Fleet Update: 2006 Kia Sedona EX
Anyone who argues that minivans aren't as useful as SUVs should take a gander at the mileage on our Sedona. In just 13 months, our big Kia has amassed nearly 27,000 big ones. How? Photographers and parents. Why? Practicality. Thanks to dual power sliding doors, not to mention flat-folding second- and third-row seats and a cavernous cargo bay, the Sedona has been the ideal rig for shutterbugs who need to shoot car-to-car photos from several angles. And for parental staffers, few transporters in our fleet are as kid-friendly as the Kia.
Technical editor Reynolds recently hauled his wife and two kids to Yosemite for the July Fourth weekend and reports "zero fireworks the entire 700 miles." With all that mileage, the Kia did require another service stop at 25,000 miles -- $64.27 for an air filter and an oil change/tire rotation/brake inspection.
OTHER MT VOICES:
Been putting some serious miles on the Sedona for recent photo shoots. Took it to Kingman, AZ for Top Speed with Danica Patrick, and on the way there I discovered an annoying driver side A-pillar whistle that seemed to happen above 70 mph when there was a cross-wind blowing through the big desert valleys in the windy eastern CA. Drop below 70 and the loud, annoying whistle goes away, nudge back up again, and there it is in all its ear-piercing painfulness.
Also had the Sedona along to carry all the photo gear (including 140 lbs. of sandbags for the c-stands) to Lake Arrowhead for Sport/Utility of the Year. Despite all the weight inside, the V-6 and five-speed did a great job of holding speed through the very twisty Highway 330 that ascends from Redlands, CA, up to the San Bernardino Mountains. The Sedona's chassis and suspension never cease to amaze me in its ability to take a set in a sweeping turn and hold that line with little to no steering adjustment. Also, downshifting for more power is always smooth and never results in the hard jolt, frequently associated with numerous GM/Ford/Chrysler V-6 paired trannies. This tranny is Honda/Toyota smooth and refined.
Some small annoyances have popped up. There is a squeaky friction noise coming from where the steering wheel meets the steering column, and there was a loose door hinge arm that was binding whenever the door was opened all the way. Both are being addressed by the dealer as I type this. -BRIAN VANCE