Monthly Archives: April 2015


All-new 2015 Sedona has earned a spot on the Ward’s 10 Best Interiors list. The Sedona was recognized by the editors for its impressive interior style, comfort, and overall execution, including the available second-row “First-Class” lounge seating.

By: IRVINE, Calif., April 16, 2015 – Kia Motors America’s (KMA)

The all-new Sedona completes Kia’s design-led transformation under the direction of chief design officer Peter Schreyer. It combines CUV styling, inside and out, with exceptional quality and offers unique interior features,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, KMA. “This is the second-consecutive year that Kia has earned a spot on the Ward’s 10 Best Interiors list, following last year’s inclusion of the ultra-popular Soul. This award is a testament to Kia’s continued commitment to world-class quality and top-notch design that is as beautiful as it is functional.”

Starting at $27,495, the completely transformed Sedona comes in seven- and eight-passenger seating configurations and offers available Nappa leather trimmed seating surfaces. Exclusive standing and sliding second-row seats slide and fold upright for enhanced cargo hauling without the hassle of removing heavy seats. Sedona’s front center console is unique to the segment and allows for generous storage space between the front seats, while the large dual glove box offers a cooled lower storage area for convenience.
“Minivans may not be as popular as they used to be, but the all-new Kia Sedona gives us reason to think this segment is in store for a resurgence,” said Tom Murphy, executive editor, WardsAuto World magazine. “Kia takes stylistic chances with the Sedona interior. Sedona is unique in its interior design with two-tone leather set off with white piping and orange contrast stitching. The van’s comfortable and spacious, with way-cool second-row lounge seats with footrests. It’s also flexible, with third-row seats that fold into the floor. Finally, a minivan that is truly cool!

Kia BUZZ Editorial Team

Kia BUZZ Editorial Team

Kia’s premium SUV model, the all-new Sorento, made its overseas debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show earlier this year. While it wowed the crowd with its bold look at first glance, there’s lots more to discover when it comes to this exciting new generation’s wide variety of features and specs. Spencer Cho, head of Kia’s Overseas Product Marketing Team, has broken down the reasons why the all-new Sorento is poised to be the best in its class.

Watch the full presentation here:

Roomy and Luxurious Design

Kia New Sorento Exterior

The 3rd generation Sorento is longer, wider, and lower than the previous generation. Its new look is not only sleeker but also provides more room for passengers, while making it easier to get into and out of the vehicle. The interior features a ‘modern and wide’ theme outfitted with high-end materials and an upgraded layout for a roomier feel.

Kia New Sorento Side

Excellent Safety Rating

All-new Sorento has been awarded the highest five-star crash safety rating by Euro NCAP thanks to its stronger structure and variety of passive and active safety features. Its body is composed of 53% ultra-high strength steel, making it more resistant to external impacts. The full range of advanced safety features, such as Active Hood System, Blind Spot Detection, and Advanced Smart Cruise Control incorporating Kia’s state-of-the-art technology, take all-new Sorento’s safety to a level that owners deserve.

Kia New Sorento Cargo

User-friendly Technologies

Driver comfort was a core requirement in the all-new Sorento’s development. The latest technologies were applied to create Kia’s most interactive SUV to date. Some of its user-friendly features include 8-inch Navigation Display, Smart Parking Assistant System, Idle Stop & Go, and Smart Power Tailgate, which automatically opens the tailgate for access to the cargo area when the smart key is within a meter of the rear of the vehicle for more than three seconds.

Road Tests

2016 Kia Sorento


The 1st generation Kia Sorento was a true, body-on-frame sport utility vehicle. And while it was a little rough around the edges, it quickly garnered a big following. 2nd generation saw Sorento follow the crossover crowd, losing the frame but gaining more features. Now, Sorento’s gen 3 redesign expands on that in both size and premium content. So let’s see if Sorento is making the right moves.

The all-new 2016 Kia Sorento is clearly not a major departure from its previous generation. Still, the redesign’s improvements all appear aimed at making Kia’s 3-row crossover a more family friendly and capable adventure vehicle. A familiar exterior design still manages to convey “larger Sorento”. And with that, it promises more interior room. Kia has also thrown the word “bolder” into the mix, and we agree it has more presence going down the road.

