A year after Kia introduced its next gen front-drive Sedona minivan, it has brought out a shortened, value version to complement two extended wheelbase staples. The downsized version, that still seats seven, broadens the potential market for minivans among Kia buyers who don't need the longer-length LX and EX second generation editions launched in 2006.
With a shortened wheelbase version (SWB), leading the company's minivan news for 2007, Kia continues in a safety leadership role with five-star federal crash ratings. Establishing Kia as a safety leader was a main assignment for the original Sedona when it was introduced to American buyers some six years ago.
The redesigned second generation Sedona improved on the original. Safety systems were expanded. Weight was reduced. And visual lines were trimmed without losing the requisite overall size. A purpose-designed unibody foundation, shared with its Hyundai Entourage cousin, ensured that driving and handling would get priority.
Power for the second generation long- and short-wheelbase Sedona comes from a more powerful engine. The 3.8L V6 generates 250-horsepower, a 28-percent increase over the first generation model. The only transmission is a five-speed automatic with manual function.
Inside, rear seats fold flat for the most usability when hauling cargo is on the docket. A tightly packed instrument panel console serves up requisite functions from audio to comfort. Second row seating is the flip and fold variety while third row seats disappear into the deck floor on extended wheelbase versions.
Short wheelbase models get a folding, removable third row seat. Even in smaller iteration, Sedona serves up sufficient room for most needs of the minivan crowd. On the road, the shortened version leans toward sportier ride and handling, without losing its minivan flexibility.
The SWB Sedona comes with a smaller entry level pricetag (just over $20,000 base). Going with extended versions can raise that to the mid-20s. Warranties for Kia Sedona models are the same, 10-year, 100,000 miles offered on its Hyundai Entourage cousin.