2019 Dodge Grand Caravan- Long Live, the Minivan King

Throughout the pages of automotive history, there’s a handful of icons that forever changed the driving landscape and society. The Ford Model T, for example, was the first vehicle that made car ownership obtainable for the masses; not just the elite. The Pontiac GTO spawned the muscle car craze over 50 years ago that continues to this day. The Toyota Prius became the first hybrid that was a household name and enlightened the public that hybrids were practical and not just science experiments. But what about the lowly minivan? We take them for granted today as the go-to, soul-sucking choice for parents who have given up on life. But at one time they were nothing short of revolutionary. The Dodge Caravan, when introduced in 1984, was a breakthrough in packaging and kickstarted the minivan craze. Now that the market and Caravan have matured over the years, let’s see how the Granddaddy of minivans stacks up.

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2012 Kia Sedona- Demand Some R-E-S-P-E-C-T

CAM00444Rodney Dangerfield often commented that he received “no respect, I tell ya.”  In one of his standup gigs, the comedian recalled the time he was kidnapped, and the kidnappers sent his parents a note that said, “We want five thousand dollars or you’ll see your kid again.”  I was reminded of these jokes while spending a weekend with the Kia Sedona.  Did you forget Kia still made it?  Don’t feel bad, one of my good friends who is very car savvy thought it had been discontinued years ago.  In a way, he was right.  While the rest of the Kia lineup, even the lowly Rio, have had an extreme makeover in recent times, the Sedona has soldiered on in the same guise since 2006, and was dropped from the brand’s profile after 2012.  Sales of the Sedona had been a fraction of the competition and its corporate twin, the Hyundai Entourage, had been discontinued after 2009 for the same reason.  But just like Rodney’s self-deprecating humor and persistence, the Sedona has returned for 2014 to take another beating, being largely unchanged from the 2012 model (no 2013 existed) aside from a new bumper, grill, and storage compartment that will now fit an iPod.  However, also like Rodney, there is more than meets the eye with the Sedona and it turned out to be a lovable critter.

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