The rise of crossovers and SUVs has severely affected minivan sales, but the family body style is still relevant enough for Kia to justify a new generation of its large minivan. It has big shoes to fill considering that all three generations of the Carnival/Sedona have racked up sales of over two million units since the vehicle’s launch in 1998.
Described as a “large utility vehicle”, Kia’s new premium minivan shows off its boxy shape and modern style in an eye-catching image. It features slimmer LED headlights and a revised corporate “tiger nose” grille with vertical slats. The front bumper has a completely new look and no longer appears to contain the “ice cube” four-point LED fog lights.
The side profile reveals a giant greenhouse and the mirrors now sitting lower on the doors. A prominent upper character line visually links the headlights and taillights, much like the outgoing model does. Although not noticeable, it is believed that the revised minivan will increase in size by adopting an extended wheelbase to allow for an even roomier interior cabin. For the same purpose, it is rumored that Kia is also planning to make it a bit wider.
Don’t hold your breath to see those big wheels on the production car, because automakers are notorious for exaggerating detail when releasing design sketches. In fact, you can actually check out the same wheels on the prototype that our spies just spotted, and they’re much smaller in real life. While Kia’s teaser doesn’t let us see the rear of the Sedona, the spy photos show a flatter taillight setup and the license plate mounted quite high on the tailgate.
Kia promises to unveil the fourth-generation Carnival “soon” before sales begin at the South Korea factory for the third quarter of the year. The automaker’s U.S. division doesn’t yet know if the facelifted Sedona will go on sale for the 2021 model year. New York, but with the event pushed back to August and then ultimately canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, that never happened.
That could mean the US-spec minivan will premiere in the coming months and could make an appearance at the Los Angeles Auto Show in the second half of November.
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