2006 Kia Sedona Long-Term Road Test


Kia Sedona -- Making Life Easier

January 25, 2007

I've said it before, I'll say it again. I have no beef with the Sedona. I've driven it home the last few days and I think it rocks. I am a purebred sports car/sport sedan owner/lover/driver, down to my soul, but for what it is, the Sedona is a fantastic minivan.

That's part of our job as editors. Not to judge a car based on how it's not a Porsche, but to be in the mindset of someone who actually needs a minivan, or a pickup, or an SUV. What do they want, what do they need?

ANY car, in my view, needs to be easy to use, with the basic controls of starting/stopping, lights, temp, radio, etc. basic, well-designed and totally intuitive and within reach, without your having to consult a manual. Check. Shining stars, plus plenty of storage space and cupholders. And nothing's too complicated. You put a bag on the passenger seat, the passenger airbag's disabled. You stop the car but take your belt off before taking the key out of the ignition, it beeps a couple times, and then stops. Simple. No more than necessary.

But my main concern with all vehicles is visibility, and as I've written before, even some sedans, I feel, spectacularly fail in this regard. I drove the Hyundai Azera this weekend. Loved it, but when I parallel-parked with a low-nose Accord behind me, it was nearly impossible to see the front of the car out of the high rear window. I couldn't tell if I was 5 feet from the Accord or 1 foot. That said, the Sedona is fantastic. Lots of big windows, great visibility all around, easy to move, easy to park.

And I really dig these mirrors. Nice and huge, as they should be with a 16-foot minivan.

When you put it in reverse, they angle down. Like so. Tighter on both sides so you can see what's close to you, and make sure you don't run over the family dog.

This is why I like it, in a nutshell. Nothing you don't need, no extra beeps and bells and complications, and a few extra touches to, dare I say, make your life EASIER. Oh, and I'm loving the acceleration for freeway entrances and lane-changing. Bravo Kia.

Doug Lloyd, Copy Editor, at 18,181 miles

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