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2015 Kia Sedona SX-L: What's It Like to Live With?

Pack up the kids. We've got a year with the new 2015 Kia Sedona SX-Limited minivan.

Kia Sedona 2015

What do you want to know about?


August 31, 2015

What Did We Get?
Over the last few years, Kia has bucked the "...for its price" qualifier that accompanied so many of the South Korean automaker's past products. Kia's current lineup is no-foolin', no-qualifiers good. And now the all-new-for-2015 Kia Sedona joins that club.

When designing the Sedona, Kia drew influence from its crossover lineup. The exterior styling is muscular, and the dash and front seats are arranged with the shifter mounted on the wide center console with a configurable bin big enough to hold a newborn.

We walked away from our road test of the 2015 Sedona impressed, so we ordered one up for our Long-Term Road Test fleet and a 12-month, 20,000-mile test.

What Options Does It Have?
The 2015 Kia Sedona comes in five trim levels: L, LX, EX, SX and our range-topping SX-Limited. All trims share the same powertrain: a 276-horsepower 3.3-lliter V6 powering the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. The base L trim starts at $26,400 with standard features like Bluetooth connectivity, USB audio input, a back-up camera, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, remote keyless entry and a flat-folding third row.

Jumping up to the top, our Sedona SX-Limited starts at $39,700. The SX-Limited is equipped with plenty of niceties for you, your kids and your kids' friends. Stuff like Napa leather seating, 19-inch wheels, power-adjustable driver and passenger seats, an eight-speaker Infinity sound system, Kia's Uvo infotainment system with navigation, USB charging ports, a 115-volt power inverter, a remote power liftgate, dual sunroofs, remote power-sliding doors, front and rear parking assist sensors and a surround-view monitor.

The SX-Limited also features large captain's chairs with extendable leg rests in the second row. This is a first for Kia and a class exclusive, and there isn't a kid in the world who doesn't fall in love with them after just one ride. The downside is ultimate storage. These seats trump Kia's Slide-n-Stow seats, which are standard in the other trim levels, so if you typically carry a lot of stuff, a different trim may be for you.

The only option we added was the $995 rear entertainment system to help appease rear-seat passengers. With destination, our 2015 Kia Sedona SX-Limited priced out at $41,590. And while it doesn't need the qualifier anymore, it's worth noting that this is less than a comparably equipped Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna.

Why We Got It
Forget the stereotypes. The minivan is poised for a revival. Crossovers are the talk of the town, but what most people really need is a minivan. Our fleet has been crossover-heavy lately, with a Toyota Highlander, Nissan Murano and Porsche Macan. We were overdue for another minivan.

But minivans are a cutthroat business. Just ask Nissan. Or Ford. Or General Motors. Even Chrysler, which invented the segment back in the 1980s, has had its struggles. And then here comes Kia with this all-new feature-rich 2015 Sedona, trying to take buyers from the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, the undisputed kings of the minivan land.

Decent doesn't cut it here. The bar is set and it's way up there. Over the next 12 months, 20,000 miles and 40,000 Cheerios we'll find out if this van has what it takes to bump the kings and be a real alternative for your family.

Follow along on the long-term blog to see how the 2015 Kia Sedona holds up in real-world testing. Spoiler alert: The bike fits.


by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on September 1, 2015

"A plastic bottle rolled down by my feet and made me press the wrong pedal."

We are just 800 miles into our 20,000-mile long-term test of the 2015 Kia Sedona when the author of this statement crashes into the back of us on the freeway. This is no way to start a year with our newest minivan.

Next stop: body shop.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 876 miles

Behind the Scenes at the Body Shop

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on September 3, 2015

When we last checked on our 2015 Kia Sedona, it was involved in a traffic collision that sent it to the body shop. Now that the damaged areas are disassembled, a proper estimate can be drawn up.

It's not good news.

Have a look above.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 876 miles

Swallows Cargo Easily

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on September 7, 2015

Hauling awkward cargo is one of those things that minivans handle as well or better than some pickups. In this case, our 2015 Kia Sedona swallowed a seven-foot long area rug without a hitch.

Captain's chairs in the second row made this possible, although even if there was a second-row bench I could have just slung the rug over the top. If I was driving our Chevrolet Colorado or even one of our full-sizes trucks like the F-150 or Ram, that roll would have been hanging over the side given that none of them have a bed longer than six feet.

Also note how flat the load floor is with the third row folded. There are some gaps here and there, but overall it's a big space that can swallow huge chunks of cargo. A low liftover height makes it easy to toss in stuff as well. We'll see how this van fares once we fill it with passengers and luggage, but so far it has proven practical for weekend errand duty.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 1,084 miles

Really Holds On in the Curves

by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on September 16, 2015

After our long-term 2015 Kia Sedona recovered from crash testing, we finally had a chance to move on to the performance testing phase.

Dynamic performance is not typically at the forefront of a minivan shopper's priorities. Most of the numbers that enthusiasts pore over mean little or nothing in this segment.

More practical concerns for the minivan shopper are: Is acceleration sufficient enough to move the van and cargo with relative ease? Are the brakes powerful enough to stop the same van and cargo? Does it get good fuel economy? How will the stroller fit?

Still, we wanted to see a Sedona leaned over on the skid pad...

Vehicle: 2015 Kia Sedona SX-L
Odometer: 1,496
Date: 9/1/2015
Driver: Jonathan Elfalan
Price: $41,590

Drive Type: Front-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed automatic
Engine Type: V6
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 3,342/204
Redline (rpm): 6,750
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 276 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 248 @ 5,200
Brake Type (front): One-piece vented disc with a two-piston sliding caliper
Brake Type (rear): One-piece solid disc with a single-piston sliding caliper
Suspension Type (front): MacPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Suspension Type (rear): Multi-link with struts, coil springs PLD dampers

Tire Size (front): 235/55R19 101H
Tire Size (rear): 235/55R19 101H
Tire Brand: Kumho
Tire Model: Crugen Premium
Tire Type: All-season
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,745

Test Results:

0-30 (sec): 3.2 (w/ TC on 3.3)
0-45 (sec): 5.5 (w/ TC on 5.7)
0-60 (sec): 8.2 (w/TC on 8.4)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 7.9 (w/TC on 8.0)
0-75 (sec): 12.3 (w/TC on 12.5)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 16.2 @ 87.7 (w/TC on 16.3 @ 87.8)

30-0 (ft): 32
60-0 (ft): 125

Slalom (mph): 54.3 (52.5 w/ESC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.79 (0.77 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 2,100

Acceleration comments: There isn't much guesswork to the Sedona. The traditional 6-speed automatic likes a little power braking (overlapping the brake and gas to bring engine rpms up), just enough to engage the torque converter at 2000 rpm. Available drive modes include normal (nothing illuminated), comfort and eco. There's no sport mode.

Traction control didn't seem to have any effect in launching or acceleration either, only the amount of power braking, which actually slowed down times if you applied too much. There's nothing special or standout about the engine or transmission, though you can manually select gears and the 3.3-liter V6 does provide enough motivation to hang with the rest of the minivan competition.

Braking comments: The Sedona showed good straight line braking stability, though there's a good amount of noise under ABS. The brake pedal is what you'd expect in a minivan, with average length of travel and medium-soft weight. During the formal brake test portion, there wasn't much brake fade experienced. The pedal got just a little softer, and there was detectable odor, but distances didn't suffer much at all. However, after a few acceleration runs, the brake linings were thoroughly cooked to the point that we could not invoke ABS in a full panic stop.

Handling comments:
Slalom: The Sedona's willingness to rotate around the steady-state skid pad actually creates some issues for it through the slalom. Even with stability control still active, the rear tires are eager to break loose, which causes the system to intervene and cut engine torque. Keeping a tidy line through the cones is difficult because of the Sedona's size, and aggressive inputs only slow the car down. It's a fine line here.

Skidpad: In a sustained corner like the skipad, the Sedona unweights its front inside tire enough for it to spin and lose traction — no LSD option available, I'm guessing. Having traction control active causes the Sedona to lose some speed as the electronics compensate for the spinning wheel. While not sporty by universal terms, being able to unweight the inside front wheel inside of scrubbing the outside tire to oblivion, shows a little athleticism. The Sedona was able to post an average lateral g of nearly 0.80. This is better than most/all minivans we've tested recently.

Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 1,496 miles

Slow Traffic Updates

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on September 24, 2015

The whole point of real-time traffic updates is the ability to make real-time decisions.  That's why systems like the one in our 2015 Kia Sedona so often frustrate me.

As you can see, the traffic map shows nothing but green on my route. Yet there I sit in traffic at a standstill.

Had I known there was an accident blocking multiple lanes, I could have taken another route. That's one of the few upsides to the Los Angeles freeway system — there's almost always another way to go.

I've encountered this problem in numerous vehicles over the years. Apparently traffic reporting technology hasn't kept up with traffic display technology. Some systems seem to be more accurate than others, but obviously the setup in our Sedona needs some work.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor

It Isn't Soul-Sucking!

by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on September 28, 2015

I've made this point to people countless times, in person and in writing, as an argument based purely in logic, specs and a decade's worth of experience as a car reviewer: For family transport, and especially for family transport over long distances, nothing beats a minivan like our 2015 Kia Sedona.

The space for people and their stuff just can't be matched by a crossover, while the unique family-friendly features will have the kids (or grown-ups) clambering to "take the van!" The fact that they drive more like a car than a truck is gravy.

And yet, there's no way in high holy hell I would've bought a minivan.

When people responded with similar sentiments to my Spock-like minivan argument, I totally understood it. Every minivan I had driven had been a completely deflating, soul-sucking experience, akin to finding out that the only food I could eat was plain oatmeal or the only city I could vacation in was Reno.

I recall a specific instance when my wife and I were driving a Honda Odyssey to pick up some furniture, when we both turned to each other, almost in unison and said, "Nope." The Odyssey is a superior minivan, but it is so logical and so utilitarian that we simply couldn't see ourselves in it. We felt the same way about the surprisingly sharp-to-drive Toyota Sienna SE. There's just nothing "car" or even "truck" about them; you're chauffeur or transport operator, not driver.

The funny thing is, I don't feel the same way about our new long-term Sedona. The attractive, less bulbous van styling has something to do with it. The fact that, like the Sienna SE, the Sedona isn't ponderous to drive helps too. But really, I think my perception comes entirely down to the cabin design.

The center control stack is canted toward the driver and the design in general is less broad, monolithic and, well, vanlike. The Odyssey and Sienna look like you could stand to operate them, as if piloting a Dutch canal boat. The Sedona looks and feels like a crossover, especially with its full center console and "normal" shifter that go a very long way toward helping me forget that I'm driving a living room.

