Make / Model Search

Future models - Kia - Carnival

First look: Kia unveils new Carnival and facelifted Sorento

Compact Carnival: Kia's Mk2 people mover will slot underneath the longer Grand Carnival.

Top-selling people-mover's replacement to surface at Geneva, alongside Kia's facelifted Sorento SUV

7 Feb 2006

KIA Motors has previewed this month's Geneva motor show debut of its all-new Carnival and facelifted Sorento by revealing pictures of both models last week.

The replacement for Australia's top-selling people-mover emerges just weeks after the long-wheelbase, eight-seater Grand Carnival was launched locally, alongside the current short-wheelbase Carnival.

Featuring a shorter wheelbase and body than its Grand sibling, the new Carnival is longer than its predecessor and will continue to offer a 2+3+2 seating configuration.

According to Kia, all five rear seats can be individually moved, reclined, folded or removed, bringing "considerable advances in the key areas of cabin space, seating comfort, interior build quality, accommodation versatility and overall packaging".

Twin sliding rear doors and a powered rear tailgate will be optional extras for the new Kia people-mover, which is taller, wider but shorter than the model it replaces.

The all-new short-bodied Carnival's initial target markets will be Europe, where it goes on sale mid-year as the new Sedona, so don't expect the next-generation seven-seater to join the Grand Carnival on sale here until after the Sydney motor show in October.

17 center imageMeantime, one of Kia's best-sellers globally with nearly 144,000 examples sold last year, Sorento has received a major midlife facelift and for 2006 will be available in European markets with a more powerful new 176kW 3.3-litre V6 petrol engine and a 135kW diesel with variable geometry turbocharger.

Inside, to go with the revised exterior's "contemporary image that is both elegant and confident", there's a newly configured and higher-quality dashboard, while reshaped front seatbacks increase legroom at the rear, where there's improved seat adjustment.

Interestingly, Kia's 2006 Sorento (left) was in Brisbane last week to shoot a $US2 million TV commercial, continuing Kia Motors' tradition of using Australia as an international advertising backdrop. Global advertisements for the original Sorento and previous Optima were also filmed in Australia.

The new-look Sorento will be launched first in the US and Europe, before making its Australian sales debut - in both petrol and turbo-diesel guise - in 2007.

This year's Swiss auto bonanza will also host the world debut of a third Kia model, this time a small five-door upmarket hatch to be built in the Slovak Republic and designed primarily to tackle the Golf/Focus market in Europe (not Asia).

Codenamed ED and following in the footsteps of its Picanto micro-car stablemate, the as-yet-unnamed concept will be another significant example of the South Korean brand manufacturing dedicated new models in Europe for Europe.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Kia models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here