All-new 2021 Carnival: Unrivalled style, space & comfort
18 January 2021 / in News
- Fourth-generation MPV features strong, stylish, SUV-inspired design
- Spacious, comfortable & futuristic interior for 8 passengers & best-in-class cargo space
- New technologies assist driver, protect & entertain passengers
- New platform, steering & suspension provides assured ride/handling
- Powerful & efficient SmartstreamTM engine, 8-speed automatic
The all-new 2021 Kia Carnival heralds the arrival of the brand’s fourth-generation flagship MPV and is designed to appeal to a wide audience through its leading combination of innovation, space, flexibility and style.
Based on Kia’s newly developed larger platform that is also shared with the 2021 Kia Sorento SUV, the Carnival is more refined, roomy and capable than ever, offering greater space and efficiency than its predecessors – as well as all current rivals in the MPV segment.
Its new SUV-inspired design is matched with a modern interior featuring a range of technologies designed to assist the driver, while protecting and entertaining occupants. Intelligent packaging over three spacious rows, class-leading cargo capacity and a range of storage areas throughout the cabin make it an immensely practical option for families.
“The fourth-generation Carnival is a significant new vehicle for us, as it demonstrates every strength that makes Kia so popular around the world,” says Thomas Schemera, Head of Product Division for Kia Motors.
“It improves the quality, versatility and usability of its predecessors, while making travel far more relaxing and more enjoyable for families. With a sophisticated design and cutting-edge technologies to provide owners greater value in their daily lives, the new model solidifies Kia’s role in the minivan segment.
“It is a ‘Grand Utility Vehicle’ that sets a new standard for MPVs.”
For New Zealand, there are three new Carnival models – EX, Deluxe and Premium – all powered by Kia’s new SmartstreamTM 2.2-litre diesel engine and 8-speed automatic transmission, with prices starting from $59,990 + ORC, which includes 3 years free scheduled servicing (up to 45,000kms) and Kia’s 5-year warranty programme (up to 100,000kms).
A character evolution for Kia’s flagship MPV
The new Carnival represents a design evolution for Kia’s flagship MPV, with a sense of solidity, contemporary details and SUV-inspired forms and surfaces. It brings a stronger, more stylish presence to the MPV segment as a result.
Compared to the previous model, it features a shorter front overhang, with the base of the A-pillar moved backwards to create a longer bonnet. Its increased wheelbase contributes to greater space throughout the cabin and the extended side profile hints at the new Carnival’s more refined dynamics.
A single character line runs the length of the car, with bold wheel arches and sharp lines giving a more modern, sculpted appearance. A key design highlight is the new ‘island roof’ design, with blacked-out A- and B-pillars beneath a body-coloured roof. An eye-catching new C-pillar signature design also stands out, with a chrome fin bearing a subtle diamond pattern.
At the front, a new bolder ‘tiger-nose’ design spans the width of the vehicle, integrating LED daytime running lights (DRLs), LED headlamps and front grille to give the new Carnival a confident look and a unique light signature. The fog lights in the Deluxe and Premium are also LED. The sculpted bumper and lower air intake at the front are matched with metallic trim and a black lower bumper – a styling treatment evident on the brand’s SUVs.
At the rear, the Carnival is robust in stature, and boasts a wide, distinctive new look accentuated by a full-width light bar, which utilises LED technology in the Deluxe and Premium models. Another element of its SUV-inspired design is the metallic lower skid plate, further emphasising the more robust appearance.
“The design of the new Carnival presents a concept focusing on two essential points; first, as an MPV with a great exterior design that feels like a premium SUV; second, maximised interior space satisfying our customers’ needs, and maybe even surprising them with more intuitive and positive experiences,” says Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design.
“The new Carnival’s design has a great sense of solidity with a stable stance and powerful proportions. Detailed and futuristic elements further amplify its confident presence. All-new Carnival is a fantastic looking vehicle and a great partner to our customers’ lives.”
The new Carnival offers a choice of six premium exterior paint colours in New Zealand, complementing the new aluminum alloy wheel designs – 17-inch for the EX model and 19-inch for Deluxe and Premium models.
Inside, the cabin of the new Kia Carnival is based on the concept of ‘Spatial Talents’, providing a relaxing, high-tech and stylish environment ideal for family travel. This manifests in the Carnival’s roominess, combined with a sense of modernity and style.
The interior represents an increase in quality and design over its predecessor, with a futuristic new cabin. The high-tech ambience is most obvious in its wide, panoramic-screen dashboard design, which integrates dual-screen infotainment technologies and haptic touch controls.
In the Premium model, a compact shift-by-wire dial for the transmission is located at the base of the centre console, freeing up space and falling easily to hand.
PLATFORM AND PACKAGING
Utility in abundance, with more space and smart interior packaging
Thanks to its new platform and larger body, the fourth-generation Carnival boasts unrivalled space for passengers.
New Carnival offers owners three-row seating configurations, with space for up to eight occupants in total. The car is also more versatile and spacious than ever before, offering intelligent and flexible interior packaging and an abundance of cabin storage areas.
