What's New for 2002
Kia joins the minivan rumble with the introduction of the Sedona, the lowest-priced minivan in America. Standard on the Sedona are such niceties as air conditioning, power windows, cruise control and auto on/off headlights. Upscale EX models get a CD player, interior wood trim and power front seats. All Sedonas benefit from Kia's impressive Long Haul Warranty with drivetrain protection for 10 years or 100,000 miles.
Anyone with kids knows that, like 'em or not, minivans rule when it comes to versatility and convenience. The minivan's status as the ultimate family-hauler has made this segment one of the most hotly contested markets in the industry. However, outfitting your ride with a few options raises its premium, forcing you to decide whether your family gets a new car or new shoes for the year.
Enter the all-new Kia Sedona. With a base price of just $18,995 for the standard LX model and $20,995 for the more upscale EX, Kia's first minivan will be the lowest priced van in America. Even loaded up with every available option, the Sedona tops out at just $24,100.
The Sedona is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that delivers 195 horsepower through a five-speed automatic transmission, the first for a minivan. Although slow compared to some of its competitors, its smooth, quiet power delivery should suffice for those whose commutes mostly involve traveling through a school zone.
Inside, the Sedona's standard features include front and rear air conditioning, power windows and door locks, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, a six-speaker AM/FM/cassette stereo and auto on/off headlights. There's seating for seven on both trim levels, with the base LX getting a second-row bench seat, while the EX gets individual captain's chairs. All second- and third-row seats in the Sedona can be adjusted fore and aft, reclined or completely removed for a total of 127 cubic feet of cargo space. Unfortunately, this seat does not fold into the floor like in the Odyssey and MPV. EX models feature an eight-way power adjustable driver seat with power lumbar support and a four-way adjustable power passenger seat.
Exterior upgrades on EX models include body-color mirrors and door handles, fog lamps, bright aluminum wheels and a body-colored roof rack. Inside, the Sedona EX comes standard with wood-grain interior trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an overhead console with trip computer, keyless entry, a six speaker AM/FM/cassette/CD stereo, power rear quarter-windows and tilt adjustable front-row headrests.
The Sedona's extensive standard feature list results in few available options. ABS brakes are an option on all Sedonas. LX models can be upgraded with the CD stereo and body-color roof rack, which come standard on the EX, as well as a rear spoiler. EX buyers can choose to add full leather upholstery, a sunroof, two-tone interior trim, the HomeLink garage door opening system and a rear spoiler.
Kia's cost-cutting measures are apparent in absent features like side airbags and traction control. Another missing element is a disappearing third-row seat. Also absent are power-sliding doors, although the Sedona's manual doors are extremely light and easy to open and close.
Of course, vans that come with the above-mentioned features also carry price tags that can easily top $30,000. And few can claim excellent crash test scores like the Sedona's -- it has earned a five-star rating in all five NHTSA categories and did so without side airbags or stability control. Nor can any of these competing vans match Kia's Long Haul Warranty that provides 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain protection, a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance program. Sure, there are more powerful, better-equipped minivans out there, but you won't find a less expensive, more crash-worthy one.