Improved materials and additional technology for the fourth-gen minivan.

In an automotive world dominated by crossovers and SUVs, it’s refreshing to see the ol’ minivan is still getting some love. Kia’s fourth-gen Sedona / Carnival showed its all-new exterior about three weeks ago, and now the time has come to have a look inside the cabin. Much like with the bodywork, the interior has gone through massive changes to signal the company’s decision to push the family hauler upmarket.

The Sedona is the latest in a long string of models to adopt a side-by-side screen layout, with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster joined by a touchscreen infotainment system of the same size. The wraparound dashboard effect is better executed on the new model to create a cozy atmosphere, while the lower center console hosts touch-sensitive controls for the climate settings.

The chunky gear lever has been replaced by a far sleeker rotary knob that uses shift-by-wire technology, meaning electronic controls do all the work, without the need for a mechanical linkage between the gear shifting lever and the transmission. We’re noticing the minivan's dashboard is split into two by what may give the impression of a full-width air vent due to the plastic panels with a chrome strip mimicking the actual four air vents.

Kia has released only one image of the interior, but we do know the new minivan will be offered with seven, nine, or 11 seats in three or four rows. So far, the most popular of them all has been the seven-seat layout, which in the new generation boasts reclining captain’s chair with adjustable armrests, backrests, and legrests for second-row occupants. They also have access to USB chargers mounted on the back of the seats, along with storage nets and a storage drawer with a built-in tray.

2021 Kia Sedona / Carnival
2019 Kia Sedona

With the wheelbase growing by 30 millimeters (1.18 inches) and the body being 10 millimeters (0.4 inches) wider than before, that obviously translates into a more spacious cabin. The overall length has increased by 40 millimeters (1.57 inches), with the rear overhang 30 millimeters (1.18 inches) longer than before to unlock additional third-row space and a more voluminous cargo area.

Details about the oily bits will be disclosed in the coming weeks, prior to a launch in domestic market South Korea scheduled for Q3 2020 ahead of an international rollout.

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Futuristic and versatile interior for new Kia Carnival

Spacious, comfortable and futuristic interior thanks to ‘Spatial Talents’ design concept
Panoramic dashboard display with haptic touch control
Intelligent packaging and comfortable seating across three or four rows
Best-in-class cargo space and practical storage areas for passengers
On-sale in Korea later in the third quarter of 2020
Kia Motors Corporation has revealed the interior of the new Kia Carnival today in a series of images showing the new vehicle in Korean specification. Based on the interior design concept of ‘Spatial Talents’, the new Carnival – the brand’s fourth-generation flagship minivan and sold in many markets worldwide as the Kia Sedona – provides a spacious, comfortable and futuristic environment for young families. Its unrivalled combination of innovation, flexibility and style are designed to satisfy both driver and passengers.

Like its predecessor, the Carnival boasts significant levels of space for passengers in all rows. Designers have created a greater sense of roominess inside, combined with a renewed sense of modernity and style. The new Carnival provides passengers in all rows with a futuristic, relaxed space in which to spend journeys.

A futuristic, spacious cabin with premium material quality and innovative technology

The interior of the fourth-generation Carnival represents an increase in quality and design over its predecessor, with a futuristic new cabin for the 2020s. The high-tech ambiance is most obvious in its wide, wrap-around dashboard, with a high fascia that is elegant in its simplicity and cutting-edge in the array of features it offers. The dashboard seamlessly integrates dual-screen infotainment technologies with haptic touch controls, placing the driver in command of their very own cockpit.

The dash itself is accented by high-tech two digital displays all under one piece of glass, linking Kia’s latest 12.3-inch digital driver instrument cluster and 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system. This display provides a wide variety of useful information across its 12.3-inch split screens. Many infotainment functions can be controlled using touch-sensitive buttons around the screen, with a similar panel further down the center console for the climate control system. A shift-by-wire dial for the transmission at the base of the center console further expresses the new Carnival’s sense of technology and modernity.

Utility in abundance: intelligent packaging for three or four rows

The Carnival boasts intelligent interior packaging and cabin storage areas in abundance. The Carnival’s 22-year heritage is one of spaciousness and versatility, and the new model takes this to the max, based on the ‘Spatial Talents’ interior design concept created by Kia’s design teams.

The fourth-generation Carnival benefits from a longer wheelbase, a longer rear overhang, and a wider body. The result is more interior space for passengers in all three or four rows. Depending on market, the Carnival offers owners three- or four-row seating configurations, with space for 7, 9 or 11 occupants in total. In its popular 7-seat configuration, the Carnival boasts Kia’s reclining ‘captain’s chairs’ for second-row occupants, with adjustable backrests, armrests and legrests providing ‘business class’ seating for comfort on long journeys.

The Carnival excels at providing practical storage options for occupants, with a range of new features for stowing, supporting and even charging electronic devices and smaller items. Second-row occupants have access to back-of-seat USB chargers, storage nets for mobile devices, and a new storage drawer in the base of the rear console, with a tray for storing tablets or phones above a larger storage area.

Furthermore, the Carnival’s 30 mm longer wheelbase (up to 3,090 mm) and 10 mm wider body (up to 1,995 mm) further enhances utility for families and professionals. The overall length of the new Carnival grows by 40 mm to 5,155 mm, with a 30 mm longer rear overhang (up to 1,130 mm), creating more space for third-row passengers and best-in-class luggage space with it.

More Carnival details to be revealed soon

The new Kia Carnival is due on-sale in Korea later in the third quarter of 2020, with global sales in many of Kia’s markets to follow thereafter. More product details will be released soon.