This is the 2022 Kia Sedona, and it brings fresh, more SUV-like styling to the table to compete against the likes of the redesigned Chrysler Pacifica, Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey. The Korean automaker just revealed the new model in its South Korean home market, where it’s called the Carnival, and it’s not a minivan. Oh, I know it still looks like the Minivan we’ve known for the past two decades, but Kia wants you to know this is a “Grand Utility Vehicle”.
It’s certainly not the first time a manufacturer’s tried to coin a new phrase, of course. We have BMW with their “Sports Activity Vehicles” and Mercedes with the “Sports Utility Coupe“. But since Kia decided to shorten the overhangs, lengthen the hood and create a more SUV-like profile at the A-pillar, we’re looking at a GUV. It’ll catch on.
Now, it does still have the minivan hallmark feature — sliding rear doors — but there’s much more going on under the skin. The 2022 Kia Sedona rides on an extended wheelbase to the previous model, though the automaker hasn’t shared exact specifications just yet. That means greater space in the cabin for passengers, and there should be an improvement on the old model’s 78.4 cubic feet of cargo space from the second row rearward.
A more distinctive design
Beyond just having the signature “tiger nose” grille here, the 2022 Kia Sedona has what Kia is calling a “tiger face”. To wit, the new model picks up the design trend of seamlessly integrating the headlight assembly into the grille. The Sedona takes a unique approach to most other modern cars though, as the high beams actually sit inside the latticed grille, while the low beams are in their usual position on the outer edges. The daytime running lights are also separate, running through part of the lower chrome strip that wraps around the bottom of the grille.
Around the back, the taillights run straight across the center of the new Sedona’s tailgate, into the track that runs along the side of the vehicle for the rear sliding doors. Like the Sportage and the new Sorento, the reverse lights are integrated into the lower bumper. Love it or hate it, the 2022 Kia Sedona does sport a unique-looking design that shakes off the more anonymous image of its predecessors.
What about powertrains?
Since Kia did not share any technical specs in their recent announcement, we’ll have to wait for more information on engines. The new Carnival/Sedona will launch in the third quarter of 2020 in Korea, so we should know more in the coming months. If it shares powertrains with the new Sorento, that means the new Sedona could use a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine in place of the current 3.3-liter Lambda V6 that’s in the current van. It could even get a 1.6-liter hybrid option in the U.S., in place of a diesel engine that’s likely on offer for other markets.
After the Carnival hits the South Korean market, it should come to the U.S. sometime in 2021.