Kia has revealed renderings signalling the future of the family-favourite Carnival. With the advent of SUVs, the practical Carnival has been somewhat forgotten in recent years; the new design language looks to address that, though.
Kia claims to have sold over two million of the MPVs that debuted in 1998. The inception of the Carnival was well-timed, and the world market lapped them up alongside the revolutionary Renault Espace and Chrysler Grand Voyager.
Addressing that head-on is Kia’s new styling direction for the Carnival. Although the image released is just a render, it’s evident that Kia has taken on design cues from popular SUVs in the new design.
The front grille is bluffer than before and incorporates a more substantial and imposing iteration of Kia’s tiger-nose grille. A confident body line runs down the side of the Carnival to accentuate the length of the car.
Kia has coined this concept “symphonic architecture” and say that it harmoniously brings together “technical features” – like the Carnival’s new headlighs – and “structural energy.”
First impressions are positive of this render, the Carnival certainly looks sharper than ever before, though that might be partly down to the designer tendency to sketch wheels equivalent to 26-inches in the real world.
Kia is confident that the new Carnival will be cooler than before, and as such intend to further distinguish it from its past by referring to the new vehicle as a “grand utility vehicle”.
Currently, the 2020 Carnival offers a choice of powertrains in Australia; there’s the 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel engine with outputs of 147kW/440Nm or the option of a high-revving naturally aspirated 3.3-litre V6 with 206kW/336Nm.
It’s too early to call what will be powering the next-generation Carnival, though, given Australian’s love big capacity petrol engines, we’re likely to see the return of the petrol V6.
But Kia has said that the new Carnival will share underpinnings with the coming Sorento, so it’s likely that 2.2-litre turbo diesel will make it here, too. Overseas that Sorento looks like it will be available with a downsized 1.6-litre petrol-electric hybrid powertrain. However, that is unlikely to reach Australian shores in either the Sorento or Carnival by 2021.
While a people-mover would make the perfect place to nestle a hydrogen fuel-cell, it’s doubtful we’ll see any of Hyundai’s Nexo technology make it to a the Carnival just yet.
Pricing for the 2020 Carnival starts with the $43,190 ($47,521 driveaway) petrol-powered S variant, topping out at $63,490 ($68,836 driveaway) for the range-topping diesel-powered Platinum.
We expect the price to increase slightly for the next-generation Carnival, reflecting a very likely increase in active safety technology and infotainment levels.
Kia says the next-generation Carnival will be on sale in South Korea by the end of 2020 before arriving in Australia by early 2021, with more details and images coming soon.
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