Kia seems to be on a renaming kick.
Remember the Kia Optima? The brand’s midsize sedan did get a new generation this year, but that’s not what it’s called anymore. Instead, we have the K5 — aligning the model with the South Korean market. Thanks to a new NHTSA filing uncovered by the Sedona Forum, the company may do the same with the Sedona minivan. Moving forward, a new VIN decoder document suggests the US model will be the “Carnival”.
If a certain kind of imagery just popped into your head, trust me you’re not alone.
That is what the Korean automaker names its minivan in overseas markets. In fact, if you’re in Europe this is totally unsurprising for you. Here in the US, though, we’ve had the Sedona for nearly 20 years. The model first arrived over here in 2002, and we’ve seen two generations since. While mid-2000s models fared decently well, even among minivans it hasn’t been a hot seller. Just last year, for example, Kia sold just 13,190 Sedonas.
Korean Car Blog posted back in November that Kia would rename its model along the lines of the “Grand Carnival” concept, which we saw a few months prior. It’s clear Kia aims to revamp this model’s character, and it looks like a name change will be a part of the process. For what it’s worth, the automaker didn’t even refer to their concept as a minivan. Instead, they called it a “grand utility vehicle” — or a crossover with minivan inspirations.
Regardless, that name may take some getting used to. Against the Sienna, Odyssey and Pacifica, we’ll see if Kia can claw back some market share here.