“Make folks movers nice once more” – clearly that was Kia’s motto with the Carnival.
Following on from its top-selling predecessor, the present fourth-generation Kia Carnival as asserted its dominance over the MPV phase even additional since its launch in 2021 – capitalising on the demise of phase stalwarts just like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Tarago.
The place its forebears had been unashamedly frumpy vans targeted totally on maximising house for folks, Kia determined to do what Honda did with the third-generation Odyssey of the 2000s and attempt to make folks movers horny once more – this time, by making it look extra like an SUV, or ‘Grand Utility Automobile’ as Kia known as it at launch.
Sporting an extended bonnet, chunkier bumpers and general a extra adventurous look, the Kia Carnival has clearly struck a chord with crossover-loving Australians.
The largest Kia in Australia is so standard it now owns some 85 per cent of the native folks mover beneath $70,000 phase, and wait lists are out the wazoo. It outsells its subsequent closest rival in quantity – the associated Hyundai Staria – by virtually 10 to 1.
Right here on check now we have arguably probably the most in-demand Carnival variant in Australia too, the 2023 Kia Carnival Platinum 2.2D.
Native clients’ love for top-of-the-range variants has seen the Platinum account for the majority of the Carnival’s native gross sales combine, and the toughest hit by wait occasions and provide constraints.
With a facelifted mannequin on the horizon, is it nonetheless value lining up for?
Bear in mind the individuals who stated “I’ll by no means pay greater than $60,000 for a Kia”?
The diesel-powered Carnival Platinum is the last word variant in Australia; priced from $67,580 earlier than on-road prices or $71,890 drive-away primarily based on a Melbourne postcode.
It represents a $3000 premium over the three.5-litre V6 model, which has been very tight for provide in current occasions.
That places it in keeping with the likes of the Hyundai Staria Highlander 2.2D AWD ($67,000), LDV MIFA Luxe ($72,990 D/A), Toyota Granvia (from $67,250) and Volkswagen Multivan TDI320 Comfortline ($67,290).
2023 Kia Carnival pricing:
- Kia Carnival S V6: $47,480
- Kia Carnival S Diesel: $49,480
- Kia Carnival Si V6: $52,980
- Kia Carnival Si Diesel: $54,980
- Kia Carnival SLi V6: $57,780
- Kia Carnival SLi Diesel: $59,780
- Kia Carnival Platinum V6: $65,580
- Kia Carnival Platinum Diesel: $67,580
Costs exclude the on-road prices
The Carnival’s cabin hasn’t modified since this present technology launched, however it’s nonetheless a benchmark – even when it’s lacking promised options out there in different markets.
With a extra passenger car-like or SUV-like appear and feel, the Carnival has a well-known and cozy vibe inside that’s much less utilitarian than most van-based folks movers. Good supplies, comfy seating and glorious cabin house are all highlights.
Up entrance the motive force and passenger are handled to comfy electrical entrance seats within the Platinum, that includes heating and cooling features in addition to reminiscence presets for the motive force.
The entrance passenger seat has the everyday high-end Hyundai/Kia/Genesis chauffeur buttons on the within bolster, permitting the motive force or a rear passenger to regulate the entrance seat place to permit for extra space within the second row or simpler entry.
Forward of the motive force the Carnival Platinum misses out on the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster supplied regionally on the associated Sorento in addition to the Hyundai Santa Fe and Palisade, which additionally means it lacks the swish Blind Spot View Monitor cameras that challenge stay feeds into the cluster while you point out. Disgrace.
It’s in any other case typical high-grade Kia within the sense it seems and feels upmarket and the infotainment is stable, within the case of the Carnival scoring a bigger 12.3-inch touchscreen than the likes of the Sorento and Santa Fe, which make do with a smaller 10.25-inch show that’s in any other case equivalent when it comes to software program and format.
With crisp graphics, fast response and loading occasions, in addition to a comparatively fulsome characteristic suite – together with satellite tv for pc navigation, DAB radio in addition to wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – the Carnival’s infotainment nonetheless stays one of many phase benchmarks.
Small gripes embody the continuing lack of wi-fi smartphone mirroring in Hyundai and Kia fashions fitted with embedded satellite tv for pc navigation, in addition to no Kia Join net-based and distant providers – although this can seemingly be addressed with the upcoming mid-life replace.
