irst introduced in 1998 as the KIA Carnival, KIA’s large MPV offering – now known as the Grand Sedona in South Africa – has been completely reinvented for its third iteration and is set to take customers to a place where superior design and smart features combine with a deep understanding of practical needs.
The first generation KIA Carnival debuted in 1998 and was on sale in most global markets until 2006, when the significantly improved second-generation model was released. In some markets, including South Africa, the Carnival nameplate was dropped in favour of Sedona, with the model available in long- and short-wheelbase configurations. The model received an obligatory mid-life enhancement in 2011 to incorporate KIA’s new ‘tiger nose’ grille, and was on sale until late 2014, when the all-new third-generation model made its debut.
“We are very excited about the all-new Grand Sedona, not only because it is the final model in the KIA line-up to receive the Peter Schreyer design treatment, but also because it enters the South African market as a true family vehicle,” says David Sief, KIA South Africa Marketing Director. “With it’s unique combination of cutting edge design, high specification levels throughout the model line-up and competitive pricing, it has no competition when it comes to quality, space and luxury.”
Style that turns heads anywhere
Completely redesigned for 2015 and built on an all-new chassis, the Grand Sedona introduces a wider-looking stance, a clean profile with crossover utility vehicle style, and KIA’s typically bold ‘face’. The new model was designed to offer a modern interpretation of the practical and versatile MPV, with a look that combines the on-road presence of a large crossover with the luxury of a sedan. The new Grand Sedona’s exterior styling was led by KIA’s Korean design centre in Namyang, South Korea.
The front of the new Grand Sedona incorporates a wide, upright ‘tiger-nose’ grille, with wrap-around headlamps and prominent, framed fog lamps that gives the car a more modern, imposing appearance than its predecessor.
In profile, the new model’s more upright grille is accompanied by a smoother, more swept-back silhouette than the second-generation model, with a long bonnet and a wrapround glass area which rises gently to the rear before narrowing after the C-pillar. The car’s sportier, horizontal shape is aided by a strong crease that runs along the length of the car, more sculpted surfaces, and a small rear spoiler, ensuring the car conveys a more dynamic appearance than its predecessor.
The rear of the Grand Sedona further emphasizes the car’s solid appearance – with wide rear lamps, broad metal surfaces and a glass-area shaped to give the car more prominent ‘shoulders’.
The Grand Sedona’s sleeker profile is achieved with a longer wheelbase (+40 mm to 3 060 mm) from its new chassis and lowering the overall height of the vehicle (-20 mm to 1 740 mm), introducing a higher degree of refinement and sophistication. The car is the same width as the outgoing model (1 985 mm), but is shorter (-15 mm to 5 115 mm for seven seat models).
A space for ultimate relaxation
The interior of the new Grand Sedona is an entirely new design, with a sophisticated, luxurious cabin made up of higher quality materials and premium features and technology. Styled by KIA’s North American design studio in Irvine, California, it takes ergonomic cues from luxury sedans, with a wide, wrap-around dashboard angled slightly towards the driver.
The dashboard offers a feeling of spaciousness in the cabin, with an emphasis on wide, horizontal forms to provide a modern look, echoed in the shape of the instrument cluster, fascia and highlights that run across the full length of the dashboard.
Designers cite first class air travel as a key influence behind the design and layout of the cabin, with elegant individual seats for front and second row passengers and overhead consoles and air conditioning vents to ensure maximum utility and comfort for all.
The two-tone interior features a higher proportion of soft-touch materials and extends from the dashboard into the door trims, creating a premium ambience and consistent design throughout the cabin. South African models are finished in a Light Gray & Black two-tone colour schemes, with cloth or leather trim depending on specification level.
Introducing a new definition of space
Despite the Grand Sedona’s slightly reduced height and length, the new model benefits from greater interior capacity than the outgoing vehicle, with a longer wheelbase and a range of intelligently-designed features to ensure a more efficient and flexible use of space for all occupants. The Grand Sedona majors on practicality and versatility, with customers able to choose from numerous seating arrangements thanks to the vehicle being offered with 7 and 11-seat configurations.
Thanks to its impressive interior style, comfort, and overall execution, the all-new KIA Grand Sedona was included on the influential Ward’s 10 Best Interiors list earlier this year. Additionally, the Grand Sedona most recently received the J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) award in the Minivan, or Large MPV, segment. This individual model accolade follows on the heels of KIA’s ascension in the 2015 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS), in which the brand placed second among all brands and received the highest score among non-luxury nameplates.
