Kia Sedona offers a good value for big families that don’t want to break the budget on a minivan. The Sedona is bigger than a Dodge Caravan and comes loaded with popular features, yet it costs about $4,500 less than other comparably equipped minivans.
Though relatively inexpensive, the Sedona is among the few minivans that have earned the Federal government’s top five-star crash rating for both driver and front-seat passenger in a front impact, and for all front and rear-seat occupants in side-impact tests, an important consideration in a family vehicle.
Sedona drives well, too, with a responsive V6 engine and a five-speed automatic transmission. Its ride and handling are easy and smooth. The main difference is in the quality of the door handles and some of the interior finishes, and that’s not much of a trade-off for $4,500.
For 2004, the Sedona offers an optional DVD entertainment system at both LX and EX trim levels.
Kia Sedona is available in two trim levels, LX ($19,975) and EX ($22,085). Both models are powered by a big 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. They provide seven-passenger seating and come standard with sliding doors on both sides.
LX is equipped well, even without options. Standard equipment includes front and rear air conditioning, six-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo, power mirrors, power front windows, cruise control, an overhead console with storage, electric windshield de-icer, rear window defroster and wiper/washer, sophisticated interior lighting, three 12-volt power outlets, eight-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, tilt steering column, a folding center tray table, even floor mats.
EX adds remote keyless entry, chrome exterior trim, fog lights, woodgrain interior trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a luggage rack, heated mirrors, power rear quarter windows, power seats for driver and passenger, second-row captain’s chairs in place of the standard two-seat bench, a trip computer, alloy wheels, and an eight-speaker AM/FM/CD/cassette stereo.
Options include anti-lock brakes ($595), a roof rack for the LX ($200), and a trailer hitch ($350). A Leather Package ($850) and power tilt-and-slide glass sunroof ($700) are available for the EX. A DVD entertainment system is being added to the options list for 2004.
- Air Conditioning
- Alarm System
- Anti-theft Protection
- Automatic Climate Control
- Automatic Transmission
- CD/Am/Fm Stereo
- Cruise Control
- Floor Mats
- Leather Package
- Leather Seating
- Luggage Compartments
- Power Locks
- Power Seats
- Power Steering
- Power Windows
- Tire Pressure Monitoring
The Kia Sedona is an enjoyable vehicle to drive. Kia tuned its 3.5-liter V6 more for torque than horsepower, and peak torque comes at just 3500 rpm. Torque is that force that propels you away from intersections and up hills. By concentrating more of the power at lower rpm, the Sedona accelerates quickly off the line and offers good response around town. It's a good engine, at least as smooth as the V6 engines found in American minivans.
A five-speed automatic transmission, once a feature found only on expensive luxury cars, enhances the Sedona's responsive performance in all situations. It's also smooth. With five gears to choose from, it is able to keep the engine running at the best speed for all types of situations. Fifth gear is an overdrive for improved fuel economy on the highway.
Sedona rides well. It's smooth over road undulations. It handles well, the steering is tight, and it feels stable at high speeds. The headlamp/foglamp combination throws a decent beam.
Anti-lock brakes (ABS) are optional and help bring the Sedona to an undramatic stop even when pushed to the limit. We recommend ordering ABS because it helps the driver maintain steering control in an emergency braking maneuver: Mash down on the brake pedal hard, do not relax your foot off the pedal when you feel the ABS pulsing, and remember to steer around obstacles.
The Kia Sedona offers an outstanding value when compared with other minivans. As for quality, only time will tell. In the meantime, the Sedona guarantees much lower monthly payments, a responsive V6, an impressive list of features, and one of the best warranties in the business. Now it has DVD entertainment and 10 cup holders.