The new Kia Carnival receives improved qualities and features that make it more family-friendly and modern, sending this minivan into the modern era.
Kia brought real minivan style to the market when they developed the Carnival. This minivan looks as much like an SUV as any vehicle in the class possibly can. For the 2024 model year, Kia gives this SUV a new look, which was on display in the previous information dump from the company. Now, we’ve learned more about the interior changes being added to this minivan. Let’s take a look and see what’s changed.
Small changes make a big difference
The Carnival receives a new two-tone cabin, which gives it a more elegant and upscale appearance. A noticeable change to the controls is the use of a small rotary gear selector that replaces the bulky lever of the previous generation. The center console has been improved with fewer buttons and knobs, making it easy to enjoy a more useful area with better controls. The touch panel for climate controls found in other Kia models makes its way to this minivan. This gives the Carnival a new dual-screen setup as part of the infotainment changes.
Some updates aren’t being discussed
Until the new Carnival makes it to the market, Kia seems intent on being tight-lipped about the new powertrain offered for this minivan. They have informed the public the powertrain will be a hybrid model, but almost all new vehicle generations are adopting some form of hybridization to improve the fuel mileage and power of any vehicle. This new hybrid model will be sold alongside the gas and diesel versions of the Carnival (diesel models aren’t sold in the United States).
In addition to a new hybrid powertrain, with details pending, the new Carnival will have improved shocks to provide a smoother ride and added sound-deadening material to give this minivan a quieter cabin.
This Kia minivan has better tech
Kia is pushing tech forward with better features for this new minivan. The new Kia Carnival receives an improved digital key, better support for over-the-air updates, and a new head-up display, which gives this minivan more of what families need and want during any drive.
The new Highway Driving Assist 2 system will be part of this new Kia minivan. This system is Kia’s semi-autonomous driving assistance system, which maintains a preset speed, keeps a safe distance from other vehicles, and helps keep the vehicle centered in the lane. This second generation of the system adds a lane-change assist function, making it much easier to change lanes while your hands are off the wheel.
Will the new Carnival continue with the same engine?
Although we know the next generation Carnival will have a hybrid powertrain added to the mix, the question is whether or not this minivan will continue to use the same 3.5-liter V6 found in the current generation. If Kia follows the same formula as Honda, the Carnival should adopt the 3.8-liter V6 engine found in the Telluride. This would give the new Kia minivan more power for better driving performance and strength.
Features we want to see in the new model
The new Kia Carnival should retain some of the favorite features of the current version. This means the new model should have a set of hands-free power sliding doors on both sides of the vehicle. These doors are easy to open and even easier when using the Smart Key feature that enables them to open automatically.
Another feature we want to see in the next generation of this Kia minivan is the set of sliding rear seats. This feature allows the second-row center seat to slide forward to make it easier to reach a child from the front row. When this middle seat isn’t being used, it can be turned into a table to be utilized by passengers in the second and third rows.
Will an AWD Carnival be next?
The current minivan market has only four vehicles, the Chrysler Pacifica, Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, and Kia Carnival. The Sienna is an AWD hybrid minivan, and the Pacifica can be had with a hybrid powertrain. The new Carnival lineup will include a hybrid powertrain, but we haven’t found any mention of an AWD system for this new Kia minivan. Could that be next?
We’ll learn more about the new Kia Carnival, especially if it shows up at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month. The new US version of this minivan isn’t expected to appear until the early part of 2024.
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