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Still no sign of new Kia Carnival

Not quite: Kia president and design chief Peter Schreyer said the 2011 KV7 concept was too small and slab-sided to an accurate depiction of the next grand Carnival.

Kia’s popular but aging current Grand Carnival will soldier on for a while yet

8 Feb 2013

THE overdue new-generation Kia Grand Carnival appears at least twelve months away from a global reveal, after company president and design chief Peter Schreyer told GoAuto this week in Chicago that the car would appear “pretty soon” but not in 2013.

While the seven-year old Carnival remains easily Australia’s best-selling people-mover, it is the sole member of the Korean company’s range yet to significantly benefit from its recent design renaissance.

Furthermore, while the next-generation model had been expected to take many of its design elements from the angular KV7 concept shown at the 2011 Detroit motor show, Mr Schreyer said the eventual production version would feature substantial differences.

“I think you will find some elements you will recognise, but the KV7 was very compact and the Carnival needs to be a certain length, and if you do a car that sort of size you can’t make the sides as straight as KV7 was,” he said.

The KV7 was designed by Kia’s Californian studio, and its slab-sides could be a major factor in the delay between the concept’s reveal and any subsequent new mode reveal. GoAuto understands the design of the KV7 inspired some debate within the company.

Mr Schreyer would not be drawn on whether the company had taken its design work in a direction closer to the smaller new-generation Rondo seven-seater, which is set to appear in Australia in both petrol and diesel forms in May.

As with the soon-to-be-replaced current version, the Euro-inspired new Rondo straddles the line between straight-up people-mover and a large hatchback.

The current Grand Carnival launched Down Under in January 2006 accounted for a substantial 35.9 per cent of the total people-mover market in 2012 by offering plenty of space-for-your-buck, with pricing from $38,990 plus on-road costs.

The company sold 3676 Grand Carnivals in Australia in 2012, more than double its closest rival – sister company Hyundai’s iMax.

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