New Model News

Redesigned 2022 Kia Sedona delivers SUV-like looks, premium appointments

Kia has combined the convenience of a minivan with the design of an SUV.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The fourth-generation Kia Carnival has debuted showcasing design inspiration from Kia's SUV. lineup. The Carnival name doesn't sound familiar? You probably know the Carnival by its other name - the Sedona.

The 2022 Kia Sedona is based on the company's new midsize platform. The same platform underpins the redesigned Kia Sorento. The architecture allows the Sedona to be more spacious and capable than before thanks to a longer and wider body.

"The Carnival has been well-regarded by buyers for a long time and has become Kia's flagship family-friendly vehicle. The fourth-generation Carnival is a significant new vehicle for us, as it demonstrates every strength that makes Kia so popular around the world," said Thomas Schemera, Head of Product Division at Hyundai Motor Group.

2022 Kia SedonaThe 2021 Kia Sedona has been completely redesigned. Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia's minivan has a shorter front overhang compared the outgoing model and the A-pillar has been moved backwards providing better forward visibility for the driver. Designers created an "island roof" design with blacked-out A- and B-pillars beneath a body-colored roof. The van features Kia's new signature C-pillar signature design.

At the front is the company's new tiger nose grille with integrated LED daytime running lights and headlights. Below the sculpted bumper and lower air intake are metallic trim and a black lower bumper.

The rear of the model has a full-width light bar and metallic lower skid plate.

Kia will offer the model in eight paint colors and a range of 17-, 18-, or 19-inch wheel designs.

2022 Kia SedonaFor a minivan, it sure has SUV-like looks.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The Sedona will be sold with a variety of engines options. The most powerful engine in the line-up is a 3.5-liter V6, producing up to 289 horsepower and and 261 pound-feet of torque. Another 3.5-liter V6 is tuned to deliver 268 horsepower and 244 pound-feet of torque. A diesel engine is available in some markets. All engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Inside the Sedona, a panoramic design line flows from one side to the other across the dashboard enhancing the spacious properties of the van's design. The 12.3-inch driver's information screen and 12.3-inch infotainment screen are found under one housing, as it is in the 2021 Sorento. A rotary shifter sits on one side of the center console.

Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and voice recognition technology are all available. Two smartphone can be connected to the infotainment system at one time via Bluetooth.

2022 Kia SedonaThe spacious proportions of the minivan are emphasized by the horizontal line across the dashboard.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Depending on local market conditions, Kia Live services provides live traffic information, weather forecasts, points of interest, and details of potential on- and off-street parking (including price, location and parking availability). It also enables drivers to send route directions to their car before a journey, and check the location of their vehicle at any time.

The Sedona will continue to come with three rows of seating - four rows in some global markets. In its seven-seat configuration the second-row sests boast a reclining "Premium Relaxation Seat". This seat offers a one-touch "relaxation mode", which automatically relines and adjusts the seat for maximum comfort.

Like Honda and Toyota minivans, Kia will offer Rear Passenger View & Talk technology. This allows front seat occupants to use the camera linked to the infotainment screen to view rear seat passengers instead of turning around. Also, front seat passengers can use the car's speaker system to talk to rear seat occupants instead of having to raise their voice.

2022 Kia SedonaThe Sedona will have three or four rows of seating depending on market.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The power tailgate lifts higher than before. One-button power-sliding rear doors are available. All three doors can open and close via buttons on the key fob.

A wide variety of Kia's newest safety features are available on the Sedona. Available technologies include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with car, pedestrian and cyclist detection; Lane Keeping Assist; Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist; Intelligent Speed Limit Assist; Driver Attention Warning; Blind-Spot View Monitor; High Beam Assist; Smart Cruise Control (SCC) or Navigation-based SCC; Lane Following Assist; Highway Driving Assist; and Surround View Monitor. In addition, it features a Rear View Monitor, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, and forward and reverse Parking Distance Warning.

2022 Kia SedonaThe Kia Sedona has unique seats that offer business class-like refinement.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia's Highway Driving Assist technology controls acceleration, braking and steering depending on the vehicles in front and street style.

The 2022 Kia Sedona will go on sale in the U.S. in 2021, following its sales debut in Korea this week. All features and technology is market-dependent.

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The CX-50 is surpsingly capable off-road.

Mazda

I have driven all of the Mazda vehicles that have been sold in the US market over the past three decades. On everyday roads and on racetracks. I’ve appreciated their “zoom-zoom”. Good power. Punchy torque just where it was needed. Well-balanced and sporty handling. A bit of growl for the versions that called for it. Plus, tasteful-but-modest styling and more or less elbow room, depending on the model. Mazda’s have been made for sports-car enthusiasts and to ferry families. But, I had never known a Mazda called an “overlander”. Until now.

2023 Mazda CX-50Towing capacity extends to 2,000 pounds.Mazda

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 moves this traction-sophisticated automaker into the lands where the pavement ends and now takes the brand ‘off-track’. Although it’s not a new thing for many of today’s carmakers to add a backcountry model or two to their lineup, it’s new for Mazda. I traveled to Santa Barbara, California to check out this all-new crossover built on Mazda’s seventh-generation small SUV platform that is shared with the smaller CX-30. This 5-passenger utility is longer, lower and wider than the CX-5 that rides on the previous generation’s underpinnings. The CX-50 has been crafted with a roomier second row and more cargo room for the goods and gear that weekend warriors and adventurers want to carry.

