2021 Kia Carnival SLI diesel
BUILT on Kia’s new mid- size platform the fourth-generation Kia Carnival offers more space, refinement and capability than its predecessors. It’s available in four variants, the S, Si, SLi and Platinum.
The entry-level S has 17inch alloy wheels, a 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.
The Carnival Si adds 18inch alloys, a 12.3-inch audio visual 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.
Kia 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, eightway 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.
Our test car was the Kia Carnival SLi turbo-diesel.
There’s plenty of legroom in the front and mid rows, with good width in all but the centre/middle seat and even that one is better than average for this vehicle type.
The middle seat in the second-row folds flat to give what you could call a table; it has drink holders and a slip reduction facing. Access to the centre row is simple thanks to a wide opening through the rear sliding doors. Getting into the rears will be simple for kids but grandad and grandma may struggle. Then again, the kids would much rather be back there well removed from dad and mum.
As it has been doing for many years now Kia Australia’s local tuning team has tuned the ride and handling to suit Australia’s road conditions and driver preferences.
A comprehensive array of sound-deadening and insulating measures ensures the new model is one of the quietest and most refined of its type on the road. There are 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 cabin.
However, the diesel is noisier than we expected when worked hard and when accelerated with vigour off the line.
This is a large vehicle at just over five metres long so was a tight fit in length in some shopping centre carparks we used.
Who says the family has to be transported in something that looks like a van with windows? Kia Carnival has plenty of style inside and out, excellent interior room and decent performance.
And don’t forget what is Kia’s most impressive feature - a seven-year warranty.