Mike Stevens | Jul 23, 2012

It won't surprise you to read that Kia is reportedly looking to its KV7 concept for inspiration in replacing the strong-selling Grand Carnival people-mover.

The KV7 wagon, essentially a Soul on steroids, was revealed at last year's Detroit Auto Show. Immediately, reports of a long-overdue new MPV began percolating.

This week, website Inside Line reports that Kia Motors America has confirmed that the current model will be shelved sometime in the 2013 model year, ahead of the all-new model's debut, likely in mid to late 2013.

"The minivan segment has been and will continue to be important to Kia," Kia Motors America's James Hope told the site.

"Although there will not be a 2013 model year Sedona [sold in Australia as the Grand Carnival], our plans call for the current generation vehicle to be available at dealerships through 2012, with production scheduled to resume in 2013."

Hope offered no details on the new model's design, although it is likely that Kia will look to reposition the Carnival range with a more stylish design - and possibly a higher price point.

kia kv7 concept 08
If the KV7 is a preview of things to come, we can likely expect the gullwing doors to make way for conventioning sliders, along with larger tail-lights.

And, unless Kia has the Mercedes-Benz R-Class in its sights, those giant wheels will be swapped out for smaller hoops and more affordable rubber.

With ease of access a top selling feature of the current model, a lower ride height than the KV7's SUV-like setup is also likely.



Speaking with TMR today, Kia Motors Australia's Kevin Hepworth confirmed that Kia Motors America's plans for 2013 will have no effect on Australian availability of the current second-generation Grand Carnival range in the lead-up to the new model's debut.

The big van continues to top sales in Australia's sub-$55,000 people-mover segment, its size, pricing and features making it a tough rival for the second- and third-ranked Hyundai iMax and Honda Odyssey.

So far in 2012, Kia Australia has moved 1821 Grand Carnivals, compared to 987 iMax vans and 874 Odysseys.


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