The cozy world of minivans got a bit more competitive Monday, as Kia officially debuted its all-new Sedona.
The 2015 people-mover is new from the ground up and replaces an outdated and slow-selling Sedona that's been around since 2006.
“Throughout the development process, our engineers in the U.S. and Korea focused on adding the element of desire to the all-new Sedona," said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning for Kia.
Although "desire" is not typically a word associated with the minivan set, the Korean automaker designed the new Sedona with an emphasis on driving dynamics, style and features, the company said.
The 2015 model will come with a direct-injected 3.3-liter V-6 plucked from the Cadenza full-size sedan and Sorento SUV. In minivan duty, it puts out 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission will be standard.
This new Sedona is also a complete transformation of the model's style. Under the direction of Peter Schreyer -- who has been reinventing Kia's look since 2009 -- the 2015 minivan features a bold look that was modeled after today's crossovers.
The wheelbase grows 1.6 inches, while the front and rear overhangs have been reduced. This gives the Sedona better handling and a more sporty, nimble look.
The added size translates into more legroom for passengers in the front, middle and rear seats. Seating for eight is standard, while the middle row can be optioned with individual captains chairs that can recline and feature a built-in leg rest. The middle row can even be heated.
High-strength steel in the chassis keeps it responsive and safe, and Kia said it expects the Sedona to be the quietest in the segment. That's a tough group of peers that includes the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Dodge Grand Caravan, and Chrysler Town and Country.
Kia is hoping the new Sedona can steal some of those competitors' thunder. The minivan segment is a popular one, with each of Sedona's four main rivals pulling in at least 120,000 sales in 2013. The outgoing Sedona sold only 7,000 in the same period.
The Sedona will go on sale at the end of the summer. Pricing hasn't been announced but will likely be in line with the rest of the minivan world, which ranges from about $21,000 to $45,000.