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2019 Kia Carnival facelift revealed

By David Bonnici, 29 Mar 2018 Car News

2019 Kia Carnival facelift revealed

Kia’s big-selling people mover gains more aesthetic appeal via a New York Motor Show reveal

The Kia Carnival’s transformation from a cheap and cheerful family hauler to sleek minivan continues, with the 2019 update revealed at the New York Motor Show.

As well as a bolder form that wouldn’t look far out of place in a presidential convoy, the facelifted Kia Carnival gains a series of interior enhancements, more safety tech and an eight-speed automatic gearbox for its 3.3-litre V6.

Externally, the 2019 Carnival stands out with a reconfigured nose and bumper design, and a fresh headlight configuration with distinctive LED headlamps and “ice cube” fog-lights on upper-spec variants.

The silhouette has changed, too, with reduced front and rear overhangs giving the Carnival a bolder stance that’s enhanced with newly designed alloy wheels.

The interior also gains a makeover, with updated instrument graphics and a less-cluttered centre console featuring a wireless phone charging pad, sunglasses bin, and an electrically activated parking brake for selected variants.

Upscale options include wood grain trim on the front door panels, an LED mood lamp, and the choice between single or dual sunroofs.

The eight-seat Carnival gains a USB charging socket at the rear for third-row passengers, while the overhead video screen makes way for more neck-friendly 10.1-inch touchscreens mounted on the rear of each front seat. The screens are linked to a system that can link passengers’ phones to allow them to games with each other, while Bluetooth headphones ensure they don’t drive the front occupants insane.

The Carnival’s active safety suite gains Driver Attention Warning, which senses if a driver is fatigued, although full automatic emergency braking is still not available.

Under the bonnet the only change is the eight-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the six-speed unit mated to the 3.3-litre V6. Kia says the new ’box provides seamless shifting and improved economy without enhancing performance.

The New York Motor Show reveal primarily applies to the US model, called the Sedona, with Australian specifications expected closer to the Carnival’s local arrival.