With that, a bigger grille dons the frontend; part of Kia’s new face that is taller, flatter, and much less pointy. Body side sculpting is smoothed out, the belt line moves higher, fitting a Sorento that is now 3-inches longer in both wheelbase and overall length.

Heading aft, there are more angles and more aggression. Taillights are larger, the bumper reflectors are now horizontal, and of course there’s a spoiler up top. 17-inch alloy wheels are standard; upper trim levels are equipped with 18s and beefy 19s.

All-in-all it’s an appealing design; smooth and classy. Still, it’s hard to miss the resemblance to Kia’s Sedona minivan.

The last gen’s interior was a big step up, but this gen is an even bigger leap forward; with a smoother dash design, a much more premium feel, intuitive touchscreen interface, and some of the best steering wheel controls out there. Premium safety systems have also trickled down from the flagship K900.

Uvo continues to add features and is available on LX models and above, a backup camera is standard on all but base L trim, and 8-inch touchscreen navigation is available on EX models and up. An optional 630-watt, 12-speaker Infinity sound system features a new Clari-Fi feature that squeezes a little more fidelity out of compressed audio files.

All gauges happily remain analog. On upper trims a 7-inch LCD info screen sits in the middle of the central speedometer. Front seats are Euro-firm and very comfortable; and yes, thanks to the added wheelbase and length, all seating positions gain room, with improved access to the 3rd row.

The cargo bay grows too. There’s now 11.0 cubic-ft. behind the optional 3rd row, 39.0 behind the 2nd row, and 74.0 total with all seats folded. That’s a gain of 1½ cubic-ft.  Seats fold easily and there are very few gaps for stuff to get lost in.

Even more notable is the fit and finish of the cargo area. Partially-carpeted side panels should help keep things from getting all scratched up. An available smart power lift gate allows gives hands and foot free opening.

But, the upgrade that we like most, is the new Sorento’s greatly improved ride quality. Now bordering on excellent, it feels incredibly well-built and is very quiet.

In addition to that longer wheelbase, the front suspension has a new H-shaped sub-frame design and Hydraulic Rebound Stopper shock absorbers. In back, a lengthened rear cross-member, with longer control arms, allows for more wheel travel.

Standard Drive Mode Select, with settings for Normal, Eco, and Sport; adjusts steering feel and transmission shift points.

There’s a trio of available engines. Base engine is a slightly improved version of last year’s, 2.4-liter I4, now with 185-horsepower and 178 lb-ft. of torque. Also carryover is the 3.3-liter V6 with 290-horsepower and 252 lb-ft. of torque that now tows 5,000-pounds.

Slotting in between, is a new option; the Optima’s 2.0-liter I4 turbo, here with 240-horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque. We estimate a 0 to 60 of 7.0 seconds. All Sorentos are equipped with 6-speed automatic transmissions.

All-wheel-drive is available with any engine. It’s the same basic automatic system, with logic that tries to predict wheel slip rather than just react to it. A lock mode splits torque front to rear 50/50 for speeds up to 20 miles-per-hour, and Torque Vectoring Curve Control aids handling even on dry pavement.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the new 2.0-liter all-wheel-drive are 19-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged a good 22.4 miles-per-gallon of Regular. Resulting in a fair to middling Energy Impact Score of 15.0-barrels of oil annually and CO2 emissions of 6.9–tons.

Pricing starts at $25,795 for a base L model. And with more options than ever the spread grows, with the top tier SX-L beginning at $40,795. Tack on $1,800 more for all-wheel-drive.

So, yes, Kia has done a fine job of growing the 2016 Sorento into a more capable and family-oriented crossover, successfully tending to the things that needed improving along the way. The last generation Sorento was a key vehicle for Kia, proving that they were fully capable of competing with the best in the segment. This one just might take them to the top.

