The Kia Sedona is the most overlooked car model currently on sale

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Today is a rainy day. What does a car nut do on a rainy day? After my partner said I could have some free time, I started to wonder about things. Weird things. Like, what happened to the minivans? In addition to Ford, Chevy and Dodge, other manufacturers have entered the minivan pool. Do you remember the Mercury, Nissan and Mazda vans? They burst onto the scene en masse in the 1980s and 1990s, then seemed to run out of steam as the crossover craze began to take full effect around the turn of the millennium. Now there are fewer minivan offerings and one in particular seems overlooked.

Well, it’s still raining. So, I thought I would write some of my thoughts in that vein.

Today, Honda and Toyota are often seen as rivals for minivans, clashing in commercials and overlapping with little things, like an internal vacuum cleaner. But don’t forget Chrysler which has always existed in the category (they invented it if you believe their advertisements). Thus, they are always respected in the field, even if the Grand Caravan and the Pacifica probably do not live up to Honda and Toyota standards. That’s not to say they don’t deserve serious consideration if you’re looking for a minivan, because they are. All the products in this category have become relatively good and are of much better quality than 30 years ago.

There is, however, another manufacturer that makes a van that you rarely hear about in auto advertising circles. It’s Kia. Their Sedona model is one of the most overlooked models currently on sale.

The Kia Sedona is a good product, a worthy competitor in the MPV category. It even has plenty of amenities at a price that should appeal to minivan buyers (thousands less than Honda or Toyota). But, the limited publicity from the parent company hasn’t drawn attention to the model it deserves.

Toyota is at least making an effort to put a little arrogance into its marketing campaign for their Sienna. Swagger Wagon videos are always popular. Toyota even made an off-road version of the Sienna to keep the Sienna in mind, even though it’s a ridiculous concept that will never go into production. So what?! It’s a fun exercise to keep their product somewhat viral.

Kia, well … does anyone remember anything cool about the Sedona? Wait … yes! There was this Photo Safari Sedona in 2015. The fact that Kia made it almost looked like they were going to do something with it to exploit marketing reach. But it was not to be. There was no video series inviting people to follow Kia as they took the minibus on a photo safari. Or, if there was, it didn’t turn out to be memorable. There was no easy connection with a photography business. There were no pictures of butterflies or waterfalls or anything with the Sedona in the background. Yeah, that would’ve been an opportunity to kill. There were also no dune climbing adventures, or any kind of silly outdoor stuff that would have drawn attention to the early days of this concept.

Kia Sedona Photo Safari Rear

Let’s be realistic anyway. These ideas are more closely suited to Kia’s all-wheel-drive products. Still, … it might have been easy enough to fit the all-wheel drive family of vehicles with the Photo Safari Sedona into a campaign. I mean come on, it was a minibus with a little pickup bed!

Generally speaking, the minivan category as a whole has shrunk over the decades. So the untapped marketing of the Sedona can come in handy, as Kia may already have an exit plan for the Sedona. Do you know that term, reduce losses? But, I don’t know if the Sedona was a waste. In fact, I would believe the opposite because Kia kept it so long. However, if the sales market is really contracting for people carriers, it wouldn’t be wrong for a manufacturer to let the product die on the vine. Look what FCA has done with the Dart and the 200. It would be a shame if the Sedona suffered the same fate. Kia has proven that the platform can integrate certain features of pickup trucks into a more fuel efficient package. It’s an odd combo, but that’s exactly what manufacturers are looking for right now.

So much untapped potential remains unresolved. Neglected, but on sale now at a Kia Dealer near you.

It might be time for Kia Sedona owners to launch their own proximity marketing campaign. Maybe that’s another weird topic for another rainy day?

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