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Kia Carnival minivan confirmed for US, Sedona name departs

It'll be called the same as it is everywhere else in the world.

Kia Carnival teaser
The Carnival is coming to town.

The Kia Sedona is dead. Long live the Carnival! A week after the EPA appeared to ruin the surprise, Kia on Sunday confirmed that its next-generation minivan will be sold in the US -- and the long-rumored name change is indeed happening. In most countries Kia long sold what Americans know as the Sedona under the name Carnival. With the new minivan, Kia will unify the nomenclature, just like it did with the change from Optima to K5 with its latest sedan.

The brand plans to reveal the US-spec minivan on Feb. 23, but we've already seen the handsome people-mover inside and out after Kia revealed it in South Korea. The latest Carnival is totally new with a fresh design and a pretty upscale interior, including some fancy "Relaxation" seats for second-row passengers. As long as no one's sitting in the third row, the model flips the row down to let second-row riders recline waaaay back. Then it automatically kicks out a footrest. It's pretty VIP for a minivan. The second row also pivots for a train-line experience, too. Kia showed the functions off for the Korean model, so it remains to be seen if the US-spec will get the same treatment.

What Kia did confirm for the US is the minivan's 3.5-liter V6 that makes 290 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. So far, it sounds like it will be the sole engine offered and an eight-speed automatic should be standard with it.

Stay tuned for more info as the Carnival comes to town. Right now, it's shaping up to give the Pacifica, Odyssey and Sienna a serious challenge.