I will continue to recommend that families consider minivans, and specifically the Edmunds A-rated Odyssey and Sienna. And given that my family will continue to consist of myself, my wife and two small dogs for the foreseeable future, a Sedona still won't be making its way into the Riswick garage. However, my wife and I never had that same "Nope!" revelation while driving it some 1,700 miles to Oregon and back (full story coming soon).

Kia really has done a bang-up job with the Sedona. It provides the same sort of logical, utilitarian minivan but without the soul-sucking van impression. Bravo.

James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor @ 4,020 miles

Road Trip Observations of the Not-Vanlike Minivan

by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on September 30, 2015

Having determined that driving the 2015 Kia Sedona wasn't a completely soul-sucking experience , choosing it to drive my wee family to Bend, Oregon, was a no-brainer. It would provide abundant space for all our stuff and the second-row seats seemed absolutely perfect. They could be slid far forward to bring Maggie and Nellie close to us, or slid far back to make room for a dog bed.

They could also recline and extend their footrests should my wife feel so inclined to leave my presence up front for a movie on the entertainment system in the back. Once there, it could provide transportation for us and the two couples we were meeting in Bend.

It really was the perfect companion.

It's incredible how much stuff is "required" for two people and two small dogs, though "required" isn't exactly accurate. My wife postulated that our packing was akin to a fish growing to match its body of water. Since we had the van, we were going to fill it.

We decided to break the 12-hour drive to Bend into two parts, since driving through rural Oregon after dark isn't ideal. We also weren't sure how the dogs would hold up during their first full day of driving. The longest Nellie had ever gone was in our Jeep Renegade to Julian.

We made our stop after an easy seven-hour drive to Red Bluff, Jefferson. I wouldn't say it's a required must-see should you decide to visit our forgotten 51st State, but the Holiday Inn Express there was at least very nice.

As always, we strapped Maggie and Nellie using their car harnesses. Understandably though, Nellie (the white one) got tired of being strapped in after a couple of hours and with nothing but straight freeway ahead, we unbuckled them. I also slid the right-side seat back and put their big dog bed on the floor, which Nellie immediately took to and never whined again. They went back to their harnesses the next day when we hit the winding roads around Mt. Shasta and the following week when we started our initial approach into the greater Los Angeles area.

The two-tone leather in our Sedona is quite nice. It's also a bit slippery should you happen to be covered in fur. For both reasons, they got the full towel treatment.  

Answering that age-old, long-term-blog question: Will the Soup Fit?

We set off from Red Bluff early Sunday morning, making a stop in Weed, California. In lieu of the usual, totally expected and been-there-done-that photo op in Weed, I opted for one in front of the friendly and delightful Ellie's Espresso & Bakery. 

These bugs were removed during this stop in the town of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Twice as many would be reapplied in about 10 minutes as we passed Klamath Lake, which seemed to be snowing bugs.

The girls venture from our cute house in Bend back into the Sedona. The doors can be opened using the key fob.

Six friends and the dogs piled into the Sedona for a 10-mile hike to Green Lake about 30 minutes outside Bend. It was the first time the V6 started to feel a bit strained when getting up to speed, but it didn't have any trouble maintaining that speed on the rolling terrain of the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway.

As far as vans go, the Sedona really is quite attractive. The blacked out "floating" roofline doesn't seem contrived here.

They say in Bend that it's the law that visitors float down the Deschutes River at least once. So we bought a pair of rafts, partially filled them using an air pump and the trunk-mounted power outlet, stuffed them in behind the second row and...

... Hit the river! It was freezing.

Be it milling about town in Bend or making the 1,700-mile drive there and back, the 2015 Kia Sedona really was superb. My initial impression proved to be correct: it really is a different sort of minivan, providing the expected utility but with a very-welcome degree of non-vanlike character. It's hard to think of a vehicle that would've done a better job that I still would've enjoyed driving.

Stay tuned for additional posts concerning the trip's fuel economy and those multi-adjustable second-row captain's chairs.

James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor

Road Trip Lifts Lifetime Average MPG

by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on October 1, 2015

With our 2015 Kia Sedona out of commission post-accident, we hadn't added many miles since we welcomed it into the garage back in July. My 1,700-mile trip to Bend, Oregon, changed that. It also raised its rather pathetic "lifetime" fuel economy of 17.6 mpg, a figure we'd recorded in predominantly city driving, to essentially the EPA combined figure at 19.2 mpg.

Total Road Trip Fuel Economy: 22.6 mpg
Best Road Trip Fuel Economy: 27.1 mpg
Worst Road Trip Fuel Economy: 19.8 mpg

Current Lifetime Fuel Economy: 19.2 mpg

Essentially I was able to match the EPA's highway rating of 22 mpg. That best tank was accomplished in the 208 miles between Bend and Weed, California, at speeds of mostly 65 mph. My next-best tank of 25.3 mpg between Weed and Manteca, California, included a gradual 4,000-foot drop in elevation. The only way someone is going to beat those numbers is with a similar one-way, downhill trip. Consider that a challenge.

James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor

Got a Little Captain in It With First Class Lounge

by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on October 5, 2015

The 2015 Kia Sedona is available with three different second-row configurations. Two are of the "Slide-n-Stow" variety, available with or without a middle seat that increases total seating capacity to eight. Our Sedona SX-L, however, comes standard with "First-Class Lounge Seating" that consists of two captain's chairs that adjust in a multitude of ways.

These seats recline. They slide laterally between inboard and outboard positions, allowing you to move the kids further away from the door in an accident (or your dogs closer together) or move the seats apart to create a center pass-through. They slide all the way forward to the front seats to bring the kids (or dogs) close to you, or in their inboard position, slide all the way back to the third-row to create a gargantuan amount of legroom. At that point you can extend the footrests, then fold in the jumbo sleeper headrests. First class, indeed.

I can only imagine that our Sedona is going to be massively popular among our editors with older kids (younger ones in child seats won't be able to enjoy them at their fullest). Journeys with multiple adults should be pretty great, too. I know my load of friends up in Oregon found them impressively comfortable.

Unfortunately, the multitude of adjustments did seem to flummox them (photo above). I implored them to look at the diagrams to slide the seats forward for third-row entry, but they consistently extended the footrests or slid them inboard by accident. They blamed the Sedona.

What do you think? Are these confusing? A necessary evil given the circumstance? Do my friends just need to note directions better?

James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor

No One Calls Shotgun Anymore

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on October 7, 2015

The call came yesterday from the high school lunch table: "Can you drive carpool tomorrow morning with that fancy minivan?"

Well, I don't usually take special requests, but ever since the high schoolers got a taste of our new 2015 Kia Sedona tester, they can't get enough.

Climbing in through the automatic sliding side doors, the girls immediately set about extending foot rests and reclining seatbacks, snuggling in for the 20-minute ride. Much like James's friends discovered, the back of the Sedona is a pretty nice place to be.

"Can we skip first period and just drive around?" asked the two in the second row. "We don't have any tests or quizzes today."

"We're going to school now!" snapped my kid from the front seat, spinning up SiriusXM's "80s on 8" just a touch louder.

"And next time, I get to ride in the back!"

Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor

Rear Seats Move Every Which Way but Loose

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on October 12, 2015

There's no shortage of possible seat positions in our 2015 Kia Sedona minivan, which means there's a good chance that the five rear seats will be set up against my needs each time I open the door.

With the second row's ability to slide back, recline and move to the side, plus the extension of the ever-popular foot rests, I can pretty much guarantee they'll be left in some wonky, laid-back, post-kid position when I need to access the third-row seats from the Sedona's cargo area.

That means I need to open the side doors first to move the second row up and out of the way of the third row before I can go back around and flip up the seats.

It also takes me a few seconds to recall which lever does what as I'm raising seatbacks and stowing footrests. The handles are clearly marked, but I haven't driven the Sedona often enough yet to know what I'm doing without really looking. The two-step method to flip the rear seats into position isn't difficult, but step one requires a bit more strength than I usually have left in me right after leaving the gym.

Perhaps I'll need to implement my own "Please return your seatback to its upright and locked position" command as we make our final approach to the school driveway.

Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor

Small Windows Make For Good Visibility

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on October 15, 2015

Thick A-pillars are great for safety, not so great for visibility. Our 2015 Kia Sedona attempts to alleviate this issue with a small window at the base of the A-pillar. As you can see, it's not very big, but it does make the A-pillar a little less intrusive.

The ever-growing size of A-pillars is a problem in some cars. As roof crush standards get more stringent, automakers have no choice but to beef up the support structure. The result is A-pillars that are so big you have to look around them every time you make a left turn.

Small changes like this can sometimes make a big difference. In this case, it opens up a small sight line that might otherwise be obscured. A nice design touch.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor

Plenty of Passing Power

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on October 19, 2015

Our 2015 Kia Sedona does not have the most powerful engine in its class. That distinction goes to Chrysler's minivans. What our Kia does have is the second-most horsepower in the class and a six-speed automatic transmission that makes the best of it.

I've driven our Sedona quite a bit and I've yet to find a situation where I thought it felt underpowered. It gets up to speed quickly when entering the highway and still keeps some in reserve for higher-speed passes. And even when it's running hard, it's not overly loud or buzzy.

It's hardly surprising that there's no "Sport" setting for the transmission, but I wouldn't mind having one from time to time. Not because I ever plan to attack a set of switchbacks in the Sedona or anything even approaching that scenario. But there are times when I wish the transmission would kick down a gear just a little bit faster.

Other than that, I like the drivetrain setup in the Sedona and consider it another reason why I don't mind driving this minivan.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor

Sluggish Bluetooth With Feeble Memory

by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on October 21, 2015

Almost a year ago, I wrote a post on our departed Porsche Macan titled "Bad Bluetooth Behavior." In it, I wrote that the Macan's Bluetooth pairing was annoying.

Our 2015 Kia Sedona is similarly annoying.

From the Porsche post:

Here's how it works in a normal car:

  • Pair phone (Just once. Then it knows you for life.)
  • Start playing music off of phone
  • Rock out
  • Stop, turn off car and get out
  • Do whatchu gotta do
  • Return to car and start it up
  • Continue rocking out to Bluetooth streaming music

Here's how it works in the Macan:

  • Pair phone (Just once. Then it knows you for life.)
  • Start playing music off of phone
  • Rock out
  • Stop, turn off car and get out
  • Do whatchu gotta do
  • Return to car and start it up
  • Wonder why stereo has defaulted to FM radio. You were never listening to FM radio
  • Try to pick Aux Bluetooth
  • Wait 60-90 seconds for Aux Bluetooth to pair
  • Manually reselect Aux Bluetooth
  • Grumpily rock out

Our Sedona works very similarly to the Porsche, but instead of switching to FM radio, the Kia defaults to the last radio station you were listening to, be it AM, FM or in this case, as I got into the van after our resident country fan Mike Monticello, satellite radio.

