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New-generation Kia Carnival touches down in Aus

All-new fourth-generation Kia Carnival arrives priced from $46,880 plus ORCs

8 Jan 2021

KIA Motors Australia (KMAu) has released its fourth-generation Carnival eight-seat people mover to the local market, with the new SUV-inspired MPV hitting local showrooms priced from $46,880 plus on-road costs.


Underpinned by the choice of 3.5-litre petrol V6 or 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines, the petrol range tops out at $64,680 for the Platinum, while the diesel line-up varies in cost from $48,880 to $66,880.


Compared to the outgoing third-generation Carnival, the new version has seen increases in price across the range by roughly $3000-$4000.


The Carnival has long dominated the sub-$60,000 people-mover segment, with KMAu confident the next-gen model will maintain a share of 50 per cent or more over its lifecycle,


It also said it will look to increase the mix of private buyers compared to fleet and rentals, with the brand hoping around 60-65 per cent of new Carnival sales will come from private buyers, compared to the previous generation which had a roughly 55:45 split favouring fleet and rental sales.


Measuring 5115mm long, 1995mm wide and 1775mm high, the new Carnival has increased in length by 40mm while also boosting rear overhang by 30mm. Front overhang has been reduced by 20mm.


As a result, Kia is boasting improved dimensions, with 627 litres of cargo space when all seats are use, expanding to 2785L with the third row stowed.


Headroom, legroom and shoulder room are also increased in all rows with the exception of second-row legroom.


A number of changes have been made to improve noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels, including reductions in wind noise and vibrations when driving.


Like the previous version, the new Carnival will be split into four model grades, with each offering the choice of petrol and diesel power.


From the outside, the entry-level S comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, daytime running lights (DRLs) and positioning lights, combination tail-lights, a roof rack, auto light control, solar glass windshield, tinted windows, electric heated mirrors and a trailer harness package.


Inside, it scores an 8.0-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 4.2-inch LCD cluster, six-speaker sound system, manual temperature control, drive mode select, keyless entry, cloth seats, sliding sunvisor, tilt/telescopic adjustable steering and console box with sliding tray.


Standard safety kit on the S includes speed limit info, intelligent speed assist, multi collision braking, blind spot assist, rear cross-traffic alert, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, AEB junction assist, lane follow assist, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, smart cruise control, high beam assist, driver attention+, rear parking sensors and a reversing camera with guidelines.


Moving up to the Si adds 18-inch alloys, LED rear lights, a 12.3-inch infotainment system, eight-speaker sound system, front dual-zone and rear single-zone air conditioning, auto window defog, folding electric mirror, leather steering wheel, leather shifter and front parking sensors.


Next up is the SLi, which builds on the Si and includes LED front foglights, aeroblade wipers, solar front glass, privacy rear glass, acoustic windshield, smart key with push-button start, luggage charger, artificial leather upholstery, surround-view monitor, auto-close power tailgate, power-sliding side doors, eight-way power driver’s seat adjustment with two-way lumbar support, auto windows, electrochomic mirror, safe exit alert and rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist.


Sitting atop the range, the Platinum includes 19-inch alloys, dual LED lamps, matte chrome grille, half chrome outside handle coating, and chrome moulding bumper, door garnish and skid plates.


Inside, it scores a 12-speaker Bose audio system, wireless charger, paddle shifters, sunroof, eight-way adjustable front passenger seat, four-way driver lumbar support, ventilated front seats, heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, smart comfort control, 3D pattern mood lighting, puddle lamps, luggage net, rear door curtain, and LED overhead console light, room light, cargo light and personal light.


Features including a digital instrument cluster and automatic wipers were forced to be left off the equipment list at launch due to complications from COVID, however KMAu assured that the features will be added to the range soon.


As mentioned, two engine choices are available on the new Carnival – the first of which is a 3.5-litre petrol V6 developing 216kW at 6400rpm and 355Nm at 5000rpm, driving the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.


The Euro 5-compliant mill sips a claimed 9.6 litres per 100km, while emitting 220 grams of CO2 per km.


Meanwhile the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine – expected to make up 80 per cent of overall sales – produces 148kW at 3800rpm and 440Nm from 1750-2750rpm, also driving the front wheels via an eight-speed auto.


While the Sorento large SUV – with which the Carnival shares a platform and engines – is offered in all-wheel drive with the diesel, the Carnival is a front-drive-only affair.


The diesel sips 6.5L/100km of fuel while emitting 170g/km of CO2.


Suspension consists of a McPherson strut at the front and a multi-link rear set-up, with its own bespoke Australian suspension tune.


While Hyundai and Kia vehicles are typically also subjected to a local steering tune, COVID-19 has meant that KMAu was unable to do its steering tune in time for launch, instead reverting to the Korean-market tune.


KMAu said it would introduce a local steering tune when current circumstances would allow, however it could not guarantee a retrofit for existing buyers would be possible.


In 2020, Kia sold 3650 examples of the Carnival, giving it a dominant 53.9 per cent share of the sub-$60,000 people mover segment.


2021 Kia Carnival pricing*

S petrol (a) $46,880
S diesel (a) $48,880
Si petrol (a) $52,380
Si diesel (a) $54,380
SLi petrol (a) $56,880
SLi diesel (a) $58,880
Platinum petrol (a) $64,680
Platinum diesel (a) $66,680

*Excludes on-road costs

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