The all-new Kia Carnival is fully revealed for the first time, heralding the arrival of the brand’s fourth-generation flagship minivan — the first ever ‘Grand Utility Vehicle’., the new Carnival has been designed to appeal to progressive young families through its leading combination of innovation, space, flexibility and style.
Based on Kia’s new mid-size platform, the Carnival has been dubbed a ‘Grand Utility Vehicle’. It is more refined, roomy and capable than ever, offering greater space and efficiency than its predecessors — as well as all current rivals in the minivan segment. Its new SUV-inspired design is matched with a modern new interior featuring a range of technologies developed to assist drivers, while protecting and entertaining occupants. The Carnival’s class-leading cargo capacity and range of storage areas make it an immensely practical option for families.
“As Kia’s flagship minivan, the Carnival is beloved all over the world by adventurous families with a keen eye for functional luxury. The all-new Carnival is as practical as it is entertaining, offering copious amounts of room and cargo space, and a modern suite of hi-tech features that cater to the interests and demands of seasoned drivers and passengers of all ages. The fourth-generation Carnival typifies the engineering excellence synonymous with Kia, underlining the qualities that endear the brand to car lovers in the region and beyond,” said Yaser Shabsogh, Chief Operating Officer, Regional HQs, Middle East & Africa. “It builds on the proud legacy of its predecessors, blazing a new path for the minivan segment with improved drivability, enhanced safety features and more striking yet subtle accents and trimmings. Allowing for even more comfortable drives, the all-new Carnival the ideal car for modern families.”
The new Kia Carnival will go on-sale in Korea first, with sales due to commence in the Middle East and Africa region from later in the year.
A character evolution
The new Carnival represents a design evolution for Kia’s flagship minivan, adding a sense of solidity, futuristic details, and SUV-inspired forms and surfaces. It brings a stronger, more stylish presence to the MPV segment.
Its increased wheelbase contributes to greater space throughout the cabin, and the extended side profile hints at the new Carnival’s more refined dynamics. A single character line runs the length of the car, with bold wheel arches and sharp lines giving a more modern, sculpted appearance. A key design highlight is its new ‘island roof’ design, which features blacked-out A- and B-pillars beneath a body-colored roof. The Carnival’s new C-pillar signature design also stands out, catching the eye with a chrome fin bearing a subtle diamond pattern.
A new ‘tiger-nose’ design spans the width of the vehicle, integrating LED daytime running lights (DRLs), headlamps and grille to give the Carnival a confident, futuristic look and a unique light signature. The sculpted bumpers and lower air intake at the front are matched with metallic trim and a black lower bumper — a treatment evident on the brand’s SUVs.
“The design of the new Carnival presents a concept focusing on two essential points. First, as a minivan with a great exterior design that feels like a premium SUV; second, maximised interior space satisfying our customers’ needs, and maybe even surprising them with more intuitive and positive experiences,” said Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design. “The new Carnival’s design has a great sense of solidity with a stable stance and powerful proportions. Detailed and futuristic elements further amplify its confident presence. We believe the all-new Carnival will be a fantastic looking vehicle and a great partner to our customers’ lives.”
The Carnival offers customers a choice of up to eight exterior paint colours, as well as a range of aluminum alloy wheel designs — 17, 18 or 19 inches in diameter — depending on specification. Inside, the cabin of the new Kia Carnival is based on the concept of ‘Spatial Talents’, providing a relaxing, high-tech and stylish environment ideal for family travel.
Utility in abundance
Thanks to its new platform and larger body, the fourth-generation Carnival boasts unrivalled space for passengers. Depending on market, the Carnival offers owners three- or four-row seating configurations, with space for seven, eight or 11 occupants in total. The car is also more versatile and spacious than ever before, offering intelligent and flexible interior packaging and an abundance of cabin storage areas.
The Carnival benefits from a 30 mm longer wheelbase (up to 3,090 mm) and 10 mm wider body (up to 1,995 mm), enhancing utility for families. The overall length of the new Carnival grows by 40 mm to 5,155 mm, with a 30 mm longer rear overhang (up to 1,130 mm), creating more space for third-row passengers and best-in-class luggage space with it.
Connectivity and technology
The Carnival boasts a state-of-the-art suite of high-tech features designed to make life and travel as easy and convenient as possible.
Its high-tech twin digital display links Kia’s latest 12.3-inch digital driver instrument cluster and 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system — doing so under a single seamless piece of glass. This dual-screen display creates a panoramic, widescreen user experience, with many infotainment functions controlled via touch-sensitive buttons around the screen.
Depending on local market conditions, Kia Live services provide live traffic information, weather forecasts, points of interest, and details of potential on- and off-street parking (including price, location and parking availability). It also enables drivers to send route directions to their car before a journey, and check the location of their vehicle at any time.
Technology is also used to create a more sociable environment within the cabin itself, with the fourth-generation Carnival boasting a new ‘Rear Passenger View & Talk’ feature. Front passengers can use this to check on rear-seat occupants with a small camera linked to the infotainment system — instead of turning around in their seat. It also lets front occupants communicate more easily with other passengers, as the system amplifies their voice through the rear-seat speakers. Should front occupants allow, a new ‘Rear Passenger Voice Recognition’ technology also lets occupants in the second row issue voice commands to control the infotainment system.
Other technologies are designed to make the Carnival even more practical — an essential element of any good minivan. These include one-button smart open-and-close for the rear power-sliding doors and tailgate. The smart power-sliding rear doors and tailgate can also be opened and closed automatically when the key fob is held nearby for three seconds — the perfect measure for parents loading younger passengers into the car.
