Kia Carnival crosses minivan with SUV style, and ‘is here to disrupt’


“Carnival is here to disrupt a staid segment and proves once again what is possible when conventions are shattered,” said Sean Yoon, CEO of Kia Motors America. “With its SUV-like character, our new multipurpose vehicle delivers a combination of premium design, intelligent packaging and an abundance of innovation in safety and technology.”

Designed at the Korean automaker’s California design studio, the Carnival also is the first vehicle in North America to employ Kia’s new global logo, the company said.

Exterior styling elements include an updated “tiger nose” front grille for a wider face, a more defined hood to enhance the boxy look, “brawny wheel arches” and a rear skid plate garnish, Kia said.

Interior touches include three colour options in the United States — just two in Canada — slim metal air vents, a gloss-black centre fascia and a chrome garnish that runs the length of the dash to create a spacious feel in the forward cabin, the company said.

Compared with the outgoing Sedona, the Carnival offers more luxurious trim options, modern tech that includes 12 standard driving safety systems and a small power increase to 290 horsepower from the standard V-6 engine.

The front-wheel-drive minivan can tow up to 3,500 pounds, Kia said.

Heated and ventilated second-row seats are available with the VIP lounge package on the seven-passenger configuration, which also feature leg extensions, Kia said. On most trims, the second-row seats can be removed and the third-row seats folded into the floor.

Four trims will be offered in the Untied States: LX, EX, SX and SX-Prestige. There are five trims available in Canada: LX, LX+, EX, EX+ and SX.

Kia did not disclose U.S. pricing, which typically comes closer to the on-sale date, but it will start at $36,345, before shipping in Canada. Kia Canada wasn’t immediately available for comment Tuesday. The 2021 Sedona starts at $34,090 for the base LX trim including shipping, according to the Kia Canada website.

Tech features available on the Carnival include a digital instrument cluster, up to nine USB ports and two 110-volt inverters, rear-passenger monitor with zoom and night vision and dual rear screens that can mirror Apple and Android devices.

Kia said the Carnival is built on a new version of the N3 platform that underpins the Sorento crossover and K5 sedan. Improvements over the outgoing platform include a quieter interior, a stiffer structure and improved aerodynamics.

In addition to the standard safety suite, optional upgrades include a blind-spot monitor that projects a live camera view of adjacent lanes in the instrument cluster, Kia said.

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