It Isn't Soul-Sucking! - 2015 Kia Sedona SX-L Long-Term Road Test
ADVERTISEMENT

2015 Kia Sedona SX-L Long-Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (1)
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term

2015 Kia Sedona: It Isn't Soul-Sucking!

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

2015 Kia Sedona

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.

2015 Kia Sedona

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

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (1)
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term

Leave a Comment
ADVERTISEMENT

Other Vehicles to Consider

ADVERTISEMENT

Past Long-Term Road Tests

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT