Australia’s best-selling people mover is getting redesigned and ditching its V6 engine for a turbocharged four-cylinder and a hybrid.
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The Carnival is coming to town – to New York City, specifically.

The Korean Car Blog reports the next generation of Kia’s people mover will debut in April at this year’s New York motor show.

The redesigned Carnival will move to the platform underpinning the upcoming 2020 Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima.

That means it will also pick up a hybrid option, at least for the US market.

Currently, the only people mover available in the USA with a hybrid option is the Chrysler Pacifica. No hybrid MPVs are available in Australia except for the much smaller Toyota Prius V.

The Korean Car Blog reports the upcoming Kia Sorento redesign will also feature a hybrid option.

If it’s the same hybrid powertrain as in the 2020 Sonata Hybrid, that means a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor and a six-speed automatic transmission, with a combined output of 143kW.

Considering the Carnival is a large people mover, however, Kia may choose to employ a more powerful petrol engine with its hybrid, potentially a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder. The rival Pacifica Hybrid, for example, uses a 3.6-litre V6 engine.

The current car’s naturally-aspirated 3.3-litre V6 is expected to make way for the new Theta-III turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder that’ll soon appear in the Genesis G70 and GV80 and Hyundai Sonata N-Line.

In the Sonata N-Line, it’ll reportedly produce 216kW and 420Nm. Whether the Carnival will also share the N-Line’s dual-clutch automatic transmission is unclear.

That’s a decent bump from the current 3.3-litre, which produces 206kW and 336Nm.

It’s not yet clear whether the current van’s 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder will carry over.

Expect a boxier look for the Carnival with a strong familial resemblance to the Soul up front, as well as long, horizontal LED daytime running lights like on the Kia Seltos GT-Line.

The current Carnival continues to dominate the people mover segment in Australia.

Though it’s been around since 2015, its sales last year beat those of the second-place Honda Odyssey by more than three-to-one.

The Carnival’s lifecycle is actually shorter than many rivals. The Odyssey’s arrival preceded it by a year and there’s no word yet on when Honda will replace it.

The last generation of the recently discontinued Toyota Tarago was also sold for 13 years.