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Is this the new Kia Carnival hybrid? Pictures reveal first look at facelifted people mover

Olek Novak

The facelifted people mover has finally been spied with no camouflage, revealing a fresh new look

Kia’s facelifted Carnival people mover has been spied undisguised, revealing our best look yet at the soon to be updated people mover which is expected to welome a hybrid option to the global range in the near future.

The pictures posted to Kurdistan Automotive Blog were reportedly snapped while the vehicle was being used to film related advertising material in South Korea, revealing the update to the current fourth-generation model which has been looming for some months

So far only pictures of the people mover’s exterior have leaked, however the facelift is expected to bring updates inside and out.

Kia Carnival 2024 facelift front 3/4
Image Source: Kurdistan Automotive Blog

The latest news comes after the Carnival was spotted wearing full camouflage nine months ago, with the final production version expected to launch in Australia in early 2024.

Refreshed exterior styling for the Kia Carnival

The updated model will debut a new look in line with Kia’s latest design language seen on the likes of the Seltos small SUV, along with the newly facelifted Sorento large SUV, and EV9 electric SUV.

Kia Carnival 2024 facelift rear 3/4
Image Source: Kurdistan Automotive Blog

That includes vertical headlights and T-shaped LED day-time-running light design, plus an updated grille and new front bumper for the face of the vehicle. As well as this, the pictures also reveal machined alloy wheel designs also new for the Carnival.

At the rear, there are further design changes for the tailgate and a new tail lamp design mirroring Kia’s signature vertical design language from the front, coupled with a light-bar running across the width of the vehicle.

What other changes can we expect for the Kia Carnival?

The Korean Car Blog also reports that we can expect to see additional features added inside the people mover.

Kia Carnival 2024 facelift rear
Image Source: Kurdistan Automotive Blog

This includes a head-up display as well as a new curved display for the digital instrument cluster and infotainment coupling two 12.3-inch panels, which will most likely be specified with Hyundai-Kia’s latest ccNC operating system. 

Other new features will also reportedly include the addition of the semi-autonomous Highway Driving Assist 2 system, Ergo Motion Seats from the EV9, and fingerprint recognition.

Kia Carnival hybrid a likely addition 

It’s also rumored that a hybrid powertrain shared with the Sorento – a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine coupled with a 40kW electric motor and 1.5kWh lithium-ion battery – will be available with the people mover for the first time, however this is not confirmed for Australia at this stage. 

2023 Kia Carnival hybrid front 3/4 parked
A previous picture of the camouflaged Kia Carnival hybrid

Currently the Kia Carnival range is powered by a choice of two engines in Australia – a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel inline-four cylinder or a 3.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol V6, although demand for the latter engine saw orders paused in August this year. 

Kia Carnival Platinum 2021 front end
The current pre-facelift version of the Kia Carnival

Both powertrains are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and front wheel drive setup.

When can we expect the new Carnival to launch in Australia?

The facelifted Carnival is expected to be officially revealed very soon, with the new model due in Australian showrooms in the first quarter of 2024.

In the mean-time, the Carnival continues to be a dominant force in the people mover segment in Australia. Year to date Kia dealers have shifted 8745 units, equivalent to an 82.8% market share and almost ten times its next closest competitor the Hyundai Staria (886)