The most important piece of the new Kia Carnival revealed.

Let’s face it, the Kia Carnival, and basically all family vans, have never been bought for sex appeal. It’s all about what’s inside that matters. And so Kia’s newest details of the new Carnival is the most important, revealing a high-tech, premium-appointed cabin that’s even bigger inside than before.

Most obvious in change is the move from the current dash to a Mercedes-Benz-style twin-display. The design essentially mimics what the new fourth-generation Kia Sorento SUV will bring, but fits it inside the Korean MPV.

The screens measure 12.3-inch across – each – one for the driver and one for the central entertainment unit. Below is a much nicer climate control unit, and below that we see the automatic transmission gear selector is replaced by a fly-by-wire rotary controller. Much neater stuff.

The design looks nicer, with this example strewn together by leather and chrome metal switchgear. Practically, the interior grows, 10mm wider with a 30mm longer wheelbase to fully accommodate that second row of swiveling pilot chairs. There’s also a 30mm longer rear overhang which endows the Carnival with what Kia claims as “best in class cargo space and storage”.

There is cooling and heating for all rows via triple-zone climate control and heated second-row seats. USB ports feature throughout the cabin and the front sockets allow Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Driving the fourth-gen Carnival when it arrives are the same engines available now; a 3.5-litre petrol V6 develops a punchy 206kW and 336Nm, and the 2.2-litre turbo diesel a stout 149kW with 440Nm. Both engines are mated to a new dual-clutch eight-speed transmission, which should decrease fuel consumption.

Kia will launch the new Carnival this year in its home market and we are expecting Kia Australia to announce timing for a 2021 launch.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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