In the Kia's case, part of the problem is how slowly it pairs Bluetooth. After starting, it takes the Kia a solid 30 seconds to finish the pairing process. Other cars have it sorted before the ignition's turned over. And don't think this is only after you've had the thing sitting for a while. Nope; turn the car off, then back on, and your phone's disconnected.

If you're driving this thing frequently, best make sure you aren't listening to anything crazy before switching on the Wiggles playlist from your iPhone. Thirty seconds of Stern could be...surprising.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor

Quick Start to 5,000 Miles

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on October 23, 2015

It only took us six weeks to put 5,000 miles on our 2015 Kia Sedona and so far it's earning plenty of fans. This after a rough start which saw it get rear-ended in its first week in the fleet.

Since then it's made believers out of both our editors and our editor's kids who love its spacious and comfortable interior. The fact that the second-row seats adjust in a dozen or so different directions certainly helps.

Its long list of features is another reason for its popularity. With everything from cooled seats to an easy-to-use touchscreen navigation system, it's an easy van to get comfortable in. And other than the accident, there have been no issues so far. We did notice that the navigation system doesn't always get the most up-to-date traffic info, but that seems to be the norm with these systems.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor

Not Many Drive Modes

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on October 27, 2015

When I first saw the "drive mode" button in our 2015 Kia Sedona I was pleasantly surprised. As refined as the drivetrain is under most conditions, there are times I wish it was a little more responsive to the whims of my right foot. Maybe one of the other drive modes would give me just the kind of response I was looking for.

Turns out, I was too optimistic.

Unlike our long-term Sonata which features a useful "Sport" mode that livens up the drivetrain to a more acceptable degree, the drive mode button in the Sedona only adjusts between Normal, Comfort and Eco. Switching between the options varies the steering effort and transmission shift program.

I already find the Sedona exceeding comfortable in Normal mode, so punching the button to engage Comfort mode has no appeal. It merely makes the steering even lighter and the transmission lazier. Eco mode has a similar affect.

Not offering a Sport mode in a minivan isn't all that surprising. I suspect it's way down on the list of requested items on most minivan shopper surveys, likely just above cigarette lighter. Guess I'll have to wait for the Sedona GT.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor

Being Chased by a Jet Engine

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on October 28, 2015

While I'm pleased the rear passengers have their own temperature control and vents in the 2015 Kia Sedona, I hate when they actually use them.

The noise from the rear fan drives me nuts. It sounds like I'm being chased by a jet engine, prompting me to immediately hit the Rear button on the center stack, shutting down the back unit.

But I'm not saying the Sedona's rear fan is any worse than those in other minivans and SUVs. I don't like the noise from any of them. And don't get me started on the fans used in ventilated seats, either.

(Did I mention I can no longer enter Abercrombie & Fitch because their music is too loud?)

Perhaps the problem is all mine.

Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor

Prefer Our Hyundai's Center Stack Design

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on October 29, 2015

During the past ten months, we've heaped tons of praise on the 2015 Hyundai Sonata for its clean and simple center stack design. I'm a big fan as well. Our 2015 Kia Sedona has a similar split stack for climate and center display controls and while there are some differences, partially because of the third-row temperature dial, the design is still straightforward and easy to learn.

Still, I prefer the setup in the Sonata.

The Sedona's most obvious difference is the lack of a temperature display screen. In its place are the front row temperature dials, a Climate button, a passenger airbag light and a button that triggers the hazard lights. This entire row is unnecessary, as the hazard button and airbag warning are better integrated on the Sonata. The Climate button simply pulls up a screen in the central display that shows the temperature throughout the cabin.

Personally, I'd prefer if this row was replaced by the Sonata's temperature screen. The Sedona's stack should be wide enough to incorporate a third readout for the temperature of the second and third row. On the plus side, I like that the Sedona's automatic climate control and front row temperature sync buttons are consolidated onto the dials, which frees up room for rear A/C controls. The absence of a fresh air button is also nice. Air is either recirculated or it isn't. No need for an extra button to differentiate the modes.

On the infotainment side, I am willing to give up a symmetrical design on both cars to move the map and navigation buttons closer to the driver and relocate the Uvo eServices button to the other side of the wide Seek/Track button. I simply don't use Uvo with any regularity and it shouldn't take up premium space near the driver.

The center console retains a similar look and feel to the one we love in the Sonata, but there's more wasted space here than in the Hyundai. It's still very easy to use, though, and I like it much more than the 2016 Honda Odyssey's dual-screen setup.

Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor

Will the Bike Fit?

by Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor on November 2, 2015

Of course a bicycle will fit into the 2015 Kia Sedona. It's a minivan after all.

But the question today isn't so much "will it fit," but rather where and how will it fit? Most specifically, can you squeeze it in behind the second row of seats? Because that would be cool.

The answer turns out to be "yes." This is important for two reasons: First, because fitting a mountain bike behind the second row of seats in all but the largest of SUVs is typically out of the question. Usually you're required to fold both the second and third rows. 

It's also important because it means you can carry three passengers in addition to your mountain bike. So a whole cheering section can join you at your next bike race. This usually isn't a huge issue for me, as I count myself lucky if I can get even one Mikey Super Fan to come along and hand me water bottles.

As shown in the photo above, I had to scoot the second-row seats forward to fit the bike in behind, but there's still enough legroom for most folks. So yes, a bike will fit behind the second row of seats in the Sedona. And yes, minivans are cool. 

Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor

Simple Controls Can Be a Stretch

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on November 4, 2015

Given all the features our 2015 Kia Sedona offers, it's good to see that the center stack remains a relatively clean and uncluttered array of buttons and knobs. Sure, you can dig into some of the more complex features on the touchscreen above, but for basic stuff like adjusting the fan speed or tuning the radio, there are clearly labeled buttons or knobs for everything.

I also like the fact that there's a clear separation of the audio and climate controls. Sure, it saves space if you put them all together on one panel, but this layout makes it so you barely have to even look to find the knob or button you need.

If there's one downside to the layout, it's that the tuning knob can be quite a stretch for shorter drivers. This tends to be an issue with any vehicle that stretches the radio controls across the dash like this. There are ways around it, but it's still an issue.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor

Apple Cider Run, Part Deux

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on November 10, 2015

Another autumn, another run up to Oak Glen for fresh apple cider. Last year, I took the crew up in our long-term 2014 Toyota Highlander, the only vehicle in our fleet at the time with seating for six. I soon learned that seating for six didn't necessarily mean seating for six adults, as the third-row occupants with splayed legs kindly reminded me throughout the trip.

So when the time came to make our annual pilgrimage to Oak Glen, I pegged the 2015 Kia Sedona as the most appropriate mode of transport. I'd been burned once before when I made plans with the Sedona, but this time the minivan was in tip-top shape. It was time to see if upgrading to a van would afford the two passengers in the back a bit more room than during our last outing.

I loaded everyone in and took off when I got the thumbs up from all passengers. The Sedona's generous interior space and highly adjustable second row allows three adults to sit in tandem without triggering any claustrophobic reactions. The entire trip up to Oak Glen, I caught myself wishing we had this minivan a year ago to carry everyone up in comfort.

We arrived early enough to avoid a wait at Apple Annie's. As one of the only sit-down restaurants in town open for breakfast, it fills up quickly during the fall, which is Oak Glen's busy season. After gorging on chicken fried steak and apple bread, we traipsed over to Law's Oak Glen Cider Mill ("Local Apples and Fresh Cider").

Usually filled with huge bins overflowing with apples of unusual varieties, Law's instead housed a smattering of pumpkins. It appeared I had missed peak apple season yet again. From there, we headed to our customary final stop at Los Rios Rancho for cider and bagged apples (Pink Ladies, fantastic). Then it was time to go.

I like driving minivans, and I'm stoked we have the Sedona for a year. It's not the coolest car in the fleet, but it's certainly the most functional. I go on a few trips a year, to Las Vegas or somewhere local, and I usually bring friends. If we can all pile into one car, I'm always willing to drive and forgo a bit of relaxation if that means somebody in the group saves money on gas.

With its second row captain's chairs, ample third-row legroom and a cavernous cargo area that easily accommodates small suitcases for all passengers, the Sedona is perfectly suited for road trips with a bunch of friends in tow.

Fuel Economy Update for October — Average Fuel Mileage Dips Last Month

by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on November 12, 2015

Although our year with this 2015 Kia Sedona got off the slow start with a trip to the bodyshop, the van is now finding popularity with our staff. It's starting to rack up the miles. And the mileage.

In October we drove the van just more than 2,000 miles, in mostly mixed driving but with a higher percentage of city travel. Mileage for the month ranged from a best tank of 20.1 mpg to a worst of 16.7 mpg, and the average for the time period came in at 17.9 mpg, which nicely splits the difference between the Sedona's EPA ratings of 17 mpg city and 19 mpg combined.

So far the van's lifetime fuel economy is also in line with its EPA ratings. Although its lifetime average has dipped to 18.7 mpg (from 19.2 mpg) since our last report, it remains right on with the Kia's combined EPA rating. Considering how often we exploit the Kia's big V6 and how often we drive the van packed with people and things, that performance is commendable.

It's also right in line with other long-term minivans we've tested over the years, including the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna.

Worst Fill MPG: 11.7 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 27.1 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 18.7 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City/22 Highway)
Best Range: 395.3 miles
Current Odometer: 6,215 miles

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 6,215 miles

Hidden Rear-Seat Entertainment Screen

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on November 13, 2015

The 2015 Kia Sedona has been in our long-term fleet since August, and it wasn't until last weekend that I learned it had a rear-seat DVD player. And I would have never known about it if I hadn't climbed into the back to check out the killer second row captain's chairs for myself.

Lo and behold, there were two pairs of wireless headphones in the front seatback pockets. I scanned the ceiling and found nothing between the dual sunroofs. I broke out the packet of owner's manuals. After I spent 20 minutes leafing through the tomes and came away empty-handed, I finally found the answer thanks to the wonders of the Internet.

It turns out the DVD screen was in front of me the entire time I was lounging in the back. Unlike every other minivan on the market, the Sedona does not have a screen that folds down from the roof. Instead it folds up from the back of the center console, just above the 110-volt power outlet and charge-only USB port. The screen has a DVD slot, an SD card slot and HDMI and USB ports for video input.

