My first time was memorable simply because it was just that: My first time. It wasn't exactly filled with magical moments, and, quite frankly, it lacked the frills and finesse I was hoping for, but it will always hold a special place in my heart. Yup, I'll never forget the first time I drove a minivan - specifically, a Kia Sedona.
It's true. Until two weeks ago, I was a minivan virgin. Perhaps, as with other notable firsts, my expectations were too high. What was I expecting? Polka dots and moonbeams to swirl around my head? The earth and sun to move? I don't know, but the bottom line is, while the Kia Sedona has a lot to offer for such an affordable car, I'd like to find a minivan with more frills.
At the beginning, the Sedona lured me with its cute looks. It seemed more stylish and better-looking than other minivans. I decided I liked it, giving no thought to how we'd relate to each other beyond the superficial. Once we got to know each other a little better, though, it turned out there were a few things that just didn't work for me.
First of all, this baby was kind of hard to steer. It often felt as if it just didn't know how to move the parts it came equipped with. It was also very loud in there, as if the Sedona had no insulation from the outside world. The sliding doors in the base model I drove were heavy and cumbersome to open and close. (The LX and EX can have power sliding doors, which I would highly recommend.) I also had a hard time folding the third-row seats down when I needed to store bigger things. I had to put those seats down to accommodate my stroller, which was a pain. If I'm driving a minivan, I'd like to not have to struggle for storage space. Plus, the interior materials consisted of an obvious plastic that lacked some luster, if you know what I mean. It had all the necessary components, and they all worked fine, they just didn't do it for me.
All that said, with a starting price around $20,000, I must admit there were some magical elements for such an affordable car - elements I certainly will remember and look for in my next minivan. For starters, there were eight cupholders! Because I often have several beverages going at once - water, coffee, etc. - that made me pretty happy. There was also ample storage space in the front: two glove compartments, a nice center console that held my huge purse/diaper bag with room to spare, and lots of legroom. There was a lot of legroom in the middle row, too, which made it a comfy ride for adult and child passengers alike.
Another bonus about the Sedona's second row is that the windows on the sliding doors roll down - I never knew minivan sliding-door windows could do that! Plus, those sliding doors have pinch protection so the little ones' tiny digits don't get caught. The stereo had a good sound, which is a must given my need to either throw in some kiddie rock to soothe my son or crank up my own music to drown out his cries when my soothing plight has become futile. There are two sets of Latch connectors in the second row that are easy to get to, and a conversation mirror up front allows you to see your whole brood while you drive. You know, looking over that list of goodies, maybe my first time was a little more magical than I initially gave it credit for being.
Truth be told, the Sedona is probably a pretty good car for anyone with a growing family, because we all know that the more kids you have, the more practical your spending habits need to be. At the end of the day, this is a car that works, is super affordable and has ample room for the driving mommy and her daily entourage of goodies and accessories.
As for me, maybe it didn't work out between the Sedona and I because I just want to explore my other options in minivans. I'm sure the Sedona could work out a nice relationship with someone else. I guess what I'm trying to say, Kia Sedona, is it's not you, it's me.
*For more information on the Kia Sedona and its safety features, visit Cars.com. With questions or comments regarding this review, write to email@example.com.
LET'S TALK NUMBERS
Latch Connectors: 2
Seating Capacity (includes driver): 7
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair - Ample
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair - Ample
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Fair - Great
Fun Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove On): Good Times
2007 Kia Sedona
Base price: $20,695
Price as tested: $21,645
Engine: 250-hp, 3.8-liter V-6
Fuel: 18/25 mpg
Ground Clearance: 6.6"
Turning Radius: 19.1'
Cargo space: 12.9/61.8/121.3 cu. ft.
NHTSA Crash-Test Ratings
Driver's side: 5 Stars
Passenger's side: 5 Stars
Front occupant: 5 Stars
Rear occupant: 5 Stars
Rollover resistance: 4 Stars