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2008 Kia Sedona EX Review


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THE AUTO PAGE
by
JOHN HEILIG

SPECIFICATIONS: 2009 Kia Sedona EX

Model: Kia Sedona EX
Engine: 3.8-liter V6
Horsepower/Torque: 250 hp/253 lb.-ft.
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 118.9 in.
Length x Width x Height: 202.0 x 78.1 x 69.3 in.
Tires: P235/60R17
Cargo volume: 141.5 cu. ft. (max)
Economy: 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway/17.8 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 21.1 gal.
Price: $32,220 (includes $725 inland freight and handling charge and $5,300 in options)

The Bottom Line – Kia obviously benchmarked the best minivans on the market in the design of the Sedona. They equaled or bettered the benchmarks in all cases, creating a mini that has all the virtues of the good ones with few, if any, of the debits of the poorer ones. The Sedona is enormously practical with all the bells and whistles at a reasonable price.

Kia is a company that’s been a pleasant addition to the market. With partner Hyundai, Kia has some inexpensive vehicles available that are excellent competition for the more established brands.

The Sedona minivan (Hyundai sells it as the Entourage) is an excellent example. The Sedona is a vehicle that offers all the surprises and goodies that are available in Chrysler, Toyota and Honda, but at a lower price.

Looking for stow-away seating? The Kia has is for the third row seats. Like the others, when the seats are up there’s a deep well remaining in the van floor that’s incredibly useful for storage. When we had our big van we would have killed for little extra storage spaces like this.

Looking for one of those convex mirrors in the overhead console to check on what the rear passengers (of any age) may be doing? The Sedona has one.

Looking for a power rear hatch and power side doors? The Sedona has these to make opening doors, etc. a bit easier, which can be a godsend when you have a lot to do and little time to do it.

Looking for great power? Well, here the Sedona doesn’t deliver, but the 3.8-liter V6 engine does put out 250 horsepower, which is good enough. The engine offers some noise on hard acceleration, but is otherwise pretty quiet.

Looking for handling that isn’t minivan like? Again, the Sedona is more minivan-like than non-. There’s a hint of lean on tougher corners because of the aspect ratio, but you really shouldn’t be driving a minivan like a sports car anyway. You make the sacrifice in handling for mini utility.

And it is in utility where the Sedona shines. Even with the three seats up, there’s van storage behind the third row, especially with the deep well in the floor. Second row legroom is excellent and third row legroom is also excellent. We drove the long wheelbase EX model, but the shorter version is just five inches shorter in wheelbase, leading me to believe that third row legroom would also be good in that model. The extra length is noticed primarily in the rear storage area.

First and second row captain’s chairs have arm rests. Both rows of seats are power adjustable to reach the ideal level of comfort. There’s a center tray between the two front seats that folds easily to provide access to the rear. In addition, there’s a small tray ahead of the shifter. The requisite cupholders are everywhere, with bottle holders in the front doors.

The Sedona EX has a base price of just $26,195, plus the $725 for inland freight and handling. The big option package ($2,400)is the luxury package, which adds leather seat trim, heated front seats, power adjustable pedals with memory, power tilt sunroof, back-up warning system, steering wheel audio controls and tri-zone heating and cooling.

The Premium entertainment package ($1,700) adds a DVD player with 8-inch monitor and Infinity audio sound system.

The power package ($1,000) adds power sliding doors and lift gate, and another $200 gets you cross bars on the roof rack.

Consumer Guide has made the Sedona and Entourage to their “Recommended” list of 2008 vehicles for the mini’s general overall practicality and excellent value.

2008 The Auto Page Syndicate