Sedona moves things up a notch



The 2007 Sedona, the biggest minivan on the market, is a definite move up from the original version.



The second-row seats slide and recline and can also be flipped and folded forwards for easy access to the third row.

Success in the auto industry calls for a product range that offers existing customers a chance to move up. Kia, South Korea’s oldest automaker, seems to have got a handle on this formula quite quickly.

In the passenger car segment the Kia model range now has the Rio, Spectra, Magentis and Amati. SUV buyers can can go from the entry-level Sportage up to the bigger, better-equipped Sorento. And now, Sedona minivan owners can move up to … a bigger Sedona.

The 2007 Sedona is a definite move up from the original version, which first appeared for the 2002 model year. It is larger (the biggest minivan on the market) and, with 244 horsepower available, more powerful (right at the top of the minivan class). It’s packed with standard features like sonar-based rear park assist, six airbags, anti-lock brakes and tri-zone air conditioning, yet retains a cost advantage ranging from $2,000 on the low end to more than $10,000 for a fully-optioned version.

Expected to account for about 20 per cent of Kia’s annual sales volume, the Sedona lineup starts with the LX at $29,495, though the $32,495 EX model will likely be the one preferred by most minivan buyers.

Kia’s design team correctly figured those prospects are more interested in the inside than on the outside, so the Sedona has plenty of features, storage solutions and seating arrangements.

The second-row seats slide and recline and can also be flipped and folded forward for easy access to the third row seating. Or, if needed, they can be removed altogether. Passengers in that middle row will appreciate the power windows that slide down into the door. The third row seats fold completely into the floor and passengers in both second and third rows are protected by side curtain airbags.

Interior space is up commensurately and not only is there plenty of room in all three rows of seats, there is 48 per cent more cargo space behind the third row unit. Despite this, and a considerably stiffer chassis — for better ride, handling and steering response — the Sedona weighs 70 kg (154 lb) less than the previous model.

Motivation for this newer and lighter Sedona comes from a brand new 3.8-litre V6 producing 25 per cent more power. Coupled with a new 5-speed automatic transmission, it provides 12 per cent better fuel mileage than its predecessor in city driving and nine per cent better consumption on the highway.

So, a Sedona that’s bigger and more powerful, roomier, lighter, more fuel efficient and with fewer emissions. Sounds like a formula for more success in Kia’s continued march into the mainstream Canadian market.

2007 Kia Sedona

  • Type: Full-size FWD 7-pass minivan

  • Price: $29,495 /$32,495

  • Engine: 3.8-litre V6 DOHC

  • Horsepower: 244 @ 6000 rpm

  • Torque (lb-ft): 253 @ 3500 rpm

  • Highlights: Impressive ride and handling, bigger and more powerful, extensive list of safety features.