Kia Restores Our Faith in Big MPVs with All-New 2015 Sedona [w/Video]

Big MPVs have lost ground to SUVs in recent years, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are a dying breed. They wouldn’t be if they all were as good-looking as the all-new 2015 Kia Sedona (known as the Carnival in Europe and other markets).

Scheduled to debut at the New York Auto Show on Wednesday, April 16, the midsize MPV was designed under the supervision of Peter Schreyer, the man who has overseen the brand’s reinvention from a styling point of view.

Offering up to eight seats, the Sedona features “CUV-like styling and proportions”, according to Kia, offering “all of the functional convenience of the segment while defying its design limitations.”

The front fascia and the cab-forward design are sleek, with the Sedona’s muscular face and smooth look being highlighted by the brand’s signature grille and headlamps. The new Sedona has a 1.6-inch longer wheelbase and this affects the side profile in a good way, making it look more fluid. At the rear, the LED taillights, integrated bumper guard and standard roof spoiler give the MPV a sporty look.

Most people will buy the Sedona for the interior, with Kia saying the new model provides more front shoulder room, greater legroom in the front, second and third rows, as well as a slightly higher hip-point – despite retaining the same width and height as the bland outgoing model.

Available in two configurations, with seven or eight seats, the Sedona offers flexible seating and a multitude of storage options. Second row Slide-n-Stow tracked seating slides and folds upright to allow for “on-the-go” cargo hauling, with the MPV also offering the choice of second row “First Class” lounge seating that can be positioned rearward.

Since families with kids are the obvious target customers, the Sedona offers standard “YES Essentials” fabric technology, said to provide anti-microbial protection from spills, anti-static protection from irritating electrical shocks as well as stain-repelling and stain-releasing fabric characteristics.

Under the hood, a new Lambda Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) 3.3-liter V6 engine replaces the 3.5-liter V6 found in the previous generation model. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the 3.3-liter engine delivers more power than its predecessor, boasting 276 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 248 lb-ft (336 Nm) at 5,200 rpm.

All Sedona models come standard with active safety features such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Brake Assist System (BAS), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Antilock Braking System (ABS), Roll Over Mitigation (ROM) and Cornering Brake Control (CBC).

The 2015 Sedona will be the first Kia vehicle to offer four new eServices features (Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert and Driving Score) via its next-generation UVO Infotainment & Telematics system. UVO also features the Kia App store, which allows select apps to be downloaded for free from iTunes2 or Google Play3.

U.S. sales are scheduled to begin in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter of this year, with pricing to be announced closer to launch date.

By Dan Mihalascu



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