2006 Kia Sedona
This 2006 review is representative of model years 2006 to 2012.
By Dan Jedlicka of MSN Autos
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 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.
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.
The $25,595 EX trim level adds such items as power front seats, an MP3 player and larger wheels and tires.
New standard safety items include side airbags for front seats and head-protecting curtain airbags that cover all seating rows.
Disappearing Third-Row Seat
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 also a $1,000 family-oriented Power package for the EX with power sliding rear doors and a power liftgate.
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
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.
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.
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
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.