SPY PICS: 2020 Kia Carnival
An all-new Kia Carnival is on its way, as evidenced by these fresh spy shots of the heavily camouflaged people-mover testing in icy conditions.
In fact, we understand the fourth-generation Kia Carnival will make its world debut at the New York in just two months, before going on sale by the end of this year in Australia, where the current model remains the top-selling people-mover.
Aside from a raft of upgrades in 2018, not much has changed for the third-generation Carnival since it arrived here in 2015.
But all that changes with the all-new version of the Korean manufacturer’s eight-seater, which will be based on the same platform as the upcoming 2020 Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata.
There aren’t a lot of design secrets we can take away from the most recent set of spy pics, which shows a pre-production prototype undergoing cold-weather testing, but it’s clear the new Carnival will retain a familiar boxy silhouette.
That said, the existing Kia people-mover is already one of the most stylish in its segment, and new design features like thin slits for headlights suggest it will continue to major in the design department.
Currently, the eight-seater is sold in Australia with two engine options: petrol V6 and turbo-diesel four-cylinder, both paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission sending power to the front wheels.
However, it’s been touted the next Carnival could be offered with all-wheel drive and there are reports it may only be available with four-cylinder petrol powertrains, including the first hybrid system.
The latter could be shared with the 2020 Sonata Hybrid, which gets a 143kW 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four paired with an electric motor and six-speed automatic transmission.
However, if Kia does away with the existing Carnival’s 3.3-litre petrol V6 and 2.2-litre turbo-diesel, they could be replaced by peppy 1.6-litre and/or new Theta-III 2.5-litre turbo-petrol engines.
The latter produces 216kW/420Nm in the Hyundai Sonata N-Line (and will also power the Genesis G70 and GV90), which betters the 206kW/336Nm outputs of the outgoing Carnival V6.
After five years on sale, the current Kia Carnival reigns supreme in the land of people-movers Down Under, where current model is priced from $42,990 and outsold its nearest rival – the Honda Odyssey – by almost four to one with 6500 sales.
Well behind were the Volkswagen Multivan/Caravelle, Hyundai iMAX, LDV G10, Toyota Tarago, Mercedes-Benz V-Class and the just-launched Toyota Granvia.