Chrysler's Future Aims at Mainstream

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Investor Day is rolling along, and the company has revealed a complete rethink of Chrysler's brand positioning as well as which brands it intends to view as competitors. Chrysler will now go head-to-head with mainstream brands in the U.S. such as Ford, Hyundai, Honda, Chevrolet and Toyota; it will no longer be considered a premium brand by the company, but rather its volume brand. Chrysler will be the only midsize sedan and minivan brand at FCA; the Dodge Grand Caravan and Avenger sedan will be discontinued, as the company finally decides to stop pitting Chrysler and Dodge brands against each other in its showrooms.

What Jeep's Future Looks Like

This means a rethink of the vehicle lineup at Chrysler as well, banking on North American-made vehicles and an American image that will be spread across more segments. Currently Chrysler participates in only three segments: minivans and full- and mid-size cars. The brand is set to expand by 2018 to include a compact car and mid- and full-size SUVs. Here's what to expect from Chrysler over the next five years:

By Aaron Bragman | May 6, 2014 | Comments (12)

Recall Alert: 2014 Honda Odyssey

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 24,889 model-year 2014 Honda Odyssey minivans.

The Problem: A shorting coupler, an electrical component in the side curtain airbag system, must be replaced. During assembly of the electrical coupler for the side curtain airbag on the passenger's side of the vehicle, it is possible that the shorting terminal, which is used to prevent deployment of the airbag before it is assembled into the vehicle, may have been damaged. This may cause the supplemental restraint system indicator to illuminate and prevent the side curtain airbag from deploying in a crash, increasing the risk of an injury. Honda said no crashes or injuries have been reported, and the problem was discovered through warranty repairs.

The Fix: The automaker will begin notifying owners by mail on May 16, and dealers will replace the shorting coupler for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Honda at 800-999-1009 or visit www.recalls.honda.com for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | May 2, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Kia Sedona: Up Close

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With its upright grille and angular headlights, the redesigned Sedona looks tougher than the average minivan. The crossover-like styling is on purpose, and it's immediately apparent in that front end and also the hood lines. Overall, the execution is more successful than when GM tried the same thing with its Chevrolet Uplander van.

More 2014 New York Auto Show Coverage

The avoidance of traditional minivan cues continues in the cabin as the Sedona gets a large center console between the front seats that houses the gear selector — just like any number of crossovers. This may seem like a small thing, but it significantly changes your perception of the interior; it doesn't feel like you're sitting in the driver's seat of a minivan.

By Mike Hanley | April 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Kia Sedona Photo Gallery (48 Photos)

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Kia's minivan has always been a bit player in the class, but that could change with the redesigned-for-2015 Sedona. Its bold grille with LED accent lights will be sure to turn shoppers' heads.

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Inside, the Sedona is available in seven- and eight-seat configurations, and new Slide-n-Stow second-row seats should appeal to parents; they stack vertically against the front seatbacks to quickly convert the minivan from people-mover to stuff-hauler.

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 20, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 Kia Sedona Video

Cars.com's Kelsey Mays is tough to impress, but Kia's redesigned minivan earned his praise at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. The 2015 Sedona's comfortable interior boasts pop-out ottomans for the second-row seats, integrated window shades and pillowlike head restraints. Check out the video above and get cozy with Mays in the back of the Sedona.

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By Jennifer Geiger | April 19, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Kia Sedona: First Look

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Competes with: Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna

Looks like: A minivan doing its hardest to look like a crossover

Drivetrain: 276-hp, 3.3-liter V-6 with a six-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Fall 2014

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Kia's redesigned Sedona minivan features bolder styling that takes after crossover SUVs, new seats that offer greater passenger- and cargo-hauling flexibility, a new V-6 engine and a new high-end SXL trim level with Nappa leather upholstery. Kia says pricing will be announced closer to the Sedona's on-sale date this fall.

By Mike Hanley | April 14, 2014 | Comments (22)

Kia Eight-Passenger Mystery Machine: It's a Minivan!

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A week after releasing a teaser image and cryptic description of an "all-new midsize multi-purpose vehicle" with seating for eight, Kia today came clean about the mystery vehicle. It's the 2015 Kia Sedona, and it's set to make its public debut next week at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. The announcement confirmed widespread suspicion that it was a minivan, though some of us at Cars.com admittedly saw an aggressive-looking crossover when we first laid eyes on the shadow-obscured image. But of course there's no mistaking it now from the image above.

Kia to Debut New Eight-Passenger Vehicle at 2014 New York Auto Show

According to Kia, the minivan will be powered by a 3.3-liter direct-injected V-6, and offer a host of tech and safety features, including the next-gen UVO Infotaintment & Telematics system. "With several new eServices features, the 2015 Sedona is designed to be the perfect companion for any lifestyle and accommodate any adventure on the road," the Korean automaker said in a statement.

Check back with Kicking Tires as we cover the 2015 Sedona's unveiling at the New York Auto Show. Our on-site coverage begins Wednesday.

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By Matt Schmitz | April 10, 2014 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 2005-2010 Honda Odyssey

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Vehicles Affected: About 886,815 model-year 2005-10 Honda Odyssey minivans manufactured June 23, 2004, through Sept. 4, 2010

The Problem: The fuel pump strainer in these vehicles could deteriorate and allow fuel to leak. This could cause a fire.

"As of March 6, 2014, Honda has received 187 warranty claims for this issue. There have not been any fires or injuries reported," the automaker said in a statement.

The Fix: Honda will start notifying owners in April, but the automaker told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that parts to permanently fix the issue are not yet available; it expects the parts to be available this summer. Any vehicles that are currently leaking from the fuel pump cover will get an interim replacement cover until the permanent fix can be made.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Honda at 800-999-1009 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

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By Jennifer Geiger | March 16, 2014 | Comments (4)

2014 Toyota Sienna: Car Seat Check

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It doesn't get more family friendly than a minivan, but not all of these family haulers are created equal. The 2014 Toyota Sienna can seat up to eight, but our test van had second-row captain's chairs that reduced seating capacity to seven. The Sienna earned a mix of grades in our latest Car Seat Check.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two

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By Jennifer Newman | February 13, 2014 | Comments (4)

2014 Honda Odyssey Earns NHTSA Top Safety Score

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One of the most popular and capable family haulers is now officially one of the safest. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the 2014 Honda Odyssey an overall safety rating of five stars, the agency's highest score.

2014 Honda Odyssey Car Seat Check

NHTSA's rating comes after the minivan aced the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's crash tests. Last year, the Odyssey was the first minivan to earn IIHS's Top Safety Pick Plus award, scorong good in moderate-overlap front, side, seats and rollover tests as well as performing well in the difficult small-overlap front impact test.

The Odyssey got a light update for 2014, and aside from its new in-van vacuum cleaner, saw structural changes including more advanced high-strength steel door frames, floor pan and wheel wells to make the passenger compartment more rigid. Honda also notes that the 2014 Odyssey uses a "new type of side curtain airbag that includes a front chamber design intended to provide additional protection in situations where occupants move in a more angled outboard trajectory, such as those that occur in oblique or offset crashes," the automaker said in a statement.

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By Jennifer Geiger | February 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

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