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Kia reveals new Carnival “grand utility vehicle”

Kia takes Carnival in a new direction with SUV styling cues for fourth-gen MPV

24 Jun 2020

MERE days after initially teasing its new design, Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) has officially revealed its fourth-generation Carnival people mover, a vehicle it says sheds its previous ‘MPV’ moniker to now become a “grand utility vehicle” (GUV).


This new nomenclature of vehicle stems from the new Carnival’s obvious resemblance of a plus-sized SUV with a shorter front overhang, longer and higher bonnet and extended wheelbase.


As previously mentioned in our teaser report, KMC has designed the new Carnival “to appeal to progressive young families, with a leading combination of innovation, flexibility, and style” with the new model also meant to look more dynamic and solid all-round.


At the front we find the latest take on KMC’s ‘tiger face’ design language with the big people mover brandishing an equally new take on the ‘tiger-nose’ grille finished in a new two-tone chrome mesh.


The grille itself is flanked by a new quad-headlight arrangement with the high- and low-beam lights sitting independently of one another, the latter actually being integrated into the corners of the grille.


Beneath the low-beam lights is an elaborate set of daytime running lights which feed into the chrome grille surrounds after wrapping around the integrated indicators, creating a buffer between them and the high-beam lamps.


The rest of the front fascia has been given a set of heavily contoured ‘cheeks’ while the decently sized lower intake is surrounded by metallic trim and a black lower bumper, further emphasising the SUV-like character.


The flanks of the Carnival feature some subtle body sculpting, highlighted by a full length parabolic line running from the back of the headlight to the start to the tail-light arrangement, taking in the rails of the sliding rear doors.


At the rear, the new tail-light arrangement sits flush and in line with the parabolic line running down the flanks with the individual lamps arranged to match the front.


A subtle chrome strip runs parallel to the light strip, carried on from the curved silver C-pillar and underlining the rear window.


“Further enhancing its SUV-inspired design, the Carnival is finished off with a metallic lower skid plate, elevating the car further and giving it a more robust appearance,” KMC said in a statement.


No official spec details have been reveal yet, although we expect the new Carnival to be powered by the same 206kW/336Nm 3.3-litre V6 petrol engine and 147kW/440Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four as the current model given the new Sorento SUV has been confirmed as utilising carry-over engines.


Both powertrains are currently paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.


The current generation Carnival has ruled the sales charts this year ending May, accounting for 55.8 per cent of the sub-$60,000 people mover market with 1622 sales.


Its nearest sales rival is the Honda Odyssey with 456 sales (15.7 per cent).

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