The wraps have come off the third-generation Kia Carnival in New York – the MPV, also known as the Sedona in selected markets, completes the brand’s design-led transformation for its model lineup, which began in 2009. It replaces the second-gen, which has been around since 2006 and was sold in Malaysia in its original guise as well as the Naza-badged Ria.
The new Carnival features a CUV-like cab-forward design, highlighted by a fully integrated version of Kia’s signature grille and headlamps with LED positioning lights as well as a deeply swept windshield.
Not much in the way of figures, dimensional or otherwise, though the company says that the new vehicle’s wheelbase is 40 mm longer than its predecessor. Also, from a static torsional stiffness point-of-view, the new Carnival is 36% stiffer than its closest segment competitor.
Available in seven- and eight-seater forms, Kia says the new Carnival’s interior provides more front shoulder room, greater leg room in the front, second and third rows and a slightly higher hip-point as far as volumetric scope goes.
Seat configuration options include second-row Slide-n-Stow tracked seating, which slides and folds upright to allow for “on-the-go” cargo hauling while eliminating the hassle that comes with removing heavy and cumbersome middle seats. There’s also the option of second-row “First Class” lounge seating, which can be positioned rearward and features retractable lower leg rests.
The cabin features plenty of soft-touch materials and solid or two-tone colour options for its interior theme, with shade choices being beige, grey and burgundy. Upper specification models are set to get ultra-soft Nappa leather seating surfaces throughout the cabin as standard.
Features include a Surround View Monitor and a hands-free “Smart Tailgate,” which opens the rear lift gate automatically when the key fob is sensed for three seconds – the latter is programmable and can be tailored to the user’s height preference.
Only one engine choice to be found under the hood at point of introduction, and that’s a Lambda GDI 3.3 litre V6 engine, which replaces the 3.5 litre V6 found in the previous generation. The new mill offers 276 hp at 6,000 rpm and 336 Nm of twist at 5,200 rpm. In the Carnival, it’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The MPV, which rides on 19-inch wheels, gets Amplitude Selected Dampers (ASD), which Kia says offers an optimal balance of ride comfort and handling. As for safety, the stock items list includes electronic stability control, traction control, BA and hill-start assist as well as EBD and ABS.
Also on as standard equipment are cornering brake control and roll over mitigation. On the options front, there’s vehicle stability management (VSM), forward collision warning system (FCWS), smart cruise control, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert.