Unlike other recent Kia success stories, like the Kia Forte and the Kia Optima, the Kia Sedona enters a segment that no one is anxious to enter. No one aspires to own the latest, greatest minivan and that's a shame because it appears the Sedona might be a great minivan from initial impressions.
It's going to have some cool technology. Kia says, "Building on the next-generation UVO Infotainment & Telematics system, the all-new Sedona will be the first Kia vehicle to offer four new eServices features: Geo-fencing, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert and Driving Score." I've seen the aftermarket versions of this technology demonstrated at CES in Las Vegas and I can only imagine what it's going to be like with an OEM including it.
Additionally, with the introduction of the Kia App store, select apps can be downloaded for free from iTunes or Google Play, the Korean automaker says. The Kia app connector is now available for partnership with the content community, including Pandora, iHeart Radio and Yelp. Many more new technologies for comfort and convenience are featured in the new UVO system, including Siri “Eyes Free” and Local Search – powered by Google – for finding locations, addresses and points of interest.
Even the fabric in this minivan is cool. According to Kia, "The Sedona also is the only vehicle in the segment outfitted with standard YES Essentials fabric technology to provide anti-microbial protection from spills, anti-static protection from irritating electrical shocks as well as stain-repelling and stain-releasing fabric characteristics appreciated by anyone who leads an active lifestyle."
The 2015 Sedona is built on an all-new chassis with static torsional stiffness that is 36-percent greater than its closest segment competitor. That will make it more fun to drive – but no one buys a minivan to drive it. They are bought as family haulers. Hitting S-curves hard is only going to make Junior car sick and Mommy mad.
So, once again, the question hangs over Kia: who is going to buy the Sedona? Frankly, we hope it succeeds wildly and puts a dent in the market currently held by Honda, Toyota and Chrysler. It's a great minivan but it's going to need buyers.