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Kia Kills Sedona Van-Introduces 2022 “Carnival”

When it comes to minivans the herd is getting thinned but the Kia Sedona ranks right at the top for many reasons. For 2021 the Sedona has received some nice added features on the precipice of being replaced. Yes, in spite of these improvements the current Sedona, including its name, is headed toward the sunset. With the new 2022 model, Kia kills the Sedona van name and reinvents it as the “Carnival.”

We’re not sure calling a new model “Carnival” represents the best use of the word but that’s Kia’s call. We would submit that the Sedona name is a well-established brand within Kia. It takes years and much saturation to end up with an established brand name. Why Kia wants to make this move seems counterproductive. 

Carnival van will ride on Kia’s midsize platform

The tan interior of the 2021 Kia Sedona is seen from the front to the back.
2021 Kia Sedona interior | Kia

That said, the Carnival will ride on Kia’s midsize platform. Shorter overhangs and a pushed-back windshield give the Carnival better proportions. Well, as good as proportions can get on a minivan. While we have only limited information on the all-new Carnival, the Sedona Forum gives us some clues. 

Based on Kia documentation given to the NHTSA the decoder indicates trims including LX, EX, SX, and SX Prestige. Besides these designations, there is also a “Wagon 4×2 Cls-E and Cls-D.” So, we might be looking at an all-wheel-drive Carnival at some point in the near future.

With the distinctly different look of the Carnival from the Sedona, it starts with the new “Tiger Nose” grille being adopted for all Kia vehicles. Blacked out B- and C-pillars give a unified side-DLO appearance. Inside a dual-screen display has been rumored. Power should be Kia’s 3.5-liter GDi V6. That packs almost 300 hp and 261 lb-ft of torque helping to cook the Carnival down the road. 

There is still demand for stylish versions of minivans

teaser rendering of the 2021 Kia Sedona minivan
Kia Carnival | Kia

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While the minivan segment has shrunken, there is still demand for stylish versions of what was once a thriving segment. With the way that all of the other manufacturers’ have broadened their minivan’s reach to include luxurious, high-end versions, it was expected Kia would do the same. It still caters to young families but has also attracted buyers interested in space, upright seating, and more than a dash of luxury. 

With the Chrysler Pacifica being the last completely new minivan in the segment the Carnival will become the newest. That should propel it up in consideration when buyers comparison shop. It will be interesting to see how well it does and if Kia doubling down on this shrinking segment brings good fortune.