Unfortunately, this console-mounted system looks more like a tacked-on aftermarket accessory than something Kia intended to include on their people mover from the start. In addition to looking slightly out of place, the system also lacks the versatility of entertainment systems in other vehicles. The Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan all have the ability to play Blu-Ray discs, while the Town & Country and Grand Caravan have a second display for third-row passengers.

The Sienna and Honda Odyssey have a single wide-screen display that allows two videos to be played next to each other. The Nissan Quest doesn't offer any of these extra features, but its screen is three inches wider than the Sedona's.

As a dealer-installed accessory, the entertainment system also has no operation manual. It's a relatively straightforward system, but the Sedona owner's manuals go out of the way to explain everything. Two pages are spent explaining how FM/AM reception works, for instance.

The Sedona's rear entertainment system is half-baked compared to all other minivans on the market, but I'm still happy we ordered it. It keeps passengers off my back when they decide the Faction channel isn't appropriate road trip music.

Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor

Power Any Way You Want It

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on November 17, 2015

Not only does our 2015 Kia Sedona SX have plenty of power ports up front, it has additional ports for rear seat passengers. And not just any old ports, but a 2.1 amp USB port and a 115-volt AC plug.

Not too long ago, simply having a plug was all that a minivan required. But power outputs matter now. Some standard USB ports don't have enough juice to charge an iPad while even AC outlets have their limits.

For instance, the AC outlet in our Sedona is a 115-volt socket that can provide up to 100 watts of total power. That's fine for charging things or powering some small devices, but don't try hooking up a blender for a tailgate party. For that you need the more robust plug found in our Ford F-150, which can deliver up to 400 watts of power.

Having a 2.1 amp USB port is a nice upgrade as well, since some old school USB ports are rated at as little as 0.5 amps. That means a much slower cell phone charge or no charge at all depending on the device.

It won't be long before some other USB standard comes along and makes our Sedona's rapid charge port obsolete, but at least for now it's one of the better minivans when it comes to auxiliary power. 

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 5,233 miles

Storage Goes Deep

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on November 19, 2015

That deep well you see in the back of our 2015 Kia Sedona is nothing special. Other minivans have offered it for years, yet it never ceases to amaze me how useful it is on a daily basis.

It swallows half a dozen bags of groceries with ease and keeps anything that might spill out tightly contained. Can't say the same about most trunks no matter how many hooks they have.

It's also incredibly adept at carrying tall, awkward items that you would rather stand up than lay down. I recently picked up a replacement window for my kitchen that fit right in no problem. Sure, I could have laid it down in the back of an SUV, but that's not the preferred way to move windows. With this setup, it was a piece of cake.

If there's a drawback here, it's that when the third-row seats are folded down into the well they can be awkward to yank back into place. I'll leave that for another post entirely, however, as more than one editor has mentioned this issue.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 5,378 miles

A Bone to Pick With the Seats

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on December 1, 2015

I like our 2015 Kia Sedona minivan. I really do. But I'm not sure I could drive it very far. My annual Oregon holiday trip is out of the question unless I can come up with a workaround.

It's those seats.

The padding is fine, the shape suits me well. And against all odds, my wife finds them quite comfortable too. The heating and cooling are especially effective.

But that stitching, though. It goes right down the middle and amounts to a reinforced edge that lines up with my spine. What's worse, the horizontal stich line creates a rigid intersection that locks on to one of my vertebrae. A chiropractor could probably tell me which one, but it doesn't much matter.

Everyone has a spine (well, most people I know have one). This central stitch line is sure to line up with any of them. Isn't there a thing in the Seat Design 101 manual that advises against such a thing?

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

Fuel Economy Update for November — Mileage Slips Again

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on December 7, 2015

The overall average in our 2015 Kia Sedona continues to slide. After some longer road trips in prior months, the Sedona mostly stuck around town in November, which contributed to the slide.

That said, it's still delivering about what we expect given its EPA rating of 19 mpg in combined driving. Even after this month's slide, it's only down to 18.1 mpg. That's pretty close as our long-termers go.

In the last four weeks, the Sedona was tasked with swallowing a mountain bike, hauling a family out for some apple picking and all manner of day-to-day errand running. We also picked apart its power options and video monitor during some down time.

All-in-all, it continues to impress almost every member of our staff with its comfort, convenience and versatility. We'll see if the mileage continues its downward trajectory or starts to level out.

Worst Fill MPG: 11.7
Best Fill MPG: 27.1
Average Lifetime MPG: 18.1
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City/22 Highway)
Best Range: 395.3 miles 
Current Odometer: 7,197 miles

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 7,190 miles

Craft Fair Cargo

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on December 9, 2015

Since this is a safe, judge-free zone, I'll go ahead and admit that last weekend I showcased a booth of my own knitted goods at a local craft fair. My partner-in-crime for this soul-baring event?

Our 2015 Kia Sedona.

The Sedona is a craft-peddler's dream vehicle. It easily swallowed a 6-foot display table, a few plastic storage bins of "merchandise" and miscellaneous lighting accoutrement that's necessary for highlighting your goods in a darkish Expo center.

No doubt my "load-in" and out sessions went much quicker than the candlemaker's did, as she struggled to remove boxes that had been wedged into the rear seat of her aging Mini Cooper.

Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor

Ready for First Service

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on December 22, 2015

With a little more than 7,500 miles on the odometer, our long-term 2015 Kia Sedona minivan is asking for its first scheduled service visit. Other than an unfortunate early trip to the body shop, the Kia minivan has been problem-free, so this maintenance check-up will be its first trip to our local Kia dealer.

We'll update with the details once the service is complete.

Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor

Easy Service at 7,500 Miles

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on December 30, 2015

Our 2015 Kia Sedona requested maintenance shortly after passing the 7,500-mile mark, so we scheduled an appointment online for a Monday morning at Car Pros Kia in Huntington Beach. Our slot was for 8:00 a.m. and I arrived about 15 minutes early. A service advisor came out right away to greet me. This visit wouldn't be without attempted upsells, but not enough to ruin the experience.

It went something like this:

Service Advisor: "What can we help you with today?"

Me: "I'd like the 7,500-mile service."

SA: (pulls out laminated pricing sheet) "Which of these packages would you like?"

Me: "I'd like the 7,500-mile manufacturer recommended service only. That should just be an oil change and tire rotation. Right?"

SA: "Yes, that is the minimum."

Me: "Then I'd like that, please."

SA: "Okay. If that's what you want, we have a special that might be right for you (points to a poster on the wall behind him). That one has the oil change and tire rotation and also includes a fuel treatment."

Me: "No thanks. Just the items listed in the owner's manual."

SA: "No problem. We can do that."

He finished processing my paperwork and gave me a quick tour: Customer waiting area here, vending machines and coffee there, restrooms over there.

One hour after arrival, the Sedona was ready to go. This was a positive visit overall. Car Pros offered a welcoming customer area with easy Internet access, and the available snacks were a nice touch. I'm never a fan of the upsells, but the advisor was casual enough about them and asked in a manner that wasn't annoying.

I would try this dealership again in the future.

Total Cost: $62.62

Total Days out of Service: None

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 8,138 miles

Will the Box Fit?

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on January 12, 2016

I had this huge box to pick up and couldn't use a truck. Imminent rain meant our 2015 Kia Sedona was my best hope of getting home without soggy cardboard. But I wasn't certain it would fit.

Now I wasn't completely shooting from the hip. The dimensions of the box, in inches, were 52.5H x 49.25W x 20.75D. The rear hatch opening, in inches, was 37H x 49.6W and the load floor 63 inches deep with the second-row captain chairs slid max forward.

There was no question it was going to be close.

This close, in fact:

Now I have to figure out how to get it out of there.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager

A Snow Day, Sort Of

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on January 14, 2016

Last weekend we left town in our long-term 2015 Kia Sedona for an impromptu snow day at Mountain High Ski Resort in Wrightwood. It was more like a sort-of snow day considering the extended drought conditions in Southern California. Thankfully, that didn't matter to our excited kiddos.

Much of the white stuff on the ground was in patches and at our 7,000-foot elevation, all of the snow at the North Pole kids tubing park was machine-generated. We made the most of things and the Sedona proved a capable companion throughout.

Not once did the Kia transmission miss a beat in auto mode during the gradual ascent into Wrightwood. It was great. When the grade increased west of town, I found one aspect I didn't care for as much: Manual mode.

The act of pushing the shift lever forward or pulling it back to change gears lacked polish. It required significant effort to move with no change in feel at the end of each stroke. Other vehicles lighten tension to signify the end of the range and a successful gear change, in contrast. This hefty and vague manual shift action is not my favorite.

We spent the remainder of the 160-mile round trip at freeway speeds, where the Sedona was quite easy to drive. There was room for improvement with the steering feel. In steady-state conditions, the wheel requires extra adjustment to compensate while the electric assist debates between heavy and light. The result is a bit of lane wandering, but not excessive.

As luck would have it, weather rolled in the afternoon we left for home and it snowed for the next three days. No powder adventures in the Sedona this time. Still, based on its driving ease and general minivan space attributes, I can't think of another car in our long-term fleet I'd prefer more the Sedona for this trip.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager

Fuel Economy Update for December — Same as November

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on January 18, 2016

Since November we added 1,600 miles to our long-term 2015 Kia Sedona. And since November the odometer is the only field that's changed in the categories we track below:

Worst Fill MPG: 11.7 
Best Fill MPG: 27.1 
Average Lifetime MPG: 18.1 
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City/22 Highway) 
Best Range: 395.3 miles 
Current Odometer: 8,834 miles

It looks like the Sedona is nearing its happy place. Unfortunately, that place is currently lower than EPA-combined mpg calculations.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 8,873 miles

Cutting Baseboards

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on January 20, 2016

This morning, in one of those joyous moments of home ownership, I discovered minor water damage in a corner of my living room. So I needed to make a few reasonably simple repairs that included replacing a length of baseboard in the area.

Lucky I had our 2015 Kia Sedona in the driveway.

I know that doesn't make any sense.

It was completely by chance that the Kia sat in my driveway right where I'd set up the saw. But its location made for a great second set of hands. I popped the side door open and rested one end in the nook of a car seat that was already inside. A perfect fit.

Sure, I could have fished out the roller stand to do the job, but why waste a perfectly good Sedona?

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager

Folding Third-Row Shouldn't Be So Awkward

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on January 26, 2016

Our 2015 Kia Sedona has earned plenty of praise for its second-row seats. The third-row seats, however, could use a little work.

It's not that they're uncomfortable. As third-row seats go, they're actually quite accommodating. It's the folding mechanism that's the problem.

