Called the Grand Sedona, the Korean manufacturer spent more than two years developing the 11-seater, which has more engine power and improved comfort and safety features including six airbags and vehicle dynamic control.
The Grand Sedona will be joined by a short-body version. Expect them mid-2006.
Pricing for the short-body model is expected to be close to the current model, while the long-body model is expected to undercut the Chrysler Voyager.
A 2.9-litre CRDi turbo-diesel engine is available, as well as the new aluminium-block 3.8-litre petrol V6, which offers a 30% power jump over the existing 2.5-litre V6.
The new V6 develops 178 kW of power and 340 Nm of torque and is mated to a five-speed Sportmatic automatic transmission.
With a wheelbase of 3 020 mm and overall length of 5 130mm, the Grand Carnival is 34 mm longer than a Voyager and 10 mm shy of the Chrysler?s 3 030 mm wheelbase. The Grand Sedona's seating layout is 2-3-3-3.
Visually, the wagon has a long nose with distinctive grille and clear-lens headlights. At the rear it borrows styling cues from the Chrysler.
The Grand Sedona also has new features for the family wagon, including a standard fold-flat third-row seat and the availability of power sliding doors and tailgate.
Safety levels have been improved with active front headrests, six standard airbags, which also includes full-length side curtain airbags for all three rows of seats, as well as four-channel anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution.
Additional standard safety equipment available in Korean models includes a tyre-pressure monitoring system and traction and stability control.
Despite its size increase, the newcomer is expected to be significantly lighter but stronger than the existing model.
Kia engineers have turned the people-mover into a driver-focused vehicle with more power, less weight and a new chassis with four-wheel independent suspension comprising MacPherson-style front struts and a multi-link system at the rear. Stabiliser bars are used at each end.
Stopping power has been improved with beefier four-wheel disc brakes, while wheel-and-tyre combinations are larger with 16-inch steel wheels and 225/70 R16 tyres or 17-inch alloy wheels fitted to 235/60 R17 tyres.
The flip-and-fold second-row seats provide easy access to third row and a new, simple-to-operate 60/40 split-folding into-the-floor third row is standard.
In Korea, the Grand Sedona will be available in LX and EX trim levels, both of which are equipped with tri-zone air conditioning, power windows, cruise control, CD stereo, remote central locking and an alarm.
The EX adds a chrome grille, foglights, eight-way electric driver's seat (with electric lumbar control), heated mirrors, premium stereo, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather steering wheel/shift knob, electric rear side windows, a compass, roof rack and mock wood trim