The Kia Carnival has been the king of the people-mover section for some time now, and the South Korean model has simply up to date its eight-seater vary.

It’s greater than only a minor adjustment, too – the up to date Carnival scores a brand new look, new tech, new inside components, extra security options, retuned suspension and steering for that Kia Australia-specific really feel, revised variant naming, and a better worth level throughout all grades.

The query is, have all these adjustments been worthwhile? And moreover, must you look ahead to the hybrid mannequin? Or get into one of many petrol or diesel variants? 

We’ll inform you our decide of the vary on this overview, and also you’ll get all the small print on your entire mannequin lineup too.

How does the Kia Carnival evaluate?

View an in depth breakdown of the Kia Carnival towards equally sized automobiles.

Kia Carnival cutout image



How a lot does the Kia Carnival value?

Costs are up throughout the board, though there’s additionally extra gear within the new Carnival.

Variant Worth Improve
Kia Carnival S V6 $50,150 $2760
Kia Carnival S Diesel $52,380 $2900
Kia Carnival Sport V6 $56,050 $3070
Kia Carnival Sport Diesel $58,280 $3300
Kia Carnival Sport+ V6 $62,380 $4600
Kia Carnival Sport+ Diesel $64,610 $4830
Kia Carnival GT-Line Lite V6 $66,350 $5160
Kia Carnival GT-Line Lite Diesel $68,580 $5390
Kia Carnival GT-Line V6 $70,680 $5100
Kia Carnival GT-Line Diesel $72,910 $5330
Kia Carnival GT-Line HEV $76,210 new

You may contemplate an choice just like the LDV Mifa, which begins at $53,990 drive-away and is accessible with a petroleum powertrain. Or the LDV Mifa 9 – a completely electrical tackle the theme – which kicks off at a staggering $104,000 plus on-roads.

Otherwise you would possibly check out the Toyota Granvia, which has the selection of six or eight seats, and begins from $68,306 plus on-roads.

Or the Hyundai Staria, which has petrol V6 or diesel choices, however in that occasion the four-pot diesel has all-wheel drive, and that could possibly be a terrific benefit for some patrons. It kicks off from $49,000 plus on-roads.

To see how the Carnival shapes up towards its main rivals, try our comparability instrument.

What’s the Kia Carnival like on the within?

There have been enhancements to the look of the inside, with new shows throughout the vary.

A frustration expressed by Kia Australia was its incapability to suit the bigger display screen setup earlier, however now there’s a 12.3-inch touchscreen media system with wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, to not point out Related Providers with over-the-air updates out there, and sooner USB-C charging functionality.

For the S and Sport grades there’s a 4.0-inch configurable driver data show flanked by a digital show for the velocity and revs, whereas the higher-spec fashions rating a 12.3-inch driver data display screen upping the atmosphere. It’s suits higher with the structure of the curved cockpit display screen {surround}.

That 12.3-inch driver data display screen additionally means the step as much as embrace Blind Spot View Monitor, a intelligent digital camera system that may make it easier to regulate what you won’t in any other case see behind you.

The controls for the media display screen have been upgraded with new menus and designs, they usually look terrific. Whereas there are few buried menus right here and there, you do get used to the design fairly shortly.

Additional, the panel beneath has been streamlined, with a switchable design much like what’s within the Sportage.

It means you continue to have dials in your local weather management settings, and they’re switchable to quantity and tuning dials, whereas between is an array of contact buttons that are easier to make use of than you would possibly suppose at first look.

As you’d count on, storage within the entrance of the Carnival is terrific, with a set of massive door pockets, cupholders between the seats, a stowage part in your telephone (with wi-fi charging in some grades), and an enormous lined centre console space for hiding snacks.

The second row is likewise glorious when it comes to area and value, with simply adjustable seats that may individually slide and fold, and the center part will be reversed or eliminated if required. There are bottle holsters, map pockets, and fan and local weather controls in greater specs, too.

