By on June 18, 2020


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]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

26 Comments on “Progressive Young Families Beware! Next-generation Kia Sedona Looms...”

  • avatar

    Might want to check the 8th paragraph before you have BLM loons demanding your total destruction and elimination. Hate to be brought down by a nose. It did give me a good laugh however.

    That being said, why does this only appeal to progressive young families? What about young conservative families? What about retired couples or singles? Just asking.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Since it sounds like the middle row seats won’t be removable (just like the current generation), I’ll keep my 09 Sedona.

    I guess ‘progressive young families’ can’t be bothered with pedestrian tasks like hauling a sheet of drywall or plywood home, and you know, actually installing it. Or maybe helping someone move a dresser or couch. These are things ‘other people’ do.

  • avatar

    I thought minivans were a dying segment?

    • 0 avatar

      Declining but still enough prospective business to keep alive.

      I assume the powertrain, suspension, and a lot of electronics/switchgear is common with CUVs, so tooling up a van unibody and interior can’t be all that expensive. They should do a bottom feeder version of the Honda pickup off this platform too.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Actually, our 2011 sienna limited had reclining 2nd row with leg extensions. Toyota briefly discontinued them and then brought them back for re design. Pretty sure it was Kia that aped them .

  • avatar

    I would argue that if they used the Telluride platform that most of the development dollars are already there. The first thing they need to address is that this is the smallest van interior wise in its class. Make it slightly bigger than everything else interior wise in its class and they can sell more based on size like some CUVs do now.

  • avatar

    I see what Kia is trying to do here, a little less “minivan” and a little more SUV. I approve

  • avatar

    If the 2nd row seats arent removeable you can count me out. Ill go odyssey or pacifica.

  • avatar

    “ 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.”

    On a global basis, the Kia essentially sells in the same volume as the Honda or Toyota.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    This looks like a decade old design compared to the competition.

    Oh wait…my bad, it is a Kia so it is highly innovative and clearly better than the Pacifica.

    Did I do it right?

  • avatar

    Even from the teaser, I can already tell it will look better than the Odyssey.

  • avatar

    Progressive means young, modern, forward looking and so on. In the rest of the world. Only in US it has negative connotations of some kind of idiot who is out of touch with reality.

    • 0 avatar

      “Only in US it has negative connotations of some kind of idiot who is out of touch with reality.”

      Only to American Republicans – who are also the only people on the planet who believe climate change is a hoax, the coronavirus pandemic is a hoax, and that there is no racial inequality is the U.S.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • jalop1991: “The lefty environmental advocates are really stuck on them being “good for the environment” with...
  • ravenuer: “Somewhere” is the important issue in my case. I would need an awful long cord. Hopefully the...
  • jalop1991: “But, a long distance road trip takes far more planning and may be out of the question if you want...
  • ravenuer: Actually not much happy about Memorial Day.
  • Greg Hamilton: Nothing is hidden. It’s all part of the plan. https://intelligence.weforu...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber