2021 Kia Carnival: What we know so far
After a good six years, Kia finally unveiled the next-generation Carnival in June 2020. Unlike the previous versions which looked much like a minivan, the new fourth-gen version bears an SUV-like stance.
2021 Kia Carnival Quick Look: An SUV-looking people-hauler
As with most new Kia made models, the new minivan is first made available in its home country of South Korea. According to sources, the Australian market will then get the Kia-made minivan sometime around 2021. That said, several features and specifications for the aforementioned markets were already previewed.
So what can we expect from the fourth-gen 2021 Kia Carnival?
Yes, it definitely looks more macho than the previous Carnival
2021 Kia Carnival: Exterior
As we’ve said, the 2021 Kia Carnival bears a stance similar to SUVs or crossovers. This is because it now uses a two-box configuration just like MPVs, SUVs, crossovers, and even wagons. This means that the new Carnival now has a longer hood, which in turn results in more space for the interior.
Up front, the 2021 Carnival is muscular looking. This is thanks to its huge grille that comes with a classy looking weave pattern. Apart from that, we’re also certain that the new headlamps are now LEDs. The lower bumper also gets more angular. Just like its predecessor though, the 2021 Carnival’s front fascia still features chrome trim pieces. These can be found on the edge of the bonnet, the bottom section of the grille, and on the lower bumper.
If you squint hard enough, you'll definitely see a very SUV-like outline
Towards the sides, one can see that all of its pillars are blacked-out. The C-pillar however gets a satin silver pattern, while the D-pillar is significantly thinner compared to the older model. For the South Korean market, the 2021 Kia Carnival can either come with a set of 17-inch, 18-inch, or 19-inch wheels.
The rear also gets more angular features, and it also receives a seemingly larger window, which we’re hoping will provide more rear visibility. The LED taillights also get a more modern design and it now runs across the entire width of the rear. Down towards the rear bumper, the 2021 Carnival also gets a rear faux skid-plate.
This design will quell all doubts regarding minivans
With regards to dimensions, the fourth-gen Carnival is 5,155 mm long and 1,995 mm wide. It also has a wheelbase length of 3,090 mm. This means that the 2021 Carnival is 40 mm longer and 10 mm wider than the previous version.
The new Carnival also rides on a new platform, which allows for the model to accommodate a hybrid powertrain for future variants. Like its predecessor however, the Kia Carnival remains to be a front-wheel-drive vehicle.
2021 Kia Carnival: Interior
As we’ve said, the new design of the 2021 Kia Carnival will provide more space for all of its seven occupants. For now, though, we’re not sure whether there’s going to be an eleven-seater version so stay tuned for that.
Moving on with regards to its interior, the 2021 Carnival steps it up in terms of luxury. Almost all surfaces look like they’re covered in soft materials, and the front cabin gets a more elegant and less “busy looking” arrangement. The dashboard itself also gets an overhaul. It’s now sleeker than it was before, and the controls remain to be well-arranged.
Of note is the single piece of glass covering the infotainment display, as well as the instrument display. This makes it appear that the dash bears a single elongated screen. Down on the center console, there’s also a smaller third-display for the automatic climate controls.
The digital gauge cluster and the infotainment screen are covered by a single piece of glass
Apart from the sleeker dashboard, the 2021 Kia Carnival also ditches the old one’s gear shift lever. In its place is a textured gear selector dial, which controls the new minivan’s shift-by-wire system.
As for the rear seats, the seven-seater version’s second-row will come with captain seats with adjustable armrests, backrests, and leg rests. Of note is the second-row seat’s many configurations. One can even make them turn around to face the third-row to create a “lounge-type” arrangement.
For its fourth life-cycle, the new Carnival gets a total of three screens. There’s the 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, the smaller LCD display for the touch-sensitive tri-zone automatic climate controls, and the 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster.
According to a report, the 2021 Carnival’s onboard entertainment head unit comes with the UVO connectivity suite. It also has a rear entertainment system, power sliding doors, panoramic sunroof, power tailgate, and ventilated electronically adjustable front and rear seats.
Nothing says luxury than a car with a lounge-type interior
And lastly, the 2021 Carnival offers a default cargo capacity of 627-liters. Fold those rear seats down and you can get a whopping 2905-liters of cargo space.
2021 Kia Carnival: Engine and performance
For the South Korean versions, the 2021 Carnival is sold with two engine options. The first is a 2.2-liter diesel capable of making up to 199 horsepower and 440 Nm of torque. The larger one is a 3.5-liter GDi V6 gasoline that can produce 290 horsepower and 355 Nm of torque. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, which then sends power to the Carnival’s front wheels.
2021 Kia Carnival: Safety
Just as with the plush interior, Kia also made great leaps to improve the 2021 Carnival’s safety. Of note is its blind-spot detection systems, which will definitely help in maneuvering the large minivan. Other than that, it also gets a comprehensive detection system that can assist in detecting pedestrians, cyclists, and other cars.
Other safety features aboard the 2021 Kia Carnival include a surround-view monitor, a navigation-based cruise control, driver attention warning, lane-keep assist, highway driving assist, electronic stability control, anti-lock braking with electronic brake distribution, seven airbags, etc.
2021 Kia Carnival: Final Thoughts
As of yet, the only market to have received the Kia Carnival 2021 is its home country of South Korea. We’re certain that the Australian release will come next. However, Kia Australia is yet to confirm a schedule for a launch.
That said, it might take a while for the 2021 Carnival to get to Philippine shores. Rest assured though, that this new Carnival will indeed get to the Philippines. Kia after all has been selling the Carnival locally for quite some time now. On top of that, Pinoys have a continuous need for large, high-occupancy vehicles that can fit the entire family.
One of the highlights of the 2021 Kia Carnival is its interior
With that said, however, we reckon that the Philippine-spec version might not get all the bells and whistles found on the South Korean and even Australian-spec versions. Those features will carry a hefty premium, so there might be a chance that we’re getting a toned-down variant (or variants) of this new minivan.
As for the said model’s engines, however, we’re certain that the Philippine-spec Carnival will get the 2.2-liter diesel engine. That’s because Diesel MPVs and SUVs still continue to be very desirable here in the country.
2021 Kia Carnival: Expected Price
Currently, the 2021 Kia Carnival/Kia Sedona is priced at 32 million won to 42 million won. Converted to current exchange rates, that’s around Php 1.4 million to Php 1.8 million. With that, we can expect the Philippine version, if it retains all those aforementioned features, to come with a significantly higher price-tag.
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Cesar G.B. Miguel
Cesar is a graduate of AB English with previous experience working as a freelance writer for varied internet publications in-between his former stints in the Pharmaceutical Industry, and later as a First Aid Provider and Training Staff at the Iligan City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
Since childhood, Cesar has been keenly interested in cars. He has learned the ins and outs of these marvelous vehicles and is a competent amateur mechanic who is keen on sharing his knowledge.
Cesar is perceptive of car culture in general – not only in the Philippines but in global regard, as well. His knowledge ranges from the prevalent stories and trends among car enthusiasts around the world, to closely following the latest local and international developments in the automotive industry.