New Minivan

Kia Sedona name gets dumped in favor of the Carnival moniker for 2022

The Kia Sedona may be getting a name change the U.S. to better align with its global branding.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The minivan known as the Kia Sedona in the U.S. has gone by the Kia Carnival name overseas for the better part of two decades. According to a filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it looks like the company could be planning on bringing the Carnival name to U.S. shores, replacing the Sedona moniker, according to a post on SedonaForum.com.

The move would go toward establishing a pattern that focuses on bringing Kia branded products to the masses all under one name. Recently, the company elected to do away with the Optima badge, instead bringing the K5 midsize sedan to market in the U.S. The sedan is sold by the K5 name globally.

2021 Kia K5 The K5 name badge recently replaced the Optima as Kia welcomed a new generation of midsize sedan to the U.S. market. Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

This move is nothing new for automakers, who frequently switch up product names regionally based on how a particular word plays with local dialects. For example, the Hyundai Kona is called the Kauai in Portugal because in Portuguese, the word "cona" (pronounced the same) is slang for the female anatomy.

The 2022 model will mark the beginning of the fourth generation of the minivan in the U.S. It rides on the brand's new midsize platform, the same that underpins the new Kia Sorento. The architecture allows the Sedona/Carnival to be more spacious and capable than before thanks to a longer and wider body.

Inside the cabin, the Sedona/Carnival has much of the same design attributes as the new Sorento as well, with SUV-like dashboard and center console styling. There's also a long list of features including a 12.3-inch infotainment touch screen, recliner-style captains chairs in the second row, and Passenger View & Talk technology.

2022 Kia Sedona/Carnival Redesigned 2022 Kia Sedona delivers SUV-like looks and premium appointments. Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The 2022 Kia Sedona/Carnival will arrive at dealerships in the U.S. later this year. Expect to see a formal announcement regarding to the name of the vehicle closer to its on-sale date, along with pricing information.

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The 2022 Lexus ES will debut next week.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The meat and potatoes of the Lexus sedan lineup, the ES, is due for a refresh, and it will get one. The 2022 Lexus ES will be shown publicly for the first time this Sunday as part of the festivities of the Shanghai auto show.

While the photo doesn't tell a lot, there's some things you can bet on in the 2022 ES. For starters, look for all the improvements that the auto has gotten over the last two years to carry over into the new model. That includes the addition of all-wheel drive to the lineup and standard blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.

The ES Black Line may not make its way to the 2022 version of the midsize sedan. Generally, blacked out editions are available only at the tail end of a model run ahead of a refresh or generational redesign. However, the blacked out elements could become available as part of a package.

The headlight photo that Lexus has offered as a teaser shows a housing that is not dissimilar to the one that the Lexus IS wears. However, the daytime running light is on the bottom here, instead off the top. Like the IS, there are strong hood lines.

At the back, the preview video shows a vehicle that is very similar to the current model. It's taillights, a strong chrome line that runs the width of the year, and rear lip spoiler all look mostly same as before.

As for what to expect underneath the body of the car, there's not a lot of indication from the teasers, which leads one to believe that's where the biggest changes are coming. There's a good chance that we'll finally say goodbye to the Lexus touch pad in favor of a touch screen display that's within a comfortable distance.

It's also likely that Lexus will fine tune the dynamics of the ES in a similar fashion to how the Lexus IS got more performance-focused driving dynamics in its latest redo.

Stay tuned for more specifics are the curtain is pulled back on April 19 in China (April 18 in the U.S.).

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The new Maps+ app will allow drivers to use a navigation system who had not previously purchased navigation.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

General Motors is giving its vehicles a new navigation solution. Maps+, an in-vehicle, app-based way-finding program, will begin rolling out to approximately 900,000 model year 2018 and newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles by the end of 2021, starting on April 30.

"We know customers want an easy and convenient in-vehicle experience that improves over time," said Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of Global Connected Services. "We listened to customer feedback and developed a product that works seamlessly with our current infotainment systems and provides a highly personalized experience that will iterate throughout the lifetime of the vehicle."

Maps+ was developed in partnership with Mapbox. The new app replaces navigation functionality in already-purchased vehicles that had purchased a navigation system. It provides navigation functionality to drivers of vehicles that did not opt for navigation at the onset.

The new application features Alexa build-in voice control that allows users to listen to music or podcasts using the system's integrated audio apps. A search box allows users to find points of interest, shops, restaurants, parking, and more. There is also embedded speed alert, low fuel recognition, predictive keyboard entry, day and night modes, category shortcuts, rear-time traffic routing, and dynamic mapping capability.

"Our obsession is the driver," said Peter Sirota, CEO of Mapbox. "The map is the canvas for providing the driver with a delightful, easy-to-use experience. From discovering new places to avoiding traffic on your commute to paying at the pump or the plug, Maps+ lays the foundation for an excellent navigation experience. We are excited to build upon this with GM to continue to drive adoption."

GM and Mapbox are committed to continuing Maps+ post-launch, developing new features and improvements based on feedback and metrics.

Maps+ will be available on select vehicles through Connected Vehicle, Premium and App Access subscription plans. Current eligible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac owners will be notified when their vehicle is eligible for Maps+.

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