2006 Kia Sedona Long-Term Road Test


Kia Sedona Weekend

January 16, 2007

I didn't get to drive the Sedona anywhere exotic or far away this past weekend, but the wife and kids and I did spend a fair bit of time in it. The following is a brief rundown of our observations.

Like the 2006 Azera I wrote about last week, our 2006 Kia Sedona has no CD track or preset scan button on the steering wheel. I presume the '06 Hyundai Entourage has the same issue, as they are the same car. No really. I wonder if the 2007 Sedona/Entourage steering control is upgraded as it was in our 2007 Azera?

Unlike the Azera, two of the power points (but not the lighter) are hot all of the time. As a result, I was able to charge my cell phone while this one was shut down in my driveway. And the car battery didn't go dead or perceptibly weaken in the process.

My wife Tracy, as usual, loves the seat heaters. But I for one do not like the roller design. I'd prefer a button that resets to off when the car is shut down. Can you tell I've been victimized by practical jokers before?

Tracy, who is of much smaller stature than I, really like the Sedona's seats compared to the 2004 Odyssey she drives regularly. I like them better too because our Honda's seats seem to have such exaggerated lumbar that the upper half of my body doesn't touch anything.

Tracy liked the low windshield and hoodline, saying it gave her a better parking lot view.

She was quite critical of the slurred shifting of the transmission, which at times gives a passable impersonation of a CVT. It's my biggest beef with this van too, as trying to accelerate through gaps or execute passing maneuvers, even moderately, produces a 2 or 3 mississippi delay. Its sort of like the shutter delay found on early digital cameras, which were kinda OK when taking a still-life pictures (cruising) but annoying for action shots (acceleration.) Other than that, the engine is making decent power and would probably produce acceleration comparable to our stout 2004 Odyssey if only the shifts were as decisive.

Finally, my Tahoe Christmas trip blogs invited a bit of controversy about the relative cargo carrying merits of a minivan compared to such a full-sized SUV. In the future, I'd like to make a more detailed comparison. But for now, here are a few key dimensions from this Sedona, as measured by me and my trusty tape measure. Assume an error of up to 1/2 inch:

Liftover height, to bumper: 21.5 inches

Liftover height, to hatch opening: 24 inches

Storage depth, rear door to second seat: 54 inches min, 60 max (2nd seats slid forward, but not folded)

Maximum cargo length, hatch closed: 120 inches (on the floor, straight up the middle between the first and second rows)

Inside height at hatch opening: 40 inches

Inside width at hatch opening: 48 inches

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 18,033 miles

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