The biggest news for Kia's minivan is that it's not dead. After taking model-year 2013 off, the Sedona is back for 2014 with a revised grille, additional interior features and a price bump.
Base LX and uplevel EX trims return. For 2014, LX models start at $26,750 and EX versions at $31,750; model-year 2012 LXs started at $25,750 and EXs at $30,040 (all prices include an $850 destination charge).
The van returns with an updated face that wears standard LED running lights and fog lights. Inside, there's a new interior storage console designed to hold tablet devices. Heated leather-trimmed seats and automatic climate control are newly standard on EX trims. Pretty much everything else carries over, including the 269-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission. It's still EPA rated at 17/24 city/highway mpg.
Kia's minivan has never been a strong seller, so it's surprising that the automaker resurrected it for 2014. In all of 2012, Kia sold just 17,512 minivans. Chrysler, by comparison, sold 111,744 units of its Town & Country minivan last year. According to Michael Ofiara of Kia public relations, "Kia Motors focused on launching seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles and no 2013 model year Sedona was offered." But, he continued, "the minivan segment continues to be important to Kia."
The Sedona's share of the minivan market has always been dwarfed by its competitors, and it's unlikely a revised grille and a few new features will make it important to shoppers. The 2014 Kia Sedona goes on sale later this month.