See that big handle on the back of the seat? That's what you have to pull to move the seat from its raised position to the bottom of the well. It's spring-loaded and not very hard to pull, but when you're standing behind the vehicle, it's not only quite a stretch to reach but it's also a very awkward angle.

You're basically stretching forward while trying to pull a handle straight up. For me, it's only a minor issue as I'm over six feet tall and reasonably strong. For the average soccer mom, it could be very difficult.

The same goes for raising the seats. You have to pull the handle up as you move the seat forward. It's not impossible, but it's harder than it should be for a minivan. Kia might want to rethink this system or at least offer a power-operated folding mechanism.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 9,056 miles

V6 and Six-Speed Auto Contribute Lively Feel

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on January 29, 2016

If you're buying a new minivan, automakers don't give you a whole lot of choice for what's under the hood. With few exceptions, you're usually looking at a 3.5-liter (give or take) V6 driving the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.

Our 2015 Kia Sedona is right in the mix with its 3.3-liter V6 rated at 276 horsepower and a six-speed automatic. In our track test, it blazed from zero to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds and cleared the quarter-mile marker with a sonic boom-worthy 16.2 seconds at 87.7 mph.

OK, so it's not very speedy. But again, nearly all of the minivans we've tested recently have posted very similar numbers. What might actually matter more is the way each particular minivan drives. And I happen to like our Sedona's powertrain quite a bit.

Ed wrote an earlier post noting how the Sedona offered plenty of passing power. I'd agree. Our Sedona feels suitably strong when you mat the gas. It's also responsive when you just need a bit of acceleration, as the transmission will promptly downshift to a lower gear. It's not lazy like some other vehicles, nor does it rush up to sixth gear as soon as possible just for optimum fuel economy.

Could it be that Kia tuned the Sedona to be real-world friendly rather than blindly chasing fuel economy targets?

Overall, these qualities help bolster something that James previously touched on: Driving our Sedona is not a soul-sucking experience. It's a minivan, yes. But you might just forget about it when you're behind the wheel.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 9,434 miles

Child Safety Seats? No Problem

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on February 3, 2016

If you own a minivan, odds are you've got children to haul around. And if they're young children, odds are you'll be employing child safety seats to keep them secure. I figured there wouldn't be any issues installing safety seats in our 2015 Kia Sedona and I was right.

But I was actually a little surprised that the process was so easy and trouble-free.

Even for bigger crossover SUVs, installing rear-facing safety seats can be troublesome due to a lack of clearance (essentially, rear-seat legroom) between the safety seat and the front driver or passenger seat. Our Sedona SX-L has the lounge-style second-row captain chairs, though, and they have an impressive sliding range. In the photo, I had the captain chair and front passenger seat in what I'd consider normal positioning and there was enough room for a rear-facing seat. I could have slid the captain chair back even further if I had wanted to.

The Sedona's captain chair's adjustable-angle backrests and easily-removable head restraints also make it easy fit a child safety seat in a front-facing position. The captain chair's seat cushion has some contouring to it, but it's unlikely that it's enough to interfere with a safety seat's base.

The LATCH anchor points are also easy to find and access.

Out of curiosity, I also tried out the third-row seat with a front-facing seat and a booster seat. Again, the process was easy. The third-row seatback angles are adjustable and the head restraints are removable.

Got a big family and three or four kids? Yep, the Sedona SX-L's got you covered.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 9,467 miles

Fuel Economy Update For January - Road Trips Give a Slight Boost

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on February 5, 2016

The East Coast had its big blizzard to start 2016. There was perhaps a bit of empathy coming from Edmunds' home area of Southern California, which lasted about a minute before devolving into winter-themed internet memes. But hey, our man Mike Schmidt did his best with our 2015 Kia Sedona. He went and looked at snow at least!

His road trip, plus normal commuting and a couple other short trips, gave us a total of about 1,500 miles in January and slightly above-average fuel economy.

For the month, we averaged 19.4 mpg. That's more than the lifetime average we posted last month (18.1 mpg), and we're now at 18.2 mpg lifetime. Considering that the EPA's combined estimate is 19 mpg, I'd say our Sedona is doing pretty well so far.

Worst Fill MPG: 11.7 
Best Fill MPG: 27.1
Average Lifetime MPG: 18.2 
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City/22 Highway)  
Best Range: 395.3 miles  
Current Odometer: 9,926 miles

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 9,946 miles

Rolls Past 10,000 Miles

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on February 9, 2016

We've hit the 10,000-mile mark on our 2015 Kia Sedona. As we've had our Sedona in the long-term fleet for about six months that puts us right on track to meet our goal of 20,000 miles for a long-term test.

It's been a solid six months for our Sedona so far, too.

Just about everybody on our staff has given our Sedona positive commentary. It drives well, it's comfortable and it's stacked with useful features. It's also been trouble-free (discounting our early "crash test.")

I like this minivan a lot. For new minivans shoppers, I'd have no problem recommending the Sedona along with the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 10,005 miles

Sheet of Plywood Fits, Sort Of

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on February 10, 2016

There are minivans capable of swallowing a full 4x8-foot sheet of plywood. Our 2015 Kia Sedona is not one of them. At least not in the configuration we have. It will, however, swallow two-halves of a sheet of plywood.

That's what I did this past weekend in order to get some lumber home without resorting to using a truck. It helped that I didn't need a full-size sheet for my particular application. This is one of the drawbacks of getting the exceptionally comfortable, but slightly less practical, "first class" seats that come with the SX Limited. They're great for hauling people, but slightly less flexible for hauling cargo.

For added flexibility, you can order the SX Limited with the second row bench seats that fold in a more compact way. They still don't offer as much as some competitors, but they're slightly more accommodating. Something to think about if you use your minivan for more than just hauling kids.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 10,256 miles

Simple, Intuitive Steering Wheel Controls

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on February 15, 2016

It's easy to add buttons to the steering wheel in the name of convenience. Adding them in a way that assures they're easy to use without looking isn't always quite so simple.

After extensive seat time in our 2015 Kia Sedona, I've grown to appreciate the setup for the auxiliary steering wheel controls. They're not overly complex, you can use them without looking and they have a nice feel to them.

I've been in several vehicles lately that have far too many buttons on the wheel spokes. It's a design mistake that makes all the buttons just a little less useful. One look at the setup here and you can pretty much figure out what everything does at a glance.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 10,284 miles

Ride Quality

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on February 16, 2016

A reader who owns a new Sedona asked what we thought about the ride quality of our 2015 Kia Sedona long-termer. He seems to think that it would ride better with a different set of tires. He's probably right.

Factory-spec tires are always a compromise. They're designed to ride well, of course, but they also need to last a long time, help deliver great mileage, work well in all kinds of weather and not cost a fortune.

That's a tall order for any tire and usually results in something that's about average across the board. If you want something that rides better, you can probably find it. If you want something that will last forever, there's a tire for that, too.

I think our Sedona has a pretty soft ride on the stock Kumho tires. You get the occasional hard impact but that's more likely the result of the suspension running out of travel. It's very smooth on the highway, and in the city it soaks up most rough roads without much harshness. A set of more forgiving tires might make it even better, but I wouldn't go out of my way to try it.  

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 10,403 miles

How Does the Kia Sedona Make You Feel?

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on March 7, 2016

"How does the Kia Sedona make you feel?"

That's the question I got recently about our long-term minivan. It was from a mom looking to buy "the perfect family vehicle," so she was angling for a little more insight than just how many airbags it had. It was an interesting way of thinking about a car purchase, so I sat down and thought about it for a little bit and came up some answers.

Relaxed - This is a combination of the Sedona's comfortable seating position, great visibility and well-placed controls. Everything is within easy reach so there's a sense of control even when you're just leaning back and cruising.

Relieved - The navigation system in this van is so easy to use, there's rarely a time when you feel lost. Some systems are so complicated that you're never really sure if it's going to be much help. This one has a simple "point of interest" system that allows you to type in pretty much any address, category, place name, etc. and get you pointed you in the right direction.

Impatient - Yeah, those sliding doors on each side are great, but they're a little slow and overly sensitive. If you so much as brush them with a coat sleeve they immediately retract and start the process all over. Sometimes you just want to grab the handle and whip them closed.

Thankful - There's no excuse for not being alert and using your mirrors, but having blind spot monitors and a rear cross-traffic alert system sure is nice. Even as often as I check my side mirrors, a car sneaks into my blind spot every once in awhile. Those little lights in the mirrors usually tip me off before I even hit my turn signal. Same goes for backing out of a parking spot. The cross-traffic alert system warns me if there's a car coming from the side before I even move

Flustered - Unfolding the third-row seats is a pain. The grab handle is at an awkward angle that makes pulling the seats back into place difficult. Anyone shorter than 5-foot-10 would have a tough time with this mechanism.  

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 10,256 miles

Fuel Economy Update For February - Meets EPA Target With City-Heavy Miles

by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on March 10, 2016

Our 2015 Kia Sedona didn't get out much in February. Or if it did, it only made short trips. Did this have any impact on our overall fuel economy?

Not really.

Ed's plywood run didn't move the needle, nor did Brent's time with the van. Even my all-city week with the thing didn't do too much. Sure, I added two 15-mpg tanks during that time, but considering where I was driving (a hilly section of L.A.), the traffic (terrible) and my driving style (I live my life a quarter-mile at a time), it's actually not too bad.

Overall in February we managed 17 mpg, which is right in line with the EPA's city rating. Our lifetime average is now down to 18.1 mpg.

Worst Fill MPG: 11.7 
Best Fill MPG: 27.1
Average Lifetime MPG: 18.1
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City/22 Highway)  
Best Range: 395.3 miles  
Current Odometer: 11,594 miles

Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 11,594 miles

Seats Six Screaming Teenagers and Mom

by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on March 29, 2016

As you can see, it isn't easy taking of picture of six screaming 13-year-old girls, at night, inside a moving 2015 Kia Sedona. However, when your daughter turns 13 and she has a sleepover party for her entire brat pack, I can tell you firsthand there's no better vehicle to get the job done than Kia's minivan.

The Sedona transported mom and the gaggle of young ladies all over town that night, first to the bowling alley, then for pizza, and of course a late night run for froyo. 

Mom survived. The van survived. And now I have a teenager in the house.

And the best part? They all loved the Sedona and said they wish their parents all had one. Smart kids. Maybe there's hope for the next generation after all.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 12,215 miles

Fuel Economy Update for March - A Very Minor Dip

by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on April 6, 2016

We added just shy of 1,600 miles to our long-term 2015 Kia Sedona in March, but our overall average only fell by 0.1 mpg to 18 mpg even. That's a full mile per gallon off the Sedona's combined rating, but that's fairly typical for our long-term vehicles.

