New Model News

Redesigned 2021 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 2021 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.

2021 Kia Sedona The 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.

2021 Kia Sedona For 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 linen 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.

2021 Kia Sedona The 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.

2021 Kia Sedona The 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.

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

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The Nissan Re-Leaf is designed to help in disaster zones.

Photo courtesy of Nissan

When you need disaster relief, this Nissan Leaf is there for you, at least in theory. The Nissan Re-Leaf, an electric emergency response vehicle concept vehicle, takes the idea of portable electricity to a new level.

The Re-Leaf isn't just all-show. It's a working prototype that is designed to serve as a mobile power supply that can be used following natural disasters or extreme weather events. The Leaf was the world's first mass-market electric vehicle when it debuted a decade ago.

Natural disasters are the biggest cause of power outages. A 2019 World Bank report found natural shocks and climate change caused 37 percent of outages in Europe between 2000 and 2017, and 44 percent of outages in the US over the same period.

Nissan Re-Leaf

Photo courtesy of Nissan

Usually, when a disaster hits, the time for electricity supply to be restored is typically 24-48 hours if the damage is not too extensive. During that time, electric vehicles can provide mobile emergency power.

The Re-Leaf has a few modifications to make it disaster-ready. That starts at the exterior of the vehicle where weatherproof plug sockets mounted directly to the exterior enable 110- to 230-volt devices to be powered by the car's lithium-ion battery.

It is designed to drive into disaster zones and provide a mobile power supply. The integrated energy management system can run medical, communications, lighting and other life-supporting equipment.

The cars can also act as mobile storage batteries to supply homes with electricity during non-emergency situations by using the LEAF's bi-directional charging ability, a standard feature of the model since its introduction in 2010. This means the LEAF can not only 'pull' power to recharge the high-capacity battery, but also 'push' it back to the grid through V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid) technology, or directly to electronic devices through V2X (Vehicle-to-everything).

Acting as a portable power station, the latest generation Nissan LEAF e+ with a fully charged 62 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery can provide enough electricity to power the average UK household for around six days.

This concept may look futuristic but the future is already here. Nissan has used the Leaf to provide emergency power and transportation following natural disasters since 2011.

The Re-Leaf sports an amber color scheme, a nod to the ancient Greek word for amber – electron – the origin of the word 'electricity'. There's a roof-mounted LED light bar that flashes amber lights as well. Nissan has raised the car by 70 mm and given it a wider track and all-terrain tires on 17-inch wheels.

Inside, the rear seats have been removed and the floor levelled to provide storage for essential equipment. A custom bulk-head cage also separates the front seats from the cargo area.

A bespoke pull-out desk extends from the cargo area with a 32-inch LED screen and dedicated power supply creating an operational hub to run communications from and manage the recovery process.

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Acura is revealing its next-gen MDX slowly, first with this, the MDX Prototype.

Photo courtesy of Acura

The MDX is the best-selling Acura in the lineup. It's also America's best-selling luxury three-row SUV. But that's not good enough.

Acura is redesigning the MDX and as it prepares to enter a fourth generation, a prototype of the new SUV will be shown on October 14. This looks to follow the same pattern as the TLX launch, which saw a prototype revealed about six months before the true model debut, just after the PMC Edition was put on sale.

Acura says that the next-gen MDX will usher in " new levels of Acura design, performance, technology and craftsmanship, assuming the mantle as the brand's new flagship model". And that's a good thing. The brand revolution that started with the RDX and continued with the TLX looks to go even further in a bid to re-establish Acura on its premium model throne.

The ofirst MDX was the industry's first three-row SUV based on a unibody platform, a design that has since gone mainstream as crossovers and lifestyle SUVs overrun a vehicle type that started as rugged off-roaders and family trucksters. Since it's debut, the MDX has garnered praise from buyers and critics alike including winning the 2001 North American Truck of the Year and 2001 Motor Trend SUV of the Year awards.

Over the past two decades, cumulative sales have surpassed 1 million units, securing MDX's place as the best-selling Acura model, accounting for roughly one-third of the brand's U.S. sales since its launch.

"We're accelerating Acura's commitment to Precision Crafted Performance and this fourth-generation MDX is the most ambitious and consequential redesign of an Acura core model in our history," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and Acura brand officer. "This all-new MDX will take us into new territory in terms of performance, prestige and emotional appeal."

The teaser image (above) and video (below) that were released today highlight the sharply sculpted beltline running the perimeter of the wider, lower and longer MDX, connecting the Jewel Eye LED headlights at the front to the Chicane LED taillights in the rear.

The MDX Prototype pulls heavily from the RDX and TLX with design nods to each. Still, it's unmistakably a three-row SUV. Though we don't know for sure what's under the hood, expect the MDX to have more a dynamic driving style when it debuts, following in the vein of the RDX and TLX redesigns.

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