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Kia Sedona Minivan Won't Return For 2013; 2014 Replacement Likely

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If you like what you've been seeing from Kia as of late—we sure do, given the brand's sportier, more youthful look and feel, thanks in part from the design direction of Peter Schreyer and his crew—you might think that there must be a fresher version of the Sedona minivan just around the corner.

Surprisingly, there's not—at least not for another model year. And the Sedona will be a no-show for the 2013 model year. Kia spokesman James Hope confirmed to The Car Connection that a 2013 Kia Sedona won't be offered.

But Hope hinted that the Sedona (or Kia's minivan entry) isn't going away for long. “We see the minivan market as one that we want to stay in,” said the spokesman, who couldn't confirm further details about when and how such a product might fit into the pipeline.

The current 2012 Sedona remains a somewhat stodgy-looking holdout at Kia dealerships—and a reminder of the brand's somewhat different, no-frills focus (and look) not all that long ago. Even though the Sedona's front end and headlamps were updated for 2011, the Sedona is the most dated design among current minivans, as all its rivals like the Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, and Honda Odyssey, have been redesigned.

The Sedona name has earned a good reputation overall in the U.S., especially for its strong value and comfortable ride, although it's been a subpar performer for safety—especially considering its unusually low 'poor' score in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety roof strength score. It also tends to lag behind other minivan offerings in seating flexibility—one of the top concerns for minivan shoppers, and really, what makes them a better pick in many cases over crossovers and SUVs.

Hyundai sold a very closely related—some would say rebadged—version of the Sedona from 2007 to 2009, called the Entourage. Officials from Hyundai have since said that the brand in the U.S. has no plans to reenter the minivan market.

As for the Sedona's replacement, we wouldn't be surprised to see an all-new 2014 Kia Sedona bow at one of the big auto shows late this year or early next year.

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