No matter how many “man vans,” “sport vans,” and “swagger wagons” we see, there’s never going to be a minivan that sets the motoring world alight in this millennium. But they’re much more important than they get credit for.
In 2011, the top five minivans in the U.S. accounted for 450,000 sales to on-the-go families who didn’t need the machismo boost to haul around their children. Coming in at No. 5 was the Kia Sedona, which found 24,047 new owners in its sixth year on the market. Now in its seventh year, this aging face has largely been relegated to a value position among its much newer competition.
Speaking with Michael Sprague, Kia’s vice president of marketing and communication, at the press launch of the 2012 Optima SX Limited this past weekend, he assured us the Kia Sedona was a “very important vehicle” for Kia in the U.S., and that the automaker was pursuing a next-generation model. He said it would draw inspiration from the Kia KV7 concept, which debuted at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Although not a huge seller for Kia in the U.S. compared to its recent flurry of runaway hits like the Soul, Sorento, and Optima, the Kia Sedona has drawn nearly universal praise for its pricing, safety, and reliability. Despite murmurs of a new seven-passenger crossover from Korea possibly replacing the Sedona and a weakening demand for the people-movers, we’re glad to hear Kia is keeping with the minivan segment and eager to see what it has in store next.