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First Look: Kia KV7

Kia tests the waters with a new minivan show car.

by on Jan.11, 2011

Kia hopes a production version of the KV7 concept will help it move into the still substantial minivan market.

Are minivans back in vogue? Maybe, maybe not. But Kia is testing the waters with the KV7 Concept that it unveiled in Detroit at the 2011 North American International Auto Show.

The boxy KV7 has the same squared-off profile as the Ford Flex “people mover,” albeit with a bit more rounded front end. The styling will be polarizing to some, and Kia seems to be aware of this: They say they are “embracing the box,” as they try to bring some elements of the SUV experience to the minivan segment.

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The KV7 offers a lot of glass space in order to give passengers a panoramic view of the outside world, and its dimensions put it in line with most other minivans. But as with most concepts, it primarily exists as a design study – at least for now.


Can Kia Reinvent the Van?

Maker offers a tease of its KV7 concept.

by on Jan.07, 2011

Is Kia readying a new minivan based on the KV7 concept debuting at the Detroit Auto Show?

Reports of the minivan’s demise have been greatly exaggerated and, if anything, the proliferation of new product, such as the all-new Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, and updates of the Chrysler vans, have started pumping new life into the niche.

But other players continue to find it a hard slog to carve out share of their own.  Just ask General Motors, Ford – and the Koreans, who haven’t done very well with their initial attempts to gain traction in the minivan market.

With segment sales still topping 1 million and showing signs of a modest rebound, Kia is ready to give it another try.  Or so it hints.  The smaller of the two Korean carmakers is offering up this less-than-revealing tease of the KV7 concept, which it plans to reveal during its Monday afternoon news conference at the Detroit Auto Show.