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Visuals of Kia’s new flagship minivan show a more SUV-focused style
Kia Motors Corporation, the brand’s Seoul-based HQ, has revealed images of the fourth generation of its flagship minivan, the Carnival . Dubbed a ‘Grand Utility Vehicle’, the new model boasts widespread design changes for the Carnival, moving away from its minivan aesthetic and towards a more SUV-inspired design.
Viewed from the side, the new Carnival features a shorter front overhang, with the base of the A-pillar moving backwards to create a longer hood. The increased wheelbase also contributes to greater space throughout the cabin, while giving the car a longer, more athletic silhouette. Further SUV details include the prominent wheel arches and the character line running along the length of the car, linking the front and rear lamps.
The new Carnival also features an ‘island roof’ design (Kia’s version of the so-called floating roof), with blacked-out A- and B-pillars supporting the body-coloured roof, with a redesigned C-pillar inspired by the new Sorento. A chrome fin, which wraps beneath the tapered rear windows and extends towards the tailgate, is finished with a subtle diamond pattern also reflected throughout the inside of the car.
The new Carnival’s front-end design, dubbed the ‘Tiger Face,’ seamlessly integrates the headlights with the brand’s iconic ‘Tiger-Nose’ grille, which now extends almost across the width of the vehicle. The high-beam lamps are integrated into the corner of the 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.
The chrome trim above the grille forms its own character line around the face of the car. Beneath, the sculpted bumpers and lower air intake are matched with metallic trim and a black lower bumper, presenting a robust, SUV-inspired appearance.
At the rear, the Carnival boasts a wide, distinctive new design, with sleek combination lamps mimicking the DRLs integrated into a full-width light. Above the light bar is a chrome line, which starts at the base of the C-pillar and wraps around the base of the rear screen. As a final nod to its SUV-inspired design, the new Carnival gets a metallic lower skid plate.
Kia hasn’t divulged any details on the interiors or the drivetrain for the new Carnival. However the brand says the new Carnival will go on sale in Korea, Kia’s domestic market, in the third quarter of 2020, with global sales in many of Kia’s markets to follow thereafter.
Speaking from the Indian perspective, the current-gen Carnival has been on sale here for less than a year, so it is unlikely we will see this new iteration of the Carnival anytime soon. A shame, really, considering how well Kia’s luxury SUV bridges the gap between the capable (though derided for its extensive use as a commercial people-carrier) Toyota Innova and the brand’s super-luxurious – and expensive – Vellfire.