Kia adopts Carnival badge for next U.S. minivan

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Kia’s minivan is getting a complete makeover with a new name. And Kia won’t be calling the new Carnival a minivan, officially.

Billed as a multipurpose vehicle, the 2022 Carnival is a replacement for the Sedona.

The new name aligns the U.S. with the rest of the world, where Kia’s minivan has been sold as the Carnival. In 2020, Kia’s midsize sedan, the Optima, was rebranded the K5 to match the name marketed elsewhere.

The Carnival will be unveiled Feb. 23 and will be the first vehicle in the U.S. to feature Kia’s new logo and badging.

Kia said the Carnival MPV will push “the boundaries of design and innovation to become a multifaceted and unexpected companion.”

Based on a preview image released by Kia, it will offer three rows of seating, room for seven or eight passengers and “bold and boxy” styling that resembles the brand’s latest utility vehicles such as the Telluride, Sorento and Seltos.

The changes are designed to remain viable in a market shifting away from traditional minivans and embracing crossovers and SUVs. While the minivan segment continues to shrink, it remains a key entry point to some brands for buyers, notably families, that want more functionality (think multiple cupholders and storage bins), more flexible seating and easier entry and exit in a vehicle.

U.S. sales of the Sedona tallied 13,190 in 2020, down 17 percent, placing it fifth among all minivans, behind the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and Dodge Grand Caravan.

The Carnival will be equipped with best-in-class cargo volume, a 290-hp V-6 engine and advance driver-assistance and safety gear, Kia said, including what it says is a segment-exclusive blind-spot view monitor.