Kia has revealed the first interior images of its updated Carnival people mover for the Korean market ahead of its arrival in Australia during the first half of 2024.
Headlining the changes is a new panoramic curved display which houses a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
These screens both run Kia’s new Connected Car Navigation Cockpit (ccNC), which will bring wireless smartphone connectivity and over-the-air (OTA) software updates.
The Carnival now also adopts a similar touch panel for the climate control as the Niro, Sportage, and Sorento. There are also a USB-C ports instead of USB-A ports throughout the cabin.
Other interior changes for the Korean-market Carnival include a new 11-inch head-up display, fingerprint authentication, digital rear-view mirror, driver’s “ergo motion” seat with a stretching function, and a built-in dash-cam.
There’s also a range of optional equipment including the likes of a rear-seat entertainment system that includes two 14.6-inch monitors that are mounted on the back of the first-row seats.
On the safety front, the updated Carnival receives the company’s Highway Driving Assist 2 system, which offers semi-autonomous driving and lane change assist. There’s also Kia Digital Key 2 functionality, which allows owners to use their smartphone or smart watch to unlock and start the vehicle.
It’s unclear how many of these new features will be available on the Australian-specification version of the updated Carnival. These include the funky two-tone blue and white, and taupe interior finishes.
Kia Australia product boss Roland Rivero has confirmed the facelifted Carnival will bring missing features promised since the fourth-generation people mover launch Down Under in 2020 – including rain-sensing wipers, a digital instrument cluster and Blind Spot View Monitor cameras.
The updated Carnival is also expected to be subject to a revised local ride and handling tune, given the current model launched with an Australian-tuned chassis, but with a Korean steering map that was approved by local engineers during COVID lockdowns.
As recently reported, the Kia Carnival is now offered with a hybrid variant, which will use the same 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol-electric powertrain as the related Sorento HEV.
The brand’s local arm hasn’t committed to bringing the electrified people mover here yet, but it says it has put its “hand up for it, but for the moment right-hand drive hasn’t been secured”.
The facelifted Carnival sports a significantly refreshed design in line with Kia’s latest models including the updated Sorento and Picanto, as well as the all-electric EV9.
The Kia Carnival is a critical model for the Korean brand in Australia, given it’s the top-selling people mover in the country. Kia’s local arm has been battling supply issues for some time, particularly for V6 petrol versions which had orders closed earlier this year.