2006 Kia Sedona Long Term Road Test - Audio & Technology

2006 Kia Sedona Long-Term Road Test

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Kia Sedona: iPod Commute

March 06, 2007

Last night, while slogging though my homeward commute, I was very happy to find a "useable" 12V jack for my iPod FM transmitter/charger....

It's hard enough to locate an empty FM frequency, but I'm annoyed with 12V plugs that are placed in odd places (for my particular use). Inside the center console armrest , in an ashtray, or at the base of the dash don't really help much when trying to flip between podcasts or skip to the next song. With the Sedona's plug location, my iPod was easy to see, and handle safely.

John Adolph, Video Production Specialist @ 20, 665 miles.

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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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Kia Service - In a Steep Dive

November 06, 2006

It's been more than a week since we were told our Sedona's radio needed to be replaced. Still no call from Kia of Long Beach and when we call them we're stuck in a never ending cycle of "press 3 for service." We press 3. It rings and..., right back to the "press 3 for service" menu. At this point, we're not even sure anybody still works there.

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Good Van, Poor Service

October 26, 2006

Why are we still listening to cassette tapes? That's a good question. Unfortunately, the answer reads like a role playing chapter from a customer service handbook titled "What Not To Do."

Hey, don't get me wrong, I think the Married to the Mob soundtrack is excellent, same goes for the Midnight Oil tape I found in my garage but shouldn't the CD changer be fixed by now? Yes, it should - plus, I'm running out of "really good" tapes.

Here's how the trouble has played out. July - we take the van in for diagnosis. We're told we need a new stereo head unit and that one will be ordered. A week later Kia of Long Beach calls and says the part has arrived. Sadly, when we arrive we're told the wrong part was sent. "We'll call you when the right part gets here." Fine. One. two, three weeks go by and no phone call. When we call, we're told our service advisor no longer works there. "Can someone else help me?" we ask. "Sure" straight to voicemail. Call later and still straight to voicemail - this happens four more times the same day.

In frustration we ask to speak to an actual person - "Is the service manager available?" we ask. "Sure," straight to voice mail. We call back "can we talk to a real person?" "Sure, I'll have to put you on hold." 35 min later still no real person. When we do finally speak to a real person we're greeted with apolgies and concern. "I'll call you back once I check to see if the correct part ever arrived." No call. That was two weeks ago.

Last Monday we started from scratch and simply made a new service appointment. Four days out was the soonest they could see us even though the service bays were not full and our Sedona was the only car in the entire service drive at 8:30 AM on a Thursday. Today we picked up the Sedona and got the shocking news that, sure enough, our CD player is broken. "We'll order the part and call you when it arrives." Hmmmm.

To the dealership's credit, the people have always been very nice and it seems like the place is under new ownership as the parts dept is full of boxes that are half unpacked. We're willing to give our neighborhood Kia dealer one last chance. Cross your fingers for good news in the next few weeks.

Brian Moody @ 13,156 miles with fingers crossed.

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Kids and DVD Players, Part 2

October 25, 2006

Fortunately for Brian Moody's kids (see post below), I changed the batteries in both of the wireless headsets when I had the 2006 Kia Sedona EX this weekend. The batteries looked like the originals that came with the headset 13,000+ miles ago. That seems like a decent amount of battery life to me, not knowing how often those headsets were actually used.

As I discovered over the weekend, the DVD player does not just keep kids entertained in the back seat -- it works equally well on husbands, wives and sisters... I encountered only minor annoyances with the entertainment system. First, someone had left a Hootie and the Blowfish CD in it but I can't blame Kia for that one. Second, there was no convenient place to keep the wireless headsets when they weren't in use. When I picked up the van, the headsets were sitting in the rear cupholders. When the cupholders were in use over the weekend, we jammed the headsets into the pockets on the backs of the first row seats, but it was not ideal and could possibly damage the headsets if used as the primary storage solution.

Michelle Magoffin Sr. Product Manager, Edmunds.com

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Kids and DVD Players

October 24, 2006

Guess what? Very small children don't like headphones. Luckily, our Kia Sedona EX has an Infinity sound system along with a rear seat DVD player that lets you listen through the speakers OR use headphones. Actually, I'm mistaken, our daughter loves the headphones - here she's trying to figure out which part will taste best.

So popular is the Sedona's rear seat DVD player that our son insisted on watching it while the van was parked in the driveway even though we have a perfectly good DVD player and television inside the house. But the system does have one major drawback - the DVD doesn't come back on automatically after shutting the motor off and there are no controls up front for the driver (mommy) to get the Baby Mozart party re-started quickly. You can just press play and the disc will pick up where it left off but my four year old son still hasn't mastered the remote. This is kind of a hassle for suburban errand running.

Brian Moody @ 13,105 miles and a full tank of gas.

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Kia Sedona - DVD Player

September 20, 2006

Our CD player in the Sedona is busted, so on our long drive to Monterey last week for our team outing, we used the DVD player to listen to DVD-As and watch movies. The surround-sound quality of the DVD-A discs is amazing. Unfortunately, we only had one DVD-A disc with us. I like the Eagles but Hotel California gets a little tiring after a while.

For movies, I expected the DVD player to be regionless, like the player in my laptop. But when I tried to put in a PAL format movie, it would not play. The French have their own format (I can't remember what it is called) and I tried one of those too, but no go. I guess I'll have to watch my Alain Delon movies at home.

I was just as happy to watch Ronin so I could see my favorite actor, Sean Bean (far left), get ambushed by Robert DeNiro and a cup of coffee. Love him.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 10,391 miles.

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Sedona succeed? Try, try a tape! Muy bien!

August 30, 2006

After being nonplussed at the Sedona's "PC LOAD LETTER"-esque nonsense with the CD player (I'm learning freakin' Spanish here! Vamonos!), I was, eh, plussed by the existence of a tape player.

No new cars have tape players anymore. As such, I had to buy a whole other Spanish program as my dad's "Living Language: Spanish" course on two cassettes was useless on the commute -- hence my recent adherence to the "Berlitz Rush Hour Spanish" complete with ridiculous songs about the asking for scrambled eggs with organ in F major.

But in the Sedona I could finally crack open the tapes and listen with ease. Though I still don't know what anything means. Thankfully, beige is beige both north and south of the Rio Grande.

Mike Hudson, News Editor (8,100 miles)

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2006 Kia Sedona: Update on the CD Changer

August 29, 2006

You might remember that the Sedona's in-dash CD changer stopped playing CDs in mid-July. Inserting any type of CD results in this error message, and if you keep trying to load it, the player eventually spits the CD out. Unfortunately, Kia of Long Beach initially ordered the wrong stereo head unit (the non-Infinity variety) -- which is why Dan couldn't take the van on his Oregon road trip. Since then, the dealer has reordered the correct head unit and we hope to have it installed soon.

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