Kia Motors is replacing its Sedona minivan with a new SUV-inspired model called the Carnival from the second quarter of this year.
The 2022 Carnival “multipurpose vehicle,” also known as the minivan, features a box-shaped exterior, a large grille, and an overall design that looks bolder and sturdier than the outgoing model. It features new signature lighting on the front and rear, as well as the new Kia logo announced earlier this year.
The vehicle, which was unveiled on Tuesday, offers a multitude of new safety features as well as new sliding configurations for the seats in the second row and an available “VIP Lounge Seating” with power control and leg extension, similar to a traditional lounge chair.
“The Kia Carnival is here to disrupt a set segment and once again proves what is possible when conventions are broken,” said Sean Yoon, CEO of Kia Motors North America, in a press release.
The 2022 Kia Carnival has heated and ventilated “VIP Lounge Seating” in the second row with power control, fold-out headrests and leg extensions.
The drastic design change is the latest for the minivan segment as automakers try to hold their own against crossovers and SUVs – segments that customers flock to for their space, performance, and more rugged personalities.
After decades of growth and minivans, which make up about 8% of the U.S. light commercial vehicle market and were sold in the mid-1990s through 2000, sales have plummeted to less than 400,000 units in recent years. Much of the segment’s decline is due to the rise in crossovers and SUVs, as well as the stigma that the vehicles are uncool and for “soccer moms”.
Sedona sales fell by around 70% between 2016 and 2020, to just 13,190 vehicles sold in the United States