Prime-spec fashions have retractable sunshades on the electric-operating sliding doorways, they usually even have electrical home windows in these doorways, too.

All three middle-row seats have ISOFIX and top-tether factors, which is tremendous helpful, and the outboard ones are extraordinarily straightforward to tilt and slide to permit back-row entry. Even my bigger-than-average physique might slink in merely.

Third-row area can be glorious, with sufficient room for me (at 182cm/6’0 and a little bit wider than common) to sit down behind somebody of an identical measurement in entrance. 

These within the third row have cupholders, and high-spec fashions add USB-C charging factors too. There are vents again there as properly fortunately, and once more sunshades in greater variations.

In a win for the breeders, there are two extra ISOFIX and high tethers (for a complete of 5), making it one of the vital sensible vehicles within the nation for large households. Simply remember that the centre seatbelt nonetheless falls from the ceiling reasonably than being built-in into the seatback itself.

Essentially the most sensible factor concerning the Carnival, nevertheless, is its boot setup.

If you could use all three rows, there’s a staggering quantity of cargo area (627 litres, VDA), which is greater than some SUVs have with the again row out of use!

The Carnival’s third-row seats will be folded down – one-handed, I would add – and sunken into the storage properly within the boot space. In the event you do this, you’ve acquired an unfathomable 2827 litres (VDA) of cargo capability. Suffice to say, this could possibly be probably the most sensible five-seater on the planet if that’s what you’re aiming to get.

There are purchasing bag hooks and different storage helpers within the boot as properly. And don’t go considering there’s no spare wheel, both – there’s! It’s positioned below the physique of the automobile, simply close to the motive force’s facet sliding door.

What’s below the bonnet?

The brand new-look Carnival has two carryover engine choices, and a brand new hybrid unique to the GT-Line.

Mannequin Petrol Diesel
Engine 3.5L V6 2.2L 4cyl turbo
Energy 216kW 148kW
Torque 355Nm 440Nm
Transmission 8-speed automated 8-speed automated
Pushed wheels Entrance-wheel drive Entrance-wheel drive
Weight 2206kg (kerb) 2245kg (kerb)
Gasoline financial system (declare) 9.6L/100km 6.5L/100km
Gasoline financial system (as examined) 12.4L/100km 7.0L/100km
Gasoline tank measurement 72L 72L
Gasoline requirement 91 RON Diesel
Payload 700kg 725kg
Towing capability (unbraked) 750kg 750kg
Towing capability (braked) 2000kg 2000kg

The brand new hybrid makes do with a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine with a six-speed automated, and there’s an electrical motor built-in into the transmission. It’s mated with a small lithium-ion battery pack, and is front-wheel drive.

It’s the identical electrified drivetrain provided within the Sportage and Sorento, in addition to the Hyundai Santa Fe.

To see how the Kia Carnival traces up towards the competitors, try our comparability instrument.

How does the Kia Carnival drive?

There have been some adjustments to the drive expertise, however not when it comes to the powertrain decisions.

That’s no dangerous factor – significantly within the case of the diesel, which accounts for round 90 per cent of all Carnival gross sales in Australia – as a result of it’s simply the decide of the powertrains thus far.

The turbo-diesel gives ample, easy-going grunt, making the onerous work of hauling massive households simply a lot simpler than the naturally aspirated V6 petrol.

That’s to not say the petrol is a dud. It’s nonetheless very highly effective and gives a heap of character. However it’s let down by the actual fact it wants revs to get probably the most out of it, and also you would possibly battle to get there when you’re in slippery conditions, because it spins its entrance tyres extra readily than you’d count on.

It merely makes the diesel appear to be much more compelling, although there are some concerns for patrons within the Carnival who primarily drive within the city grind.

The diesel particulate filter system will sometimes require you to do some constant higher-speed motoring, and if that’s not a part of your routine, and also you’re time poor, it may be an issue.

Nevertheless, each variations have intelligent and logical transmission setups – the diesel’s does a terrific job of harnessing the low- and mid-range pulling energy; whereas the petrol’s is fairly good too however can sometimes upshift too quickly, which means it might need to hunt for the correct ratio at instances.

What’s been an enormous change, although, is the journey and dealing with tune. The model didn’t get to fettle the shocks and steering setup for the pre-facelift mannequin, because it got here out within the midst of COVID closures.

It has been redone by Kia Australia this time round, with targets for  “improved journey consolation and affect isolation” in comparison with the prevailing mannequin, and “improved main physique management”, “with a assured flat journey and supported on-road really feel”.

Has the Aussie crew nailed it? You guess. It feels extra comfy and composed in city driving, settling easily over smaller bumps.

Whereas there’s nonetheless a little bit of bucking on the rear over velocity humps (I used to be a rear-seat rider en path to the occasion, and oldsters in a rush ought to be conscious that these within the again will actually really feel the bump). I nonetheless suppose it feels strong and sorted in most conditions, nevertheless.

And that features higher-speed driving, the place it’s greater than competent in terms of altering path. Whereas the suspension has a bit to do with that, there’s additionally a retuned steering map to make it a bit extra predictable and with higher really feel to the motive force’s fingers.

Parking is a cinch too, when you select a mannequin with a surround-view digital camera. It makes seeing round this massive household bus quite a bit simpler than it in any other case may be and for fogeys, that peace of thoughts would possibly properly be price the price of entry right into a mid-spec or greater grade. 

Look, actually, for the kind of automotive that is, I didn’t suppose the prevailing setup for the dynamics of the automobile was too dangerous, however that is definitely a extra fulfilling expertise for the motive force, and the passengers, too.

As for different refinement concerns, there’s minimal street noise intrusion into the cabin in comparison with another automobiles this measurement, and certainly it’s a fairly serene expertise for these within the entrance, or the again.

What do you get?

Right here’s a rundown of the usual match gadgets throughout the MY25 Kia Carnival line-up.

Carnival S commonplace gear:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Momentary spare wheel
  • LED headlights
  • LED daytime working lights
  • Adaptive cruise  management with cease, go
  • Clever Pace Restrict Help (ISLA)
  • Electrical heated mirrors
  • Sliding sunvisor w/ illuminated vainness mirror
  • Fabric seat trim
  • Digital park brake with auto maintain
  • Reversing digital camera incl. dynamic automobile pointers
  • Entrance, rear parking sensors
  • Good key
  • Push button begin
  • ‘Primary’ digital cluster incl. 4.2-inch TFT show
  • 12.3-inch touchscreen media system
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • 8-speaker stereo 
  • Kia Join with OTA updates
  • Further security options together with
    • Centre airbag
    • Rear occupant alert
    • Trailer stability help

Carnival Sport provides:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • LED rear mixture lamp
  • Electrical folding facet mirrors
  • Faux leather-based seat trim
  • Leather-based steering wheel
  • Leather-based shifter
  • Auto window defog
  • Twin-zone local weather management
  • Rear single-zone temp management
  • Wi-fi telephone charger
  • Aeroblade wipers

Carnival Sport+ provides:

  • Encompass-view digital camera
  • Energy tailgate with auto shut
  • Energy sliding facet doorways
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • 12.3-inch driver data show
  • Blind Spot View Monitor
  • Heated entrance seats
  • Second-row outboard heated seats
  • Aspect parking sensors
  • 8-way energy seat adjustment
  • 2-way lumbar adjustment for driver
  • Parking collision avoidance help rear
  • Auto entrance wipers with rain sensing
  • Rear privateness glass
  • Heated rear windshield

Carnival GT-Line Lite provides:

  • 19-inch Alloy Wheels
  • LED inside lighting
  • Auto up, down window for driver
  • Chrome styling components (exterior handles, skid plates)
  • Twin sunroof
  • *Removes 8-way energy passenger seat adjustment

Carnival GT-Line provides:

  • Twin projector LED headlights
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Entrance ventilated seats
  • 12-speaker Bose sound system
  • Dial-type shifter
  • Paddle shifters
  • Digital inside mirror
  • Head-up show
  • Auto up, down home windows with security operate
  • Gloss Black Centre Fascia
  • Distant Begin Parking Help
  • 8-way electrical entrance seats with reminiscence
  • 4-way lumbar help (driver)

Is the Kia Carnival protected?