High specification models feature a 12-way power-assisted driver’s seat that was engineered with a number of features to improve comfort, including four-way lumbar support, while the front passenger seat benefits from eight-way power adjustment. First row seats offer heating and ventilation, while the two main second row seats also offer a heating function. A 60:40-split folding third row of seats, with the ability to fold completely flat to provide a large cargo area, completes the interior package.
The 7-seat versions feature KIA’s innovative ‘Stand-up’ seats in the second row, which allows the base cushion to fold forward and the rest of the seat to slide forward and ‘stand up straight’, allowing easier access to the third row in the back.
The 11-seat configuration features two independent front seats, then three rows of three seats behind. The second and third rows are able to slide fore and aft to allow greater legroom for passengers in the rows behind, while the third row seat backs can also flip forward to allow greater cargo space. Both central seats in these rows also fold forward to provide cupholder storage in the seat backs. The fourth row of seats pops up from the cargo floor, but leaves a flat cargo bay when stored.
Additional storage space in the cabin is particularly generous, with a large storage area under the front armrest to accommodate items as large as a laptop. The front passenger has access to two gloveboxes for added utility, as well as a small document-sized tray built into the center console. Similar compartments can be found further back in the cabin for rear occupants, ensuring every passenger has access to ample storage space for maximum comfort and convenience.
Thanks to the Grand Sedona’s increased wheelbase, passenger space is increased over the outgoing model. In 7-seat variants, legroom is increased for all passengers, while lowered seat cushions counteract the loss in headroom resulting from the 20 mm lower roofline. The shape of the roof – which no longer slopes gently into the tailgate – also ensures that third row occupants enjoy greater headroom than before.
In 7-seat models, the cargo area grows by 77 litres to 960 liters (SAE) behind the third row of seats. This grows to 2 220 litres behind the second row and 4 022 litres when all rear passenger seats are stowed. Despite the lower roofline, the shape of the tailgate also enables a taller load-in height for the cargo bay.
Smarter features to match your fast pace of life
The new Grand Sedona is equipped with a range of advanced on-board technologies designed to improve the car’s capabilities and owner and occupant satisfaction. These include KIA’s Smart Power Tailgate, which automatically opens when the key is ‘sensed’ in close proximity to the trunk, allowing owners to load their shopping bags or heavy objects straight into the vehicle. For added convenience, the Grand Sedona also features two power-sliding rear doors that also open at the touch of a button, either on the driver’s overhead console, or the Smart Key.
A new 7-inch colour TFT LCD screen, with an electro-luminescent instrument cluster, further improves the interior’s modern function and ambiance, while displaying all relevant journey information which the driver can select from the multi-function steering wheel. The standard audio system provides 4.3-inch TFT LCD touchscreen display, also fitted with a rear parking camera, MP3 CD player, multimedia ports for USB and AUX-in connections, and six speakers around the cabin. High specification models feature 8 Infinity speakers throughout the cabin and an external amplifier to provide a more powerful, high quality sound.
Comfort and convenience features
As well as offering an efficient use of space for occupants, the Grand Sedona is equipped with a number of comfort and convenience features.
In the front row, a convex conversation mirror, positioned below the overhead console, allows the driver and front passenger to see what’s happening behind them, while giving the car a more social atmosphere at the same time. Other convenience features, which are model dependent, include a heated steering wheel, a cooled glove compartment, an Auto Defog windscreen, Cruise Control, front and rear parking assistance, tilting and telescopic steering wheel adjustment, a foot parking brake, a dual sunroof and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
Each passenger row can independently set its own air conditioning settings, while built-in sunshades for second and third row seating improve passenger comfort. There are numerous storage spaces throughout the cabin for greater practicality, including a large centre console storage, slide-open tray in the second row, and seat-back pockets. Depending on the number of seats fitted, there are between 8 and 12 cupholders and 4 bottle holders positioned throughout the cabin.
Grand Sedona models equipped with fabric seating is upholstered in anti-pollution upholstery, allowing for liquid spills to be easily wiped away if noticed immediately. This unique upholster also releases stains more easily than traditional seating fabric when scrubbed gently with soap and water – ideal for spillages that many Grand Sedona owners may expect from younger passengers.
New levels of refinement for Grand Sedona occupants
The all-new Grand Sedona features a number of improvements over the outgoing model to enhance noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics for a more refined cabin. The increased torsional rigidity of the new bodyshell (up by 174% compared to the outgoing model) provides an improved foundation for enhanced refinement and improved safety.
