Progressive Young Families Beware! Next-generation Kia Sedona Looms

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
progressive young families beware next generation kia sedona looms

What a year 2020’s turned out to be! Sure, there’s stuff happening in the background, but look at all the minivan news. Chrysler’s coming out with an all-wheel-drive Pacifica, Toyota’s turning the Sienna into a dedicated hybrid, and Kia — well, Kia’s not giving up.

As the least popular minivan in a shrinking segment, Kia’s Sedona will not fade from the U.S. market. Not when there’s a fourth-generation model about to debut in Kia’s South Korean home base.

Called the Carnival in that market, the name calls to mind a large, spacious conveyance filled with tourists or family members eager to stretch their travel dollars. In other words, perfect for applying to the exterior of a minivan.

Kia Motors released this sketch of the fourth-gen Carnival/Sedona Thursday, exciting those few minivan intenders who like bucking trends and going their own way. The company claims the model “will appeal to progressive young families with its combination of innovation, flexibility, and style.”

Apparently, its designers dubbed it a “Grand Utility vehicle.”

Given what’s just been unveiled by the competition, Kia will have to really put some muscle behind the innovation angle. It’s worth noting that, powertrains aside, the model’s existing available second-row lounging chairs have now been replicated by Toyota.

Kia’s certainly being a tease here, not offering up any secret we can’t already see in the rendering. There’s talk of “futuristic new details” and little else, aside from the supposedly SUV-inspired designs many minivan makers seem to be gravitating towards. Hell, look at the massive console in the upcoming Sienna.

The design isn’t busy. Tiger-nose grille up front, and a ruler-straight character line joining headlamp to taillight. There’ll be no body-color B- or C-pillar, and the roof edge droops lower aft of the second row, lending the vehicle a more crossover-esque appearance. The hood line is flatter, too. If the rendering tells us anything, it’s that Kia might even opt for wheel arch cladding, though this could be a trick of the light.

While the Sedona will likely adopt a new platform borrowed from the brand’s largest vehicle, the Telluride, it’s presumed the standard V6 powerplant will carry over. In this segment, with volumes that pale in comparison to the Honda Odyssey and its rivals, spending development dollars on hybrid and AWD hardware would likely prove a wasted investment.

All that to say we’ll have to wait for more details on what sets this ride apart from its contemporaries. The new Carnival debuts this summer before going on sale in Korea in the fourth quarter of 2020; global markets follow at a later date.

In the U.S., Sedona sale are a roller coaster with fewer ascents than descents. Sales came in just a hair under 16,000 units last year, but as recently as 2016 Kia moved more than 44,000 of them. The model’s best sales year was 2004, when Kia unloaded 61,149 Sedonas in a market much friendlier (and crowded) than it is today.

[Images: Kia]

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2 of 26 comments
  • Crtfour Crtfour on Jun 19, 2020

    Glad to see vans getting updated. I don't understand why they bother trying to make vans "more CUV like" ie with the name in this case. People who want a van will get one regardless of name and those who don't will not ; there are plenty of crossovers to choose from. I used to think vans were lame until my wife got an Odyssey a couple of years ago and now I actually really like them and appreciate the practicality. Last week my 3 year old and I were out of town and we had a GMC Terrain rental which I hated from the bad ride to the noisy 4-cylinder to the huge rear blind spot to having to get him into his car seat in the hotel parking lot while not being able to fully open the rear door. Having this rental made me appreciate the van even more.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Jun 23, 2020

    Are there really this many TTAC readers so blinded by unhinged political hatreds that they don't realize "progressive" has numerous definitions, of which a political persuasion is just one? Crack a dictionary, you screeching pack of rabid chihuahuas.

  • SilverHawk At least in the short term, this is simply going to cause more anxiety among the more technology shy consumers looking to buy a new vehicle. Especially when this is not being done for the benefit of the vehicle owner, but for the convenience of GM's marketing department. Personal data security is an extremely important issue in today's world.
  • Ajla I don't think I'd be able to part with something I kept for 23 years. Especially as the only owner.
  • MaintenanceCosts What now?Lack of CarPlay would be disqualifying for me, and as a current GM EV owner I was a reasonably likely future GM EV customer. Not good at all.
  • FreedMike This could be the most expensive cheap car in Colorado. Buy one of these instead. Used 2003 Buick LeSabre Limited For Sale $5,984 | Cars.comYou'll thank me.
  • SCE to AUX Nope; winter never came to Pittsburgh this year (snowfall was down 70%), and I didn't miss it.