Kia Carnival Hybrid on the way, Australian division sharp

Kia Carnival Hybrid on the way, Australian division sharp

The best-selling people mover, the Kia Carnival, is destined for hybrid power – and the petrol-electric option could be coming to Australia.

A hybrid Version of the bestseller Kia carnival People Mover is reportedly under development – and such a model could come to Australia if it were to become a reality.

journey Kia understands that Kia is developing a hybrid variant of the current Carnival people mover that could coincide with the vehicle’s expected mid-life facelift next year.

While Kia Australia has not confirmed any plans for a Carnival Hybrid, a company representative said journey The company would be interested in such a vehicle if it were available.

However, despite the success of hybrid cars in Australia – and Kia Australia’s interest in such a model – there’s no guarantee the petrol-electric Carnival will be offered locally.

It is still unclear whether a hybrid version of the Kia Carnival will get the green light – and whether it will be produced as left-hand and right-hand drive.

It’s also about keeping up with demand for today’s Carnival and other Kia hybrids in the face of parts shortages and shipping bottlenecks.

The Sportage hybrid SUV has yet to go on sale locally as there is currently no right-hand drive version of the long-body South Korean-built Sportage sold in Australia in petrol and diesel forms.

Only around 20 examples of the seven-seat Kia Sorento Hybrid SUV arrive in Australia each month, while the small SUV Kia Niro Hybrid – and the Kia Niro Electric – are also limited, with between 75 and 100 cars docking each month.

The mid-life facelift launch date is yet to come, but the Kia Carnival is set to be updated towards the end of next year – a logical time to add a hybrid model to the lineup.

When it arrives in Australia, the Kia Carnival would be the first hybrid in the people-mover segment – although it won’t be the first electrified people-mover in Australia (that honor is said to go to Chinese electric LDV Mifa 9 later this one Year).

Hybrid pioneer and market leader Toyota offers a hybrid people mover abroad, the Sienna – but it’s not built as right-hand drive, and the company’s local offering of people movers, the HiAce van-based Granvia, is diesel-only for now .

The Kia Carnival Hybrid’s performance specs have yet to be confirmed, but it’s worth noting that the vehicle shares its underpinnings with the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe SUVs – which are already available with hybrid petrol-electric powertrains.

These models combine 132kW/265Nm 1.6 liter four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with a 44kW electric motorcompact battery and six-speed automatic transmission for combined performances of 169kW and 350Nm.

A choice of front or all-wheel drive is available for the Sorento and Santa Fe – but rumors from Korea suggest the Carnival Hybrid will only be front-wheel drive as its rear floorpan is reportedly unable to accommodate one driven axle for all to carry -wheel drive.

There’s no word on whether the Carnival’s under-skin twin, the Hyundai Staria, will adopt hybrid power – but it’s expected to get a hydrogen fuel cell-powered model next year, according to reports from overseas.

When it’s legal for Australia – and arrives with the model’s mid-life update – that’s what you expect to see Kia Carnival Hybrid from the end of 2023 in the local showrooms.

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017 when he launched his own website Redline. He worked for Drive in 2018 before joining CarAdvice in 2019 and becoming a regular journalist on the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role in Alex’s life, from leafing through car magazines at a young age to growing up surrounded by performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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