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The 2021 Kia Carnival has been officially unveiled for the Australian market. Consumers will have four specification levels to choose from; S, Si, SLi, and Platinum, all of which are available with petrol and diesel engines.

This latest-generation Carnival, also badged as the Sedona in the U.S., shares its mid-size platform the new Sorento and represents a significant step-up over its predecessor. The wheelbase has been extended and it has been loaded with a host of new technologies and luxurious features.

Included as standard in the entry-level Carnival S model are features including 17-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, solar glass windshield, 8-inch infotainment display with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 4.2-inch LCD cluster display, six-speaker sound system, keyless entry, and Kia’s full suite of active safety features.

As for the Carnival Si, it lands with 18-inch wheels, a larger 12.3-inch infotainment screen, 8-speakers, dual-zone automatic climate control, front parking sensors, and a premium steering wheel and shift knob. Upgrades made to the SLi include rear privacy glass, smart key with push button start, artificial leather seats, surround view monitor, power tailgate, power sliding doors, eight-way power driver’s seat, electrochromic mirror, Safe Exit Alert, and Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist.

Watch Also: The New 2021 Kia Carnival Hi Limousine Isn’t Your Typical Minivan

Topping out the Carnival family is the Platinum, featuring electronic shift by wire, 19-inch black alloy wheels, 12-speaker Bose audio system, rear occupant alert, heated steering wheel, wireless charger, paddle shifters, dual-tilting and sliding sunroof, eight-way memory seats, rear heated seats, ventilated front seats, LED interior lights and second and third row sunshade blinds.

Regardless of what trim level customers choose, they can opt for either a Smartstream 3.5-liter GDI V6 petrol engine producing 216 kW (290 hp) and 355 Nm (261 lb-ft) of torque or a 2.2-liter CRDI diesel with 148 kW (198 hp) and 440 Nm (324 lb-ft).

Local pricing for the 2021 Kia Carnival starts at AU$50,390 (US$39,112) driveaway in S guise with the petrol engine and tops out at AU$69,990 (US$54,325) driveaway for the Carnival Platinum Diesel Auto.

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The UK’s new car sales charts were topped by an EV in December, the Tesla Model 3, which outsold market stalwarts like the Volkswagen Golf and the Ford Fiesta.

The American EV manufacturer managed to shift 5,798 Model 3s in December, beating its nearest competitor, the Golf, by more than a thousand units. VW’s icon came in second with 4,470 new registrations, and the Fiesta was third with 3,367.

This, according to Autocar, is the second time Tesla has topped the sales charts, the previous one being last April. As for last month, sales figures were boosted by the fact that big batch of Teslas arrived in the country in November.

Read Also: New Car Sales Drop By Almost 30% In The UK But EVs Surge

The figures are big news for supporters of electric vehicles, as UK’s EV sales jumped by 185.9 percent in 2020 to 108,205 units, up from 37,850 in 2019. Norway, for the first time in 2020, saw more new EVs registered on the roads than internal-combustion vehicles. In the UK, the number was closer to 10 percent of all new vehicle registrations, a stark increase from 2019, when EVs accounted for just one out of every 30 new cars registered.

Despite its success last month in the UK, Tesla wasn’t the best selling EV in Europe, as that honor goes to the Volkswagen ID.3 despite its launch being delayed by software issues. Moreover, UK’s overall best seller in 2020 was the Fiesta, with 49,179 registrations, with the Vauxhall Corsa (46,439) and the Golf (43,109) coming in second and third respectively and no all-electric vehicle making it into the top 10.

Still, Tesla nearly reached a production milestone this year, delivering 449,550 vehicles – just 450 units short of CEO Elon Musk’s goal of 500,000. Despite coming just shy of its target, the company managed to produce more than 500,000 new vehicles, which Musk is taking as a moral victory.

Sales look set to continue growing, too. Musk and the transport minister of India recently revealed that Tesla will begin selling vehicles in the country this year. The market is the world’s fifth largest for automobiles and the government is planning billions of dollars in investments to encourage its citizens to buy EVs.

Fueled by the strong growth of its Recharge models last year, Volvo has announced that it will triple its electric vehicle production at the Ghent plant in Belgium by 2022.

The factory makes the XC40 Recharge, which is the Swedish brand’s first EV, and the plug-in hybrid variant of the XC40, and will also assemble a new zero-emission Volvo, which will be based on the CMA architecture, starting later this year.

“Our future is electric and customers clearly like what they see from our Recharge cars”, said the car firm’s chief of global industrial operations and quality, Javier Varela. “As we continue to electrify our lineup and boost our electric production capacity, Ghent is a real trailblazer for our global manufacturing network.”

Watch Also: Driving A 2019 Volvo XC40 For Almost A Year Had Its Ups And Downs

In addition to the new EV that will enter production in Belgium in the coming months, Volvo will launch several other electric vehicles in the near future, as it wants half of its global sales to come from zero-emission models by 2025, with the rest being partially electrified.

Volvo sold 661,713 vehicles worldwide last year, a 6.2 percent drop over 2019 in the wake of the global pandemic, but it did record a 7.4 percent increase in the second half, with 391,751 units. The best-selling model was the XC60 with 191,696 units, followed by the XC40 and XC90, with 185,406 and 92,458 respectively.

Europe was the company’s biggest market, with 287,902 sales, 15.5 percent less than in 2019, while another 166,617 units were delivered in China and 110,129 in the United States, a 7.5 and 1.8 percent increase respectively.

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