2021 Kia Carnival: All-new people mover teased

The Kia Carnival is due for a major upgrade, and the Korean brand has previewed its new evolutionary design with a shadowy sketch.

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James Wong
James Wong
Production Editor

The best-selling people mover in Australia is about to get a rugged, modern makeover.

Kia has previewed its fourth-generation Carnival with a single designer sketch, ahead of a full reveal during the northern hemisphere’s summer.

Known in other parts of the world (including the US) as the Sedona, the all-new Carnival is being dubbed by Kia’s designers as a ‘Grand Utility Vehicle’ – a ‘GUV’, if you will – hinting at a more rugged look in line with current buyer tastes.

Up front the Carnival dons new “high-tech headlamps”, likely referencing new adaptive LED technology, flanking the company’s signature ‘tiger nose’ front hrille.

There’s a clear link in the new frontal design to the newest Kia models like the Seltos crossover. It’s likely a range of upcoming models will also get this look (think next-gen Sportage and so on).

A strong character line spans the length of the vehicle along the sides, linking the headlights and tail lights, while a new chrome ‘fin’ adding some flair to the rear glasshouse.

Following its reveal in the coming weeks/months, the new Kia Carnival will go on sale in its home market of South Korea in the third quarter of 2020, with global markets to follow.

The company says it will release new images and further details “soon”, but we have a rough idea of what to expect already.

Given the Carnival’s close ties with the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs, this new people mover will get something of a tech and powertrain overhaul.

New widescreen displays for the infotainment and driver’s instruments should be available, as well as a suite of the latest and greatest driver assistance systems from the brand.

Under the skin, the Carnival will likely offer a range of more efficient powertrains, including ‘Hybrid’ and ‘Plug-in Hybrid’ versions drawing upon a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine hooked up to an electric motor and battery pack.

Alongside the new electrified engines will be revised versions of the current 3.5-litre V6 and 2.2-litre diesel motors – the latter moving into a new generation as part of the company’s more efficient ‘Smartstream’ family, and swapping out the current eight-speed auto for an eight-speed dual-clutch shifter.

Expect an Australian release in the fourth quarter of 2020 or the very early stages of 2021 – with a showcase during the 2021 Australian Open tennis Grand Slam.

Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest, and let us know what you think about the new design below.

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James Wong
James Wong
James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert.
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