Our overall best and worst tanks remain the same as before, as does the best overall range. The best tank for March was 19.1 mpg while the worst was 14.4 mpg.

We still have a few months left with the Sedona to see if we can get those numbers to budge.

Worst Fill MPG: 11.7
Best Fill MPG: 27.1
Average Lifetime MPG: 18.0
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 city/22 highway)
Best Range: 395.3
Current Odometer: 13,192 miles

Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 13,192 miles

Disappointing Fuel Range

by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on April 8, 2016

Our long-term 2015 Kia Sedona has a 21.1 gallon gas tank. Do the math at its 22 mpg highway rating and that's 464.2 miles of fuel range.

But in the real world, that ain't gonna happen.

In the real world the Sedona has less than 400 miles of range. Usually much less.

Fact is, after 14,000 miles of driving (all on 87 octane), we've never been able to eek over 400 miles from the Sedona's fuel tank. Our best is 395.3 miles, which was certainly courtesy of the hypermiler of our staff because the next best is 360.1 miles and most fill ups have occurred after about 300 miles of driving or less.

I don't think this is acceptable. I think a modern car should have at least 400 miles of real world highway range. And the Sedona does not. It ain't even close.

I just road-tripped the Kia from Los Angeles to Sedona, Arizona and back. Yes, I drove the Sedona to Sedona. My best tank range was just 356.1 miles and when I stopped to fill up the van's trip computer said the range was down to just 9 miles, essentially dry.

At that point the Kia drank 18.096 gallons of 87.

That's right, the Sedona's tank still held three gallons when its trip computer was telling me it was essentially empty. I was averaging about 20.5 mpg on that run. So if I had driven it down to the last drop, which of course shouldn't be necessary, I would have covered about 416 miles.

In the future I might remember that the Sedona's trip computer calculates range pretty conservatively and there's more there if I'm willing to risk it. Although, considering the Sedona's not exactly a fuel sipper (the Honda Odyssey is rated at 28 mpg on the highway) Kia should consider equipping it with a larger fuel tank.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 14,065 miles

Road Tripping to Sedona in our Sedona

by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on April 12, 2016

Driving our long-term 2015 Kia Sedona from Los Angeles to Sedona, Arizona was not the original plan. Too meta according to my 10-year-old.

But Plan A was a bust.

We were supposed to be road-tripping to Mount Rushmore. The 3,000-mile round trip, while daunting considering we had just seven days, was the kind of serious white line fever I'd been itching for. And my family was on board. Mostly.

Weather is always a concern in that region of the country this time of year, but I had done a successful winter run to Rushmore a few Februarys ago in our long-term Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster, so my overconfidence was high. But a last-minute forecast of blizzard conditions in northern Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota, gave me enough pause to listen to other ideas.

"Maybe we should just drive out to Arizona," my wife said. "Catch a spring training game and stay in Sedona a few days."

Sometimes Plan B is the way to go. And our Sedona-to-Sedona trip was a wonderful success.

The beautiful red rocks of Sedona are exactly 500 miles from our front door and the 1,000 mile round trip was a cinch in the Kia. With other side trips and food runs during our staycation/vacation, the Oldhams put nearly 2,000 miles on the minivan in just nine days.

We didn't exactly live in it, but it was close, and we averaged 19.5 mpg for the week.

Comfort for Kia's driver and passengers is high. I could drive the Sedona through an entire tank of fuel without back or butt pain, and a 500 mile day was easy. My two daughters (13 and 10) also had nothing but praise for the van's infinitely adjustable second row captain's chairs, however, they're not heated and it was noticed. Yes, my kids are spoiled.

Although the van's highway fuel economy isn't exactly impressive (its EPA rating is 22 mpg highway) its performance is fantastic. This van is fast, and fun to drive. It responds. And its acceleration is strong. The Sedona's large 3.3-liter V6 is strong enough to spin its front tires off the line and strong enough to pass any truck any time out on the interstate. I also really like the quick response and spot on gearing of its six-speed automatic. It may not have as many gears as some transmissions out there, but it feels good and performs well.

Stack on the Sedona's awesome high speed stability, even in gusty desert winds, and its quick thinking easy to use navigation system and this really was the perfect vehicle for the trip.

Meanwhile, our run to Rushmore is back on the books for this summer. And my kids have already requested the Sedona for the trip.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 14,235 miles

Showing Some Age

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on April 15, 2016

With just over 14,000 miles on the odometer, our 2015 Kia Sedona is starting to show its age a little. I first noticed a few creaks coming from the side doors in the last month or so. And then Editor in Chief Scott Oldham said the same thing after taking the Sedona on a recent road trip.

None of the noises are particularly intrusive or even all that noticeable in most day-to-day driving. It's when things are quiet, like driving over a speed bump in a parking garage, that the rattles from the side doors are more obvious.

When it comes to minivans, the sliding doors are almost always the first things to get loose. They're big, they have lots of moving parts and they get the most abuse, even when they're automatic. We weren't expecting the Sedona to start making noises at this point, but we're not all that surprised where they're coming from.

We'll have the doors looked at the next time it's in for service to see if there's anything the dealer can do to tighten them up a little.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 14,156 miles

Smart Emergency Tools

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on April 21, 2016

The only thing worse than getting a flat tire is realizing that you can't access the jack or the spare tire without unloading half the car. Thankfully, that's not the case in our 2015 Kia Sedona as the jack, it's related tools and the spare tire are all easily accessible.

As you can see here, the jack and the lug wrench are tucked away in this compartment on the side of the cargo area. At worst you might have to move a few things aside to get the jack out. Beats having to unload anything sitting on the floor to get to a compartment underneath.

It's something most owners don't think about when they're packing up for a road trip, but I've seen more than a few people on the side of the highway with all their suitcases sprawling out on the shoulder because they need to get to the spare tire.

In the Sedona, the tire is actually located underneath the vehicle. To get it down, you pop open a cover on the floor near the second-row seats and then use the lug wrench to turn a screw that lowers the spare to the ground. It may sound a little complicated, but it's actually fairly easy.

There's no full-size spare, but those are pretty rare these days. Overall, it's a well-designed system that should make the prospect of a flat tire a little less stressful.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 14,220 miles

Driving Five "Adults"

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on April 28, 2016

Three days a week I pick up this group of lovely young women from my daughter's high school, dropping them one at a time at their respective family residences. And every time I pull away from the curb, I'm immediately struck by how much their collective "adult" weight changes the driving dynamic of the 2015 Kia Sedona.

All high school sophomores, the ladies range in height from 5-feet 5-inches to a cool even 6 feet for the beauty in the back right side of the third row, whose legs you'll notice are stretched far into the second-row seating area. Together, they add approximately 600 pounds to the Sedona's rolling weight. That's a big difference compared to driving kindergarten babies, who typically combine to total fewer than 175 pounds.

When this crew loads up, everything feels lower and slower, and I'm cognizant not to make any sudden or sharp moves, increasing my braking distance as I approach each red light along the six-mile trip down the boulevard.

The takeaway here: If you're considering a new car purchase and you have a regular carpool gig or a large family, take them along to the dealer for the test-drive. Make sure you feel as confident behind the wheel with a full load as you do when driving alone.

Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor @ 14,642 miles

The Minivan I'd Buy

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on May 2, 2016

"We should get a minivan," I told my wife on a recent weekend afternoon. I had just used our long-term 2015 Kia Sedona to haul a bunch of junk out of my garage and was high on the amazing versatility that a big box on wheels with sliding rear doors provides. My wife, who would host a family of rabid wombats in her closet for a year rather than come within 10 feet of a minivan, said, "Great, as long as you're the one driving it every day. Just let me drive the Porsche."

"Ha. I could do that," I replied, defending my statement without really thinking the implications all the way through. Saving my bacon, though, were the realities that: a) it's unlikely we're buying a new minivan anytime soon; and b) we don't own a Porsche and won't be buying one of those anytime soon, either. But if we were buying a new minivan, I'd happily own a Sedona and drive it every day.

If you look at the spec sheet, all of the minivans are pretty much the same and can do the same jobs. As such, my preference for the Sedona largely comes down to the way it looks and drives. Kia styled it to look a bit more aggressive and SUV-like on the outside. Park it in your kid's school parking lot, and it stands out by not being a Dodge Caravan, Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna. Inside, there's the traditionally designed dash and center console combination that I find to be aesthetically pleasing. 

The Sedona is fine to drive, too. It doesn't blow you away with amazing power or handling around turns (what in this class does?), but it's suitably quick when you give its 3.3-liter V6 the spurs. Hit the open road and the Sedona impresses by being quiet, stable and comfortable for hours on end. Yes, you're driving a minivan, but the Sedona goes out of its way to make the experience as normal as possible.

Factor in the Sedona's attractive pricing and warranty coverage, and I'm sold.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 14,667 miles

Fuel Economy Update for April - Ticks Slightly Upward

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on May 6, 2016

April proved to be one of the busiest months for our 2015 Kia Sedona so far. We added 2,389 miles to its odometer last month, just a few shy of the 2,523-mile record set in September. Even though we went on a couple long-distance road trips in April, the Sedona's lifetime average barely moved.

Scott's journey to Sedona certainly helped our minivan's overall fuel economy. So did a visit to Phoenix, Arizona, that Kurt took at the end of the month. The averages achieved during these highway trips were brought down by the city driving that occurred between the two. The Sedona's fuel economy for the month ended at 18.6 mpg, which nudged overall fuel economy from 18.0 mpg to 18.1 mpg.

I removed the previous "Worst Fill" of 11.7 mpg, as that was based on only 57.4 miles of driving.

Worst Fill MPG: 12.2 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 27.1 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 18.1 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City/22 Highway)
Best Range: 395.3 miles
Current Odometer: 15,502 miles

Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor @ 15,502 miles

15,000-Mile Service

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on May 12, 2016

This week our 2015 Kia Sedona clicked past 15,000 miles, causing its onboard service minder to issue a maintenance alert. I abided the notice and scheduled an appointment for the next morning at Kia of Cerritos using their online service form.

With a 9:15 a.m. appointment confirmed, I rolled into the service drive at 8:50 a.m. and was immediately greeted by a porter who flagged a service advisor. Nick took a quick walk around the Sedona and escorted me back to his desk for the write-up.

That's where he recommended the 15K "Intermediate" service package for $159.99.  I told him I wasn't interested in the dealership's recommended service, only the factory version of the 15K.  He then showed me the "Minor" service package which contained the necessary oil and filter change, plus inspections, for $69.99. He said that, plus a new cabin filter for $39.99, would be in line with the factory maintenance schedule.

