Really Holds On in the Curves - 2015 Kia Sedona SX-L Long-Term Road Test

2015 Kia Sedona: Really Holds On in the Curves

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

2015 Kia Sedona

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...

2015 Kia Sedona

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

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2015 Kia Sedona Research