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New diesel, higher prices for Carnival

Updated: Kia has axed the short-wheelbase model from its Carnival line-up and added a muscular 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine.

Kia cuts short-wheelbase Carnival and adds new R-Series diesel to range

30 May 2011

THE admission price for Kia’s top-selling Carnival has increased by $3000 following the axing of the 2.7-litre V6-powered short-wheelbase S model that previously opened the evergreen Korean people-mover range at $35,990 plus on-road costs.

In its place, Kia has introduced a new S version that shares its 3.5-litre V6 with all other petrol versions of the long-wheelbase Grand Carnival and now opens the all-automatic Grand Carnival line-up at $38,990.

It is based on the Grand Carnival Si, which is now priced $1000 higher at $40,990, and includes 16-inch alloy wheels but excludes heated door mirrors, third-row power windows, roof rails, a front centre table, chromed rear garnish, interior metal finish and illuminated vanity mirrors.

Prices of the other two V6 models – the SLi and top-shelf Platinum – increase by $200 to $46,190 and $52,190 respectively, as part of a revised 2012 model year Grand Carnival line-up, which also brings Bluetooth connectivity and remote audio controls as standard across the range.

17 center imageThe biggest mechanical change for the MY12 Grand Carnival, however, is the availability of Hyundai-Kia’s new 2.2-litre R-Series turbo-diesel engine first seen here in late 2009 in the facelifted Santa Fe and new Sorento medium SUVs.

Linked to the Korean giant’s new six-speed automatic transmission (instead of the previous 136kW/343Nm 2.9-litre diesel engine’s five-speed auto), the upgraded Grand Carnival diesel delivers a healthier 143kW of power and a muscular 429Nm of torque.

At the same time, the muscular new R-Series engine reduces the diesel Grand Carnival’s combined fuel consumption from 8.5 to 8.1L/100km, and CO2 emissions from 224 to 213g/km.

In addition to Bluetooth and steering wheel audio controls, SLi versions of the 2012 Grand Carnival diesel also gain a rear-view camera as standard, while Platinum variants score a power-operated tailgate with six audio speakers rather than eight as before.

The front-wheel-drive Carnival’s more powerful, more efficient diesel engine is accompanied by more significant price increases, however, with the entry-level Grand Carnival Si auto now priced $2400 higher at $44,990.

Mid-range SLi and flagship Platinum versions of the eight-seater Grand Carnival CRDi, the current generation of which went on sale here in February 2009 and gained six airbags as standard in 2010, are now $1600 pricier than before at $50,190 and $56,990 respectively.

Carnival sales are down 2.0 per cent so far this year, but the big Kia wagon holds an even bigger 35.4 per cent share of the mainstream people-mover segment, thanks to sales plunges by Hyundai’s iMax (down 39.9 per cent), Honda’s Odyssey (down 38.5 per cent) and Toyota’s Tarago (down 35.8 per cent).

This is despite a 54.7 per cent sales surge by the Dodge Journey, which to April this year has overtaken Toyota’s stalwart Tarago to be the third-best-selling mainstream people-mover behind the Carnival and iMax.

MY12 Kia GrandCarnival pricing:&nbsp
3.5 S (a)$38,990 (new)
3.5 Si (a)$40,990 (+ $1000)
2.2 CRDi Si (a)$44,990 (+ $2400)
3.5 SLi (a)$46,190 (+ $200)
2.2 CRDi&nbsp SLi (a)$50,190 (+ $1600)
3.5 Platinum (a)$52,190 (+ $200)
2.2 CRDi Platinum (a)$56,190 (+ $1600)

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