2016 Kia Carnival SLi owner review

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Review written by:
T McFly
PROS
  • Seating as a walk through 7 seater
  • Power sliding doors & tailgate
  • Size and comfort
CONS
  • Connectivity
  • No LED DRL's
  • Can carry the in-laws

About the Kia Carnival

I purchased this Kia Carnival new with additional options for $54,000 (including all on-road costs). I would buy this car again because it has been a great choice our family made with the head not the heart, keeps the kids separated whilst still having plenty of boot space.

How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

Very reliable, has never left us on the side of a road. Only had to replace one of the worm drive struts on the auto tailgate and a switch for the rear climate controls was replaced.

What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

It has been great, no issues and has been very practical. Wife wants the new model one in a year or so.

How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

Very good, the dealership was great to deal with and service dept has been good as long as you keep them on their toes with pricing.

Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

Yes, price was reasonable for the car though it would be nice to have Apple CarPlay and some of the driver safety features now available as standard. Can’t live without the power sliding doors or tailgate now, great for dropping kids off at school.

What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

Really good, fuel economy has been fantastic and performance wise is good, if you want you can surprise a few people at the lights in your soccer mums car.

What do you think of the technology in your car?

Good for 2016, lacking now that I have CarPlay in my Amarok and miss it when I am in the Carnival.

What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

I was impressed, it rides really nicely on the open highways and around town. It is even pretty quiet on the course chip roads which was surprising.

Do you have any additional comments about your car?

I know what you are thinking – what made him buy a people mover/breeder bus? Yes, I may have had a vasectomy, but they are still attached! No my life isn’t over, just three boys that can’t be next to each other for any lengthy period of time. This was a decision made with the head and not with the heart.

We had our Jeep Grand Cherokee, which was a heart-decision purchase and a great car to drive, aside from the fuel economy, but started having some expensive pieces break just out of warranty. So we went shopping for seven seats, as three across the back in the Grand Cherokee with two of them still in car seats was squishy, and not much fun on longer drives with the fighting and associated behaviour.

Enter the Kia Carnival, the ‘soccer mum’s’ car! We went into Kia to look at the Sorento, but secretly I wanted to show her the Carnival too. Now, while I didn’t mind it looks-wise, as it has a certain SUV shape about this model, the wife didn’t want the soccer mum’s car image and was not very keen.

The test drive was what sealed the deal. It was the quietest drive we have ever done with all three boys separated. It was almost one of those proud and emotional parent moments you see on Facebook. We drove both the petrol and diesel, and while the petrol has a lot of power and is very smooth, the diesel was the pick as the power was great, with smooth delivery through the six-speed auto and it’s great on fuel.

Next decision was model and colour. The purse strings said Si model, but I just couldn’t get past the ‘beige’ cloth interior – this is a family car after all. The SLi and Platinum also had the front and rear parking sensors, which I thought was great, particularly for a car of this size.

The wife really liked the convenience of the power sliding doors and boot for the school pick-up in the ‘Stop, Drop & Go’ area, so she didn’t have to get out of the car. I couldn’t get past the chrome wheels on the Platinum – they just looked out of place on a car like this – and they had a Silver SLi in stock that looked really nice, particularly once we tinted the front windows dark.

The leather seats are not showing any signs of wear, and the abuse the boys throw at them hasn’t shown up, at this stage anyway. We removed the centre seat in the second row so it is a ‘walk-through’ seven-seater, which is so convenient and also means the booster seat is in the second row making sure the 2 younger ones are kept apart and the 13-year-old is by himself at the back, king of the kids!

Once you get past the soccer mum’s or breeder bus car tag, it is great as a family car. We have the peace of mind of the seven-year warranty should we need it and low running costs. Yes, we can’t go anywhere we could have in an SUV or 4×4 wagon, but we don’t need to. That is what my V6 Amarok dual-cab is for.

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Ratings
Overall8.8
Show Breakdown
Technology 7.5
Reliability 9
Ride & Handling 9.2
Price & Features 8.5
Purchase & Aftercare 8
Performance & Economy 9.2
Ownership Experience 10
Top Line Specs
7.7L
147kW
199g
4 ★
View all specifications