Kia Sedona minivan gets a makeover to feel more SUV-like

Known as the Carnival elsewhere, the reveal occurred in South Korea, though Kia plans to confirm the minivan for other countries in the near future.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2021 Kia Sedona

This is now a "grand utility vehicle," according to Kia.


Kia's minivan received an overhaul on Wednesday after the next-generation Sedona bowed in South Korea, where it's known as the Kia Carnival.

The brand touted this redesign as a way to move the Sedona closer to the SUV side of things, though make no mistake, it's still a minivan with sliding doors and everything. Kia's designers continue to knock things out of the park, and the new Sedona looks pretty great in photos.

The front grille receives more luxurious details, and the reimagined tiger nose shape now integrates with the headlights. Jagged daytime running lights also highlight the shape. If you look closely, the designers also created a pretty wild headlight design, too. At the corners sit the high beams, while the low beams are separate and sit more inward, inside the grille. The LED running lights hug the front turn signals to create an intriguing array of lights. It will be neat to see the minivan at night with this setup.

The SUV styling cues come in the form of reworked proportions, which include a shorter front overhang and an A-pillar moved more rearward to create a longer hood. The changes result in more room inside as well as a lengthier profile when viewed from the outside. Like the new Sorento, the Sedona also wears a decorative C-pillar finished in chrome and a diamond pattern. Combined with blacked-out A- and B-pillars, this is a stylish people mover.

2021 Kia Sedona

Digging this design a lot.


The rear gets major changes, too, with a long light bar and a thin chrome strip above it, which links the chrome C-pillar from the side. The chiseled rear end really does give off more of a utility vehicle vibe, so kudos to Kia on accomplishing that. There's nothing wrong with a good minivan, folks, but apparently they need to look like SUVs to gain acceptance these days.

Kia hasn't given us a look at the cabin yet, but the current Sedona is already surprisingly luxurious. We'll have to wait to see more.

Further details on the powertrain and other amenities aren't available yet either, but Kia said more info is coming soon. The Sedona/Carnival will go on sale in South Korea later this year, but US sales aren't confirmed yet. Kia didn't outright confirm we'll see the minivan again, but a representative told Roadshow, "the vehicle remains an important part of Kia's award-winning lineup."

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