Kia unveiled the all-new Sedona this week at its home in South Korea, where the revamped minivan will continue to be sold under the Carnival name. Members of the local press were invited to get up close with the family hauler at Seoul’s Hyundai Motorstudio in the upscale Gangnam neighborhood – yes, that’s what the PSY song was about. YouTuber asian petrolhead had the opportunity to get an in-depth look at the fourth generation model and its major transformation.
Kia has gone to great lengths to make the Sedona/Carnival more than just a family vehicle, as the company has infused SUV cues to turn the minivan into a car you not only need for practicality, but what you really want. The boxy shape maximizes interior space as with all other minivans, but the all-new styling makes it stand out in a shrinking segment as more and more people turn to SUVs.
asian petrolhead reviews the interior trim colors and finishes available before taking a closer look at the exterior design. The intricate design of the front grille and the way it blends with the driving lights gives the Sedona a special look, while the Land Rover-style hidden rear windshield wiper is a nice touch as it allows for a design cleaner rear.
Curiously, the revised minivan is still stuck with Kia’s outdated logo rather than getting the new corporate badging the company said it would soon be rolling out. Another weak point raised this week is the lack of a hybrid powertrain, but perhaps the company plans to fix that later in the model’s lifecycle. All-wheel drive is also missing in action, though we hope the hybrid variant will have an all-wheel-drive setup as standard equipment in the same vein as the new Sorento hybrid.
While the interior will be available with up to 11 seats, the three Sedona minivans Kia had on display in Seoul had the other cabin configurations with fewer seats. Just as the exterior has virtually nothing in common with the old one, the interior also represents a major change, highlighted by the dual 12.3-inch screens. The dual-pane sunroof with the rear window also opening is a nice feature, as is the hands-free sliding door that opens automatically once you approach it with the key in your pocket.
Overall, the new Kia Sedona/Carnival is a fine example of why an SUV isn’t always the answer when shopping for a roomy family car. With the exception of slightly better ground clearance than SUVs typically have, a minivan (or wagon) is usually the smarter choice, but to each their own…
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