Road & Travel Magazine

Auto Advice & Tips
Auto Buyer's Guides
Car Care Maintenance
Climate Views & Videos
Auto Awards Archive
Insurance & Accidents
Legends & Leaders
New Car Reviews
Planet Driven
Road Humor
Road Trips
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Teens & Tots Tips
Tire Buying Tips
Used Car Buying
Vehicle Model Guide

Travel Channel
Adventure Travel
Advice & Tips
Airline Rules
Bed & Breakfasts
Cruises & Tours
Destination Reviews
Earth Tones
Family Travel Tips
Health Trip
Hotels & Resorts
Luxury Travel
Pet Travel
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Spa Reviews
Train Vacations
World Travel Directory
Bookmark and Share

Kia Sedona

by Martha Hindes

Kia Sedona
Kia Sedona

Pardon 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 handling.

For 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 on looks.

Under 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.

The 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.