to allow for “on-the-go” cargo hauling while eliminating the hassle that comes with removing heavy and cumbersome middle seats. The all-new Sedona also offers the choice of second row “First Class” lounge seating that can be positioned rearward for astonishing legroom and provides retractable lower leg rests. And while some configurations feature segment-unique second-row seat cushion heaters for added comfort, all 2015 Sedona models offer a third-row that provides the convenience of a split folding 60/40 in-floor retractable design.
The Sedona also is the only vehicle in the segment outfitted with standard YES Essentials™ fabric technology to provide anti-microbial protection from spills, anti-static protection from irritating electrical shocks as well as stain-repelling and stain-releasing fabric characteristics appreciated by anyone who leads an active lifestyle.
The Sedona’s sophisticated interior design theme is brought to life with a modern color palette featuring solid or two-tone color options in beige, gray and burgundy for a warm and inviting atmosphere. The top-line SXL trim features standard ultra-soft Nappa leather seating surfaces throughout the cabin, the same Chromium-free leather found in the K900 luxury sedan.
Building on the next-generation UVO Infotainment & Telematics system, the all-new Sedona will be the first Kia vehicle to offer four new eServices features: Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert and Driving Score. Additionally, with the introduction of the Kia App store, select apps can be downloaded for free from iTunes®2 or Google Play3. The Kia app connector is now available for partnership with the content community, including Pandora®4, iHeart Radio and Yelp®5. Many more new technologies for comfort and convenience are featured in the new UVO system, including Siri “Eyes Free6” and Local Search – powered by Google – for finding locations, addresses and points of interest. Sirius XM Travel Link7, offering access to traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports scores, stock information and movie times, makes the Sedona the perfect companion for those who live their lives on the road with family and friends.
Driving Dynamics and Safety
The 2015 Sedona is built on an all-new chassis with static torsional stiffness that is 36-percent greater than its closest segment competitor. The body is 76 percent Ultra High Strength Steel (press hardened) or High Strength Steel, which provides exceptional rigidity, durability and collision protection in a lightweight design. For enhanced roof strength, the Sedona has been engineered with reinforced pillars that distribute impact loads with ultra-high-strength steel tubes that run inside the A-pillars. Extensive use of adhesives and large diameter welds also add to Sedona’s overall structural integrity and strength. Together with Kia’s patented technology, the 2015 Sedona is targeted to earn the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 5-Star overall vehicle safety rating.
The rigid and durable chassis provides a solid base for road-trip readiness. The 2015 Sedona utilizes Amplitude Selected Dampers (ASD) to strike an optimal balance of ride comfort and handling. The platform also has revised rear cross-member bushings, an isolated rear sub-frame with longer trailing arms and added rear strut reinforcement, all of which combine for improved dynamic ride characteristics. Additionally, the 2015 Sedona is expected to be among the quietest in the segment thanks to wheel-house padding, double seal sliding doors and an expanded use of sound-deadening foam in the engine compartment, reducing noise and perceived harshness over rough pavement.
Under the hood, a new Lambda Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) 3.3-liter V6 engine replaces the 3.5-liter V6 found in the previous generation Sedona. The 3.3-liter engine, which is also found in the Sorento CUV and Cadenza premium sedan, delivers more power than its predecessor, boasting 276 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, and it has been tuned for enhanced mid-range torque, offering 248 lb.-ft. at 5,200 rpm.
A three-step Variable Induction System (VIS) improves engine "breathing," automatically adjusting the volume of the air pulled into the combustion chamber to create the optimal air-to-fuel mix under different engine load conditions. Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) combined with a piston-cooling oil jet improves engine cooling efficiency, while engine components, including piston rings, piston skirts, valve tappets, timing chain guide and valve springs are all of a low-friction design.
Finally, the new 3.3-liter V6 engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission tuned for balanced control, power and efficiency.
Abundant Safety Features and Driver Technology
Throughout the design and development process a high priority was placed on active and passive safety features as well as technology, resulting in one of the most technologically advanced vehicles in the segment. All Sedona models come standard with active safety features such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC)8, Traction Control System (TCS)8, Brake Assist System (BAS)8, Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)8, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)8 and Antilock Braking System (ABS)8. Additional technologies such as Roll Over Mitigation (ROM)8 and Cornering Brake Control (CBC)8 also were added as standard equipment for improved dynamic control and safety.
New optional driver technology, including Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)8, Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS)9, Smart Cruise Control (SCC)9, Blind Spot Detection (BSD)9 and Rear Cross Traffic Alert9, help provide Sedona drivers with a more convenient and secure daily driving experience.
Comfort & Convenience Features
From front to back the Sedona offers numerous convenience features, including Kia’s first application of the newest high-power (2.1 AMP) USB charging port and a 115-volt AC outlet to charge small electronics as well as a dual glove box that offers a cooled lower storage area. For easier parking and vehicle maneuvering, the Surround View Monitor8 provides real-time images from cameras placed around the vehicle. Smart Welcome, automatically illuminates the door handles and unfolds the power retractable side mirrors when a vehicle key fob is detected. A hands-free “Smart Tailgate” 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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2014 New York Auto Show