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High price for Kia’s first hybrid Carnival

Kia Carnival hybrid restricted to top GT-Line trim for now, tops $80K on the road

16 May 2024

KIA Australia has chosen a premium position for its first hybrid Carnival people-mover, confirming a lofty position for the range-topping eight-seater consistent with the positioning of its first petrol-electric variants of the Sorento large SUV. 

A GT-Line Hybrid version of the facelifted Carnival commands $76,210 before on-road costs, making it $5530 more expensive than the equivalent V6 petrol model, or $3300 more than the diesel GT-Line grade. 
It will only be sold in the flagship spec from launch, but the Korean brand’s Australian arm has confirmed it is interested in expanding its petrol-electric Carnival range to more affordable trim levels in the future. 
The hybrid model runs a 132kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a six-speed automatic and is front-wheel drive.  
Compared with other hybrid models running a similar powertrain – the Sorento and Sportage, for example – the Carnival gets a more powerful 54kW/304Nm electric motor integrated into the transmission. Combined the maximum power output is 180kW and 366Nm. 
For context, the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel fitted to 90 per cent of Carnivals sold in Australia has a 148kW/440Nm output, while the 3.5-litre V6 petrol develops 216kW/355Nm. 
Of course, the hybrid’s party trick is its fuel consumption, which on the combined cycle has a return of 5.8 litres per 100km according to Kia. 
However, the urban cycle figure might be more interesting to potential buyers, with a claimed number of 4.2L/100km in stop-start driving due to the powertrain calling upon the battery pack and electric motor more often in that scenario. 
Emissions figures are 132g/km of CO2 for the combined cycle figure but just 98g/km for the urban driving number. 
For further context, the diesel has an official combined consumption number of 6.5L/100km (170g/km CO2), while the V6 petrol claims 9.6L/100km (220g/km CO2). 
While those specs and stats might make it stand out, there are other features that the Carnival hybrid gains over its stablemates, including an active air flap in the front bumper (a first for Kia), and hybrid-specific alloy wheels for better aerodynamics. 
The hybrid model also scores paddle-shift regenerative braking controls, and a number of hybrid-specific handling inclusions such as E-Handling, E-Ride and E-EHA (electrically evasive handling assist).  
Beyond that, the GT-Line Hybrid’s standard features mirror those of its petrol and diesel equivalents, but it might be best to consider the range from the bottom up, to see if the GT-Line stacks up on spec. 
The base model S is priced at $50,150 + ORC for the V6 petrol and $52,380 for the diesel, with standard gear including 17-inch black alloy wheels with a temporary spare, LED headlights and LED daytime running lights, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function, intelligent speed limit assist (ISLA), electric heated mirrors, and newly added keyless entry and push-button start. 
S grade has cloth seat trim, an electronic park brake with auto hold, a new 4.0-inch cluster display for the driver with digital speedo and rev counter, a new 12.3-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, eight-speaker stereo (previously six), and the newly added Kia Connect with over the air updates. 
There are also additional safety features including a front-centre airbag, rear occupant alert and trailer stability assist, while the parking setup includes a reversing camera with dynamic vehicle guidelines, rear parking sensors and newly added front sensors.  
Sport trim – at $56,050 + ORC for the petrol and $58,280 + ORC for the diesel – adds some features that improve its potential, such as 18-inch alloy wheels, LED rear combination lamp, electric folding side mirrors, and aeroblade wipers. 
Inside, the Sport has imitation leather seat trim, a leather steering wheel and shifter (plastic in the base S), as well as auto window defog, dual-zone climate control, a rear single-zone temperature controller, and a wireless phone charger. 
The next step up – and possibly the pick of the range – is the Sport+, from $62,380 + ORC for the V6 and $64,610 + ORC for the diesel. It comes with family-friendly features such as a surround-view camera, parking collision avoidance assist rear (reverse AEB), auto wipers, B-pillar-back privacy glass, a power tailgate with auto close, power sliding side doors, side parking sensors and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. 
It also scores a 12.3-inch driver information display with the handy Blind Spot View Monitor system, as well as heated front seats and second-row outboard heated seats, eight-way power seat adjustment, two-way lumbar adjustment for the driver, and a heated rear windshield. 
The Carnival GT-Line Lite – which essentially carries on the same spec as the outgoing Special Edition model – is available in petrol V6 at $66,350 + ORC, or $68,580 + ORC for the diesel. Its standard equipment steps up to include 19-inch alloy wheels, LED interior lighting (halogen on lower grades), auto up/down window for the driver, chrome styling elements (exterior handles, skid plates), and a dual sunroof. 
Flagship GT-Line trim with a V6 is $70,680 +ORC, and the diesel is $72,910 +ORC, with the new hybrid listing at $76,210 +ORC. 
In return for the extra money, range-topping Carnivals get dual projection LED headlights, a heated steering wheel, front ventilated seats a 12-speaker Bose sound system, dial-type gear selector, paddle shifters (for gears on petrol and diesel, regen on hybrid), a digital interior mirror with camera feed, head-up display, auto up/down windows with safety function, gloss black centre fascia, eight-way electric front seat adjustment with memory settings for driver and passenger and four-way lumbar support for the driver’s seat. 
Exclusive to the GT-Line is Remote Start Parking Assist which enables the vehicle to be started and driven forward or in reverse in a tight parking space using the key fob. 
The Kia Carnival range is backed by the brand’s seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, with up to eight years of roadside assistance available for those who maintain their vehicle with the Kia service workshop network. 
Service intervals are 12 months/15,000km for the diesel and V6 petrol, while the hybrid is a bit more needy, with 12 month/10,000km requirements. Pricing for the servicing is still to be confirmed but there’s a seven-year plan for all three models (70,000km for the hybrid, 105,000km for the others). 

2024 Kia Carnival pricing*: 

Carnival S V6 petrol (a) 
Carnival S diesel (a) 
Carnival Sport V6 petrol (a) 
Carnival Sport diesel (a) 
Carnival Sport+ V6 petrol (a) 
Carnival Sport+ diesel (a) 
Carnival GT-Line Lite V6 petrol (a) 
Carnival GT-Line Lite diesel (a) 
Carnival GT-Line V6 petrol (a) 
Carnival GT-Line diesel (a) 
Carnival GT-Line Hybrid (a) 

*Pricing excludes on-road costs.

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