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Kia Carnival finally gets five stars

Star car: Kia made improvements to the safety of its Carnival people-mover and it has paid off with a five-star rating from ANCAP.

Safety improvements lift Kia's Carnival from a four- to five-star ANCAP rating

Kia logo17 Mar 2016

By TIM NICHOLSON

KIA'S Carnival people-mover has been awarded a five-star crash safety rating after achieving a disappointing four-star result when it launched early last year.

The Korean-built MPV was re-tested by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program after Kia made some improvements to the model's safety levels which is believed to include a second-row seatbelt reminder warning and changes to braces on the foot-operated parking brake and knee-protecting padding on the steering column for better feet and leg protection.

When the Carnival was first tested, it achieved a total score of 30.48 out of a possible 37, but in the new test – which applies to all Carnival variants built from December 2015 – the family hauler scored 34.62.

The score for the frontal offset crash rose from 10.48 to 14.29 points out of 16, thanks to the changes to the footwell. In the original test, ANCAP identified “significant footwell deformation”.

At the time of the first test last year, Kia Motors Australia chief operating officer Damien Meredith described the our-star result as “disappointing”, but said the increase to five stars this year was a “very satisfying” outcome.

“At the time of the original test it is fair to say that we were disappointed, but safety is a non-negotiable for Kia and the determination of all involved to retain Kia Motors Australia’s record of an all five-star model line-up was admirable,” he said.

ANCAP chief executive officer James Goodwin praised Kia for making the changes necessary to achieve a five-star rating, but cautioned that there were still some issues with the driver's footwell.

“A number of design changes to the Carnival have seen the score in the frontal offset testincrease substantially and consumers should feel confident the updated vehicle offers significantimprovements to safety,” he said.

“There continued to be some issues with intrusion into the driver’s footwell area and pedalmovement however, the risk was reduced compared to the previously tested model.”

The four-star result from last year has not hindered Carnival sales, with the new-generation verson easily outpacing its rivals in the sub-$60,000 people-mover segment last year with 3638 units shifted, ahead of the Honda Odyssey (2836) and Hyundai iMax (1939).

Mr Meredith told GoAuto in January this year that the four-star score had not halted demand for the Carnival in Australia.

“It’s 35 per cent of the people-mover market. Which is the leader of the people-mover market by a long way. Humbly, we haven’t had any problem with the four star. I mean four star, five star are safe cars. That's one thing we need to make pretty clear,” he said at the time.

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