But even a falling market continues to hold opportunities for the high value propositions that have underlined the spectacular growth of Kia Motors UK in the last few years.
Despite the damage inflicted on the large MPV sector by cars like the Vauxhall Zafira, a sales target of 4,000 units for next year will allow Kia to hold on to its number one retail spot – providing the dealer network does its job.
Since the launch of the Sedona in 1999, Kia has sold more than 31,000 examples – second only to the Ford Galaxy. The new model will be more expensive, which means Kia will not get back to the 7,500 annual sales Sedona used to enjoy.
But it is also pinning hopes on the midi-MPV segment with the forthcoming new Carens range. Kia has a combined total of 40,000 MPV customers and wants to keep them, while attracting more buyers to the brand.
Expected to be subject to £3,000 higher average transaction prices, the new model is streets ahead of its predecessor in every respect. Better styled, it has a neater, more assured stance and the quiet, refined performance to match from a revised 2.9-litre turbodiesel motor providing 40 extra bhp.
The CRDi engine will drive six manual and auto versions of the car in GS, LS and TS trim levels, and a petrol V6 engine will power only the lead-in model.
Despite being slightly shorter, the new bodywork provides more space for seven adults because it’s wider, taller and has a lowered floor. It’s better kitted out, too, with an equipment spread that includes triple-zone air conditioning, front and rear electric windows, powered and heated door mirrors, six airbags, remote central locking and roof rails as standard.
Higher-grade cars get climate control, power operation for the sliding rear side doors, privacy glass, alloy wheels, powered quarterlight windows, reversing sensors, leather trim, cruise control and a power-adjust driver’s seat.
Engine: 2.7-litre V6: 185bhp @ 6,000rpm, 181lbft @ 3,000 rpm; 2.9 CRDi: 182bhp @ 3,800rpm, 252lb ft @ 1,750rpm
Performance: 0-62mph 14.5-16.2sec; top speed 119-122mph
Transmission: 5-spd manual, auto
Efficiency: 26.4-36.2mpg (combined); 206-255g/km CO2
CAP RV 3yr/30k: CRDi £6,575-8,350 (36-37%); V6 not available
Rivals: Espace, Galaxy, Trajet
Strengths: Good equipment spread
Weaknesses: Seats don’t fold flat
Threat: Compact MPVs
USP: Premier value MPV