Ichabod Crane’s Kia to a Better Ride
By Ron Amadon
DAMASCUS, MD. – Your number came up and you have been selected to haul stuff and costumed creatures to the fall harvest festival including more pumpkins than you thought nature could produce. Well, at least they were pre-carved.
But here is your chance to show off to all those who scoffed at that van in your driveway at a time when society dictates the ride to Sleepy Hollow be carried out in a big honkin’ SUV.
So it will be revelation time when you demonstrate how easy it is to load the deranged dentist carved “Cucurbita Pepos” into your new Sedona.
With the second and third row seats appropriately adjusted, the Sedona has a cargo capacity of about 142 cubic feet. Helping the pumpkin hauling is a third row split folding 60/40 bench seat that retracts seamlessly into the rear cargo floor.
Now, let’s put the seats up and go get the band.
The Sedona XL will seat eight and, if some are grown up ghost and goblins, they will enjoy what is called “First Class” lounge seating in the second row. It can be moved rearward for added legroom and there are retractable leg rests and winged headrests. Try to find all that on your next commuter airline ride.
If the passengers are young, costumed and have just hit the ice cream shop here is where drivers will love “Fine Feature” number one. Standard equipment is seat covering that provides “anti-microbial protection from spills, anti-static protection from irritating electrical shocks as well as stain-repelling and stain-releasing fabric characteristics.” Seats one, kids nothing.
A Halloween treat is the hands-free rear liftgate that automatically opens when the key fob is sensed for three seconds. A programmable function can be tailored to the user’s height preference to dramatically reduce noggin knocking.
Okay, we’re loaded, so let’s hit the road. Sedona power is a 3.3 liter V6 with 276 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 248 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm mated to a six speed automatic. There was more than enough power to easily escape the “headless horseman.”
And it will tow up to 3,500 pounds.
Acceleration was on a par with the competition, but gas mileage was not the greatest. The EPA calls for 17 city mpg, 22 highway, for a combined of 19 mpg. I came in at 21 in mostly interstate and rural road travel.
What you will notice, in those rare moments when you are alone in the van, is how quiet it is thanks to extensive wheel-house padding, double-seal sliding doors and expanded use of sound-deadening foam in the engine compartment.
Then you might final discover “Fine Feature” number two.
The top-line SXL features standard ultra-soft Nappa leather trim seating surfaces throughout the cabin, the same leather found in Kia’s flagship luxury sedan, the K900.
I liked the fact the shift lever was on the center console despite the loss of some storage space. If the festival is a long drive to the next state over, you will find the seats very comfortable and easily adjustable. Limber adults can fit in the third row!
Even over pockmarked suburban streets in need of a fix, the SXL delivered a smooth ride and handling was on a par with the competition. What about safety, especially with the kids on board?
The Sedona has earned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 5-Star overall vehicle safety rating. Also a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, its highest mark.
All models come with standard safety features such as Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control System, Brake Assist System, Hill-start Assist Control, Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Antilock Braking System.
The 2017, appearance wise, is a carryover but adds Autonomous Emergency Brake, Dynamic Bending Light for improved visibility around corners, acoustic windshield, and redesigned steering wheel and transmission gear shift knob.
Keeping with tradition, the Kia offers a long list of standard equipment. There was just one option on the test van, a $2,700 SXL Technology Package with Xenon headlights, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning System, Surround View Monitor, and Smart Cruise Control.
That brought the bottom line to $43,295. If that sounds too steep for the family budget, there are five trim levels available
What you get is an excellent warranty and build quality, lots of features, and a note to the neighbors that you are a bit anti-social for not bringing home a crossover or SUV.
Just to show off, park the Sedona in the driveway, turn on the headlights and dispense the Halloween goodies from there.
Do watch out for the headless horseman.