2006 Kia Sedona Long-Term Road Test

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2006 Kia Sedona - Wrap-Up

July 25, 2007

Edmunds.com spent 12 months on the road with our 2006 Kia Sedona EX and spun its odometer over 25,000 miles. Our long-term review of the minivan can be boiled down to one word: value.

Why We Bought It
When the Kia Sedona first went on sale it was inexpensive, but as the new kid on the block it was at a distinct disadvantage. The competition was well-seasoned and the upstart Sedona struggled to prove that inexpensive isn't synonymous with cheap.

For 2006 the Sedona was all-new, and Kia's best effort yet. Weight decreased and proportions increased, improving both fuel economy and athleticism. The lackluster acceleration of previous generations had been addressed with a new 3.8-liter V6. Its 244 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque rank the engine at the top of its class.

These additions broadened the appeal of the Sedona and caught our eye. The Kia was not merely the affordable minivan with a 100,000-mile warranty. It now offered improved quality and performance, and also cost significantly less than the class-leading offerings from Honda and Toyota.

The 2006 Sedona is built to a price point, but it's clear that Kia is working to give customers good value for their money. Our premise with this test was to take the low-cost leader, subject it to the rigors of minivan life and see how it holds up.

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Kia Sedona: Can't Cope with the Slope

June 11, 2007

I love, love, love dual power-sliding doors on minivans. With the push of a button on the headliner, door post, or key fob, they make a departure or an arrival an event to behold. They also provide a mini Apocalyse Now fantasy. You know the scene: Flying a Huey through the jungle with Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" blasting through the outboard speakers? Anyway, the 2006 Kia Sedona has those (not the speakers), but more: Power side doors, power-tilt/slide moonroof (natch), and power up-down lift gate, too. Cool eh? I discovered a problem, however.

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2006 Kia Sedona: 25,000-mile service

June 08, 2007

Soon after the odometer turned 25k, the Sedona's tire pressure monitor warned us of a flat right-rear tire. It was just our luck that the screw we picked up punctured the tire where the tread meets the sidewall. We needed to replace the tire altogether.

The Kia dealership closest to our Santa Monica office was 12.5 miles away. That being said, traveling 20 miles to Car Pros Kia in Carson didn't seem too much farther out of our way. We had positive experiences with them in the past, so we scheduled an appointment. We weren't disappointed.

Service on the Sedona consisted of an oil and filter change, tire rotation, fluid top-offs and the usual safety inspections. We were charged $143 for a new Michelin Energy LX4 tire with an additional $20 charge for mounting and balancing. Our total invoice came to $227.34 for the service and tire replacement.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Assistant - 25,152 miles

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2006 Kia Sedona EX: Change in Lifestyle

May 29, 2007

This weekend, our long-term Kia Sedona lived the active single life with me as I drove it to a hip downtown bar to meet up with an old friend visiting from out of town, to a trailhead in the Angeles National Forest for a 9-mile hike, down over to Playa del rey along with my bike so I could cruise down to the Fiesta Hermosa street festival, to Long Beach for the requisite Memorial Day barbecue and then to West Hollywood for a Wii party.

And, surprisingly enough, I didn't feel like its soccer mom persona cramped my style all that much. I liked how it has 242 horsepower so that I could surprise Harley-riding weekend warriors and cruising Porsche pilots and jump onto the freeway at a decent speed without getting in people's way. I liked how the doors opened themselves via the key fob, making loading and unloading bulky cargo stressfree.

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1 Thing I Already Knew About the Kia Sedona

May 20, 2007

Minivans are awesome! Anyone who's not buying one because of image is lame.

In addition to hauling around cousins and a grandparent all weekend, the Sedona also proved useful in another way. My wife and I have been looking for a good patio set but refuse to pay $650 - $1000 for a new one.

Thank goodness for Craigslist.

We picked up a 66x40 in. table and six non-colapsable chairs. The load didn't look pretty but it all fit - no second trip to The Valley for me. Love that Sedona.

I removed the second row seats and while the process is easy, the chairs are quite heavy - too heavy, I'm guessing, for the average Cub Scouts mom to handle on her own. Remember, I said average.

Brian Moody, Road Test Editor @ 24,595 miles.

