Has Kia Made Minivans Cool Again?

Editorial

The new Sedona may have just nailed the ideal minivan formula.

We’ll openly admit our affection for minivans. Obviously some are better than others, but compared to today’s crossovers, they offer tons more room, better fuel economy (usually) and a cheaper price tag (also usually). So why don’t more people buy them? They’re out of fashion. It’s not 1987 anymore when the Dodge Caravan ranked supreme. Despite the sales slowdown over the years, several major automakers have never discontinued their respective minivan.

The Caravan (and its Chrysler Town & Country sibling) is still with us, as well as the Nissan Quest, Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. All are fine choices, but they still lack a certain appeal many buyers are after. They’re just not sexy enough. Fair enough, because you’ve got to look good while driving the kids to ballet and soccer practice. Only now, one unlikely brand may have just managed to make the minivan attractive again. Yep, that’d be Kia with its totally redesigned Sedona. Unveiled last week at New York, we were immediately impressed by its simple, yet bold front-end styling.

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Its side profile is 100 percent minivan, but it’s not obnoxious like the Quest or overstyled like the Odyssey, nor is too boxy like the Caravan. And unlike the Sienna it can't be accused of being somewhat on the bland side. Perhaps Kia is the only one who’s finally figured out the minivan design formula for this day and age of CUVs and CUVs pretending to be SUVs (that’d be you, Ford Explorer). The new Sedona isn’t groundbreaking, but it has real presence and maybe, just maybe, will lure away some potential CUV buyers – something those other minivans haven’t been able to do.

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