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2006 Kia Sedona

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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

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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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