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2006 Kia Sedona EX - What It's Good For

May 14, 2007

If you don't have a load of Muppets to cart around everyday in a minivan, the Sedona is still a practical choice as it makes a great cargo van with its third row folded flat.

I needed a large vehicle this weekend to pick up a chair and I knew the Sedona would be able to handle the load. Last weekend, I tried to pick up this same chair but I was driving a compact SUV for a road test I am working on and the chair would not fit. The Sedona had room to spare.

It swallowed up my chair with only the third row stowed. If I needed more space, the Sedona offers 142 cu.ft. of cargo capacity with both rows out of the way.

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2006 Kia Sedona: Another Use for Spy Mirror

May 10, 2007

There comes a time in every young car writer's life when he must drive a minivan. At some point, I will have to write about them, so it's good to get acclimated. But I'm about as far away from the typical Sedona buyer as you could get -- a mid-20s male with no kids, no pets, or even hobbies that involve large leisure equipment like Fender bass amps or kayaks. Needless to say, my weekly Tuesday-night cruise through UCLA's Westwood Village to meet attractive young women wasn't as successful as usual. When I tried to show off the Sedona's nifty remote sliding doors to a pair of co-eds, they announced they forgot to make a call and started running toward a public phone with a blue light on top. Seriously, who doesn't have a cell phone nowadays? *

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Kia Sedona EX: Wine Country Trip -- Only a Few Whines

May 08, 2007

A drive from Ventura County to Sonoma County in our long-term Kia Sedona produced only a few whines between vineyard visits. For the most part this van accomplishes the mission of comfortable and capable family transportation. Our EX model has the rear entertainment DVD system with wireless headphones, which means the digital ritalin is always in ready-fire mode for quelling second-row disturbances. The wife, a former 2000 Honda Odyssey owner, was quick to note the Sedona's "floatier" ride and handling, and after four hours both of us noticed a posterior ache from the somewhat squishy seats. After long drives in the aforementioned Odyssey, plus a cross-country jaunt in a 2003 Honda Pilot, we were both somewhat disappointed in the four-hour limit on Sedona seat comfort.

The only other complaint worth noting involved some rather scary brake pedal sensations whenever moderate to severe braking was necessary. Though easily forgotten under most driving conditions, the few times I applied heavy/repeated brake pedal pressure (i.e. coming down a long hill) there was a consistent rumble and vibration that didn't make me happy. We'll have this checked out soon, but otherwise the van proved powerful, relatively fuel efficient (you can get 400 miles on a tank, if you're light on the throttle), and properly equipped. A satellite radio system would have been nice, but the audio system can handle MP3s, so a single CD filled with bad '80s tracks kept me going for the entire 900-mile trip (much to the chagrin of my wife and kids).

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Kia Sedona EX: Side Airbag Sticker Hidden Inside

May 03, 2007

Here's something you don't see everyday. In fact, I've driven this Sedona several times over the past week and just noticed it. It's the side airbag warning sticker, and it tells you all the things you're not supposed to do because of the side airbags. I find myself in a conundrum on this location, because on one hand I hate the obligatory (and unnecessary) airbag warning stickers that litter the average new-car cabin.

On the other hand, putting the sticker in the crevis between the driver's door and the dash hardly seems like an effective way to warn people.

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Minivan Cage Match: Kia vs. Dodge

April 25, 2007

As the resident cyclist on staff I probably use our long-term Sedona's flexible cargo area more than anyone else. I appreciate the way its third-row seats flop into the floor with almost no effort and I often fold its second-row seats forward to make room for bikes. But this weekend I found its cargo area isn't optimal when it comes to carrying a ton of people, bikes and gear.

Renting a minivan to haul three people, three bikes and luggage over the weekend in Tennessee forced me to choose between a Dodge Caravan or the Kia. Naturally, I wanted the Kia -- familiarity is a good thing. But when the fine folks at Enterprise refused to keep one of the Sedona's second-row seats (we needed the space), I went for the Dodge and its Stow-N-Go seats which disappear into the floor with little effort. When both rows are folded flat they look like this:

Without anyplace to leave one of the second-row seats, this is the best the Sedona could offer:

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