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:
If it weren't for the seating arrangement, however, the Dodge has no advantage over the Kia. Its engine and transmission aren't as capable or as flexible. Its ventilation and audio controls lack the Kia's intuitiveness and ease of use and its handling leaves much to be desired. But in the end, its primary function -- carrying a ton of cargo and doing it efficiently -- is better.
Josh Jacquot, Senior road test editor @ 22,234 miles