Kia Motors is replacing its Sedona minivan with a new SUV-inspired model called Carnival starting in the second quarter of this year.
The Carnival 2022 “multipurpose vehicle”, also known as a minivan, features a boxy exterior, a large front grille and an overall design that looks bolder and stronger than the previous model. It features distinctive new front and rear lighting, as well as the new Kia logo, which was announced earlier this year.
The vehicle, which was unveiled Tuesday, introduces a host of new safety features, as well as new sliding configurations for the second row seats and an available “VIP Lounge seat” with power controls and leg extensions much like a traditional recliner chair.
“The Kia Carnival is here to disrupt a serious segment and demonstrates once again what is possible when conventions are broken,” Kia Motors North America CEO Sean Yoon said in a statement.
The 2022 Kia Carnival has available heated and ventilated “VIP Lounge seats” in the second row with electric controls, fold-down headrests and leg extensions.
The drastic design change is the latest for the minivan segment, as automakers try to compete against crossovers and SUVs, segments that customers have flocked to for their space, capacity and more rugged personality.
After decades of growth and minivans accounting for about 8% of the US light vehicle market, sales from the mid-1990s to 2000, sales have plummeted to less than 400,000 units in the past years. Much of the segment’s decline is attributed to the rise of crossovers and SUVs, as well as the stigma that vehicles aren’t great and for “soccer moms.”
Sedona sales declined roughly 70% between 2016 and 2020 to just 13,190 vehicles sold in the US.