GRAND TIME FOR CARNIVAL REVIVAL
TALK about aggressive marketing.
Kia has already knocked a “grand” off, even though the new Kia Carnival is not on sale yet.
Not off the price, but off the name – instead of Grand Carnival it will be simply called Carnival.
It may not be Kia’s sexiest beast, or even its best seller – but don’t underestimate its importance.
The one-time family favourite has taken a back seat in recent months to Honda’s new Odyssey and even sister company Hyundai's iMax, even though the latter is based on a commercial vehicle.
But Carnival is poised to make a comeback. The new model is the last car in the line-up to receive the Schreyer treatment.
He’s the German guy and author of the iconic Audi TT who has almost single-handedly put the brand back on the map.
There’s no word on pricing yet, but expect it to be competitive with Odyssey – from $38,990 to $47,620.
There’s just the one eight-seat model, with a choice of petrol or diesel engines and a six-speed auto with both that will be available in three different grades.
New Carnival has been nine years in the making and the designers have attempted to conceal the need for eight seats in a body that has been stretched and lowered to resemble a car, with design elements to make it look wider and more aggressive.
Based on the same platform as the Sorento SUV, new Carnival is a fraction shorter and sits two centimetres lower than before, but is the same width.
The deep boot, one of its big drawcards, has actually grown in size – up 8.7 per cent to 960 litres with the third row in place.
The eight seats are arranged in a 2 + 3 + 3 configuration, with access to the rear seats via poweroperated sliding rear doors.
The second row slides fore and aft and can be folded to stand upright against the back of the front seats, with a smaller centre seat that can be removed completely. The third row is split 60:40 and folds into the floor when not required.
The current 2.2-litre four cylinder diesel carries over but the petrol V6 has been downsized from 3.5 to 3.3 litres.
Kia has transformed Carnival into something that’s going to make people feel a whole lot better about driving a people mover.
The Kia Carnival 2015f.