Look hard enough and there’s something unique in every car; some little quirk that makes it special.
Often it’s just the badge; the feel good factor of owning, driving and preening a premium brand.
When it’s most definitely not the badge then you have to pay closer scrutiny to discover that unusual trait.
With Kia’s people carrier the Sedona you don’t have to delve too deeply. In fact only as far as the key fob where you will find a couple of innocuous buttons. Press them and there’s a clunk, a whizz and the sliding side doors fly open. You could play with them all day, particularly as the plip has a decent range and you can frighten the bejeebers out of fellow car park dwellers with your little party trick.
On top of being a prankster’s delight the electric sides doors are magnificently practical - which is just what you want when you opt for such a vehicle. They allow easy entry to the capacious cabin, another area where the designers of things useful have had a veritable field day.
Take the seats; three rows, all capable of tilting and moving backwards and forwards and decent to sit on. When they are all in place there is still some room in the boot and everyone gets plenty of space making it a passable place to perch.
If there are five or less bodies on board and more boot space is required, then the rear set don’t disappear into the floor like some MPVs but they do come out easily enough and are not too heavy to carry to the house. Drop the middle row down and it is suddenly big enough to shift furniture. Take them out completely and you have a van.
When there are passengers aboard there is another natty feature in the roof, a "conversation mirror". Push the headlining and the extra large vanity mirror drops down so you can see the folks in the rear; simple, but pure genius.
People require a lot from a vehicle nowadays, including personalised ambient temperatures, which isn’t a problem either. Rear passengers get their own climate control and head-cloth mounted vents so they are not at the mercy of the driver for hot and cold air. It’s great not being treated like human baggage. They also get tinted privacy glass so they can pretend to be VIPs.
Drink holders abound as do other cubbyholes and the Sedona is blessed by a surfeit of space which makes it a very pleasant place to be.
The very first Sedona was a bit rough and ready but modern Kias have come on leaps, bounds and strides. It shares the family corporate feel of quality and a modest price tag.
The 2.9 litre diesel is powerful enough to transport what is a large car very briskly thanks to its 183BHP power output. Fuel consumption is fair at 36mpg on the combined.
Ride is fine too and, despite its girth, it is sharp enough to steer. Driver gets a decent dash and plenty of kit and can also operate the side doors from roof mounted switches - ideal for ejecting annoying passengers.
New Sedona looks okay too for something with minibus pretentions. It is well made, well specified and good to drive and, with its electrical entry system, could very well show the opposition the door.
Model: Kia Sedona 2.9 CRDi LS
Engine: 2.9 litre, turbo diesel
Drivetrain: five speed manual
Insurance group: 13
Miles per gallon: 36.2 (combined)
CO2 (g/km): 206
Price: from £20,295.00