Future Cars: 2021 Kia Sedona Design, Engines & Everything Else We Know

Ever since its debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, Kia’s third-generation Sedona – also known and marketed as the Carnival outside North America, has been trying to win buyers away from Chrysler’s Pacifica and Toyota Sienna. As handsome as it is, sales have yet to surpass its rivals – however, that might all be about to change with the upcoming arrival of its next-generation successor.

See Also: 2021 Nissan Pathfinder – Everything We Know About The Three-Row Ford Explorer Rival

Can Kia’s upcoming Sedona (known as the Carnival in other markets) finally shoot to segment supremacy? Let’s take a spy-shot based, illustrated preview to see if it’s up to the challenge.

Contemporary Looks

Unlike most tall MPV’s, the Sedona exudes a squat stance that not only looks good but also enhances driving dynamics. Two distinct styling themes will be available depending on trim level, with an off-road appearance package incorporating lower plastic cladding and silver highlights.

Illustration copyright Josh Byrnes / Carscoops.com

Front end styling is progressive, with a new interpretation of Kia’s tiger-nose grille now encompassing a semi-floating LED headlamp arrangement. A clamshell hood forms the basis of a chiselled shoulder line running the length of the vehicle, and the glasshouse features floating roof arrangement. Intriguingly, the side profile isn’t too dissimilar to the outgoing Sedona, with c-pillar brightwork reminiscent of GM’s latest crop of full-sized SUV’s.

The rear is dominated by sleek, full-width LED tail lamps, large tailgate opening and a scalloped lower bumper. Some models will also sport black lower sections and contrasting silver accents.

The current 2020 Kia Sedona, pictured above and below

First-Class Accommodation 

From what we hear, Kia is aiming to blow the competition out of the water with a luxurious new interior that’s more Mercedes-Benz than cattle-class. A huge digital instrument cluster seamlessly curves into the infotainment touchscreen interface, sitting on top of a textured aluminum trim ledge and HVAC controls. Elsewhere throughout you’ll find high-quality plastics, contrasting Nappa leather and polished trim inlays.

We anticipate the current 7 and 8-seat configurations to carryover (offering white, black or tan upholstery) with improved 3rd-row space. Comfort and convenience features will likely include heated and ventilated front & 2nd-row seats, wireless charging, WiFi connectivity, surround-view monitor, Harman/Kardon premium audio and a rear entertainment system.

The new Sedona should get the same infotainment software as the 2021 Sorento pictured above

Driver-assist technology will include autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot alert, cross-traffic avoidance, lane-keeping aid, safe exit assist and rear occupant alert.

Power To Pull

Some reports suggest the Sedona might use carry-over powertrains, including a 276 hp / 248 lb-ft 3.3-litre V6 and 2.2-litre CRDi turbo-diesel (for overseas markets). Others indicate that’ll use the 2.5-litre turbocharged inline-four from the all-new Sorento – which is plausible since the Sedona will be based on the Sorento’s platform.

It’ll also enable the Sedona to be offered with the latter’s 227 hp hybrid 1.6-liter powertrain or all-wheel-drive, with power being sent to the pavement via an 8-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. A powerful plug-in hybrid (PHEV) may appear at a later date.

Rivals & Reveal 

The all-new Sedona will battle it out for school-run supremacy against Toyota’s all-new Sienna, Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey and Dodge Grand Caravan (soon to be axed).

Chrysler updated their Pacifica earlier this year

While initially rumored to debut at this past April’s New York Auto Show that never happened, we now anticipate an official reveal as early as this summer for the Korean version followed later by the North American specification model, with sales starting early 2021.

Would you consider the Sedona over the competition? Tell us why in the comments below.

Note: The illustration was made by CarScoops’ artist Josh Byrnes and is in no way related or endorsed by Kia


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