Audio high quality from the Platinum’s 12-speaker Bose-branded premium sound system is likewise superb, providing clear and deep audio with out shaking the cabin trims or home windows such as you’ll discover in rival vans – the Hyundai Staria received fairly buzzy at excessive quantity in my expertise.
Bodily controls for the tri-zone local weather controls are welcome, with all of the switchgear ergonomically organised and situated inside simple attain of the entrance occupants. The amount and tuning dials are additionally good, given so many rival producers maintain including finicky touch-based switchgear nowadays.
Storage and practicality are good however not excellent. There’s a useful tray beneath the centre stack with a wi-fi cellphone charging pad, inside simple attain of the trio of USB-A ports – one for smartphone mirroring, the opposite two for charging – and in addition accompanied by a small slot for smaller gadgets like keys or a pockets.
A pair of cupholders line the centre console alongside the rotary shift-by-wire dial, forward of a small tray and a deep cubby beneath the chunky front-centre armrest.
Nonetheless, the thin door bins gained’t take bigger bottles, which is irritating while you consider the assorted styles and sizes of the type of bottles and different paraphernalia dad and mom with young children want to hold.
The second and third rows are the place the Carnival actually stands out in comparison with a similarly-priced SUV, providing acres of house for youths, adults and cargo the like.
Three particular person seats within the second row are teamed with heaps of leg room, knee room, toe room and toe room, with all three pews individually adjustable on rails in addition to having adjustable backrests. ISOFIX factors are fitted to the outboard seats in each the second and third rows, which can be useful for folks of a number of little ones.
Facilities embody guide rear sunblinds on the home windows, a set sunroof panel that lets a lot extra mild in, cup holders on the rear of the centre console with a 12V energy outlet, USB-A cost ports on the backs of each entrance seats, in addition to roof-mounted air vents with separate local weather controls.
The third row is accessible by the use of fast launch controls on the outboard seats, which fold and slide the second-row pews out of the best way when you open the swish powered sliding doorways. Even at 6’1 I can get in and be comfy within the third row, which additionally has three seats, although it’s not fairly as spacious because the second.
You possibly can simply accommodate seven adults throughout three rows simply superb, however eight could be at a pinch because of that skinny centre seat within the third row. Children can be superb again there, and oldsters doing driver responsibility to sports activities video games will love the actual fact you may match all of the little ones and all of their stuff within the Carnival, which isn’t at all times potential in massive SUVs.
There are additionally extra USB-A ports, cup holders and a 12V energy socket within the rear space, and even with all three rows of seating in use there’s nonetheless an enormous 627 litres (VDA) of accessible cargo quantity. I’ve match loads of baggage and vacation gear behind the Carnival’s third row up to now, and it’s very spectacular.
Once you’re not shuttling your village of household and buddies round, the Carnival’s third row of seating neatly folds into the ground, opening up 2785L (VDA) of cargo quantity, which is greater than most massive SUVs with each the second and third rows folded.
You may maximise ground size by sliding the second row all the best way ahead, and for further lengthy gadgets you may also take away the centre rear seat solely for a seven-seat format. Sadly, Australia misses out on the second-row captain’s chairs supplied in different markets, in addition to Korea’s bus-like 9-seat and 11-seat inside choices.
The Carnival’s space-saver spare wheel isn’t mounted beneath the boot ground. As an alternative, it’s beneath the footwell of the second-row seats.
Diesel variations of the Carnival are powered by a 2.2-litre CRDi four-cylinder turbo-diesel carrying the model’s efficiency-focused Smartstream branding.
Outputs are rated at 148kW (3800rpm) and 440Nm (1750-2750rpm), with drive despatched solely to the entrance wheels by way of an eight-speed computerized transmission.
The transmission is the important thing distinction between the Carnival and its Sorento platform mate, with the SUV operating the identical diesel engine however driving all 4 wheels by way of an eight-speed dual-clutch computerized.
Claimed gas consumption is rated at a frugal 6.5L per 100km on the mixed cycle for the diesel. The gas tank measures 72 litres in capability.
As famous earlier, the Carnival can be out there with a 216kW/355Nm 3.5-litre V6 petrol, which quotes gas use of 9.6L/100km on the mixed cycle.
