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Kia ditches Sedona minivan, switches to Kia Carnival

Kia ditches Sedona minivan, switches to Kia Carnival

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Kia ditches Sedona minivan, switches to Kia Carnival

Nathan Bomey
 
| USA TODAY
Say goodbye to the Kia Sedona minivan and hello to the Kia Carnival … “multi-purpose vehicle.”That’s what Kia is calling its redesigned … minivan.The Sedona nameplate is history, replaced by the Carnival in a pivot that signals further trouble for vehicles historically called minivans, which have been losing sales to SUVs in recent years.But Kia is on a roll with family buyers, having scored big with its recent rollout of the Telluride three-row SUV, so maybe it’s on to something.The 2022 Kia Carnival comes with a lot of zip in the form of a 3.5-liter, 6-cylinder engine delivering 290 horsepower, the only powertrain option.Death of the minivan?: As Americans buy more SUVs, is the minivan headed for the junkyard?Jeep Cherokee faces scrutiny: Cherokee Nation chief says SUV does ‘not honor us’Much like other minivans, it has configurable seating for seven or eight passengers.In a notable design shift, Kia is placing its logo on the front end of the hood instead of the grille. It’s also notably boxier, not unlike the recently discontinued Ford Flex SUV.Safety features include a system to alert when a child or pet has been left in the vehicle and a system that alerts the driver or passengers when it’s not safe to exit the vehicle.The front-wheel-drive Carnival, which shares its vehicle architecture with the Sorento, arrives at dealerships in the second quarter of 2021.”The Kia Carnival is here to disrupt a staid segment and proves once again what is possible when conventions are shattered,” Kia Motors North America CEO Sean Yoon said in a statement.The Sedona’s demise, which follows the recent downfall of other minivans like the Dodge Grand Caravan and Nissan Quest, was long in the making. U.S. sales of the Sedona totaled 13,190 in 2020, down 70% from 44,264 in 2016, the first full year after the vehicle’s last redesign.In 2020, Kia Sedona sales were down 17%, compared with a year earlier, compared with the overall brand’s decline of 5%.Choosing not to call the Carnival a minivan is a risky venture, said RebeccaDrives.com automotive analyst and consultant Rebecca Lindland.“While a minivan is often derided, its functionality is one of the best for any young family,” Lindland said in an email. “The sliding doors on a minivan are what set it apart in the marketplace, differentiating it for consumers from the dozens of SUVs on the market today. Ignoring that very utility by not calling it a minivan could mean people will ignore the Kia Carnival, especially with the name change.”Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.


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