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It was less than a week ago when Kia teased the all-new Sedona (Carnival in other markets) and now the wraps are coming off the completely redesigned minivan. While it still looks very much like a minivan to us, the South Korean marque wishes to emphasize we’re actually dealing with a “Grand Utility Vehicle.” It’s a reference to the SUV-influenced design cues, but the tall body, boxy shape, massive greenhouse, and sliding rear doors are very much minivan.

It’s got a shorter front overhang than the model it replaces and the A-pillars have been moved backwards to allow Kia’s designers and engineers to come up with a longer hood. While the company is being coy on technical specifications, it does say the wheelbase has been extended to free up more room inside the cabin.

While the A- and B-pillars have been blacked out, the C-pillar has a chrome finish with a diamond pattern in the same vein as the latest Sorento SUV, but much more prominent since it extends towards the tailgate. A strong upper character line creates a visual connection between the headlights and taillights to further emphasize the car’s generous size.

The back of the new Sedona features a full-width LED light strip that’s becoming quite common on new cars, while the generous size of the tailgate facilitates loading and unloading cargo. The “Limousine” badge on the bottom right corner of the tailgate is a reference to the minivan’s trim level, meaning this is the one fitted with all the bells and whistles.

Gallery: 2021 Kia Sedona / Carnival

Images of the interior are not available at the moment of writing, but Kia says it will share more details soon ahead of a launch in South Korea planned for the third quarter of 2020. It is believed power will be provided by a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine and a hybrid setup inherited from the new Sorento, with a diesel likely planned for some markets.

The US-spec minivan is likely scheduled to go on sale sometime next year as a 2022MY.

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Fourth-generation Kia Carnival revealed

  • First images of Kia’s new ‘Grand Utility Vehicle’ show its stronger design presence and SUV style
  • Character evolution and modern new look for Kia’s flagship minivan
  • On-sale in Korea later in the third quarter of 2020

Kia Motors Corporation has revealed first images of the new Kia Carnival, the fourth generation of the brand’s flagship minivan. Released in Korean specification, the new Kia Carnival – sold in many markets worldwide as the Kia Sedona – has been designed to appeal to progressive young families, with a leading combination of innovation, flexibility, and style.

Dubbed a ‘Grand Utility Vehicle’, the new model boasts a design evolution for the Carnival. The fourth-generation model builds on its predecessors’ heritage with a more architectural sense of solidity and an upgraded appearance that draws on the overarching design ethos that links all of Kia’s cars design identity. Matched with highly detailed, futuristic details and SUV-inspired design elements, the new model brings a stronger, more stylish presence to the mid-sized MPV segment.

A character evolution

The new Carnival features a shorter front overhang, with the base of the A-pillar moved backwards to create a longer hood. Its increased wheelbase also contributes to greater space throughout the cabin, while giving the car a longer, slightly more athletic silhouette. The result is a side profile that reveals the Carnival’s more dynamic DNA.

This is emphasized by a simple yet bold character line which runs along the length of the car, linking the front and rear lamps. Beneath this clear line, the Carnival features a more prominent sense of volume to its bodywork, with bold wheel arches and sharp lines along the body giving it a more sculpted appearance.

The new model features a unique ‘island roof’ design, with blacked-out A- and B-pillars supporting the body-colored roof. From the side, one of the new car’s stand-out features is an eye-catching new C-pillar signature design, inspired by that of the new Sorento. The chrome fin, which wraps beneath the tapered rear windows and extends towards the tailgate, is finished with a subtle diamond pattern that is also reflected throughout the inside of the car.

A more confident, futuristic face

The Carnival features a new ‘tiger face’ which extends across the width of the vehicle. This confident, more futuristic face seamlessly integrates lamps with Kia’s iconic ‘tiger-nose’ grille. Kia’s designers have dubbed this ‘symphonic architecture’, with the design of the front bringing together a range of detailed, technical features to create a sense of harmony and structural energy. The grille and lamps are defined by their high-tech, high-precision details, with chrome trim above the grille and forming its own character line around the face of the car. The castellated edge of the upper grille is paired with perpendicular creases which extend straight up the hood, creating a more purposeful look when viewed head-on.

The Carnival’s headlamps and LED daytime running lights (DRLs) form a unique light signature. The high-beam lamps are integrated into the corner of the tiger-nose grille, with the low-beam lamps sitting separately, at the outer edges of the front of the car. Between them, the DRLs wrap around the Carnival’s turn signal lamps, then plunge downwards, merging with the grille’s lower chrome border.

Beneath, the sculpted bumpers and lower air intake are matched with metallic trim and a black lower bumper, presenting the Carnival’s robust, SUV-inspired appearance.

SUV-inspired design extends rearwards

At the rear, the Carnival boasts a wide, distinctive new design which uses full-width lines to emphasize the car’s sense of solidity

These lines include the sleek combination lamps, which echo the same details as the DRLs at the front of the car, integrated into a full-width light. The light bar connects visually to a sharp, sculpted line which extends downwards and wraps around the license plate.

Above the light bar is a chrome line, which started at the base of the new signature C-pillar and wraps around the base of the rear screen. Beneath the light bar, highlight lines extend across the tailgate to raise the visual center of gravity of the rear of the car.

Further enhancing its SUV-inspired design, the Carnival is finished off with a metallic lower skid plate, elevating the car further and giving it a more robust appearance.

More Carnival details to be revealed soon

The new Kia Carnival is due on-sale in Korea, Kia’s domestic market, later in the third quarter of 2020, with global sales in many of Kia’s markets to follow thereafter. More product details will be released soon.

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