2015 Kia Sedona: 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