What's New for 2007
A fully redesigned Sedona was introduced last year, and for 2007 a short-wheelbase model is available. It doesn't come with as many features as the regular model but it's less expensive, a little more maneuverable and just as powerful. The only other update for '07 is a slight increase in power to 250 horsepower.
Like a fine wine, the Kia Sedona minivan has improved with age and we are enjoying our second glass. Fifteen years ago, no one could have imagined the fledgling Korean automaker would be building affordable and fun-to-drive vehicles able to compete with the offerings from Toyota and Honda. But Kia has worked hard to improve its product quality while continuing to undercut the pricing of the top import brands—a strategy that has paid off with record sales. The 2007 Kia Sedona is a great example of just how far the company has come in just the last six years.
The previous-generation Sedona minivan lost points with us for its mediocre acceleration, sloppy handling, dismal fuel economy and porky curb weight. Fit and finish and overall quality were only so-so. The second-generation van, introduced last year, went under the knife and came out a swan. Wheelbase length was extended 8 inches and curb weight was reduced by approximately 400 pounds thanks to a switch to an all-aluminum V6 engine, a lighter transmission and an independent multilink rear suspension.
For 2007, Kia has introduced a new short-wheelbase model. It's 12.6 inches shorter than the regular version and has a slightly tighter turning radius. It's also less expensive, though this has been achieved by cutting some standard and optional features, most notably the fold-flat third-row seat. You still get a third row, but its 50/50 halves must be physically removed from the vehicle when more cargo space is needed. For this reason, smaller families might prefer the more user-friendly Mazda 5. To its credit, the SWB Sedona still comes standard with important safety features like stability control and side curtain airbags.
Overall, we're quite impressed with the 2007 Kia Sedona, particularly the long-wheelbase model. It doesn't quite have the polish or refined road manners as our favorite van in this segment, the Honda Odyssey, nor can it match the Toyota Sienna in terms of features. But factor in its significant price and warranty advantages and you're looking at one very compelling minivan.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Kia Sedona minivan comes in two sizes -- a short-wheelbase (SWB) model with a 114-inch wheelbase and a long-wheelbase (LWB) model with a 119-inch wheelbase. Both vans seat seven, but only the LWB van has a fold-flat third-row seat. The SWB model comes in a base trim level only, while the LWB Sedona comes in LX and EX trim levels.
The base Sedona comes with 16-inch steel wheels, dual manual-sliding rear doors, privacy glass, second-row captain's chairs, a 50/50-split removable third-row bench, tri-zone air-conditioning (with separate zones for the driver, front passenger and rear seaters), keyless entry, an eight-speaker CD stereo, cruise control and power first- and second-row windows. The larger Sedona LX is equipped basically the same but swaps in a 60/40-split fold-flat third-row seat. The Sedona EX adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack with crossbars, foglights, power front seats, an upgraded MP3-capable CD player, power rear-quarter windows and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
Factory options for the LX include dual power-sliding doors (also offered on the SWB Sedona) and a rear DVD entertainment system. Going with the EX also grants the availability of a sunroof, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, heated seats, adjustable pedals, automatic climate control, a 7.1 surround-sound Infinity audio system with 13 speakers, and a trailer hitch.
Powertrains and Performance
All Kia Sedonas are front-wheel-drive and equipped with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that puts out 250 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard. Fuel economy is rated at 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway. We've timed the LWB Sedona at 9.3 seconds for 0-60-mph acceleration, which makes it one of the quickest minivans on the market.
Standard safety equipment on the 2007 Kia Sedona includes front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front active headrests, antilock brakes with brake assist, traction and stability control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Rear backup sensors and adjustable pedals are optional only on the Sedona EX. The Kia Sedona received a top five-star rating in all NHTSA frontal- and side-impact crash tests. It also fared well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests, earning the top score of "Good" in the Institute's frontal offset and side-impact tests.
Interior Design and Special Features
Inside, the Kia's minivan is more functional than stylish, even in loaded EX guise. Most materials are solid in quality, but various plastics and switchgear still fall short of what you'll find in the top competing vans. And all the places where you're likely to rest an arm are softly padded. Ergonomics are a mix. The tri-zone climate controls are tricky to use while driving (particularly the manual setup), while the audio controls couldn't be simpler. All Sedonas offer plenty of storage, and seating is comfortable in all three rows, though larger families will want the extra legroom of the long-wheelbase model. The LWB Sedona also comes standard with a 60/40-split fold-into-the-floor third-row seat, which makes it a lot easier to switch between hauling kids and cargo. The second-row seats in all vans can be flipped forward or removed. Primed for cargo, the LWB Sedona maxes out at 141.5 cubic feet, still a little shy of Grand Caravan, Sienna and Odyssey. The short-wheelbase van offers a total of 121 cubic feet.
The 2007 Kia Sedona is impressively quick off the line and during highway passing maneuvers, and it provides a smooth, quiet ride. Even at high speeds, front and rear passengers can maintain a normal conversation without having to yell. Ride quality is comfortable and controlled, but handling isn't athletic. Compared to the Odyssey, there's more body roll and the steering isn't as precise. But as utilitarian vehicles go, the Kia is still quite competent and should be on your short list if you're shopping for a minivan.