San Francisco: Just
what the world needs is another minivan, right? Well, with prices
heading toward the $30,000 mark, maybe the world wouldnít mind a
reasonably priced one. Thatís been Kiaís specialty all along, value, so
welcome the new 2006 Sedona.
Sedona is a town in Arizona well known
for its wind-carved mountains, tony art galleries, and perhaps a flying
saucer or two. The southwestern name sounds more like it belongs on a
pickup truck or an SUV. Names like Caravan, Odyssey, and Voyager are
usually found stuck on the back of a minivan. But at least Sedona sounds
nice and suggests that a family outing or two is in order.
Kiaís original Sedona, introduced as a
2002 model, became, because of its size and price, the Kia flagship
model. Although it was large for a Kia, it was a little small for a
minivan. In order to compete effectively with the segment leaders, the
2006 version enjoys increased length on a longer wheelbase, and a wider
presence on the road. This delivers a 15 percent increase in passenger
space over the old model.
As part of its complete upgrade, the
Sedona receives a new 3.8-liter dual-overhead-cam V6 that puts out 240
horsepower, thatís a 25 percent boost from the old one. And thanks to a
more modern design, the new Sedona actually weighs less. The improved
power-to-weight ratio makes the Sedona minivan much more fun to drive.
Did I just use the words fun and minivan in the same sentence? Wow.
With its five-speed Sportmatic automatic
transmission, this family hauler is almost effortless to cruise around
in. Thanks to a four-wheel independent suspension, with stabilizer bars
front and rear, the Sedona handles like a well designed car.
As part of the value proposition, the
Sedona comes with lots of standard equipment that may be optional on the
big name products. Highlights include triple-zone air conditioning and
power windows, locks, and mirrors, as well as an AM/FM/CD audio system
and keyless entry.
Kiaís designers and engineers surely know
that minivans are mostly for families, so safety is a top priority with
buyers. The previous Sedona received five stars, the top rating for all
seating positions in government crash tests. Standard safety equipment
in the 2006 model includes a set of six airbags, including full-length
side curtains. Every Sedona comes with four-wheel disc brakes and larger
wheels and tires than the old model. A tire pressure monitoring system
helps avoid unsafe tire conditions, as well as reduce tire wear (if you
actually bother to check the tires when the light illuminates the dash).
There are two trim levels for the Sedona
that are good and great. Good is represented by the LX, like my Glacier
Blue test unit. Great is the EX model, which for an extra $2,600, adds
an MP3 player to the stereo, eight-way power driverís seat, heated
mirrors, power rear quarter glass (great for flow-through ventilation),
a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and chrome to the grille.
You can add more to your Sedona if that
doesnít satisfy you, although it might push the price up into everybody
else territory. Leather seats with heaters are offered and you can
powerize the sliding side doors (very handy), install adjustable pedals
(great for multiple driver households) and bulk up the sound system with
a 660-watt, 13-speaker powerhouse. But you donít have to.
A huge selling point for Kiaís in general
is the 10-year / 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, which joins a
five-year / 60,000-mile limited basic warranty (with roadside assistance
too) to make you feel secure in buying one. Years ago, this generous
offer was an important way of reassuring buyers that Kia was no
flash-in-the-pan operation. Now buyers can feel confident that their Kia
will provide them with years of reliable transportation, and I
personally recommend that Kia be added to your shopping list.
New Sedonaís start at just $23,895 for
the LX, and you can buy the EX for just $26,495. These prices include
destination charges, so all you add is sales tax and license plates. If
youíve shopped around you know that those are pretty low numbers. My LX
tester came to $23,815, including optional roof rails. Yes, thatís lower
than the quoted starting price, but mine was probably an early 2006
model and prices may have crept up a notch or two.
Minivans are not purchased frivolously,
so why waste money? Kia offers a value you may not be able to refuse. By
Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Kia Home Page
Byline: Syndicated content provided by
Tony Leopardo ©AutoWire.Net
Column Name: Kia offers Value you may not be able to refuse
Topic: The 2006 Kia Sedona Minivan
Word Count: 817
Photo Caption: The 2006 Kia Sedona Minivan
Photo Credits: Kia Internet Media
Series #: 2006 - 46
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2006 Kia Sedona
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2006 Kia Sedona