Kia is in the midst of a major transformation globally, and we’re not just talking about the brand’s upcoming logo change. The South Korean brand has just launched an all-new Sorento and is putting the finishing touches on the next-generation Sportage, one of the company’s cash cows. Additionally, the Stinger received a mid-cycle facelift, while the Optima got a swanky new look and came with a name change in the US to the more all-encompassing “K5” moniker.
Speaking of the name change, the Sedona recently moved into the fourth generation and it too seems to be going through an identity transformation. According to our friends at The Korean Car BlogKia Motors America (KMA) recently held a dealer meeting where it was announced that the Sedona would be moving to the “Carnival” designation.
According to the same report, Kia seems to be moving away from the term minivan to introduce a new class of SUV-inspired vehicles. When the Carnival was launched in its home market earlier this year, Kia called it a “great utility vehicle.” The KDM-spec model is offered with up to 11 seats, while the US-spec model is expected to adopt a three-row configuration.
TKCB reports that the new Carnival for the US market will offer a feature called “premium relaxation” with a one-touch seat recline function and the ability to rotate the seats 180 degrees. Engine details were apparently not discussed at the dealer meeting, but the 3.5-liter V6 with 290 hp and 355 Nm (262 lb-ft) will be routed to the road via an eight-speed automatic transmission. . .
Since the Sedona is already available for the 2021 model year, that likely means the Carnival will launch in the US as 2022MY. We’ve reached out to Kia to confirm or deny the report, and will update the article once we respond.
Finally, Kia’s mover had other names besides Carnival and Sedona, as it was previously offered as Hyundai Entourage in the US, Naza Ria in Malaysia and Kia VQ in China.
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