Launched in 2002, Kia's Sedona is equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 that works with a five-speed-automatic transmission. The 2004 Sedona got an interior and exterior freshening. Second-row captain's chairs are available in the LX model for 2005, and the size of the rear drum brakes has increased.
Kia promotes the front-wheel-drive Sedona's price and value. Its warranty covers the powertrain for 10 years or 100,000 miles. A redesigned Sedona appeared at the 2005 Chicago Auto Show; it will go on sale later in the year as a 2006 model.
The Sedona's styling breaks no new ground, so it's similar to the competition. Its sleek appearance features a long sloping hood that leads into a grille that has a horizontal-bar design and multireflector headlights. Dual sliding side doors are standard. The higher-end EX model adds a body-colored roof rack, fog lights, alloy wheels and additional chrome trim.
Sedonas can seat up to seven occupants. Depending on the model, the second row has standard bucket seats or a two-place bench seat. A three-person removable bench seat is installed in the third row. The Sedona has 10 cupholders.
Standard LX equipment includes front and rear air conditioning, twin glove boxes, a CD stereo, power windows and locks, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, an intermittent rear wiper and washer, and rear privacy glass. The EX model adds heated mirrors, power rear-quarter windows, lighted vanity mirrors, keyless entry and a cassette/CD stereo. Only a handful of options, including a DVD-based entertainment system, moonroof and leather upholstery, are offered.
Under the Hood
The Sedona's 3.5-liter V-6 develops 195 horsepower. The V-6 runs on regular gasoline and drives a five-speed-automatic transmission.
Antilock brakes are optional, but side-impact airbags are not available. Child-safety seat anchors are installed in the second row.
Taken as a whole, the Sedona ranks as top-notch even if it doesn't stand out from the minivan pack in any specific category. The Sedona is comfortable, smooth-riding, refined and energetic — it scores high in each important minivan attribute. Take its modest sticker price into consideration, and Kia clearly has another high-value model.
The Sedona accelerates in a hurry. Even when trudging up long grades, the V-6 pulls the minivan along effortlessly. The transmission responds smoothly, with only moderate delay when a downshift is necessary. The Sedona is exceptionally quiet, and it handles predictably. Not only is the steering pleasantly precise, but the Sedona is also easy to drive.
Most of the minivan's seats are comfortable and spacious, but the second-row seats are a bit hard. Getting into the driver's seat isn't as easy as it is in some minivans. The Sedona's EPA-estimated gas mileage trails the competition. Otherwise, quibbles are few for Kia's appealing, if unexceptional, minivan.
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