I agreed that was what I wanted, and asked if he would also have the sliding doors inspected, as other drivers had been complaining about excessive noise.

Nick noted it on the paperwork and said he'd let me know what they thought before they added additional service time to pull any door panels. I appreciated that since I was prepared to wait for the service to be completed.

I moved to the customer lounge and set-up shop at one of the convenient cubby desks, where I spent just under two hours tapped into the dealer's free Wi-Fi and coffee.

Nick came by at 10:45 a.m. and said the technician couldn't duplicate the door noise, but otherwise the Sedona was freshly washed, vacuumed and ready to go.

I paid the $114.76 tab, packed up my mobile office and headed out.

Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor @ 15,848 miles

Cargo Learning Curve

by Bryn MacKinnon, Managing Editor on May 23, 2016

It's been a while since I drove a minivan.

After strapping my two kids into the second row of our long-term 2015 Kia Sedona easily and quickly (one in a booster with the seatbelt — well, she strapped herself in, really — and one in a five-point harness-equipped child safety seat), we hit the grocery store for some necessities. Classic minivan mom stuff, right? I bought my three moderately sized bags full of groceries and trotted the kids back to the car. I felt good. Takin' care of mom-business.

Here's where my lack of recent minivan experience reared its messy head.

The previous driver of our spacious, easy-to-drive minivan had put the third-row seat down, ostensibly because the cargo space with all seats in use wasn't enough for their cargo needs.

I was in a hurry to get my groceries home (and with both kids in tow, lacked the patience to stop and put the seats up). So I placed the bags in the too-spacious-for-my-current-needs cargo area, tried to smash them together a little bit in the hope that they'd protect each other from carnage, shrugged, closed the hatch, and crossed my fingers.

Wrong move, Bryn.

I could hear stuff moving around as I drove the 10 minutes back home, but I thought, "How bad could it be?"

Well, nothing got destroyed, but a lone Anderson Valley Summer Solstice Seasonal Ale liberated itself from its restrictive cardboard confines, abandoned its five brethren and tried to come find me in the front seat.

As you can see, that bottle made it as far as the floor under the driver seat. But I didn't know it was there for a while. When I opened the rear hatch, I surveyed the non-age-restricted groceries lying helpless on the carpeted floor in positions different from the ones in which  they had started.

The whereabouts of that sixth bottle was a mystery for many minutes while I put the rest of the groceries away, until I was able to focus exclusively on searching the van. I had unpleasant visions of never finding it and being the staffer who lost a beer in the minivan. The stuff of dubious lessons. But I did find that rogue malty session ale and stuck it in the fridge with its friends.

Next time, I'm gonna put the seats up.

Bryn MacKinnon, Managing Editor @ 16,202 miles

Why It's a Great Road Trip Car

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on May 31, 2016

I've driven our 2015 Kia Sedona extensively over the last few months and found it to be one of the nicer minivans currently on the market. Most of that seat time has been in stop and go traffic on the way to work. A weekend road trip gave me a taste of how it handles the open road and my opinion hasn't changed much. Here's why.

Seat comfort is a good place to start. I've noted before that the seats in the Sedona are surprisingly comfortable. They don't feel particular supportive at first but even after several hours behind the wheel I didn't feel any soreness. That's pretty rare in any car for me.

Performance is another area where the Sedona shines. It's standard V6 engine delivers the kind of acceleration that makes passing on the highway a breeze. The transmission isn't overly busy either so it's not constantly switching up and down a gear.

It's quiet inside. For a vehicle shaped like a brick, the lack of wind noise is pretty impressive.

Finally, the navigation system is very intuitive. It's flexible enough to let you just start putting in a name or address and then tailoring the search to match. Other systems often restrict how you input a destination which ultimately results in either not finding the right place or taking forever to do so.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 17,126 miles

Fuel Economy Update for May - Holding Steady, but Our Odyssey and Sienna Were Better

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on June 16, 2016

We drove about 1,500 miles last month in our 2015 Kia Sedona. As the month had a balanced mix of city and highway driving, we didn't change our van's lifetime average at all. In fact, it's fair to say that we've zeroed in on what our van's going to get us with more than 17,000 miles on the odometer now.

Out of curiosity, I also looked up our lifetime fuel economy for the long-departed 2011 Honda Odyssey and 2011 Toyota Sienna minivans we had in the test fleet. Both were more efficient than our Sedona.

For the month in our Sedona, we notched up 18.2 mpg. That's effectively the same as our lifetime average, which is holding steady at 18.1 mpg.

Our Odyssey posted 20.8 mpg and our Sienna had 19.6 mpg. Percentage-wise, that's about a 15 percent advantage for the Odyssey compared to the Sedona.

If you are buying a minivan, how important would you consider fuel economy to be?

Worst Fill MPG: 12.2 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 27.1 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 18.1 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City/22 Highway)
Best Range: 395.3 miles
Current Odometer: 17,871 miles

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 17,871 miles

How Front Storage Space Compares to Other Minivans

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on June 20, 2016

It will come as no surprise when I inform you that our 2015 Kia Sedona has a wealth of interior storage space up front. Whether it's your phone, snacks or your kid's kendama, the Sedona has a place for you to put it. It's an IKEA PAX wardrobe on wheels.

I've got some photos and details on our Sedona, plus a comparison to the way a couple rival minivans do it.

First up is the center console bin. I love this thing. Really. The upper black tray slides back and forth. Keep it forward and it's an ideal place to store your phone, keys, corporate parking garage keycard, etc. When you slide it back, it hides whatever you've got in it from prying eyes. Doing so also provides access to the console's bin storage underneath.

The armrest/cover lifts up to give you full access to both, and the bin itself is deep and roomy. (My apologies on the dirty look here. In hindsight, I should have vacuumed our Sedona's interior before taking these pictures. But hey, it's a real-world, lived-in look!)

Next: cupholders! The main two-cupholder setup is pretty standard, though I like the spring-loaded tabs that help keep smaller drinks secure.

There's also a bottle holder in each door panel plus storage pockets. They're deep and wide enough to be useful for a variety of items.

On the passenger side, there are double gloveboxes.

The Sedona also has a storage pocket on the passenger side of the center console. Notably, though, this highlights out the main difference between the Sedona and other top minivans. The Sedona has a center console that runs the full length between the seats. Other minivans have this space between the driver and front passenger open.

This is a picture of the Honda Odyssey up front.

And here's a picture of the new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.

In the Sedona, you lose out on some potential space for, say, keeping your handbag on the floor nearby. The Odyssey and Pacifica also have a pull-out bin from the dash area that the Sedona lacks.

Then again, one of the reasons that some of us like the Sedona so much is because the full-length console helps give the Sedona its not-vanlike vibe.

I don't necessarily see one version as being better than the other. It's more about what kind of layout you're going to value more.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 17,923 miles

Steering Wheel Off-Center

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on June 24, 2016

Our 2015 Kia Sedona minivan is a nice place to spend time as the miles roll past. It's a relaxed cruiser, and I'm surprised by how utterly straight it goes down the road. It's almost like it has some sort of autopilot system — but it doesn't.

But I hadn't driven it in some time, and on my way home last night I noticed that the steering wheel was cocked to the right even as the van tracked straight and true.

The offset didn't draw attention to itself unless I looked at it. The curved contours of the horn pad and sloping steering wheel spokes are intentional styling cues used by every manufacturer to make trivial amounts of this phenomenon less obvious, but the Sedona's wheel is far enough off that it's plain to see. And once you see it, you can't un-see it.

But this is not a replay of our recent Renegade situation. Here there's absolutely no drift or pull to complicate matters. It's nothing more than a classic off-center steering wheel issue.

That means a visit to the alignment shop should clear it up, and I fully expect to learn that one wheel is toed-in or toed-out too much. My money is on the left rear, the tire that's most vulnerable to curb contact while navigating drive-through lanes at fast-food joints.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 19,385 miles

I Finally Got a Minivan for a Las Vegas Trip!

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on June 28, 2016

Over the past 12 months, I've gone to Las Vegas twice with more than one passenger beside me. Our Vegas group usually consists of six people, so a single car with three rows is always the preferred way to go.

The logistics sometimes work out, like on my last trip, when I was able to fit everyone and their luggage into our long-term 2016 Honda Pilot. Other times I haven't been so lucky, such as the time when a lack of available large cars in the Edmunds fleet led my group to split, and I took three passengers in the 2015 Acura TLX.

Even though both vehicles were great road trip companions, I wished I had a minivan for the group. A minivan's third row is typically more spacious than that in a three-row crossover, and the cargo area has a deep well that those seats drop down into when not in use. Our 2015 Kia Sedona caught my eye this time, and I notified Keymaster Mike Schmidt of my intentions months beforehand. By the time the trip rolled around, the Sedona was in the garage and ready for a road trip.

We still had to take two cars to Vegas, though. Family members from Virginia were visiting that weekend, and they planned their trip to more or less coincide with my cousin's 21st birthday. The three adults drove in their rental car and the "kids" piled into the Sedona.

As expected, the Sedona had noticeably more leg- and headroom than the Pilot for those in the far back. We also didn't have to spend much time maneuvering our six small suitcases and one backpack into the cargo area. Even with the Pilot's cargo floor removed, there was a lot of careful packaging to make everything fit. The setup meant that the baggage slightly impeded my rear view. Nothing blocked my view in the Sedona.

Once the luggage was loaded and my passengers figured out how to work the second-row seat controls, it was smooth sailing to and from Vegas. My passengers were wowed by the quality of the interior materials, the abundant charging ports and the comfortable seats.

As I planned the trip, my cousins teased me about being excited to drive around in a minivan for a few days. Yet I heard no complaints as they were chauffeured through the desert in a climate-controlled luxury suite. Funny how that works.

Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor @ 19,200 miles

Long-Distance Trips Boost Fuel Economy in June

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on July 11, 2016

Two long-distance trips in June boosted the 2015 Kia Sedona's fuel economy from 18.1 mpg to 18.3 mpg overall. The first run was from the office to Brent Romans' "Rancho Relaxo" estate in Fresno, some 200 miles north of our offices. After it returned, I loaded up my family and took it to Las Vegas.

Even with six passengers and luggage, the Sedona returned an impressive 21 mpg over the course of the trip, just 1 mpg off the EPA highway estimate.

Fuel economy for all of June was 21.0 mpg, the Sedona's most fuel-efficient month so far.

