2008 Sedona New Car Test Drive
The Kia Sedona has just about everything the Honda Odyssey has, except the reputation, for a lot less money. Toyota and Honda have an edge on quality, ride and handling, but the Sedona is a compelling value in this class, offering convenience, comfort, style and performance.
From the outside, the Sedona looks classy and stylish. Inside, there's seven-passenger seating with seats that easily collapse to create a vast cargo space. Every cabin convenience known to man is either standard or available. Storage space is everywhere you turn, and there are no fewer than 14 cup holders.
Sedona has achieved a five-star crash certification in all seating positions from the Federal government, and a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Kia says it designed the Sedona by studying other minivans, choosing the best features, and improving them. Sedona's engine, for example, is a modern V6 tuned to 250 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. That's more than a match for Honda Odyssey's 244 hp and 240 pound-feet. And just like Odyssey, Sedona backs up that power with a responsive five-speed automatic transmission and a sophisticated suspension.
Sedona was all-new for 2006. For 2007, Kia added a short-wheelbase (SWB) variant that still seats seven but offers less cargo space, while slicing $2,900 off the base price. Some content has been rearranged for 2008, and all stereo systems now come with an auxiliary input jack, but otherwise there have been no further changes.
The 2008 Kia Sedona is offered in two wheelbase lengths. Both seat seven, with the shorter, SWB version giving up mostly luggage space, and a little passenger space in both the second and third rows. The short version comes in a single trim level. The long-wheelbase (LWB) version comes in two trim levels.
Sedona SWB ($21,065) comes with cloth upholstery, two rows of two captain's chairs, and a removable 50/50 split bench in back. The first two rows get power windows; third-row windows tilt out manually. Three-zone climate control also comes standard, along with power locks with remote keyless entry, two 12-volt power outlets, intermittent wipers front and rear, a front wiper de-icer, privacy glass, eight-speaker CD sound system with new auxiliary input jack, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, overhead console, and 16-inch tires on steel wheels. Options include a Convenience Package ($300) consisting of roof rails and carpeted floor mats; roof-rail cross bars ($200); and just the floor mats ($150).
Sedona LWB LX ($23,965) gets upgraded cloth upholstery and a full heated front windshield, along with additional space in both the second and third rows. The 60/40 split third row folds flat into the floor, instead of being removable. Dual power sliding doors ($800) and a trailer hitch ($375) are optional; so is a DVD entertainment system ($1,200) with two wireless headsets and remote.
Sedona LWB EX ($26,565) comes with an even more deluxe cloth interior and adds power front seats, MP3-capable stereo with new auxiliary input jack, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power rear quarter windows, solar control windshield and front door windows, automatic headlamps, fog lights, heated side mirrors, roof rails with crossbars, self-dimming rearview mirror, Homelink garage door opener, trip computer with compass, illuminated vanity mirrors, a cargo net, and 17-inch alloy wheels with lower-profile tires.
Options for the EX include the Power Package ($1,000) with power sliding doors and liftgate; the Luxury Package ($2,400) with leather upholstery, heated front seats, power adjustable pedals, a memory function (for seats, pedals, and mirrors), automatic climate control, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, sunroof, back-up warning system, and an engine immobilizer; and the Premium Entertainment Package ($1,700), consisting of a 660-watt stereo with 7.1 surround sound, 13 Infinity speakers, and an auxiliary input jack, and a DVD player with eight-inch monitor, two wireless headsets, and remote.
Safety features include the mandated frontal airbags (the front passenger airbag turns itself off if a child is in the seat), side-impact airbags (for torso protection) for front-seat passengers, curtain airbags (for head protection) for the outboard passengers in all three rows of seats, and anti-whiplash active headrests in front. Also standard are electronic stability control with traction control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (ABS with EBD) and brake assist, and a tire-pressure monitor.