2015 Kia Sedona: A sleeker, shinier, cooler minivan

Kia smartly re-enters the minivan segment with an upgraded Sedona

By: Mark Toljagic Special to the Star, Published on Fri Mar 27 2015

Until cryogenic freezing or anesthetic drugs are available over the counter, the minivan may be the best way to complete long road trips with children.

Minivans work marvelously because the farther apart you can seat the kids, the quieter the voyage will be (sans medication). My wife and I have been making the trek south every spring since our three daughters were tots.

Canucks still have an affinity for minivans. Many of the Dodge Grand Caravans, Toyota Siennas and Honda Odysseys we saw in Florida bore Ontario and Quebec plates.

After years of watching the others eat its lunch in the segment, Kia re-entered the fray with a reconstituted Sedona minivan for 2015. Last redesigned in 2006, the new Sedona is sleeker, shinier and considerably cooler than its predecessors, so much so that it might be the best-looking thing with sliding doors.

Engineered to impress, the Sedona doesn’t have to rely on low, low monthly payments anymore.

Kia specified plenty of high-strength steel. Along with structural adhesives and large-diameter welds, torsional stiffness is now 36 per cent higher than any competing van. It’s quieter than the Sienna and Odyssey, although Chrysler’s Town & Country still may be the librarian’s choice.

The Sedona is a couple of centimetres longer now and rides on a wheelbase stretched almost 4 cm. More space between the axles ought to yield additional passenger space, but while there’s more legroom for middle-row occupants, the third row and cargo area appear to be a little pinched.

The well that swallows the split-folding third-row bench is smaller than those of the Odysienna. Blame the Sedona¹s tapered profile. Lithe design comes at a price, that being less space in back, especially when equipped with the headroom-stealing dual sunroofs.

Being seasoned minivan owners, we took the Sedona for a 5,000-km test drive to Daytona Beach. Despite the proliferation of cheap flights from nearby U.S. airports, our family still makes the trip the old-fashioned way: a two-day marathon fueled by stale coffee and dry granola bars. We fled Toronto on a rainy Saturday morning. We crossed the border with relative ease and soon joined the I-79 at Erie, Pennsylvania, and steered our van southward.

Kia had given us a Sedona in full-zoot SXL+ trim, which included leather upholstery, second-row lounge chairs and a bevy of electronic driving aids, including surround-view cameras, lane minder and smart cruise control.

The Sedona felt weighty and immensely solid in my hands; expansion joints were a distant thrum under the 19-inch Continentals. With the multi-link rear suspension soaking up everything in stride, no road imperfections could unsettle this van.

The cockpit is wide and you sit in nicely bolstered seats, ensconced in leather and warmed by two sunroofs in the SXL. The instrument display is crisp, but Kia likes placing buttons in uniform rows, which doesn’t seem very intuitive. The climate controls baffled me throughout our journey.

Another peeve is the fixed console between the front seats. In the old days, the space was unobstructed, which allowed easy passage to the rear seats where mom could mete out justice with severe prejudice. Newer vans offer flexible consoles and trays that can be removed as required.

Not so the Sedona. Its console is permanently fixed, although it makes a nice home for the gear selector and useful cubbies. And the console can cool drinks, too.

South of Pittsburgh the topography gets lumpy as the road rises to meet the weatherworn Appalachians of West Virginia. Surprisingly the speed limit rises too, allowing us to legally breach the slopes at 70 mph (112 km/h).

The Sedona is up for the challenge with its direct-injected 3.3-L DOHC V6, a smallish motor that puts out a robust 276 hp and 248 lb.-ft. of torque. It works through a conventional six-speed automatic transmission that provides silky gear changes. The engine is scarcely turning 2100 rpm at 120 km/h, which adds to the serenity.

The loping motor makes for decent fuel economy on the highway, averaging 10.2 L/100 km (28 mpg) during our trip at supra-legal speeds. City driving proves less frugal; expect around 14.5 L/100 km (20 mpg). In comparison, an Odyssey we drove previously along the same route averaged 31 mpg, thanks in part to its cylinder deactivation system.

We divide our Florida d