Key to the extra roominess is the 30mm longer wheelbase (now 3,090mm) and 10mm wider body (now 1,995mm), which enhances space utilisation. The overall length of the new Carnival grows by 40mm to 5,155mm, with a 30mm longer rear overhang (now 1,130mm), creating more space for third-row passengers and best-in-class luggage space.
A new one-touch sliding walk-in device has been designed to make entry to the third row easier than before.
Deluxe & Premium models have heated front seats and heated second row outer seats, with the front two in the Premium also ventilated. The steering wheel on the Premium is heated, too. The driver’s seat in the top two models is powered (8-way in Deluxe and 12-way in the Premium), with an 8-way power adjustment for the front passenger seat of both models.
With the second and third seat rows folded, the Carnival offers best-in-class cargo space of up to 2,785 litres (VDA) and there’s 627 litres available to use behind the third-row (to the upper edge of the seat backs) when all seats are in use. Furthermore, the lift-over height for the cargo area is 26mm lower than its predecessor, at 640mm, making it even easier to load.
The power tailgate (Deluxe and Premium only) and smart power-sliding rear passenger doors (all models) also facilitate access to the cargo area and cabin (see ‘Connectivity and Technology’ below for more information).
A powered panoramic sunroof is available to order at extra cost on Premium only.
CONNECTIVITY AND TECHNOLOGY
New technology features connect, protect and entertain occupants
The user experience in the Carnival is defined by the role of technology and connectivity, with a range of high-tech features designed to make life with this stylish MPV as easy and convenient as possible. These new technologies assist the driver, while connecting, protecting and entertaining occupants.
The hub of the connectivity features is the high-tech twin digital display. This links Kia’s latest 4.2-inch digital driver instrument cluster and 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system under a single seamless glass display in the Deluxe and Premium models (the EX has an 8-inch touchscreen). Both provide a dual-screen display that creates a panoramic, widescreen user experience, with many infotainment functions controlled via touch-sensitive buttons around the screen. There is a similar haptic control panel further down the centre console for climate control.
The infotainment system offers a crystal-clear display, as well as seamlessly integrated Android AutoTM and Apple CarPlayTM. Live telematics information is also available via the in-car touchscreen and on the driver’s smartphone.
The Deluxe and Premium models are equipped with the latest satellite navigation system that provides live traffic information and weather forecasts.
The infotainment system also enables users to connect two smartphones via Bluetooth at the same time, enabling separate phones to be used for phone calls and media. Wireless phone charging is offered on the Deluxe and Premium models, with the centre console tray alerting the driver if the phone is left behind when exiting the vehicle.
Music lovers will appreciate the quality of sound in the plush cabin of the new Carnival, with six and eight speakers fitted to the EX and Deluxe respectively, while owners of the Premium model will enjoy the BOSE® premium sound system with 12 speakers.
The ambience in the cabin can be further enhanced by a selection of soothing ‘Sounds of Nature’ settings playing in the background.
Other technologies are designed to make the Carnival even more practical – an essential element of any good MPV. These include one-button smart open-and-close for the rear power-sliding doors (all models) and tailgate (Deluxe and Premium only). The smart power-sliding rear doors and tailgate can also be opened and closed automatically when the key fob is held near the door to be opened for three seconds – the perfect solution for parents loading younger passengers into the car.
The Carnival provides passengers with puddle lighting to make it safer and easier to get in and out. This is combined with Safe Exit Assist technology, as well as a comprehensive range of advanced driver assistance systems to protect occupants and other road users (see ‘Safety and Convenience’).
New ‘Smartstream’ powertrain technologies enhance efficiency and performance
The new Carnival adopts Kia’s latest SmartstreamTM powertrain technologies, which are designed to enhance efficiency and performance.
The new 2.2-litre SmartstreamTM diesel engine that powers all three models in the Carnival range in New Zealand recently debuted in the 2021 Kia Sorento SUV. It delivers 148kW of smooth power and 440Nm of highly useable torque over a broad range of engine speeds.
The new SmartstreamTM diesel engine features a lighter aluminium block that replaces the previous cast iron block. It incorporates a range of measures that lower friction, aid cooling, enhance efficiency and reduce emissions. These include new high-pressure injectors, new balancer shafts, a thermal management system and selective catalytic reduction to regulate emissions. The end result is a combined cycle fuel consumption reading of 6.5 L/100km, improved from 7.6 L/100km in the old engine.
It is one of the cleanest diesel units ever made by Kia, producing significantly less CO2 emissions than the engine it replaces.
The eight-speed automatic transmission offers smooth and swift progress to match the Carnival’s unruffled dynamic character.
The transmission has been designed to be quieter, smoother and lighter than before. An integrated system monitors driving style and adapts shifting performance to suit.
To select the gears, the Premium model is fitted with an E-Shift Dial using shift-by-wire technology in place of the gear lever on the other models, as well as paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.
RIDE AND HANDLING
An easy-going, comfortable and assured ride
The new Carnival builds on the driving character of its predecessors, prioritising comfort and surefootedness above all else.
The development of the new model has focused on delivering an easy-going, comfortable and assured ride, with stable handling in all conditions.
