- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 18, 2010

A comfort and value staple in the minivan segment, the 2011 Kia Sedona returns to the Kia Motors America lineup, stocked with a plethora of convenience amenities and safety features. A recipient of a “Top Safety Pick” recognition by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, multiple five-star crash safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for each seating position and a 2010 “Top Recommended Vehicle” award from Edmunds.com, Sedona offers the comfort, space, utility, safety features and peace of mind consumers have come to associate with the Kia minivan.

New for 2011, Sedona now comes with an all-new 3.5-liter V6 engine able to produce up to 271 horsepower, 27 more than the previous version, and offer improved fuel economy over the previous year. Also new for the Sedona is a standard six-speed automatic transmission, standard exterior side mirror LED turn signal indicators and standard Bluetooth wireless technology to enable hands-free operation for all compatible mobile phones, increasing Sedona’s convenience proposition further. The 2011 Sedona also displays the signature tabbed Kia grille, seen on all new Kia vehicles.

Available in LX and EX trim levels, pricing for the functional minivan begins at $24,595 for the base trim, offering standard convenience features, including air conditioning, SIRIUS Satellite Radio capabilities with three months complimentary service, MP3 connectivity and Bluetooth wireless technology and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.

Abundance of Standard Safety Features

An eight-time recipient of a five-star crash rating from the NHTSA for each seating position and a “Top Safety Pick” by IIHS for four years, Sedona offers consumers invaluable protection provided by an extensive list of standard safety features on the 2011 model, including six standard airbags (dual advanced front and front seat-mounted side air bags, and full-length side curtain air bags for all three seating rows), active front headrests, a four-channel, four-sensor, Antilock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), which takes into account vehicle load and weight distribution and ensures the appropriate stopping force is used. The EBD adapts to individual wheel grip conditions, to help improve both control and stability. Additional standard safety equipment for Sedona includes a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) while Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and a Traction Control System (TCS) ensure a smoother and safer ride.

In conjunction with the ABS, the TCS uses brake and engine torque intervention to enhance traction during launch and acceleration on road surfaces. If the ABS system detects wheel slip, it signals the engine control unit to adjust engine torque output accordingly. TCS also senses when one or more wheels spin faster than the vehicle’s speed, and if this condition is present it applies the brakes to that wheel or wheels. Working together, the two systems limit wheel spin and help the driver maintain control.

Working with the standard ABS with EBD and TCS, the ESC system can apply individual brakes selectively to help control oversteer and understeer as needed to help the driver maintain control on slippery surfaces or during certain emergency maneuvers. Being able to control any or all of the brakes allows the ESC system to provide responsiveness, control and enhanced accident avoidance capabilities to help the driver, although ESC is not a substitute for safe driving procedures.

Increased Performance

Sedona’s all-new 3.5-liter V6 engine is standard on all models and produces up to an impressive 271 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque while offering improved fuel economy of 18/25 mpg city/highway. Sedona also features a new six-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic clutchless shifting. The new transmission is standard for both LX and EX trims.

Sedona’s four-wheel independent suspension system is comprised of MacPherson struts with coil springs and a stabilizer bar in the front, while the rear uses a multi-link design with coil springs and a stabilizer bar.

Stopping power comes from a power-assisted four-wheel-disc braking system with large-diameter vented front disc brakes (11.7 inches) and solid rear disc brakes (11.9 inches). Sedona models come standard with 16-inch steel wheels and 225/70R16 tires on LX models, with optional 16-inch alloy wheels, and 17-inch alloy wheels fitted to 235/60R17 tires are standard for EX models.

Spacious, Comfortable and Functional

Competitively sized, the seven-passenger Sedona’s generous dimensions and unibody construction offer impressive passenger and luggage space and sophisticated ride and handling. Adding to its space and versatility, flip-and-fold second row seats provide easy access to third row seating. A simple-to-operate 60/40-split folding-into-the-floor third row seat is standard on all models to create a larger flat cargo area, providing additional cargo space for all driver and passenger needs.

All Sedonas continue to maintain Kia’s tradition of high value by offering a generous list of standard features and amenities. Besides standard SIRIUS Satellite Radio with three months complimentary service, Bluetooth wireless technology, ABS, six airbags and a six-speed Sportmatic transmission, the LX trim also comes standard with air conditioning, sliding doors with power windows, power mirrors and door locks, cruise control, an AM/FM/CD/MP3/Sat audio system that includes an auxiliary and USB-MP3 input jack, captain’s chairs for the second row and keyless entry. The back-up warning system also comes standard and is used to alert the driver of an object in close proximity to the rear of the vehicle.

Moving to the EX trim adds fog lamps, six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, four-way power-adjustable passenger’s seat, heated power mirrors, an eight-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with auxiliary input jack, auto-dimming rear view mirror with HomeLink, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power rear quarter glass, trip computer with compass and a roof rack. The EX trim also offers a standard rear view mirror camera display in addition to the back-up warning system to help the driver better see surroundings and reverse more safely.

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