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2021 Kia Carnival revealed with substantial upgrades

Lots of new tech, new engines, and a new look front the fourth-gen Kia Carnival.

Kia has revealed the all-new fourth-generation Carnival, also known as the Sedona in some overseas markets.

Calling its MPV a “Grand Utility Vehicle”, or GUV, the new model has fresh styling outside. At the front, we see the company’s trademark tigernose grille upfront with a diamond pattern and chrome inserts, and narrow headlights with LEDs and stepped DRLs over a new bumper. At the rear, the GUV/MPV gets an LED light bar that stretches across the width of the tailgate and slimmer taillights on the flanks.

Featuring a larger footprint and seating for up to 11, the new model is 40mm longer and 10mm wider than the outgoing model, with an increase to the wheelbase of 30mm to measure 3090mm in total. It all creates an even larger boot which is now 627 litres, or 2905L with the rear seat folded. It’s capacious.

Seating configurations are 3 or 4-rows that can seat up to 11 – yes 11 – passengers. Options include captain seats in the middle row, surrounded by plenty of USB ports, screens and multi-row ventilation from via the climate control. Upfront is a much larger 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment, new dash design, and a new driver’s digital display screen.

Multiple engines have been revealed but most will be reserved for markets outside Australia. Locally, we expect Kia will confirm both V6 petrol and diesel four-cylinder options to carry on, though significant revisions have been made. The V6 is a bigger motor with 3.5-litres capacity, producing 216kW and 355Nm of torque through an eight-speed auto. The diesel engine is now lighter but produces the same 148kW and 404Nm also through an eight-speed transmission.

Underneath the sheet metal is a new fully independent suspension system at the front, while the rear setup has been revised. Key to changes are improved ride and handling and better NVH suppression (it’s quieter on the road).

Finally, it’s a safer family car too. Active safety assistance technology is comprehensive, including forward collision warning and AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot collision avoidance (and monitoring). Blind-spot video monitor (like in the new Sorento), speed sign recognition and intelligent speed limit assist, adaptive cruise control, navigation based cruise control, automatic high beams, lane follow assist, and a 360-degree birdseye view camera.

Expect the new model to launch locally soon, with local pricing and specifications pending.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae