Pros
    • Storage, storage and more storage!
    • Backed by Kiau2019s 7-year warranty
    • Great value for money
    Cons
    • Hatch is heavy and often needs slamming
    Specs
    7.6L
    147kW
    202g
    5 Star

    About the Kia Carnival

    T S purchased this Kia Carnival new with additional options for $50,000 (including all on-road costs). T S would buy this car again because: “Note this is approximately what the business paid as a leaseback vehicle and we intend to buy it at the end of the lease. The business had an easy, fast and great service from the Kia dealer and continue to use Kia Carnivals within the fleet.”

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

    Almost two years and 60,000km in, the Carnival has never missed a beat. It’s been on long drives, constant short trips, questionable roads and through all kinds of weather.

    Having come from another diesel with constant particulate issues before 30,000km, the reliability of a Kia has been refreshing. The only thing close to an issue is Apple CarPlay sometimes turning the screen black, and that’s only happened a handful of times since we bought it.

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

    I can’t speak to warranty or servicing issues; not because it’s a leaseback car, but because there haven’t been any.

    We have other Kia vehicles in the family and the service from Kia has always been great. These days, the value of the car, the seven-year warranty and the customer service from Kia is hard to beat. To date, it’s also the first car I’ve ever had where I haven’t had to deal with a huntsman on the inside – I’ll put that down to build quality.

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

    The purchase was made through the business and this is a leaseback car we intend to buy at the end of the lease. The experience for the business was quick and easy, with great customer service and regular updates throughout the order.

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

    People movers naturally come with a higher price tag, however it’s great value for money. Kia has added dusk sensing headlights, daytime running lights (LEDs), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and more.

    The reversing camera works well, makes connecting the trailer a breeze, and gives extra vision down each side of the road instead of only directly behind the car. There’s also a tiny strip mirror above the standard rear-view mirror that gives you a view of the whole cab. Particularly handy if you need to play umpire during a fight between the kids.

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

    The 2.2L 4-cylinder turbo diesel performs well, offering plenty of grunt without draining the bank. Kia advertises 147kW/440Nm and a combined fuel consumption of 7.6L/100km. Living close to town we average 8.2L, but on a longer trip can stay far below that.

    It tows well, handling a sizeable load from Bunnings without complaint and generally responds well throughout the gear range. We even use it to get the bins back up our pothole covered driveway, simply because we can!

    What do you think of the technology in your car?

    Overall, the technology in the Carnival S works well and gives the basic comforts. Apple CarPlay makes it easy to get a playlist going for the kids and speed dependent volume control dulls the sound of the Frozen soundtrack (for the millionth time) while reversing so you can concentrate.

    I would like to see some of the features amongst the higher models offered throughout the entire range: automatic sliding doors and a button operated tailgate would make the world of difference for owners who aren’t as strong. Though a base model, it’s still a large purchase so some extra tech would have been nice.

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

    Surprisingly, I don’t feel like I’m driving a big van. It’s smooth, has plenty of grunt and handles beautifully. Even with four extra people and a boot full of luggage, the Carnival made the 5-hour trip to the airport without being sluggish and all occupants were sitting comfortably with ample leg room.

    Corners aren’t met with that ‘roll’ effect and it’s a breeze to reverse park.

    Do you have any additional comments about your car?

    At first, I reluctantly referred to it as the mum van, then quite fondly as the party bus, then the fishing buddy and now I call it an essential. Having now lived with one for almost two years, I would never go without one. I intend to buy it at the end of the lease period.

    Top three moments with our Kia Carnival:

    • Returned to the car after shopping to find two very rude people parked extremely close to the rear doors. Had the moment of rage wondering how long I would be waiting in the heat for them to return so I could put my baby in the car, then felt pure joy. Sliding doors! No squeezing, contorting or Olympic level flexibility required. Bub went straight into the car we were off!
    • Breastfeeding. Despite doing it before, I’m still quite uncomfortable in public, and it can be quite a trip to find somewhere private and comfortable. No problem for the Kia – plenty of space in the front otherwise the end row is perfect to relax and feel protected.
    • My husband took the Kia on a cold fishing trip and woke at midnight in the swag to a horrific storm and torrential rain. No problem for the Carnival, just pop the seats down and you’ve got a full-size bed. No cramped legs or hitting your head, plus there’s room to bring all your gear in with you so it doesn’t get ruined. Brilliant. We also use it to bring the bins up!
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    8.4
    Overall Rating

    Technology7
    Reliability9
    Ride & Handling8
    Price & Features8
    Purchase & Aftercare9
    Performance & Economy9
    Ownership Experience9