Kia Australia has confirmed it’s consulting ANCAP on the changes which have been made, and it anticipates the Carnival will be capable to proceed on with its current five-star ANCAP security ranking from 2021 testing.

In that evaluation, the pre-facelift Carnival achieved an grownup occupant safety ranking of 90 per cent, a baby occupant safety ranking of 88 per cent, in addition to 68 per cent for susceptible street consumer safety, and 82 per cent for security help.

The model has added security tech throughout the vary for this replace, together with a brand new velocity signal recognition system that can warn drivers if they’re getting into a brand new signposted velocity zone, and/or if they’re travelling above what the automotive thinks is the signposted restrict for that space.

It re-activates every time you drive the automotive, and whereas it may be helpful when you’re driving in an space the place you’re unsure of the velocity limits, when you stay someplace that has a number of adjustments to its restrict in your every day drive, it may be very, very irritating to must waste time to show it off, each time you get into the automotive.

Moreover, Kia ought to be applauded for together with a brand new entrance centre airbag commonplace in all grades, and there’s additionally entrance parking sensors fitted to each single variant now, too.

Commonplace security gear contains:

  • AEB with Pedestrian, Bicycle owner, Junction detection
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane retaining help
  • Blind-spot assost
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Adaptive cruise management 
  • Rear occupant alert
  • Trailer stability management help
  • Clever velocity restrict help
  • Multi-collision braking
  • Reversing digital camera
  • Entrance and rear parking sensors
  • Related companies with SOS name operate for crashes
  • Excessive-beam help

Carnival Sport provides:

Sport+ and up add:

  • Parking Collision Avoidance – Rear (AEB reverse)
  • Blind-Spot View Monitor
  • Encompass View Monitor (360-degree digital camera)
  • Junction Cross, Lane Oncoming, Lane Direct avoidance
  • Freeway Driving Help 2
    • Steering, braking, accelerating and stop-start site visitors jam help

There is no such thing as a denying the upper grades get the very best that Kia can supply.

Additionally, nevertheless, take into account all Carnival fashions include that new front-centre airbag, in addition to twin entrance, driver’s knee, entrance facet, and full-length curtain protection, together with full safety for these within the back-row outboard seats.

How a lot does the Kia Carnival value to run?

Kia has a powerful and strong providing in terms of possession concerns.

The model has a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee for its vary, and when you service with the model you too can stand up to eight years of roadside help.

Servicing is due each 12 months or 15,000km for the V6 petrol and four-cylinder diesel, and the pricing remains to be to be confirmed for petrol and HEV fashions.

The diesel mannequin averages $593 per yr for upkeep, which is on the upper facet.

CarExpert’s Tackle the Kia Carnival

The diesel is well the decide of the present powertrains.

And, whereas the GT-Line has most of the options you’ll love, and the GT-Line Lite helps ease the pricing burden only a bit – neither of these are the one I’d purchase if I needed a Carnival.

As a substitute, my suggestion can be the Sport+ diesel, which gives helpful options like a surround-view digital camera, electrical sliding doorways and that intelligent Blind-Spot View Monitor, and actually stands out with its worth providing primarily as a result of these higher-spec fashions don’t actually add a lot when it comes to inside differentiation.

Do you agree? Or would you like to attend and see what the hybrid is like? Keep tuned, we’ll deliver you a overview of it sooner or later.

Click on the photographs for the complete gallery

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