When Kia first revealed the all-new Carnival two months ago, we were surprised by its SUV-like looks. Unlike its predecessor, the new-generation people carrier no longer looked like a minivan on the outside. Kia even went on to describe the 2021 Carnival as a ‘Grand Utility Vehicle’.
Even the interior of the 2021 Carnival gets a makeover as it now has a slimmer, more high-tech theme. It has a wraparound dashboard design, fewer physical buttons, massive displays, and new touch panels for both the infotainment system and automatic climate control. Clearly, Kia has breathed new life into its premier people carrier.
But just how many people can fit inside the all-new Carnival? What types of amenities will be available on the minivan? And what engines will power the 2021 Kia Carnival? Wonder no more, as Kia officially revealed all of the details of the next-generation minivan (or SUV?)
Let’s start with the most important feature of the minivan, its seating capacity. Just like its predecessor, the all-new Carnival will be available with various seating arrangements. Depending on the market, the fourth-generation Carnival can come with three or four rows of seats - with space for seven, eight, or 11 passengers. With the Carnival now measuring 5155mm long(+40), 1995mm wide (+10), and having a 3090mm wheelbase (+30), there is also more room for passengers and their gear.
Opt for the seven-seat layout, and passengers are treated to reclining seats on the second row. Called the Premium Relaxation Seat, it has an adjustable back-, arm-, and leg-rests for more comfortable riding experience. On the flip side, the Carnival can carry up 2,905 liters worth of cargo should all of the seats are folded. With the third-row seats up, the Carnival can lug 627 liters worth of luggage.
Two 12.3-inch screens will immediately greet occupants of the Carnival. The first screen serves as the instrument panel for the driver, while the other screen is for the touchscreen infotainment. It comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, intelligent voice control, touch-sensitive buttons, and a haptic control panel for climate control. Other available features inside the Carnival include Bluetooth, power-sliding rear doors, power tailgate, and rear passenger voice control.
Under the hood, Kia says that 2021 Carnival will be available with new ‘Smartstream’ powertrains. The most powerful engine available is the 3.5-liter direct-injection V6 which doles out 294 PS and 355 Nm of torque. It benefits from both gasoline direct injection (GDi) and multi-point injection (MPI) and has a new cooled exhaust gas recirculation system for better fuel efficiency.
The second engine is a 3.5-liter MPI gasoline V6. It produces a bit less horsepower and torque compared to the GDi version as it only makes 272 PS and 332 Nm of torque.
Last but not least is a new 2.2-liter turbo-diesel engine. If the size of the engine looks familiar, that’s because it’s similar to the one found on the refreshed Santa Fe. It makes 202 PS along with 440 Nm of torque. While it may be similar in size, the new diesel engine actually has an all-aluminum construction whereas the previous 2.2-liter turbo-diesel came with an iron block. With it, the new engine weighs 20 kg lighter, has better cooling, reduced friction, and better emissions.
All of the engines are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
To keep the driver and passengers safe while inside the 2021 Carnival, a wide array of intelligent systems are available on the minivan. These include forward-collision assist, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot collision avoidance, driver attention warning, blind-spot view monitor, high-beam assist, smart cruise control, highway driving assist, and even surround-view monitor. The Carnival can also come equipped with up to seven airbags, electronic stability control, and vehicle stability management.
The 2021 Kia Carnival will be on sale starting in Q3 of 2020 in Korea. Sales in other markets will follow suit. With that in mind, maybe we can expect the all-new Carnival to arrive in the Philippines sometime next year.