After having revealed the all new Carnival in June, Kia has finally launched the 4th generation of its luxury MPV which is also known as Grand Carnival & Sedona in different markets across the globe. The all new Carnival now officially goes on sale in its home market of South Korea where it already garnered record-breaking pre-bookings when it was up for a grab earlier this month.
Instead of referring it as a luxury MPV as before, Kia is calling the latest model a “Grand Utility Vehicle” inspired by SUVs, and to disassociate itself from some of the regular people movers. There are indeed some SUV-style design cues, such as silver front and rear skid plates, black body cladding and roof rails.
The all new Kia Carnival is bigger than the out-gone model measuring 5,155 mm in length, 1,995 mm in width and 1,740 mm in height, making it 40 mm longer and 10 mm wider than the 3rd generation model we have here but the height remains same. The existing 3,060 mm wheelbase has also seen an increase of 30 mm making it 3,090 mm for the new model.
It features a new fascia which extends across the width of the vehicle while seamlessly integrating Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille with new dual-projector headlights and the distinctive LED daytime running lights into a single graphic. The narrow corner air inlets and the large center intake are joined together by a sculpted chrome trim piece.
The side profile gets a bold character line that runs across the entire length of the vehicle, linking the front and rear lamps. The glasshouse is characterized by a new chrome fin with subtle diamond pattern, which extends to surround the rear establishing a fully floating roof appearance which Kia calls as Island Roof.
Towards the rear, the full-width light bar connects visually to a sharp, sculpted line which extends downwards and wraps around the license plate. Further enhancing its SUV-inspired design, the 2021 Kia Carnival is finished off with a metallic lower skid plate, elevating the car further and giving it a more robust appearance.
Inside, the all new Kia Carnival is a drastic shift over its predecessor, with a horizontal dashboard design, a tall centre console incorporating rotary gear selector and a freestanding display panel with twin 12.3-inch displays. The digital instrument cluster and the infotainment touchscreen are covered by a single sheet of glass, making for a seamless look.
Depending on the market, the Kia Grand Carnival will offer wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, live telematics and Kia Live services that include live traffic information, weather forecasts, points of interest, and on- and off-street parking information. Users will also be able to send navigation direction to the car before setting off, while the infotainment system can pair two phones via Bluetooth simultaneously.
There are also useful features for rear-seat passengers. The front occupants will be able to see and talk to them, thanks to a small camera and a function that amplifies their voice through the rear speakers. Those at the back will be able to use the car’s voice recognition system to control the infotainment and other vehicular functions – if those in front allow it, of course.
Thanks to enhanced dimensions, the all new Carnival gets more space inside. Even with all the seats up, there is 627 liters of boot space; whereas with just the two front seats in place, that figure grows to an enormous 2,905 liters. The load sill is also 26 mm lower than before, making it easier to lift more substantial items into the boot.
Interior of 2021 Kia Carnival
The all new Kia Carnival still comes in 7-, 9- and 11-seater configurations. In three-row form, the car gets reclining “Premium Relaxation Seats” for the second row, with adjustable armrests and ottomans. There is also a one-touch “Relaxation” button that reclines the seat for a business class experience. A handsfree function for the tailgate and sliding doors is useful when carrying items or small children.
In terms of safety, the 2021 Grand Carnival comes with a full arsenal of driver assists, depending on the market. This include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control (optionally available with navigation guidance), lane centering assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, and a driver attention warning.
Plus there is a door opening warning which also prevents the rear sliding doors from opening if it detects another vehicle approaching. 7 airbags, reinforced pillars and the increased use of high-strength and hot-stamped steel improve crash worthiness.
The new Kia Carnival comes with a choice of 3 engine options, the most powerful of which is a 3.5 liter direct- and port-injected V6 that produces 294 hp of power and 355 Nm of torque. This engine comes with cooled exhaust gas recirculation, integrated thermal management and a cross-flow system to maximize efficiency. Certain markets will get a port-injected version with 272 hp and 332 Nm.
Then there is a 2.2 liter Smartstream four-cylinder turbodiesel, which ditches the outgoing cast iron block for an aluminum unit, saving 20 kg. This new engine comes with new high-pressure injectors, new balancer shafts, a thermal management system, and selective catalytic reduction; while churning out 202 hp and 440 Nm. All engines are paired to an 8-speed automatic gearbox.
The 2021 Kia Grand Carnival comes with a revamped fully-independent suspension system and reduced noise, vibration and harshness, making for a more relaxed and comfortable drive. The front of the car features a multi-skeletal cross-member and new geometry to increase stability. The rear gets hydro bushings, longer and lower suspension arms, a revised spring layout and an adjusted damper angle to improve ride comfort. The more rigid bodyshell and increased sound insulation further improve refinement. Lastly, the column-mounted electric power steering increases response, quickens the steering ratio by 5.6% and allows for the implementation of the aforementioned driver aids.
After having made its debut in South Korea, the 2021 Kia Carnival is scheduled to be introduced in many of Kia’s markets around the globe. Stay tuned to CarSpiritPK for more information on the all new 4th gen Kia Grand Carnival.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com