Based on the company’s new mid-size platform the latest Carnival has more space, refinement and capability than its predecessors. Its style is SUV like to cash in on the popularity of that type of practical vehicle.

The fourth-generation Carnival is offered in four variants, the S, Si, SLi and Platinum. Buyers can choose from petrol and diesel engines. A 3.5-litre V6 petrol (216kW / 355Nm) and 2.2-litre CRDI diesel (148kW /440Nm). Both drive the front wheels through a Kia-developed eight-speed automatic.

Kia Carnival has an extensive range of both passive and active safety and driver assistance systems, protecting the driver and passengers on every journey.

Based on Kia’s new mid-size platform the Carnival offers more value, space, refinement and capability than its predecessors and any current challengers.

The entry-level S specification comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rack, solar glass windshield, 8-inch AV unit with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 4.2-inch TFT LCD cluster. A six-speaker sound system. Drive mode select with normal/eco/sport/smart, keyless entry. It has cloth seats, rear parking sensors, rear view monitor with dynamic guidelines, and a tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel.

Carnival Si adds 18-inch alloys, 12.3-inch AVN unit, eight-speaker sound system, dual-zone automatic temperature control front and single zone rear, premium steering wheel and shifting knob, and front parking sensors.

Carnival SLi has privacy rear glass, smart key with push button start, artificial leather seats, surround view monitor, power tailgate with auto close, smart power sliding doors, one-touch power doors and tailgate, eight-way power driver’s seat, auto up/down windows, electrochromic mirror, Safe Exit Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist.

Top of the range Carnival Platinum adds electronic shift by wire, 19-inch black alloy wheels, 12-speaker Bose sound system, rear occupant alert, heated steering wheel, wireless charger, paddle shifters, dual tilting and sliding sunroof, eight-way integrated memory seats with four-way lumbar support and rear heated seats, ventilated front seats, LED interior lamps and second and third row sunshade blind.

Compared with the outgoing car new Carnival has a shorter front overhang, with the base of the A-pillar moved backwards to create a longer bonnet. Its increased wheelbase contributes to greater space throughout the cabin.

The shape has moved closer to a stylish SUV-like profile, particularly in the side and front profiles from the C-Pillar forward.

A key design highlight is the “island roof” design with blacked-out A- and B-pillars beneath a body-coloured roof. The C-pillar features a chrome fin with a subtle diamond pattern.

For the Carnival S, Si and SLi models the headlamps are LED for high and low beam with a bulb-type turning signal lamp. The Platinum model adds projection-style LED low and high beam lamps with an LED turn signal.

New Carnival offers a choice of seven exterior paint colours; Ceramic Silver, Astra Blue, Silky Silver, Deep Chroma Blue, Panthera Metal, Snow White Pearl and Aurora Black Pearl. All colours are metallic or mica-metallic, with Ceramic Silver designated as the “standard” colour at no additional charge.

Dependent upon specification level, there is a range of distinctive aluminium alloy wheel designs, 17- (S), 18- (Si and SLi) or 19-inches (Platinum).

The hub of the Carnival’s connectivity has a high-tech digital display. In Si, SLi and Platinum trims this links Kia’s latest 4.2-inch digital driver instrument cluster and 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment and navigation system under a single seamless piece of glass. The S level trim has an eight-inch Audio Visual Unit and a 4.2-inch TFT information cluster for the driver.

Carnival has built-in SatNav with 10 years Mapcare and SUNA live traffic updates.

The infotainment system can connect two smartphones via Bluetooth at the same time, enabling separate phones to be used for phone calls or media. It will allow personalised profiles for various drivers to download individual preferences for AVN and cluster settings.

The new fully independent suspension system and a range of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) measures are engineered to deliver reassuring and relaxing on-road behaviour, maximising stability and occupant comfort.

The rear suspension has also been revised, with longer lower suspension arms and revised spring layout working to better manage changes in the road surface.

Kia Motors Australia’s local tuning team have embraced the newly engineered platform and finessed the ride and handling characteristics to be in harmony with Australia’s unique road conditions and driver preferences.

A comprehensive array of sound-deadening and insulating measures ensure the new model is one of the quietest and most refined on the road. These include new insulation materials around all four wheel-arches, a full underbody cover to reduce wind and road noise, and dense insulation between the engine bay and passenger compartment.

For Australian drivers, Kia has prioritised safety across the range with a range of segment first and class leading technologies lifting the safety bar from the entry-level S grade right through to Platinum models.

Kia’s “Level 2” autonomous driving technology, Smart Cruise Control, controls acceleration and braking depending on the vehicles in front. Using front view camera and front radar, it helps maintain a set distance and speed from the vehicle ahead while Lane Follow Assist helps centre the vehicle in its lane while driving. In addition, it features a Rear View Monitor (RVM) and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA).

The Carnival is fitted with seven airbags, as well as a suite of electronic vehicle safety systems. All models are equipped as standard with Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) and Electronic Stability Control, helping drivers maintain control under braking and cornering.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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