A number of Kia Grand Carnival models are in the country for hot weather testing, with one of our readers spotting them in a holding yard in Sydney's western suburbs, and another catching the cars on the move in Victoria.
The images show just how dramatic a departure the all-new model is compared to the current van, which has been on sale here since January 2006. It appears as though it has been styled to look like a larger version of the smaller seven-seat Kia Rondo, with a more angular cabin and larger windscreen. See more images of the car undergoing testing in the US here.
The current car has always been about function over form, but Kia president and head of design Peter Schreyer told CarAdvice at the Geneva motor show that the new model promises to be a good looker.
“I want to get away from that atmosphere that you only buy MPVs if you have to. I want to do them in a way that it’s cool to have one. I think that it can be cool,” Schreyer said.
The car's front-end features a bluff new nose that appears to feature an integrated front-view camera, suggesting it will be the recipient of a new surround-view camera function. The broad, slatted grille is bordered by slim headlights and broad front haunches, while its clear from the side-profile it will carry over its conventional sliding rear doors on both sides of the cabin, with the glasshouse appearing to taper upwards from the rear door back.
There are no details as to what engine powers the new-generation model, but a revised V6 petrol and 2.2-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder are likely options.
The new model will be revealed at the New York auto show in April, badged the Kia Sedona for the US market – there's no confirmation yet as to whether the car will retain the Grand Carnival name or revert to the Kia Carnival moniker. Whatever name it has, it's expected to hit showrooms later in 2014.
Click the Photos tab above for more images of the new Kia Grand Carnival.
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