Kia has finally unveiled the fourth-generation Carnival flagship MPV after showing off its exterior and interior in full in the past two months. Dubbed a “Grand Utility Vehicle”, Kia says that the reimagined people carrier isdesigned to appeal to “progressive young families” through a combination of innovation, space, flexibility and style.
We’ve already seen the exterior of the all-new Carnival in detail before, but key highlights on the SUV-inspired design include sculpted front and rear lower bumpers with metallic trims, “island roof” design with blacked-out A- and B- pillars, a stylised chrome fin C-pillar with diamond-like pattern, bold wheel arches, and a sharper new “tiger nose” face.
As standard, the all-new Kia Carnival comes with LED headlights with a daytime-running light signature that’s integrated into the front grille, along with a light bar. Wheel options vary from 17- to 19-inches in diameter, depending on variant.
A key design decision on the fourth-generation MPV is the shorter front overhang, longer hood, and increased wheelbase (by 30 mm), which resulted in a greater space throughout the cabin. The rear overhang has also been extended by 30 mm, creating more space for third-row passengers and a “best-in-class” 627 litres of luggage space behind the third row.
Interior space is really the name of the game here for the all-new MPV, which is offered in three- or four-row seating configurations depending on market, with space for seven, eight, or 11 occupants in total. With all rear seats folded down, the all-new Carnival boasts a humongous cargo space of up to 2,905 litres.
Kia also says that the interior packaging is more flexible and versatile than before; customers can even opt for a “Premium Relaxation Seat” in the seven-seater configuration, where rear passengers can enjoy ‘business-class’-like seating with one-touch ‘Relaxation’ mode that automatically adjusts the seats for maximum comfort on longer journeys.
The Korean carmaker has also made significant improvements in the convenience aspect of the MPV. The lift-over height of the rear trunk is now 26 mm lower than its predecessor at 640 mm, making it easier to load, while the powered tailgate and one-touch smart power-sliding doors help passengers hop in and out of the car.
The sliding doors and powered tailgate can even be opened and closed by just holding the key fob nearby for three seconds, perfect for parents loading their toddlers into the baby car seats at the back.
For parents with slightly elder children, there’s a new ‘Rear Passenger View & Talk’ feature which allows the front passengers to check on the rear-seat occupants using a camera linked to the infotainment system, while their voices amplified through the rear-seat speakers – useful when the kids are misbehaving.
As for the adults at the back, the all-new MPV now comes with a new ‘Rear Passenger Voice Recognition’ system, which when activated, allows second-row occupants to issue voice commands to control the infotainment system.
Speaking of infotainment, the fourth-generation Kia Carnival features twin 12.3-inch displays for the instrument cluster and infotainment display combo, as detailed here. Depending on the region, the system will be offered with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as the Kia Live telematics service which includes live traffic information, weather forecasts, points of interest, and details of potential nearby parking – including price, location, and availability.
With the always-on connectivity built in to the car, drivers will be able to send route directions to their car before their journey, and check the location of their vehicle at any time via an accompanying smartphone application.
Kia says that significant changes have been made to the suspension set-up of the Kia Carnival to enhance the comfortable ride while on the move, including new front suspension geometry, use of hydro bushes, as well as the tweaked absorber angles at the rear to better soak up road imperfections.
Significant amount of sound-deadening and insulating material have also been used in all four wheel arches, along with a full underbody cover and a reshaped air intake to reduce the rolling, wind and engine noise while travelling at speed.
As for safety, the fourth-generation MPV is offered with an extensive list of active safety features, depending on market availability and variant specifications. These include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, Lane Keeping Assist, blind-spot monitor with Collision-Avoidance Assist, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist, driver attention warning, automatic high-beam, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Smart Cruise Control (with optional Navigation-based system), and a Level 2 autonomous driving Highway Driving Assist.
The all-new Kia Carnival also comes with the Safe Exit Assist feature, which prevents the rear doors from opening – and young passengers exiting the car – if the system detects a car approaching from behind on either side of the vehicle.
The fourth-generation Kia Carnival will be offered with a choice of up to three new engines, once again dependant on market availability. At the top of the table is the 3.5-litre GDi V6 petrol engine, pushing out 294 hp and 355 Nm of torque, followed by a 3.5-litre MPi V6 petrol engine, good for 272 hp and 332 Nm of torque.
For oil burners, a new 2.2-litre Smartstream diesel mill is available with 202 hp and 440 Nm of torque. The new diesel mill replaces its predecessor’s cast iron block for a lighter aluminium block that’s 20 kg lighter, and is also claimed to be one of the cleanest diesel units the company has ever made. All engines options are paired as standard to an eight-speed automatic transmission.