KIA CARNIVAL Si
Family favourites do battle and Richard Blackburn adjudicates. Korea’s Carnival takes on Japan’s Odyssey.
Equipment includes conversation mirror, roof rails, three 12V outlets and three USB ports, 14 cupholders, lockable glove box, four-inch infotainment screen and Bluetooth with audio streaming. Aircon vents extend to the third row. Industry’s best warranty coverage, at seven years and unlimited kilometres. Capped price servicing for seven years (for three years, $1307) and roadside assistance if you get your car serviced at a Kia dealer. Resale 61 per cent after three years.
Powerful V6 makes light work of hills and overtaking manoeuvres, with enough power to spin the front wheels if you’re not careful. Combined with a smooth-shifting sixspeed auto, the engine feels relaxed on the open road. The downside is a big thirst. It uses a claimed average of 11.6L/ 100km, but expect to use a lot more in the city.
The Carnival is huge. Cavernous luggage area means it is one of the few people-movers that can swallow an entire family and their luggage. All eight seats are full-sized and a clever folding design for the second row seats allows for easy access to the third. The cabin ambience trumps the Odyssey, while a huge centre storage bin swallows two-litre bottles.
Achieved only a four-star crash rating because of a below average frontal crash test and no seat belt reminders for second and third row seats. Has six airbags and the curtains extend to the third row. Reversing camera is standard but the screen is too small.
Suspension and steering have been tuned for Australian roads but overly light steering feel detracts from the driving experience. It feels better on the open road, soaking up bumps without fuss and feeling predictable through corners despite its size and weight.