The CX-50 comes with a choice of two engines: a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation that gets 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque, and Mazda’s Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter turbo-charged powerplant with 256 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque; both shift through a six-speed automatic transmission. The sport ute can tow up to 2,000 lbs. with the naturally aspirated motor and up to 3,500 lbs. with the turbo-charged mill and Intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive) that brings a tow mode as well as Normal, Sport and Off-Road. The newest Mazda model has been made for North America only and is built in Alabama. It is the first Mazda vehicle with auto start/stop that can be deactivated.

2023 Mazda CX-50Mazda is a master of upscale interiors. Mazda

The new crossover starts at $26,800 and comes in S, S Select, S Preferred, S Preferred Plus, S Premium, and S Premium Plus with the base motor. Turb-charged versions come in Turbo, Turbo Premium, and Turbo Premium Plus that tops out at close to $42,000. A long list of technology and safety features are standard or available. Mazda says that Meridian, a fourth turbo trim will arrive soon with even more off-road cred; it will be set up with 18-inch black wheels AT, hood graphics and other backcountry goodies.

When you look at the CX-50, the first thing you’ll notice is exterior styling that speaks to its adventure-ready mission. Muscular bodywork, such as extra cladding, wide fender flairs and larger, more aggressive tires mean that this crossover has been designed not only to give a nod to the looks of a rugged crossover but to provide enhanced traction and a tad more suspension stretch for motoring over uneven terrain and along bumpy dirt roads. Planted on its haunches with functional air vents, it eschews minivan styling with a low and wide footprint that allows owners to have easy access to high-strength roof rails for loading gear on top; the roof has been made stronger than other Mazda crossovers to accommodate heavier loads, such as a roof-top tent. A panoramic moonroof- a first for Mazda- and attractive antiglare hood graphics and are tasteful additions.

The interior is attractive and roomy, with horizontal lines and “cleanable” surfaces as a nod to outdoor endeavors. Our Turbo Premium Plus model had bright orange reverse stitching that popped the cabin that has been crafted with uplevel trims and materials and brought heads-up display. A 7-inch infotainment screen is standard, while the top models get a 10.25-inch version. A wireless charging pad and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all trims. Of note, is the rear power and programmable liftgate to the wide and deep rear cargo compartment, with a load floor that flush with the liftgate opening to help slide heavy items in and out of the back. An available line of cargo accessories makes stowage easier.

2023 Mazda CX-50The CX-50 is family roadtrip ready.Mazda

How did it handle over the 200-plus miles of our ride and drive? The Turbo Premium Plus CX-50 offers a lot like; many of its driving attributes are consistent with Mazda’s tuning and handling priorities across its product line. Traveling along coastal highways, carving mountainous twisties with tight turns and accelerating on flat and straight well-graded pavement, it has great Mazda manners: i.e., there is enough power and torque in the right bandwidth to move it well; precise steering with a slightly heavily-weighted leather-wrapped steering wheel and well-modulated brakes, especially with towing a 3,500-lb. load. We enjoyed using Sport mode for carving corners, as it brings elongated shifts from the six-speed automatic; a crisp response comes when sport shifting in “manual mode” and provides a quick throttle response.

We tried out the Off-Road mode on a course that included flat and uneven dirt roads, as well as hill climb and descent. Although there is no downhill descent control system, the brakes worked well, along with manual gearing. Of note, Mazda would be wide to add downhill descent engineering for steeper and slicker terrain. We were able to test the difference between Normal and Off-Road over a special section of the course with sandy corners and a winding track at a speed of 30 mph showing the improved traction in the Off-Road programming and the aid of Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control that brings a bit of magic to transfer torque to the wheels where it is needed to keep the intended track-think of it like an enhanced traction control program that helps with steering and yaw control.

2023 Mazda CX-50The CX-50 comes with off-road driving modes. Mazda

Other aids for off-road and backcountry travel are: the i-Activ All-Wheel Drive system that is standard equipment on all CX-50s, with a 50/50ish power transfer front to back; 8.6 inches of ground clearance; an 18-degree approach angle and a 24-degree departure angle; and an optional 360-degree camera system.

*EPA reports: base motor fuel economy 24 city/30 highway mpg, while the turbo option gets 23/29 mpg and can run on regular or premium fuel.

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New electric SUV

Honda teases its first EV

The Prologue will go on sale as a 2024 model.

Honda

Honda is nearing the unveiling of its first electric vehicle, the Prologue, and today the automaker gave us our first glimps of the new vehicle. It's just a sketch, but Honda did share some production details and information on its product roadmap.

Honda DealerHonda plans to sell half a million EVs by the end of the decade. Honda

Honda says the Prologue will be an adventure-ready SUV "capable of satisfying everyday driving and weekend getaways with a strong hint of the well-received Honda e in the front fascia." The SUV was developed in Honda's Design Studio in Los Angeles, and was designed with an eye on Honda's global EV models. Honda said it focused on aerodynamics and fine-tuning the body to reducelines and improve range.

The Japanese automaker developed the Prologue alongside GM, but it has other EVs coming to market by 2026. By 2030, Honda says it will release 30 new EVs globally with a production volume of two million units. The co-developed vehicle is the first, but the rest will be built on Honda e:Architecture. In 2027, the automaker will begin building and selling a line of affordable EVs using the architecture developed with General Motors. Honda says it plans to sell half a million EVs in North America by the end of hte decade.

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