Written by: Robert Nichols
Photography by: Robert Nichols
10,080 minutes, 160 hours, or, what is more commonly known as a week; that is the amount of my life that I sacrificed to test – of all things - a minivan, such is my dedication to the reader. All kidding aside, I really don’t see why the minivan gets such a bad reputation. As a teen, I learned to drive in one and could not have had access to a more useful vehicle. I was an avid mountain bike enthusiast and the van could easily swallow several bikes as well as the riders.
There was also the benefit of being able to pack in numerous friends when it came time to skip school. At one time the minivan was very popular; but today there seems to be this view that anyone who drives one has given up on life and is just waiting for the day the last of their numerous progeny move out. I look at things a bit differently.
There is an old advertisement that shows a few young men standing in front of various exciting sports cars and exotics. The underlying thought being these guys are trying to display their male virility by driving these cars. Then it shows a guy with his family of 5 children standing beside, you guessed it, a minivan, implying by driving the van his virility is proven. If you have kids, you really cannot buy a more suitable vehicle. The amount of space, ease of access and comfort are not found elsewhere. The trend today is to drive an SUV or CUV, and while they do offer more convenience that a car, they still pale in comparison to minivans.
The van in question is the 2015 Kia Sedona SXL. The Sedona features the familiar front end styling found throughout the Kia family. It is easily the best looking minivan on the market today, and that is not just a case of being the best of the ugliest vehicles presently made. Interestingly the Sedona is the only all new minivan available for 2015. The silhouette is almost sleek and the rear of the roof appears to be floating above all the windows. Premium features like the LED tail lights and LED front accents, HID headlights with the option of a self-leveling mechanism and chrome moldings just add to the first impression.
The interior is impressive and the SXL has very nice leather seating for seven. Front seat passengers have the option of heated or cooled seats, a heated steering wheel and the control layout is neat and easy to navigate. But the front is not where I would like to spend time in this vehicle. I would prefer to be driven and indulge in the second row captain’s chairs. They are like compact versions of your dad’s recliner. They are positioned on a track that allows them to slide towards each other and then back. This is done to avoid the seat hitting the rear wheel wells as you recline them.
The best part is that the foot rests can pop up and be extended outwards. Unfortunately for parents, these chairs are not really for you, they are for your offspring. Actually, the second row captain’s chairs will limit the amount of usable space as they will not fold away, and they do not make accessing the third row seats easy. The third row seats are comfortable but if you are going to use them often, it would be best to opt for an 8-seat layout.
Being a van, the amount of storage space is impressive - a total of 4,021 L overall. With all of the seats upright there is still 960 L behind the 60/40 split folding third row. This space is deep as the rear seat will fold into a depression in the rear cargo area. When the seats are up, you can utilize this depression for cargo which allows you to store very large, tall items.
The seat folding mechanism seems simple but can take a bit of practice to operate. If you have the key fob on your person, the rear hatch will open automatically without you having to kick your leg or even push a button. The vehicle assumes if you are standing there you must be burdened down with something and opens for you - very handy.
Being a Kia, the Sedona offers you all the technology you could ever want as a driver with the exception of automatic parking. However, the bird’s eye view from the parking cameras make it a simple operation in even the trickiest spots, allowing you to cycle through the various camera views if you are uncertain how close an obstacle is, like a curb for instance.
The Infinity stereo is great, and with the second row recliners, it makes the Sedona the ultimate drive-in theater vehicle (just recline the front seats and use them as a table for your snacks). Even the base model has Bluetooth, satellite radio, 12 cup holders, USB and auxiliary jacks and active headrests to name just a few of the standard options. The fully loaded SXL will leave you wanting for nothing.
On the road the Sedona is smooth with enough power to merge, or pass safely. The engine does make a few unbecoming sounds at times, but overall is usually silent and the transmission shifts are silky. Through the corners the Sedona remains level and exhibits very little lean. The chassis has benefitted from the added use of high-strength steel which has resulted in a firm but comfortable ride.
Overall, the 2015 Kia Sedona SXL has revived my admiration of the minivan. By offering dual power sliding doors, seating for up to 8 people, an automatic tailgate, and a handy rear compartment flashlight the Sedona proves its worth as the perfect vehicle for a larger family. The luxurious second row captain’s thrones allows the transport of friends and family in comfort and the abundance of space, storage and a low load height make this one of the most versatile and convenient vehicles you can buy today. If you can get past the stigma of the term minivan, you will be very happy with one - the moment of pride will strike when you catch your neighbours fumbling around while unloading the groceries from their “practical” SUV.
型号 Model: 2015 Kia Sedona SXL+
顏色 Paint Type: Midnight Sapphire
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $27,695
試車售價 Price as Tested: $48,044
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 3,060
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 5,115 / 1,984 / 1,740
車重 Curb weight (kg): 2,111
引擎 Engine: 3.3L GDI V6
最大馬力 Horsepower: 276 hp @ 6,000 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 248 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 6-speed automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, FWD
油耗 Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined )- L/100 km: 14.2 / 10.5 / 12.5
輪胎尺碼 Tires: 235/55R19 Continental ProContact