NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- My awards for the best upside surprises to the 2014 New York Auto Show are as follows:
Gold Medal: Kia Sedona minivan
When was the last time the best new car design was a minivan? Never. So this is a first. The Kia Sedona was the most beautiful new car introduced at the New York Auto Show, in my opinion. The lines and proportions are just perfect.
It is designed by Peter Schreyer, who was previously at Audi, and responsible for cars such as the iconic Audi TT. Therefore, it is little wonder that if Audi had made a minivan, this is what it would have looked like.
The overall interior space is similar to the competition. There are two differences in the interior that sets the Kia Sedona apart:
1. Second row first-class seats.
Move over, BMW 7 series, Mercedes S class, Audi A8, Cadillac Escalade, Rolls Royce and Bentley: There is a new limo king in town and his name is Kia Sedona. Yes, this otherwise family-friendly minivan can be equipped with a set of second-row first-class seats that would look right at home in a private jet.
2. Instrument panel.
Unlike the competition, Kia Sedona does not have the "open air" feeling, where you can literally walk between the front seats. For example, the other minivans have their gear shifters located on the steering wheel or close thereby.
Not so the Kia Sedona. The driver's seat feels like sitting in any large car. The gear selector is where it is on most cars, and you can't walk between the front seats.
The controls are laid out in a horizontal theme and I find that it looks mostly like it does in a BMW 7 series, Audi A8, or to a lesser extent in some Mercedes models. The controls looked a lot easier to use than in any of those cars, however.