The Carnival provides passengers with puddle lighting to make it safer and easier to get in and out. This is combined with Safe Exit Assist technology, as well as a comprehensive range of advanced driver assistance systems to protect occupants and other road users (see ‘Safety’).
Enhanced efficiency and performance
The new Carnival adopts Kia’s latest ‘Smartstream’ powertrain technologies to enhance efficiency and performance. Depending on the local market and specification, the new Carnival is available with a choice of up to three new engines, all offering swift, easily-accessible performance.
The most powerful engine in the line-up is a 3.5-liter GDi (gasoline direct injection) V6, producing up to 294 ps and 355 Nm torque. This engine features an advanced GDi and multi-point injection (MPI) system, which optimises the combustion cycle depending on conditions to maximise power and efficiency. A new cooled exhaust gas recirculation system delivers efficiency benefits, helping lower the engine’s combustion temperature for greater fuel economy. A new integrated thermal management and cross-flow system further helps manage the engine’s operating temperature to maximise efficiency at all times.
A new 2.2-liter ‘Smartstream’ diesel engine is offered to customers in many markets, and is one of the cleanest diesel units that Kia has ever made. Producing up to 202 ps, and offering 440 Nm torque over a broad range of engine speeds, the new engine replaces its predecessor’s cast iron block for a 20 kg lighter aluminum block. Furthermore, it features a range of measures that reduce friction, aid cooling, enhance efficiency, and reduce emissions. These include new high-pressure injectors, new balancer shafts, a thermal management system, and selective catalytic reduction to regulate emissions.
All engines are paired as standard with eight-speed automatic transmissions, offering smooth and swift progress to match the car’s unruffled dynamic character.
An assured easy-going, ride
The new Carnival maintains the same driving character as its predecessors, prioritising comfort and surefootedness above all. The new model places a premium on delivering an easy-going, comfortable and assured ride, allowing for stable handling in all conditions.
The new fully independent suspension system has been dramatically altered compared to the outgoing third-generation Carnival. At the front, Kia’s engineers have applied a new multi-skeletal cross-member and new geometry, better distributing lateral loads on the front suspension from cornering to stabilise handling. The body is also mounted to the rear section of the cross member with new hydro bushes, with liquid inside the rubber bushes reducing the level of suspension and engine vibrations transmitted to the body. This also mitigates the effect of sharp impacts on the front suspension, subtly enhancing ride comfort even over broken surfaces.
The rear suspension has also been revised, with longer lower suspension arms and revised spring layout working to better manage changes in the road surface. Meanwhile the angle of the rear shock absorbers has been adjusted to better absorb shocks from the road.
A new column-mounted motor-driven power steering set-up replaces the outgoing model’s hydraulic power steering system, resulting in a slightly more direct response to steering inputs, with a 5.6% quicker steering ratio. The new system also enables many of the Carnival’s new driver-assist technologies, which rely on an electric power steering motor (see ‘Safety’ below).
Rolling refinement is something that no MPV driver wants to sacrifice, and the Carnival excels in this area too thanks to a range of new NVH features that go beyond what many of its key rivals offer. A comprehensive array of sound-deadening and insulating measures ensure the new model is one of the quietest and most refined on the road.
Safety and Convenience
The new Carnival boasts a range of passive and active safety and driver assistance systems, protecting the driver and their passengers on every journey. Kia’s advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) help to reduce many of the inherent hazards and stresses of driving, making the Carnival relaxing, safe and confidence-inspiring to drive.
Depending on market and vehicle specifications, the ADAS range in the new Carnival is one of the most comprehensive found on any new car today. Available technologies include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with car, pedestrian and cyclist detection; Lane Keeping Assist (LKA); Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA); Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA); Driver Attention Warning (DAW); Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM), High Beam Assist (HBA); Smart Cruise Control (SCC) or Navigation-based SCC (NSCC); Lane Following Assist (LFA); Highway Driving Assist (HDA); and Surround View Monitor (SVM).
Safe Exit Assist (SEA) is an important new addition to the suite of safety technologies for the fourth-generation Carnival. SEA prevents the power-sliding rear doors from opening — and young passengers exiting the vehicle — if the system detects a car approaching from behind on either side.
Kia’s ‘Level 2’ autonomous driving technology, Highway Driving Assist (HDA), controls acceleration, braking and steering depending on the vehicles in front. Using front view camera and front radar, it helps maintain a set distance and speed from the vehicle ahead when driving on a highway, and helps center the vehicle in its lane while driving. In addition, it features a Rear View Monitor (RVM), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA) and forward and reverse Parking Distance Warning (PDW).
The RCCA system helps to avoid collisions with vehicles crossing behind from the left and right sides of the Carnival while reversing. This assists the driver by braking the car automatically if it detects an obstacle crossing behind it.
The new Carnival is offered with Kia’s innovative Multi-Collision Brake system, which enables the car to mitigate the severity of secondary collisions. It automatically applies the vehicle’s brakes when the airbags have been deployed after an initial collision, further protecting occupants from secondary frontal or side impacts.
The Carnival is fitted with up to seven airbags, as well as a suite of electronic vehicle safety systems. All models are equipped as standard with Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Electronic Stability Control, helping drivers maintain control under braking and cornering.
The bodyshell is comprised of different grades of high-strength steel, maximising torsional rigidity while keeping body weight low. The shell of the new model features newly reinforced pillars, and features a higher proportion of Advanced High-Strength Steel and hot-stamped steel than its predecessor, increasing torsional rigidity and adding strength. The more rigid bodyshell reduces road vibrations and enhances occupant safety in the event of a collision.
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