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New York show: Kia reveals Carnival attraction

Finally: Kia’s oldest model, the Grand Carnival, is set for replacement by this sleek new MPV to be shown at the New York motor show on April 16.

Roll up, roll up for the all-new Kia Grand Carnival at the New York auto expo

Kia logo4 Apr 2014

By RON HAMMERTON

SOUTH Korea’s fast-growing Kia Motors has given global car fans a look at an all-new people-mover that almost certainly will emerge as the replacement for the aging Grand Carnival in Australia from late this year or early 2015.

A dark and moody single image released by the company overnight shows the strong Kia family resemblance on the front of the vehicle, which it calls simply an “all-new Kia MPV” in the accompanying blurb that confirms the vehicle will go on show at the New York motor show starting April 16.

But expect the vehicle to carry Carnival badges in Australia where the current model was launched almost eight years ago and remains the only model yet to get the company’s new look.

Called Sedona in North America, the vehicle will retain its family friendly eight-seat configuration that, along with sharp pricing, has made it a top-selling people-mover in Australia.

Kia promises the new car “will challenge the segment”, and offer “the functionality to transport as many as eight passengers and their belongings while also serving as a purposeful offering for adventure seekers”.

The latter reference indicates that Kia sees the new Carnival as an alternative to SUVs for many families this time around.

As expected, the new Carnival looks nothing like the KV7 MPV concept unveiled in 2011, as Kia design boss Peter Schreyer stated publicly that he was unhappy with that design and sent it back to the drawing board at least twice.

As the concept shows, the new, third-generation model is much sleeker and more contemporary than the current vehicle, giving it a great chance to recapture the people-mover market leadership.

This year, the re-designed Honda Odyssey has grabbed the ascendancy, achieving 598 sales to the Carnival’s 478 to the end of March.

Traditionally one of Kia’s best sellers here, the Carnival has slipped to fifth place behind the Rio, Cerato, Sportage and Sorento, all of which have been given a full make-over under Schreyer’s guidance.

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