Consider the 2014 Kia Sedona the Mark Twain of minivans: Rumors of its death have been greatly exaggerated.
The brand previously had announced it would take a hiatus from the minivan segment for the 2013 model year, and there was hope in some quarters that the Sedona replacement would take its cues from the gull-winged Kia KV7 concept that debuted at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Well, such is not the case, at least not yet.
The 2014 Kia Sedona is a modestly refreshed version of the 2012 model, itself a member of the vehicle generation introduced in 2006, and will be available in two trims. The starting point, the Sedona LX, opens at $25,900 and does come with a nice array of standard equipment that includes:
- Updated exterior styling, with new LED positioning lights and fog lamps
- Cabin upgrades like a dedicated iPod/table storage console
- Air conditioning
- Bluetooth technology (with voice recognition)
- AM/FM/CD/MP3/XM audio with USB jack and steering-wheel-mounted controls
- Second-row flip-and-fold captain’s chairs
- Stow-in-the-floor, 60/40 split rear bench seating
- Power windows, locks and mirrors
- Safety measures such as traction control, stability control and Kia’s Back-up Warning system
- A 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers 269 hp, 246 lb.-ft. of torque and EPA marks of 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway/20 mpg combined
Providing a more premium environment will be the 2014 Kia Sedona EX, which will be priced from $30,900 and adds leather-trimmed seating (with a heated first row), a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and four-way power-adjustable front-passenger seat, 17-inch alloy wheels, rearview camera system, roof rack, leather-wrapped steering wheel, eight-speaker audio system, and power-opening rear-quarter windows.
The party line from Kia is that: “The value-friendly Sedona returns to the Kia line up for 2014, combining practical convenience, modern amenities and a long list of safety features, offering families on-the-go comfort, utility and peace of mind.”
2014 Kia Sedona: Running the Numbers
The 2014 Kia Sedona actually will launch from a relative position of strength: Last year, despite a lack of support—and production—for the 2013 selling season, Kia still managed to sell 17,512 Sedonas; Nissan, despite putting significant resources into rolling out an all-new Nissan Quest in 2011, only sold 18,275 minivans in 2012. Meanwhile, the Sedona outperformed both the Mazda Mazda5 and the VW Routan. Of course, the big boys in the segment—Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna—all topped 100,000 units last year, but Kia would no doubt get a lot closer to that mark with a truly new vehicle.
For now, the 2014 Kia Sedona will enter a segment that’s priced as follows: