An in-depth look at the completely overhauled South Korean family hauler.
Kia unveiled the all-new Sedona this week at home in South Korean where the revamped minivan will continue to be sold as the Carnival. Members of the local press were invited to get up close and personal with the family hauler at the Hyundai Motorstudio in Seoul in the upmarket Gangnam District – yes, that’s what PSY’s song was about. YouTuber Asian Petrolhead had the opportunity to get an in-depth look at the fourth-gen model and its major transformation.
Kia has gone to great lengths to make the Sedona / Carnival more than just a family-friendly vehicle as the company has infused SUV cues to turn the minivan into a car you not only need for practical reasons but actually desire. The boxy shape maximizes interior space as with every other minivan out there, but the all-new styling makes it stand out in a shrinking segment as more and more people are shifting towards SUVs.
Gallery: 2021 Kia Sedona / Carnival
Asian Petrolhead goes through the colors and interior trim finishes available before having a closer look at the exterior design. The intricate front grille design and how it blends with the high-beam headlights lend the Sedona a special look, while the hidden rear wiper in Land Rover fashion is a nice touch as it enables a cleaner rear-end design.
Oddly enough, the overhauled minivan is still stuck with Kia’s outdated logo rather than getting the new corporate badge the company announced it would roll out soon. Another weak point brought up this week is the lack of a hybrid powertrain, but maybe the company is planning to address this issue later in the model’s life cycle. All-wheel drive is also missing in action, although we’re hoping the hybrid variant will have an all-paw 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. Much like the exterior has practically nothing in common with the old one, the interior also represents a major change, highlighted by the dual 12.3-inch screens. The dual-panel sunroof with the rear glass also opening is a neat feature, as is the handsfree sliding door automatically opening once you approach it with the key in your pocket.
Overall, the new Kia Sedona / Carnival is a fine example of why an SUV is not always the answer when shopping for a roomy family car. Save for the slightly better ground clearance SUVs typically have, a minivan (or a wagon) is generally the smarter choice, but to each their own…