Kia once had a reputation that wasn’t the best, but the brand is leaving that image behind. To do that, the automaker’s design teams have upgraded the offerings. Though they’ve had some hits and some misses, it’s easy to look back and see how far they’ve come. One example is the touchscreen in the 2016 Sedona. Although touchscreens in cars have existed for a while, Kia didn’t seem quite ready for them five years ago.
The trouble with touchscreens
Some carmakers are taking the bigger-is-better approach to infotainment touchscreens. For instance, the Tesla Model S boasts an enormous 17-inch screen. But not everyone thinks this tech is a good idea.
According to The Drive, multiple studies have shown that touchscreens are a dangerous distraction for drivers. Unlike knobs, a touchscreen requires you to look at it when using it. As touchscreens control more functions in automobiles, they could pose problems for drivers. That’s why Germany ruled Tesla’s wiper controls illegal.
Another problem is that touchscreen tech doesn’t tend to be as reliable as buttons or knobs, and the more functions that are controlled by the touchscreen, the bigger an issue that can be.
But whether you’re a fan of the ever-growing infotainment touchscreen trend, or you’d prefer a return to the knobs and levers of yesterday, most people can agree on one thing: A touchscreen you must strain to see doesn’t do anyone any good.
The 2016 Kia Sedona’s tiny infotainment screen
According to Edmunds, the 2016 Kia Sedona “should be on any minivan shopper’s list.” It features versatile second-row seating, a generous array of features considering the affordable price tag, and a quiet cabin. The 3.3-liter V6 engine provides 276 hp and “adequate” acceleration.
The most basic model didn’t include an infotainment screen at all, but upgrading to the next trim level gave the driver the missing touchscreen. This convenient tech feature measured a minuscule 4.3 inches.
If that seems small, picture this: The screen was barely wider than the fist of most people older than a fifth-grader. To get a readable 8.0-inch infotainment screen, you had to upgrade to the second from the top-tier model.
In late-model vehicles, that size infotainment screen would be embarrassing. If larger screens can be dangerous, imagine trying to drive while squinting at such a tiny screen.
Looking forward to the 2022 Kia Carnival
Of course, Kia continues to strive to perfect its designs. Although the 2020 Sedona was fairly disappointing, the buzz surrounding the 2022 model sounds promising. The fourth generation — now known as the Carnival — looks impressive.
It now resembles an SUV, and its longer wheelbase provides more cargo and seating space. It packs a 3.5-liter V6 with 290 hp and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Kia has improved the dash display, too, with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, Car and Driver reports. It also upgraded the infotainment screen. The 2022 model will have a more readable 12.3-inch touchscreen when it arrives at dealerships within the next couple of months.
Whether you like having a touchscreen or concur with those who aren’t sure they should be in cars, most people can agree on one thing: The larger, more functional screen in the upcoming Kia Carnival is definitely an improvement to the 2016 Sedona.