2015 Kia Sedona Takes the Crown In Cars.com Ultimate Minivan Contest

2015 Kia Sedona
2015 Kia Sedona – Cars.com’s Ultimate Minivan Contest Winner!

They may be called sports utility vehicles but, as Cars.com suggests, minivans are really the most utilitarian vehicles. “No other vehicle uses space quite so well,” they say, and it’s hard not to agree.

With that in mind, the automotive product research firm went about determining which minivan released in 2015 was the “Ultimate Minivan.” The candidates were the 2015 Chrysler Town & Country, 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan, 2015 Honda Odyssey, 2015 Kia Sedona, and 2015 Toyota Sienna.

A few editors from Cars.com, a producer for PBS’ MotorWeek, and a regular American family all tested the minivans. The tests included a long drive in and around the city of Milwaukee as well as a test that saw the judges driving each minivan on the exact same pavement back-to-back.

In light of the scoring criteria—which took into account the judges’ experience, safety scores, and fuel economy—the 2015 Kia Sedona emerged as the victor of the Cars.com Ultimate Minivan challenge.

Where the Sedona particularly stood out was performance and interior. In the Acceleration and Braking category, the Sedona scored significantly higher than its competitors. One judge noted a lack of engine and wind noise while another remarked that the “steering feels great.”

The best part of the Kia Sedona? We agree with Cars.com: “You will almost look cool driving this minivan.”

What Is Hypermiling?

gasolineEvery vehicle that hits the market comes with EPA-estimated fuel economy numbers. Most people will expect to meet—or at least come close to—these estimates. And yet for others, they accept these numbers only as a challenge to be bested. These people are hypermilers.

What is hypermiling? According to CleanMpg.com, it is “a variety of techniques to improve a vehicle’s fuel economy.” These techniques include:

No Idle

EPA tests include idling. Therefore, if you can avoid idling, this will help you beat the estimates. CleanMpg suggests turning off your engine if you are going to be motionless for more than 7 seconds.

Take It Easy, Man

Basically, if you want to save fuel and make the EPA look like a bunch of fools, drive like your grandmother. Avoid quick acceleration and heavy braking.

Slow Down

Try to avoid driving at high speeds, usually above 60 mph. High speeds introduce aerodynamic drag and mechanical friction.

Stay Warm

Stay away from mechanical and electrical accessories. Air conditioning is for your comfort but not for your fuel economy. Running the AC on max can reduce mileage by 5-30%. The same goes for your car’s heater.

It’s All a Game

A lot of people who get into hypermiling see it as a fun game. As long as you keep it safe, you can’t really lose.