Since it first was introduced to American buyers five years ago, Kia's Sedona has concentrated on establishing a record for safety. A second generation minivan on an all new platform introduced last year has won top safety honors, including five star governmental crash ratings. Now as Kia introduces a downsized version of gen 2, it has dubbed the minivan its "flagship safety vehicle."
To underscore that focus, short wheelbase models have full airbag systems including full-length side curtains as standard equipment as well as antilock braking and stability, tire monitoring and active front headrests systems.
In addition to some updated styling and interior amenities, revised Sedonas have improved power and performance, lighter weight and independent four wheel suspension. Kia continues to offer its longstanding 10-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty on their minivans.
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If there's a need for a cavernous cargo area in a minivan, look to Nissan's Quest to supply it. While it has undergone considerable updates for 2007, downsizing isn't one of them. Exterior changes include front fascia, grille, lighting and roof rail trims, but the defining arched beltline remains. Inside, auto fold third row headrests make it easier to access all that carrying space.
Among updates inside are a number of bells and whistles electronic amenities including Bluetooth connectivity, MP3, a larger, 8-inch DVD screen, available rearview monitor and rear sonar. Nissan wisely put the IP gauges back where they belong behind the steering wheel, rather than in center console as before. Many of the full complement of safety features are standard. All four models continue to ride on 3.5-liter V-6 power, with a five-speed auto trans. A kicky update is a new interior color called "Chili."
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