Austin To Boston And Back Again.
This summer, my children and I embarked on a 20-state road trip to the East Coast and back. We called it our #Austin2Boston Road Trip and it took us over 5 weeks to travel 2400 miles from home (Austin) to our halfway point (Boston) and back. It was the trip of a lifetime for me and my kids, as we hit up as many historical spots as possible and we bonded as a family like never before.
But what made our trip much more relaxed and easy to do? Traveling in comfort in the 2015 Kia Sedona.
Yes, the Kia Sedona is a minivan, but not your ordinary minivan – this one has a sleek design and so many features, it’s unlike the soccer mom minivan most of us have in mind. In fact, I was so impressed with how much the Kia Sedona had to offer, it could actually change this post-minivan mom’s mind about purchasing another one. You see, I put my time in and drove a minivan for over 6 years and when I finally traded it in for a new car, I said “never again!” Until I spent 39 days in the Kia Sedona.
Trying to detach itself from the minivan label, Kia is calling the Sedona a multipurpose vehicle (MVP). With it’s sleek SUV-ish design, I received many questions while traveling asking me what kind of a car it was. One young man told me I was joking when I said it was a minivan!
We traveled in a vehicle with the SXL Technology package which included the the UVO infotainment and telematics system with voice-recognition technology, Forward Collision Warning System, and Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) as well as other features that really made road-tripping that much easier.
Room & comfort
The Kia Sedona had an incredible amount of space to stretch out in. With 2 teens and a child, we needed leg room, especially if we were to be in the car for long stretches. With 3 rows of seats, the Sedona can seat 7 comfortably, but for our needs, we folded the back row seats down into the floor of the car. We pushed the second row seats all the way back and still had plenty of space to pack our suitcases and cooler. My second-row travelers especially loved to lean their seats back and flip up their footrest, what Kia calls their “First Class Lounge Seating.”
Smart cruise control
Cruise Control is a must for my road trips. Not only does it allow me to drive in comfort, but it keeps me driving at a regular speed, which is great for gas mileage. On this trip, we enjoyed the technology of Kia’s Smart Cruise Control, a radar-based system that manually slows down and speeds up your set cruising speed while maintaining a safe distance from the car in front. It’s a terrific system but it take a little bit to get used to, as the car almost feels as it it’s driving itself.
Advanced safety features
Another great feature that I came to rely on in the Kia Sedona were the many advanced safety systems that kept my family out of harm’s way. In fact, I became so reliant on many of these features that when I returned home to my vehicle, I discovered how much I really missed them. Some of these features included:
• Surround View Monitor – Real-time images from four cameras displayed on the monitor provide a virtual ‘bird’s eye’ view of the vehicle.
• Rear Camera Display – relays a live image of what’s behind the Sedona.
• Blind Spot Detection System – A camera-based detection system that sends a visual or auditory signal on the monitor.
• Forward Collision Warning System – A radar system that detects a potential collision with the car in front of you with audible warnings and visual signals.
• Lane Departure Warning System – A camera-based system that monitors the position of your vehicle within its lane and helps warn you if it deviates, or is about to deviate, from the lane. LDWS also helps warn you of a lane departure when your vehicle is traveling above a certain speed and the vehicle’s turn signal is not activated.
Kia’s voice-activated media controller does more than just make hands-free phone calls and change the music. Don’t get me wrong, I love a car that interacts with my phone over Bluetooth, but when you are driving down the road with 3 kids in the back and you need to find the nearest restroom, UVO was a lifesaver. Using Google Maps, we were able to daily navigate to each destination along our trip. I became so dependent on the system that I didn’t leave a parking spot until I had our next stop plugged in. This voce-command navigation was the only way I was able to find my way in the major cities along the East Coast.
Download the UVO app to your smart phone and receive diagnostic tests, find where you are parked, and even connect to 911. Most new vehicles come with advanced technology that is not only a nice feature but a necessary one.
Smart key features
As the only adult on this road trip, I was lugging a great deal in and out of hotels. Another feature that I came to rely on was the Smart Power Liftgate. With my arms full, I could walk up to the back of the Sedona and when it recognized the key in my pocket, the lift gate automatically opened. The Smart Key also includes a remote keyless entry and push button start.
The Kia Sedona was a fantastic option for our road trip. We were comfortable, received terrific gas milage, and most importantly, we were safe. In fact, after spending 5 weeks in the Sedona, it has completely changed my opinion of owning another minivan. With the advanced features that benefit the entire family, I can see owning a Sedona way beyond the “minivan” years.
WHAT WE LOVED:
• Comfortable ride for each passenger
• Infinity Surround Sound audio system
• Steering wheel mounted controls
• USB/Auxiliary Input Jack, USB 2.1 Charger Ports, and 12-Volt Power Outlets
• Full length side curtain airbags for all 3 rows
• UVO infotainment system with voice command navigation
• Smart Cruise Control
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
• Base price $39,700 and up to $43,295 for SXL Model
• Gas mileage 17 (city) and 22 (highway), 19 (combined); we averaged 21 on our trip
• 10 year/ 100,000 mile Limited Powertrain Warranty
• 5 year/60,000 Mile Limited Basic Warranty
• 5 year/60,000 Mile Roadside Assistance