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All-new Kia Carnival is a Grand Utility Vehicle with lavish features

All-new Kia Carnival is a Grand Utility Vehicle with lavish features

The minivan has always been one of the most underrated and perhaps least respected vehicle types. They’re identical in every way to their SUV cousins, have way more room inside, equally well-built and are terrific for road trips. And yet, the market still finds them as less charming, always saddled by that “Mom-mobile” image.

So Kia, a minivan maker since the ’90s, came up with a great idea: why not make the minivan more appealing to executives and even previous SUV owners looking for their next luxurious, classy and safe ride.

For starters, Kia sought the help of their California studio, the same place where the Telluride, America’s “Best 3-Row SUV for Families” and the multi-award-winning Sorento SUV were created.

What came out of that Kia studio was the 4th-generation all-new Carnival, a new breed of minivan that Kia now calls as Grand Utility Vehicle or GUV.

“The all-new Carnival GUV delivers first-class treatment worthy of VIPs. Each key feature of the latest model supports their daily drive toward avenues of inspiration. Moments of style that express their exclusive taste. Moments of innovation that empower their drive to seek more. Moments of comfort and convenience that fulfill their luxurious standard of living. And, moments of safety to represent their reliable nature,” described Manny Aligada, President of Kia Philippines during the Feb. 17 virtual launch of the GUV.

Dual sun-roof

He also shared that in the Philippines, Kia simplified the all-new Carnival’s lineup to two variants: the range-topping SX 8AT, which is already available and the EX 8AT variant that will be sold next month.

Riding on 19-inch alloy wheels (18-inches on the EX), the all-new Carnival GUV looks almost exactly like a full-size SUV. It features a redesigned “tiger nose” grille that spans the width of the vehicle, integrating LED daytime running lights (DRLs), and headlamps; has a more chiseled profile with dramatic lines that goes from the hood to the tail lamps.

Unlike the previous generation, the all-new Carnival GUV features a shorter front overhang, with the base of the A-pillar moved backwards to create not only a longer wheelbase (now 3.09 meters from previous 3.06m) but also a longer hood area.

Another key design highlight of the all-new Carnival is its new “island roof” design that features blacked-out A- and B-pillars beneath a body-colored roof. Designers of the all-new Carnival also made use of L-shaped, chrome colored C-pillars as well as sculpted wheel arches and dark lower sills to further break the minivan’s profile.

Premium relaxation seats

A new world of comfort

It’s only when you start noticing the location of the second row door handles and neatly tucked sliding door rails, that you realize this is still a minivan. And once these power sliding doors open up, you’ll soon discover a new world of comfort inside—way better than what many 3-row SUVs could offer, especially in the third row area.

The seven seat, 2-2-3 setup feature Power Seats in front row that come with a Memory Function for the Driver’s Seat to customize and preset seating position (only the driver’s seat for the EX is equipped).

The second row is where the two business class-esque leather seats are located and they feature cooling and heating functions. Interestingly, these second row seats can also be removed completely, and with the third row seats folded, owners could utilize the all-new Carnival’s maximum 4,110 liters of cargo space. While the SX features double sunroofs (located above the first and second rows), sunshade blinds and a 3-zone automatic climate control function are standard to both the SX and EX variants. To further emphasize its upmarket features, the all-new Carnival GUV features Smart Entry and Remote Start functions; as well as 8-inch Touchscreen Audio with Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Connectivity (for hand-free accessibility with Voice Control).

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Power front seats

There are also strategically placed USB ports and a wireless mobile phone charger (available for the SX) as well as a Drive Mode Select and Electronic Parking Brake.

Higher safety level

But what further makes the all-new Carnival GUV special are the next-level safety features installed by Kia. Beyond utilizing ultra-high tensile steel and hot stamping method to create a lighter but more rigid body and the availability of seven airbags, Kia also integrated the technologies it earlier introduced in the DRIVE WiSE, a new Kia sub-brand dedicated to autonomous driving and assistive technologies.

In the SX variant, the all-new Carnival is already equipped with Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Collision-Avoidance System, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Keep Assist and Lane Following Assist.

Other safety features included are LED head, tail, and fog lights; LED Daytime Running Lights; an Auto-Dimming Interior Mirror; Front and Rear parking Sensors; Rear Camera with Dynamic Guidelines; Blind Spot Warning; and Cruise Control.

Air-bag system

A fuel efficient yet vigorous 200-horsepower SmartStream 2.2 VGT CRDi (turbocharged diesel) engine mated to an 8-speed automatic is more than enough to pull the all-new Carnival GUV’s 2,000-kg weight. Torque? It’s a hefty 440 Nm.

To further entice the market to this new breed of executive people mover, Kia Philippines, like the rest of its lineup, is being offered with a five-year or 160,000-km warranty as well as 24/7 Roadside Assistance. As for the available colors, the SX is available in Astra Blue (P2.988 million) and in more elegant Snow White Pearl and Aurora Black Pearl (both priced P2.998 million). The upcoming EX is also available in Astra Blue (P2.540 million) as well as in Snow White Pearl and Aurora Black Pearl (both priced P2.550 million). Find the dealer nearest your location via