Diesel variations of the Carnival quote a most kerb weight of 2134kg – 2kg lower than the V6 – whereas braked towing capability is rated at 2000kg with a 200kg most towball obtain.
In case you’re involved folks movers nonetheless drive like utilitarian vans, the Carnival is right here to show you flawed.
Sharing underpinnings with Hyundai and Kia’s acclaimed SUV vary and that includes an area experience and dealing with tune, the Carnival is among the greatest folks movers to drive, regardless of pricing and segmentation.
It has a very acquainted, car-like or crossover-like really feel to the best way it will get round, with easy and fluid driver controls, nice consolation and refinement, in addition to responsive efficiency.
The turbo-diesel motor beneath the bonnet of our tester is a good stability of pulling energy and economic system, and whereas not as fast or rev-happy because the silky easy V6 petrol, the oiler canes the petrol for easy efficiency and gas economic system.
My time with the Carnival was spent commuting to and from the workplace in the course of the week in peak-hour visitors by means of the outskirts of Melbourne’s CBD and the jap suburbs, after which over the weekend I piled some buddies in and headed as much as Lake Eildon in Victoria’s north east.
For day by day duties, the Carnival is superb. It’s a nice and cozy factor to stay with regardless of its measurement, with predictable dealing with, refined efficiency and all-round consolation. The Carnival is as at residence placing across the suburbs for the grocery run or college drop-off as it’s at 100km/h on the freeway.
The diesel engine does exhibit that signature diesel clatter at idle and beneath exhausting acceleration, although it’s fairly well-muted in comparison with some extra agricultural industrial van-based competitors. It is going to run out of puff on the prime finish, so greatest to drive it in a measured method to get the perfect out of it.
Visibility is superb due to the huge glasshouse, and on the flipside the cabin is an ethereal and spacious place to be, aided by the Platinum’s dual-pane panoramic sunroof.
Encompass cameras on this specification and massive facet mirrors make for easy-ish parking – keep in mind this factor is huge – and physique management is properly sorted when navigating sweeping corners on high-speed nation roads in addition to when threading by means of tight metropolis streets.
Throughout my weekend highway journey, which included scaling Victoria’s legendary Black Spur, the Carnival impressed with its safe dealing with and tight physique management. Regardless of its measurement, it doesn’t deal with like a land yacht.
With all 440Nm on faucet from simply 1750rpm, the diesel Carnival has loads of shove to sort out hills and energy out of tight bends, even with 4 adults on board and loads of baggage for a weekend away.
If you want to dial up the response, you may flick it into Sport mode which sharpens throttle response, companies up the steering weight and applications the transmission to carry gears longer. I used to be happier to depart it within the adaptive Sensible setting and let the automobile cycle between profiles itself primarily based on the circumstances, and it did a fairly good job.
Insulation from highway and wind noise can be spectacular for the category, stored to respectable ranges and permitting occupants throughout all rows to keep up a traditional dialog on the transfer.
The Carnival’s upmarket techy vibe carries to the motive force help suite which is fairly complete, other than the shortage of Kia’s trick Blind Spot View Monitor system that’s been forbidden fruit for our market.
Normal adaptive cruise management and Lane Following Help (lively centring) take the load off longer freeway stints, and facilitate what’s successfully Degree 2 autonomous driving.
It’s one of many higher methods in the marketplace when it comes to person friendliness, although I perceive some drivers gained’t like the sensation of the car continuously correcting the steering.
Blind-spot and rear cross-traffic help additionally go one step additional than ‘monitoring’ methods by autonomously including steering correction or making use of the brakes to keep away from collisions with approaching automobiles.
