Future Models - Kia 2006 Carnival
First look: Kia unveils new Carnival and facelifted Sorento
Compact Carnival: Kia's Mk2 people mover will slot underneath the longer Grand Carnival.
Top-selling people-mover's replacement to surface at Geneva, alongside Kia's facelifted Sorento SUV
7 February 2006
KIA Motors has previewed this month's Geneva motor show debut of its all-new
Carnival and facelifted Sorento by revealing pictures of both models last
The replacement for Australia's top-selling people-mover emerges just weeks
after the long-wheelbase, eight-seater Grand Carnival was launched locally,
alongside the current short-wheelbase Carnival.
Featuring a shorter wheelbase and body than its Grand sibling, the new
Carnival is longer than its predecessor and will continue to offer a 2+3+2
According to Kia, all five rear seats can be individually moved, reclined,
folded or removed, bringing "considerable advances in the key areas of cabin
space, seating comfort, interior build quality, accommodation versatility
and overall packaging".
Twin sliding rear doors and a powered rear tailgate will be optional extras
for the new Kia people-mover, which is taller, wider but shorter than the
model it replaces.
The all-new short-bodied Carnival's initial target markets will be Europe,
where it goes on sale mid-year as the new Sedona, so don't expect the
next-generation seven-seater to join the Grand Carnival on sale here until
after the Sydney motor show in October.
Meantime, one of Kia's best-sellers globally with nearly 144,000 examples sold last year, Sorento has received a major midlife facelift and for 2006 will be available in European markets with a more powerful new 176kW
3.3-litre V6 petrol engine and a 135kW diesel with variable geometry
Inside, to go with the revised exterior's "contemporary image that is both
elegant and confident", there's a newly configured and higher-quality
dashboard, while reshaped front seatbacks increase legroom at the rear,
where there's improved seat adjustment.
Interestingly, Kia's 2006 Sorento (left) was in Brisbane last week to shoot a $US2 million TV commercial, continuing Kia Motors' tradition of using Australia as an international advertising backdrop. Global advertisements for the original Sorento and previous Optima were also filmed in Australia.
The new-look Sorento will be launched first in the US and Europe, before
making its Australian sales debut - in both petrol and turbo-diesel guise -
This year's Swiss auto bonanza will also host the world debut of a third Kia
model, this time a small five-door upmarket hatch to be built in the Slovak
Republic and designed primarily to tackle the Golf/Focus market in Europe
Codenamed ED and following in the footsteps of its Picanto micro-car
stablemate, the as-yet-unnamed concept will be another significant example
of the South Korean brand manufacturing dedicated new models in Europe for