2007 Kia Sedona


2006 Kia Sedona

This 2006 review is representative of model years 2006 to 2012.
By Dan Jedlicka of MSN Autos
Rating: 7

Bottom Line:

Nicely redone minivan moves Kia up in the world.
  • Larger
  • More powerful
  • Well equipped
  • Some soft interior rattles
  • Highway wind noise
  • Resale value trails rivals

The second-generation Kia Sedona minivan is arguably the best vehicle this South Korean automaker has ever offered in America.

No vehicle from Hyundai-owned Kia is sexy—at least not yet. But Nissan found that a sexy minivan, such as its Quest, doesn't necessarily grab additional buyers—and causes some to back away. Hence, the 2007 Quest has been toned down.

Lots of Equipment
The redesigned 2006 Sedona offers the same slick, rather innocuous, styling of most conventional minivans, while piling on standard equipment—as only South Korean automakers seem willing to do with relatively low-cost vehicles.

The Sedona thus is good enough to compete with highly regarded Chrysler, Honda and Toyota minivans.

The first-generation Sedona was sold from 2002 through 2005 and drew approximately 50,0000 to 60,000 buyers annually. It was overweight and underpowered, but had bargain prices, high equipment levels and Kia's generous warranty, which includes powertrain coverage for 100,000 miles.

Moving Fast
Kia moves fast, since it has come up with a competitive minivan the second time around. Toyota took four swings at the minivan market before offering its first really successful model, the Sienna.

The front-wheel-drive Sedona has a single body length and is nearly 8 inches longer overall with a wheelbase (distance between axles) stretched more than 3 inches for more room and a better ride. It's dimensionally close to the highly regarded Sienna, Dodge Grand Caravan and Honda Odyssey.

Price Advantage
The Sedona trumps comparably equipped minivans on price. For instance, the base $22,995 LX has front/rear air conditioning, tri-zone climate control, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, an AM/FM/CD player, intermittent front/rear wipers, and power windows, mirrors and locks with remote entry.

The $25,595 EX trim level adds such items as power front seats, an MP3 player and larger wheels and tires.

New Features
Newly standard are anti-lock disc brakes with a brake assist feature for better panic stops and traction and stability control systems.

New standard safety items include side airbags for front seats and head-protecting curtain airbags that cover all seating rows.

Disappearing Third-Row Seat
Both trim levels have 7-passenger seating with a standard "disappearing" third-row seat that deftly folds into a deep cargo well with the help of triggering straps. The third-seat area is roomy for two tall adults, but that 60/40 split seat isn't very comfortable, being short and flat.

A wide space between the sliding, removable second-row bucket seats makes it easy to enter or leave the third row.

Alluring Luxury Package
There's so much standard stuff that few options exist. They include a $1,200 rear DVD entertainment system to keep the kids occupied, and an alluring $2,400 Luxury package for the EX that has a rear-obstacle detection system, leather upholstery, heated front seats, power-adjustable pedals and a power sunroof.

There's also a $1,000 family-oriented Power package for the EX with power sliding rear doors and a power liftgate.

Impressive Engine
Motivating the Sedona is a smooth, sophisticated 3.8-liter V6 that kicks out 244 horsepower. It replaces a 3.5-liter 196-horsepower V6 that often had Sedona drivers wishing for more power and torque.

While no featherweight at 4,387 pounds, the new Sedona nevertheless is an impressive 400 pounds lighter than its predecessor, thanks to such components as an aluminum engine and a lighter new transmission.

The V6 feeds power though a slick, responsive 5-speed automatic transmission, which has a manual shift feature.

Decent Fuel Economy
Fuel economy is decent for a big, roomy, powerful minivan, at an estimated 17 mpg in the city and 25 on highways. The best acceleration is achieved with premium gasoline, but regular-grade gas can be used without harm—although look for performance to fall off a bit without premium fuel.

With premium gasoline, the Sedona does the 0-60 mph dash in only 7.5 seconds and provides good merging and 65-75 mph passing. This is an easy highway cruiser, as any good minivan should be, with its engine loafing at 1900 rpm at 65 mph.

Wind Noise
However, switch off the sound system and occupants will notice moderate wind noise at highway speeds. Also, while solidly built, the Sedona has a few soft interior rattles when driven on bumpy roads.

This minivan can be called car-like, but only if you're talking about a so-so car. For instance, steering is quick but rather numb. Handling is average, and there's noticeable body lean in curves taken quickly, although the Sedona doesn't feel insecure or prone to tipping.

The suspension shrugs off most imperfect pavement, and the brake pedal has a progressive action. Stopping distances are reassuringly short when the brakes are applied hard.

Easy Entry
Entry is easy, thanks to oversized door handles and a low floor. Those in front sit in supportive seats and peer through a huge windshield. Gauges can be read quickly, and the shifter juts from the center of the dashboard stack, which contains easily used audio and large climate system controls.

Storage pockets and bottle holders are in front doors, and even the third-row area has cupholders and a bottle holder. Dual front cupholders are easily reached on the console, which also contains cleverly designed sliding cupholders for second-row occupants, who have good legroom.

Cargo can be easily tossed through the low, wide liftgate opening. The power liftgate moves slowly and isn't hard to manually open or close more quickly. However, its power feature would be handy if one had arms full of grocery bags.

Large Cargo Area
The cargo area is decently sized even with the split-folding third seat upright, thanks to a deep cargo well into which that seat folds when more cargo room is needed. Folding away the third seat and removing the second-row seats provides an enormous cargo area, although the second-row seats are heavy.

Kia doesn't present us with a 1970s-style hood prop rod. Instead, the hood glides up on a gas strut, and most fluid filler areas are conveniently located at the front of the engine compartment.

Kia predicts it can annually sell 60,000 Sedonas here. It likely can sell more, if it sends enough of them to dealers. But the Sedona must confront established American and Japanese minivans, which have higher resale values. And most minivan buyers are a practical lot who think about things like that.


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BB01 - 9/16/2014 11:11:29 PM