us if we tempt you. It's not by choice, but necessity. There's
this bright red, all-new Sedona -- unveiled early last Spring
-- looking back at us from the press pages of Kia's media-only
website, just waiting for the Korean auto maker to let someone
drive it. When we get behind the wheel, we'll have a better
impression of what this larger, more aggressive minivan
is all about. And since Kia promises to have it in showrooms
and out on the road for real world buyers to try before
year-end, we'll follow with a full impression, including
now, we check out the details of a most important remake
of one of Kia's most popular vehicles. This isn't a freshening
of the four-year-old previous generation model, but a total
redesign on an all new foundation. It is longer on a 119-inch
wheelbase, wider and loaded with more amenities than before.
Appearance wise, this is an appealing vehicle, with a bolder,
broader front and slanted headlamps for a trendier appearance.
Behind a steeply angled windshield, the unbroken flow of
window glass from front to rear sits above a straight, authoritative
beltline. Cladding, extended downward, lends a stronger
look to the vehicle. Obviously, Kia has put a lot of emphasis
the surface are many changes as well. Power comes from an
all-new, all aluminum 3.8-liter V-6 for more power but lighter
weight, paired with a five-speed automatic with Sportmatic
manual mode, all riding on larger tires. Many safety features
are standard equipment, including a six airbag system that
features side curtain protection for all three rows of seating,
tire pressure monitors and active front seat headrests.
Interior room is expanded by about 15 percent.
two trim levels -- LX and EX -- include a variety of standard
amenities, that depending on model include flat-into-the-floor
third row seating, tri-zone air conditioning, second row
captain's chairs, leather trim, heated seats and a sporty
roof rack. Kia hadn't announced pricing as of press time.
But it's not hard to guess it will start in the mid-20s
range and go up from there. Company officials state flatly
they are targeting two other offshore minivan makers --
Toyota, with its Sienna, and Honda with its Odyssey.