New and Old Kia Minivans: 2022 Kia Carnival vs 2021 Kia Sedona

There aren’t many minivan options available in America, but Kia has recently decided to make a bold move with its minivan model. For the 2022 model year, Kia has retired the Sedona and replaced it with the Kia Carnival. However, the model names aren’t the only things that are different. Here’s a look at how the old 2021 Kia Sedona compares with the new 2022 Kia Carnival.

A short history of the Kia Sedona

The 2016 Kia Sedona SXL minivan parked on a field of grass
The 2016 Kia Sedona SXL minivan | Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

While this is a bold move by Kia, it’s not as big of a change as it may seem. This is because Kia introduced the Carnival in 1998, but when it came time to bring the minivan over to America, Kia decided to give it a new name. While it was called the Carnival everywhere else, Kia decided to call it the Sedona for the American market.

The Sedona was introduced to the U.S. in 2001, and it didn’t take long for it to be a success. That being said, the Sedona fell victim to the same issues that other minivans faced. People were more interested in buying SUVs than a minivan and, as such, sales kept dropping. Now, Kia has completely redesigned the car, and to help show that, Kia has also dropped the Sedona name. 

2022 Kia Carnival vs the 2021 Kia Sedona

Since the Carnival will be the first car in the new generation, it’s very different from the Sedona. One area that hasn’t changed too much, however, was pricing. According to Autoblog, the Carnival should start at about $33,000. This is about $3,000 more expensive than the old Sedona, but the Carnival brings a lot to the table.

For example, U.S. News wrote that the Sedona had about 33.9 cubic feet of cargo space without folding its seats and 142 cubic feet after folding its seats. The Carnival, according to Autoblog, tops both of those numbers. The Carnival has 40.2 cubic feet without folding its seats and 145.1 cubic feet after folding its seats. In fact, this actually makes the Carnival the leader in the segment as far as max cargo space goes.

Another significant change happened under the hood. The Carnival has a 3.5-liter V6 that gets 290 hp, while the Sedona has a 3.3-liter V6 that gets 276 hp. Not only is the Carnival more powerful, but it’s also more fuel-efficient. Autoblog said that the Carnival gets about 19 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, for 22 mpg combined. In comparison, the Sedona gets 18 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway, for 21 mpg combined. 

There are quite a few interior differences, too. For example, the Carnival now has an 8-inch touch screen display, an improvement from the Sedona’s 7-inch touch screen. On top of that, the Carnival also has a 4.2-inch trip computer display which can come in handy for families. 

The 2022 Kia Carnival is just better overall

Since the Carnival is an entirely new generation of the Sedona, it’s not surprising that it’s better in pretty much every way. That said, they are both still fundamentally the same. For example, the Carnival still has options for seven or eight seats, the same as the Sedona. Those seats are comfortable and spacious, which is to be expected from a minivan.

On top of that, as Autoblog wrote, the Carnival drives well and rides well, but it’s not the quietest minivan. There are also many standard safety features, such as blind-spot warning and forward collision warning, but the upscale trims provide even more features. For instance, Kia also offers a cabin intercom system on the $38,000 EX trim.

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