Thicker soundproofing material has been added to the wheel arches and around the engine bay, while new under-floor panels better isolate the cabin from road and wind noise. A new floor carpet material further reduces the level of noise inside the cabin, while wind noise is reduced in the new model as a result of repositioned windscreen wipers. As a result of these changes, the cabin of the new Grand Sedona is now 2.5 dB quieter than the outgoing model, and is supremely refined at high speeds and over long distances.
Improved fuel economy and performance from petrol and diesel engines
The all-new KIA Grand Sedona is available with either a 3,3-litre MPI (Multi-Point Injection) V6 petrol engine, or KIA’s much-loved 2,2-litre ‘R’ turbodiesel engine. As with the new KIA Sorento, these engines have been engineered for greater efficiency and performance and, combined with the standard six-speed automatic transmission, ensure smooth application of power for a relaxing drive.
KIA’s powerful ‘Lambda II’ 3,3-litre V6 MPI petrol engine has had a number of upgrades to its components to improve performance and lower emissions, with a new low friction oil seal and chain guide reducing mechanical friction and minimizing energy loss through inertia. A three-stage variable intake system allows greater control of the amount of air entering the combustion chamber, further aiding efficiency. The 3,3-litre MPI engine produces 199 kW of power at 6 400 r/min, and 318 Nm torque at 5 200 r/min.
The Grand Sedona’s 2,2-litre four-cylinder ‘R’ turbodiesel engine uses a nitrogen oxide reduction catalyst to regulate harmful emissions, while a low-speed, high-efficiency turbocharger improves performance and torque output at low-to-mid speeds. The 2,2-litre engine now produces a significant 440 Nm of torque between 1 750 r/min and 2 750 r/min, the engine range most commonly used by owners. NVH is also improved thanks to the addition of new acoustic covers for teh engine block, diesel particulate-filter and drive chain case and a new sprocket rubber coating. The ‘R’ engine produces 147 kW of power.
The Grand Sedona applies power to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Drivers can switch to a sequential manual shift mode for even greater driving control, while the Grand Sedona is equipped with a switchable ‘Active Eco’ drive mode. When activated, this automatically adjusts engine power, reprograms the transmission’s shift points, and limits the power of the heating and ventilation systems to maximise fuel efficiency.
Improved ride comfort and optional high performance dampers
When reworking the suspension for the third-generation Grand Sedona, a key focus for KIA’s chassis engineers was to improve ride comfort for occupants and driving stability. The new model carries over the previous-generation’s MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension. However, the adoption of a hydraulic rebound spring on the front axle and stiffer suspension bars and cross-member bush mountings on the rear enhance ride comfort and stability by improving bump absorption and suspension rebound rates.
Additionally, high-performance dampers for the front axle adapt the damping power depending on road surface, providing class-leading ride comfort and shock absorption on smooth roads and higher damping power for maximum steering and handling control on rougher surfaces. The result is a ride that remains smooth in all circumstances.
Greater passive and active safety
The new Grand Sedona features a stronger structure than the outgoing model, with improved crash safety performance, due in large part to a far greater proportion of ultra-high tensile steel – up from 7% of the bodyshell in the outgoing model to 52% in the all-new Grand Sedona. A stronger core structure increases torsional rigidity by 174%, with the higher tensile strength steel used to reinforce the engine bay, A-, B-, C- and D-pillars, roof, rear subframe and floor. Careful application of the stronger steel, and newly-engineered crash structures throughout the vehicle, effectively lower the bodyshell weight while ensuring greater safety.
The amount of applied structural adhesives has also been increased sixty-fold in the third-generation car, while 830 stronger large-diameter welding points (the previous model employed only general welding points) further improve bodyshell and chassis strength.
Owners have access to a number of ‘active’ safety technologies, including BSD (Blind-Spot Detection) with LCA (Lane Change Assist), which alerts the driver to vehicles approaching from the rear at high speeds in neighboring lanes, and RCTA (Rear Cross-Traffic Alert), which warns against other cars driving behind the Grand Sedona in car parks. ESC (Electronic Stability Control) helps ensure the car remains stable by actively controlling brake pressure at each wheel and engine output, helping the driver to remain safely in control of the car. The Grand Sedona is fitted with up to eight airbags, with driver, front passenger, side and curtain airbags further enhancing occupant safety.
The all-new 2015 KIA Grand Sedona has earned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 5-star overall safety rating in the U.S.A. thanks to its long list of standard safety features and robust body structure. More specifically, the Grand Sedona received a 5-star rating on the NHTSA front-impact, side-impact and pole tests.