The new fully independent suspension system and a range of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) measures are engineered to deliver reassuring and relaxing on-road behaviour, maximising stability and occupant comfort.
The suspension system has been dramatically altered compared to the outgoing third-generation Carnival. At the front, Kia’s engineers have applied a new multi-skeletal cross-member and new geometry, better distributing lateral loads on the front suspension from cornering to enhance handling.
The body is also mounted to the rear section of the cross member with new hydro bushes, with liquid inside the rubber bushes reducing the level of suspension and engine vibrations transmitted to the body. This also mitigates the effect of sharp impacts on the front suspension, subtly enhancing ride comfort even over broken surfaces.
The rear suspension has also been revised, with longer lower suspension arms and revised spring layout working to better manage changes in the road surface. Meanwhile, the angle of the rear shock absorbers has been adjusted to better absorb shocks from the road. Being more upright, it also takes up less space in the cargo area.
A new column-mounted motor-driven power steering set-up replaces the outgoing model’s hydraulic power steering system, resulting in a more direct response to steering inputs, with a 5.6% quicker steering ratio. The new system also enables many of the Carnival’s new driver-assist technologies, which rely on an electric power steering motor.
Kia’s engineers have produced a large, eight-seat MPV that drives like a much smaller and nimble vehicle making it safer and less taxing on the driver.
Rolling refinement is something that no MPV driver wants to sacrifice and the Carnival excels in this area too thanks to a range of new NVH features that go beyond what many of its key rivals offer.
A comprehensive array of sound-deadening and insulating measures ensure the new model is one of the quietest and most refined on the road. These include new insulation materials around all four wheel-arches, a full underbody cover to reduce wind and road noise and dense insulation between the engine bay and passenger compartment.
The air intake has also been reshaped to reduce engine noise at high speeds, while new crossmembers in the floor of the cabin reduce vibration noise through the body.
SAFETY AND CONVENIENCE
Active safety and ADAS technologies to protect families on every journey
The new Carnival boasts a comprehensive range of passive and active safety and driver assistance systems, protecting the driver and passengers on every journey.
Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) help to reduce many of the inherent hazards and stresses of driving, making the Carnival relaxing, safe and confidence-inspiring to drive.
For New Zealand drivers, Kia has prioritised safety across the range with a suite of segment first and class leading technologies that lifts the safety bar across all Carnival models. In fact, the ADAS range in the new Carnival is one of the most comprehensive found on any new car today.
The standard safety technologies fitted to every model include Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA) with car, pedestrian and cyclist detection, and newly developed junction assist technology; Lane Keep Assist (LKA); Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA); Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA); Safe Exit Assist (SEA); Driver Attention Warning (DAW), High Beam Assist (HBA); Smart Cruise Control (SCC); and Lane Follow Assist (LFA). The new Around View Monitor (AVM) and Rear Occupant Alert with Sensor are the only items exclusive to the Deluxe and Premium models.
Looking at some of the safety technologies in greater detail, Safe Exit Assist (SEA) is an important new addition to the fourth-generation Carnival. SEA prevents the power-sliding rear doors from opening – and young passengers exiting the vehicle – if the system detects a car approaching from behind on either side.
Kia’s ‘Level 2’ autonomous driving technology, Smart Cruise Control, controls acceleration and braking depending on the vehicles in front. Using front view camera and front radar, it helps maintain a set distance and speed from the vehicle ahead while Lane Follow Assist helps centre the vehicle in its lane during driving. In addition, it features a Rear View Monitor with dynamic guidelines (RVM) and Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist (RCCA).
The RCCA system helps to avoid collisions with vehicles crossing behind from the left and right sides of the Carnival while reversing. This assists the driver by braking the car automatically if it detects an obstacle crossing behind it.
The new Carnival is also offered with Kia’s innovative Multi-Collision Brake system, which enables the car to mitigate the severity of secondary collisions. It automatically applies the vehicle’s brakes when the airbags have been deployed after an initial collision, further protecting occupants from secondary frontal or side impacts.
The Carnival is fitted with seven airbags, as well as a number of electronic vehicle safety systems. All models are equipped as standard with Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Electronic Stability Control, helping drivers maintain control under braking and cornering.
The bodyshell is comprised of different grades of high-strength steel, maximising torsional rigidity while keeping body weight low. The shell of the new model features newly reinforced pillars and features a higher proportion of Advanced High-Strength Steel and hot-stamped steel than its predecessor, increasing torsional rigidity and adding strength. The more rigid bodyshell reduces road vibrations and enhances occupant safety in the event of a collision.
The new Kia Carnival is produced at the Kia Motors Sohari Plant in Korea. Since production began in 2000, more than 1.4 million Carnivals (and related Sedona models in the US) have sold.
Kia Carnival 2.2 EX Diesel $59,990 + ORC
Kia Carnival 2.2 Deluxe Diesel $69,990 + ORC
Kia Carnival 2.2 Premium Diesel $74,990 + ORC
^ MRP pricing
Price includes 3 years Free Scheduled Servicing (up to 45,000 kms), Kia’s 5-year Warranty Programme (up to 100,000 kms) & Free Roadside Assistance for first 5 years.