Worst Fill MPG: 12.2 mpg
Best Fill MPG: 27.1 mpg
Average Lifetime MPG: 18.3 mpg
EPA MPG Rating: 19 Combined (17 City/22 Highway)
Best Range: 395.3 miles
Current Odometer: 19,261 miles

Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor @ 19,261 miles

20 Grand

by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor on July 21, 2016

We're about to call time on our year with the 2015 Kia Sedona, and right on schedule, the odometer flicked past 20,000 miles. Usually there's a fair bit of subject matter to discuss over 5,000 miles, sometimes 10,000 miles if you need to dig, but the Kia has been nigh on invisible for a while.

It simply minivans around.

And yes, I do drive with the stability control turned off.

During the past few months, we've seen the fuel economy creep up, the cabin creak up and our service interval come up.  We still have a couple of weeks to go, but I can't see us getting into anything deeper than this being a very solid choice if you're in the market for a minivan.

I wonder if we'll replace the Sedona with another minivan?

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 20,003 miles

What Am I Driving Again?

by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor on July 25, 2016

I thought I was driving our 2015 Kia Sedona.

I had to double-check when a middle-aged guy (ugh, I think I'm middle-aged too) cut across this tiny parking lot to ask me, "Hey, how do you like that thing?"

I was hoping I'd turn around and see the Viper.

This wasn't an isolated incident. As a matter of fact, twice in the same weekend I found myself standing in the middle of a parking lot, discussing the ins and outs of a minivan with a very interested party. It should be noted that neither party owned a minivan.

The first guy simply wanted to know if I had any complaints, as he wasn't able to get what he felt was a complete impression on a recent test-drive. I shrugged and mentioned how I wish the Sedona had a little bit better body control. "I think the shocks are a bit weak for the weight, but it's not anything I notice unless I'm really on it." I followed up with, "It's a bit creaky, too. Most minivans get like that over time, but this one's only about a year old. Then again, I just turn the radio up. It's nothing a little Black Sabbath can't drown out." He looked around a bit more, thanked me for my time and walked into a stained glass store.

The next guy caught me right as I got out of the Sedona (Note to that guy: Maybe wait a few more beats before you edge up on someone getting out of their car). He, too, asked me if I had any complaints, and then he launched into what he was looking for in a minivan. "I just want to feel cool when I drive it. Do you feel cool? I don't think I'd feel cool in a Sedona." Not wanting to tell him that I am always cool, I laughed off the question and opened the door to give him a closer look. If you can be smitten by a minivan, he certainly seemed it. He loved the straightforward interior, really dug the middle-row captain's chairs and couldn't stop pointing at the chrome wheels. As I walked away, he stayed next to the Kia. And as I locked the doors, causing the mirrors to fold in, he cackled, "THE MIRRORS FOLD!" I escaped into a coffee shop.

When I came out I still hoped I'd see the Viper, but it did make me smile to know I was driving something that piques people's interest. And it was a minivan. Go figure.

What was the last car that made you walk up and talk to the owner?

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 20,091 miles


What We Got

We ordered a top-tier 2015 Kia Sedona SXL to experience the best of what the newly redesigned minivan had to offer. It had the same 3.3-liter V6, six-speed transmission and front-wheel-drive configuration shared across all trims. And as we've come to expect from Kia products, it had an abundance of standard features.

Standard Sedona items included the basics: Bluetooth connectivity, USB ports, a backup camera, remote keyless entry and a fold-flat third row of seats. Specific to the SXL trim were leather seats, 19-inch wheels, an eight-speaker Infinity sound system, navigation, Kia's UVO infotainment system, a 110-volt power inverter, two sunroofs, a power liftgate, power-sliding doors, front and rear parking sonar, and second-row captain's chairs with extendable leg rests. The only optional feature on our minivan was a $995 rear entertainment system.

So equipped, our 2015 Kia Sedona SXL carried an MSRP of $41,590.


"I think our Sedona has a pretty soft ride on the stock Kumho tires. You get the occasional hard impact but that's more likely the result of the suspension running out of travel. It's very smooth on the highway, and in the city it soaks up most rough roads without much harshness." — Ed Hellwig

"There's nothing special or standout about the engine or transmission, though you can manually select gears and the 3.3-liter V6 does provide enough motivation to hang with the rest of the minivan competition." — Jonathan Elfalan


"I also looked up our lifetime fuel economy for the long-departed 2011 Honda Odyssey and 2011 Toyota Sienna minivans we had in the test fleet. Both were more efficient than our Sedona." — Brent Romans

"Even with six passengers and luggage, the Sedona returned an impressive 21 mpg over the course of the trip, just 1 mpg off the EPA highway estimate." — Cameron Rogers


"I loaded everyone in and took off when I got the thumbs-up from all passengers. The Sedona's generous interior space and highly adjustable second row allows three adults to sit in tandem without triggering any claustrophobic reactions." — Cameron Rogers

"Climbing in through the automatic sliding side doors, the girls immediately set about extending footrests and reclining seatbacks, snuggling in for the 20-minute ride. ... the back of the Sedona is a pretty nice place to be." — Kelly Hellwig

Cargo Space

"Unfolding the third-row seats is a pain. The grab handle is at an awkward angle that makes pulling the seats back into place difficult. Anyone shorter than 5-foot-10 would have a tough time with this mechanism." — Ed Hellwig

"I was in a hurry to get my groceries home ... so I placed the bags in the too-spacious-for-my-current-needs cargo area. ... Well, nothing got destroyed, but a lone Anderson Valley Summer Solstice Seasonal Ale liberated itself from its restrictive cardboard confines, abandoned its five brethren and tried to come find me in the front seat." — Bryn MacKinnon


"The center console bin. I love this thing. Really. The upper black tray slides back and forth. Keep it forward and it's an ideal place to store your phone, keys, corporate parking garage keycard. ... slide it back, it hides whatever you've got in it from prying eyes. Doing so also provides access to the console's bin storage underneath." — Brent Romans

"It's those seats. The padding is fine, the shape suits me well. And against all odds, my wife finds them quite comfortable too. ... But that stitching. ... It goes right down the middle and amounts to a reinforced edge that lines up with my spine. ... the horizontal stitch line creates a rigid intersection that locks on to one of my vertebrae." — Dan Edmunds

Audio and Technology

"The whole point of real-time traffic updates is the ability to make real-time decisions.  That's why systems like the one in our Sedona so often frustrate me. ... the traffic map shows nothing but green on my route. Yet here I sit in traffic at a standstill. ... obviously the setup in our Sedona needs some work." — Ed Hellwig

"The Sedona does not have a screen that folds down from the roof. Instead it folds up from the back of the center console. ... Unfortunately, this console-mounted system looks more like a tacked-on aftermarket accessory than something Kia intended to include on their people mover from the start." — Cameron Rogers


"Car Pros offered a welcoming customer area with easy Internet access, and the available snacks were a nice touch. I'm never a fan of the upsells, but our adviser was casual about them and asked in a manner that wasn't annoying." — Mike Schmidt

"I noticed that the steering wheel was cocked to the right. ... The curved contours of the horn pad and sloping steering wheel spokes are intentional styling cues used by every manufacturer to make trivial amounts of this phenomenon less obvious, but the Sedona's wheel is far enough off that it's plain to see." — Dan Edmunds


"A plastic bottle rolled down by my feet and made me press the wrong pedal." — that guy who rear-ended us, causing over $4,000 in damage

"I first noticed a few creaks coming from the side doors. ... None of the noises are particularly intrusive or even all that noticeable in most day-to-day driving. It's when things are quiet, like driving over a speed bump in a parking garage, that the rattles from the side doors are more obvious." — Ed Hellwig

Maintenance & Repairs

Regular Maintenance:
The Kia requested routine service in 7,500-mile intervals. We spent $63 at 7,500 miles and $115 at 15,000 miles. Both dealer visits fell into the realm of completely normal. Creaky side doors were inspected at the 15K visit and were the only excitement aside from, well, the accident.

Just days into our test of the Sedona, and hours away from leaving on a cross-country road trip, the van was rear-ended. It sat 28 days in the body shop and cost $4,255 to repair, which was paid by the at-fault party.

Service Campaigns:
No recalls or technical service bulletins were issued during our test.

Fuel Economy and Resale Value

Observed Fuel Economy:
The EPA estimates 19 mpg (17 mpg city, 22 mpg highway) for the Sedona. By the end of our 20,000-mile test, we had averaged 18.2 mpg. Our best fuel economy was 27.1 mpg, and our best range on a single tank carried us 395 miles.

Resale and Depreciation:
Our 2015 Kia Sedona SXL had an MSRP of $41,590 when it entered our garage 12 months ago. After 20,360 miles it depreciated in value by 38 percent, according to the  Edmunds TMV Calculator and based on a private-party sale.

Here is how this compared to similar long-term minivans before it: 2011 Honda Odyssey (18 percent), 2011 Toyota Sienna (22 percent), 2012 Nissan Quest (34 percent, with 26,000 miles) and, for historical reference, our 2006 Kia Sedona (41 percent with 25,000 miles).

Summing Up

More standard equipment than the competition at this price point. Fuel range of nearly 400 miles per tank. The UVO infotainment system is one of the most capable and easy-to-use alternatives out there. Front and rear seats are great for long-distance cruising. Comfortable ride quality over broken city streets. Plenty of passing power on the highway. Simple dashboard layout makes everything easy to find and use. Excellent navigation system that's easy to program. Useful storage spaces throughout the interior. 

Ride quality was negatively affected when loaded down with a full load of passengers. Raising the third-row seat was cumbersome. Occasional creaks and rattles from the side doors. It depreciated in value more than other class-leading minivans.

Bottom Line:
The Kia Sedona used to be a second-tier minivan that competed mostly on value. It's still a value leader, but it's now competitive with the top-tier minivans when it comes to comfort, features and overall quality. It has its shortcomings, but they're not the deal killers they once were. Anyone shopping for a new minivan should consider the Sedona before settling on one of its more well-known competitors.

Total Body Repair Costs: $4,255.35
Total Routine Maintenance Costs: $177.38 (over 12 months)
Additional Maintenance Costs: None
Warranty Repairs: None
Non-Warranty Repairs: None
Scheduled Dealer Visits: 2
Unscheduled Dealer Visits: None
Days Out of Service: 28 due to body damage
Breakdowns Stranding Driver: None
Best Fuel Economy: 27.1 mpg
Worst Fuel Economy: 12.2 mpg
Average Fuel Economy: 18.2 mpg
True Market Value at service end: $25,870 (private-party sale)
Depreciation: $15,720 (38% of original MSRP)
Final Odometer Reading: 20,360 miles

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.