Kia Motors has released photographs that show the front and rear angles of the fourth generation 2021 Kia Carnival, and we’ve put it side by side with images of the 2019 version released by Kia back in March 2018 (Sedona, US spec version). The popular MPV (the third generation just launched in India) which has been retailed globally since 1998 takes an SUV-inspired design for a stronger appeal and calls itself a ‘Grand Utility Vehicle.’
The incoming Carnival has a shorter front overhang, with the base of the A-pillar pushed backwards to create a hood that is longer. The stretched wheelbase is a contributor to higher space in all parts of the cabin, says Kia, while lending the MPV a longer and a more athletic silhouette.
The ‘dynamic’ side profile is enhanced by a simple and clear character line running along the length of the vehicle, linking the lamps at the front and rear. The Carnival shows a more significant sense of volume to its bodywork with wheel arches that are pronounced and lines along the body to provide a sculpted appearance.
Another design item is the ‘island roof,’ with black A- and B-pillars holding up the body-colored roof. Also new is the C-pillar signature design, inspired by the one on the latest Sorento. The chrome fin which is finished in a diamond pattern wraps under the rear window and extends into the tailgate.
The fascia of the Carnival has the new ‘tiger face’ which Kia describes as ‘confident’ and ‘more futuristic face’ that extends across the width of the vehicle’s front. The integration of the lamps with the ‘tiger-nose’ grille is dubbed as the ‘symphonic architecture’, with the frontal design combining an array of detailed, technical features for a sense of harmony and structural energy. The detailing is busy and has high precision elements, pairing the castellated edge of the grille with perpendicular creases.
A new lighting signature is the consequence of the high beam lamps integrated into the sides of the tiger-nose grille and the low-beam lamps located at the outer edges of the bumper. Between them the DRLs wrap around the indicator lamps, and merge with the chrome border of the lower grille. Beneath, a metallic trim and a lower bumper in black are matched with the sculpted bumper for an SUV-like appearance.
The rear of the Carnival comes with a distinctive design employing full-width lines and sleek combination lamps, reflecting the same details as the front DRLs, integrated into a full-width lamp. The continuous light bar connects to a sculpted line which extends below and wraps around the registration plate. Above the light bar a chrome line that begins at the base of the C-pillar wraps around the base of the rear windscreen. Highlights on the tailgate are designed to raise the visual center of gravity of the car’s rear. The SUV-inspired design of the Carnival is enhanced by the metallic lower skid plate, giving the rear a more robust appearance.
2021 Kia Carnival reportedly getting a hybrid variant
According to an earlier report from TheKoreancarblog.com the new Carnival MPV will share the same platform as the 2020 Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima. This opens up a possibility of the Carnival to be offered with a Hybrid powertrain, one that TheKoreanCarBlog is reporting as not just a possibility.
If it is powered by the same powertrain seen in the 2020 Sonata Hybrid, it could have a 2.0-litre NA four-cylinder engine coupled with an electric motor paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission producing close to 190 hp. For people requiring more grunt, Kia may opt for the more powerful 1.6 Gdi turbo petrol engine coupled with an electric motor. This hybrid set-up will support the new Kia Sorento and the Hyundai Santa Fe. Koreancarblog.com has also reported that the regular Carnival is receiving a new Theta-III turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol replacing the current 3.3-litre V6.
2021 Kia Carnival for India?
The new Kia Carnival is announced to go on sale in the Korean market in the third quarter of 2020 with global sales to commence thereafter. It was set to debut at the New York Auto show which got cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic crisis.
Considering Kia Motors India has just come out with the third-gen Carnival, we don’t expect to see the fourth-generation car in India anytime soon.