QOTD: Who's Fooling Who?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd whos fooling who

You were probably thrilled to get a glimpse of the next-generation Kia Sedona yesterday, perhaps even dissolving into uncontrollable babbling, tears rolling unchecked down your crimson cheeks. Pull yourself together! It’s still a minivan. Kia just decided to play dress-up, disguising the new people mover as everyone’s favorite vehicle type: the easy-driving, socially acceptable crossover.

We’ve reached a point in history when the utility and versatility of a minivan — a once huge segment of the American auto landscape — needs to be dressed up as a SUV in order to (hopefully) sell. Are the segment’s attributes not enough? Clearly not. Stigma of such vehicles and declining sales forced Kia’s hand, prompting a re-do. But it begs the question — could it force a change in your thinking?

Maybe not the Sedona, but any minivan model.

Lose the sloping hood and the unmistakable profile of a minivan, and perhaps the overall package becomes that much sweeter. It already takes something of an individualist to get into a minivan these days, despite the many pluses that come with the purchase. A huge, flat cargo floor afforded by hideaway (or removable) seating gives a minivan the edge when it comes time for home improvement projects or moving day. That, plus the all-wheel drive cropping up in the segment (Chrysler, Toyota) and increasing hybridization, means would-be buyers have less reason to consider a crossover.

And yet buyers continue to vacate the minivan market in droves. The last thing an automaker can do to stem the flow is to gussy up a minivan in SUV clothes.

Would having the appearance of an SUV make you more likely to purchase a family vehicle with sliding rear side doors?

[Image: Kia Motors]

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2 of 26 comments
  • Jdmcomp Jdmcomp on Jun 28, 2020

    Nothing new, just another CUV. Been around for years, where have you been. I like the new Sedona, Sliding doors are useful.

  • 902Chris 902Chris on Jul 02, 2020

    "Lose the sloping hood and the unmistakable profile of a minivan, and perhaps the overall package becomes that much sweeter" They have that, it's called the Sorento, and it will ride on the same platform and share a lot of parts. Do you want a minivan-ish SUV, or a SUV-ish minivan? Consumers can pick between the two. They don't have to decide for everyone. As a long term hatch and SUV driver, this is the first minivan to hit my radar.

  • Conundrum Can't see that the Espada chassis had much to do with the Miura. The Miura had a rear-mounted transverse V12 with the transmission and final drive all part of the engine block. So it's a bit of a stretch saying the north-south V12 and regular transmission Espada chassis was related to the Miura. It looks to be no more than an update of the 400 GT. And short and long-arm independendent suspension was hardly unique -- a '53 Chev had that in front, it was standard for years on most cars that didn't have Mac struts. The Brits call SLA suspension double wishbone, so Honda thought that sounded more mysterious than SLA and used that terminology in ads, but it's the same thing. Only a few mid '30s cars had same length upper and lower A-arms like a '36 Chev, before the obvious advantage of a short upper arm for camber control was introduced. Of course Ford used a dead beam front axle until 1949, so it was last to climb out of the stone age.Do you have a link to a reference that says the Miura and Espada chassis were related?
  • FreedMike One of the things that we here in North America often forget about Europe is that it's a COMPLETELY different world to drive in. Imagine driving in the downtown area of the city you live in 24/7, and never leaving it, and you have a decent simulation of what it's like to drive in a place like Paris, or London, or Rome - or Manhattan, for that matter. As far as the "dystopia" is concerned, I don't really see it that way. This isn't made for people living in the 'burbs - it's for urban dwellers. And for that application, this car would be about perfect. The big question is how successful the effort to provide large-scale EV charging in urban areas will be.
  • Matzel I am hoping that Vee-Dub will improve the UX and offer additional color options for the 2024 Mk8.5 refresh for Canada. Until then, I'll be quite happy with my '21 GTI performance pack. It still puts a smile on my face going through the twisty bits.
  • Stanley Steamer There have been other concepts with BYOT, that I have always thought was a great idea. Replacing bespoke parts is expensive. If I can plug in a standard 17" monitor to serve as my instrument panel, as well as speakers, radio, generic motors, batteries, I'm for it. Cheaper repair, replacement, or upgrade costs. Heck I'd even like to put in my own comfy seats. My house didn't come with a built in LaZboy. The irony is that omitting these bespoke items at the point of sale allows me to create a more bespoke car as a whole. It's hard to imagine what an empty rolling monocoque chassis would look like capable of having powertrains and accessories easily bolted on in my garage, but something like the Bollinger suv comes to mind.
  • Iam65689044 Sometimes I'm glad the French don't sell in America. This is one of those times.