Carnival S highlights:
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- LED headlights
- LED daytime operating lights
- Auto headlights, excessive beam
- 8 seats
- 4.2-inch supervision cluster
- 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Wi-fi Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- 6-speaker audio
- Air con
- Rear parking sensors
- Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
Carnival Si provides:
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- LED tail lights
- Entrance parking sensors
- 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Satellite tv for pc navigation
- Wired Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- Leather-based-wrapped steering wheel, shifter
- Twin-zone local weather management
Carnival SLi provides:
- Encompass-view digital camera
- Keyless entry and begin
- Energy sliding doorways
- Fingers-free energy tailgate
- 10-way energy driver’s seat with two-way lumbar
- Auto-dimming electrochromic rear-view mirror
- LED entrance fog lights
- Rear privateness glass
Carnival Platinum provides:
- Bose 12-speaker sound system
- 19-inch black alloy wheels
- Twin sunroofs
- 12-way energy driver’s seat with four-way lumbar
- 8-way energy entrance passenger seat
- Matte chrome exterior trim
- Paddle shifters
- Heated steering wheel
- Heated and ventilated entrance seats
- Heated rear seats
- Ambient lighting
- LED inside lighting
- Rear occupant alert
- Wi-fi cellphone charging
The Carnival vary acquired a five-star ANCAP security score in January 2021.
It scored 90 per cent for grownup occupant safety, 88 per cent for baby occupant safety, with a 68 per cent and 82 per cent for weak highway person and security help respectively.
Normal security options embody:
- 7 airbags incl. driver’s knee
- Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
- Pedestrian, Bike owner detection
- Junction help
- Blind-spot help
- Driver consideration monitoring
- Lane departure warning
- Lane Following Help (lane centring)
- Lane-keep help
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Secure Exit Warning
Carnival SLi provides:
- Round View Monitor (360 cameras)
- Rear cross-traffic help
- Secure Exit Help
As with the broader Kia vary, the Carnival is roofed by a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee.
There’s additionally as much as eight years of complimentary roadside help if you happen to service inside Kia’s authorised seller community, and there’s capped-price servicing at some stage in the guarantee interval.
Scheduled upkeep is required each 12 months or 15,000 kilometres – whichever comes first. Costs per go to are listed beneath.
Kia Carnival 2.2D service pricing:
- 1yr or 15,000km: $356
- 2yrs or 30,000km: $616
- 3yrs or 45,000km: $430
- 4yrs or 60,000km: $805
- 5yrs or 75,000km: $400
- 6yrs or 90,000m: $784
- 7yrs or 105,000km: $425
As famous earlier, mixed gas consumption is listed at a claimed 6.5L per 100km on the mixed cycle, not dangerous for a giant bus.
I achieved an indicated 7.5L/100km throughout my week of testing, which is just a little up on the declare however fairly good nonetheless, contemplating I combined in peak-hour commuting within the metropolis with some freeway driving and a highway journey out to Lake Eildon in Victoria’s north east with folks and equipment on board.
Based mostly on the 72-litre gas tank, my real-world gas consumption would equate to virtually 1000km between fills.
It’s plain to see why the Carnival is at present the gross sales chief within the folks mover class.
The massive ol’ Kia isn’t simply the folks’s selection, it’s an goal benchmark for MPVs throughout each mainstream and premium manufacturers due to its near-perfect mix of consolation and utility.
It drives properly too, and there’s one thing to be stated concerning the reality it’s not an SUV like every thing else on the roads nowadays – even when Kia calls it a Grand Utility Automobile (GUV).
The diesel is the choose of the powertrain vary too. No, it doesn’t provide all-wheel drive just like the Hyundai Staria 2.2D or the associated Kia Sorento, however the oiler is in any other case properly suited to carting across the total household after which some, while additionally sustaining a really respectable degree of effectivity to maintain operating prices low.
Few different automobiles in the marketplace are as well-equipped to deal with no matter households can throw at it, and it’s far much less compromised when it comes to cabin packaging to an equal SUV – no method a Sorento will haul what this could.
Like I discussed earlier, Kia must be applauded for making folks movers cool once more, very similar to Honda did practically 20 years in the past. Carnivals aren’t simply standard with fleets, but in addition with non-public consumers regardless of the present SUV craze.
It’s a disgrace Australia continues to overlook out on varied high-end options that may convey the Carnival Platinum in keeping with different top-spec Hyundai and Kia choices, equivalent to a digital instrument cluster, computerized wipers, and blind-spot cameras.
Like I stated earlier, although, there are few automobiles in the marketplace that may do what the Carnival can do, particularly for the cash.
Right here’s to hoping the upcoming facelift addresses the above complains, and in addition brings the mooted petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain that’s already supplied within the Sorento, Santa Fe, and shortly Sportage in Australia. Kia would solely tighten its stronghold in the marketplace with the only electrified MPV providing within the mainstream class.
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