Kia Carnival – 7 Best Features that make it an awesome family wagon

Kia Carnival Family Luxury Comfort and Space

2019 Kia Carnival PE Platinum.There are many options in the family wagon segment, displaying a variety of approaches. If you’re looking to sit eight in comfort, however, the options narrow considerably. You start heading into the light commercial van territory that has a bunch of seats and some concessions to passenger comfort.  Vehicles like the VW Caravelle, Hyundai I Max are better than most and the Honda Odyssey is more car like.

2019 Kia Carnival PE S interior.

Internal Space:

Well that is an obvious choice. The Kia Carnival will seat eight people in comfort, with each individual having their own space. The front occupants, especially the driver, feel like they are sitting in Captain’s chairs. The middle row is accessed by either side doors and provide huge room. I even squeezed my bulky 190cm frame into the third row seats and could sit in relative comfort. That is something that is rare.

2019 Kia Carnival PE Platinum.

Interior Comfort and Features

Buyers of the Carnival, especially the Platinum, want for little in terms of occupant comfort and luxury. The driver is cocooned in an electrically adjustable, comfortable air conditioned seat. The platinum driver’s seat even has a four way lumbar adjustment. There are soft touch points everywhere, a plethora of switches and buttons, a plush two tone interior and a general feeling of upmarket style.

Features include an 8-inch screen for Si, SLi and Platinum, standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The entertainment system also has an 8-speaker JBL Premium sound system.

Designers cite first class air travel as a key influence behind the design and layout of the cabin, with elegant individual seats for front and second row passengers and overhead consoles and air conditioning vents to ensure maximum utility and comfort for all.

2019 Kia Carnival PE.

Seating / Cargo Flexibility.

In many 7 seat wagons, and some 8 seat wagons there is little flexibility in the seating arrangements, and if all seats are being utilised, the behind seat storage is compromised. Not so in the Carnival. The two rear seats rows will fold flat to provide a positively cavernous cargo area. Equally all three rows can be in use and there will still be enough room, courtesy of the seat well, more than enough room for every occupant to take a large bag away with them.

2019 Kia Carnival PE Platinum.

All seats are comfortable, even the third row, and the middle row are individualised for maximum comfort.

2019 Kia Carnival PE Platinum interior.

The Carnival, has without doubt the most practical and flexible seat arrangement currently on the market. The only vehicle that came close was the Chrysler Grand Voyager, which has long disappeared from our market.

2019 Kia Carnival PE Platinum.

Car like ride and handling qualities

The Carnival comes in either a 3.3-litre GDI petrol engine or the proven 2.2-litre R Series diesel. The 3.3-litre GDI produces 206kW and 336Nm. The 2.2-litre engine produces 147kW and a significant 440Nm from 1,750 to 2,750 rpm, the engine range most commonly used by owners. The Carnival applies power to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Drivers can switch to a sequential manual shift mode for even greater driving control, while the Carnival is equipped with a switchable ‘Active Eco’ drive mode.

Of the two engines, I absolutely prefer the diesel, as it is more powerful, economical and relaxed to drive. Speaking of driving, apart from a need to go slightly through a corner, before you turn, like many forward control vehicles, the Carnival drives, rides, handles and has the quietness and smoothness like a Sorento.

You simply forget you are driving an 8 seat people mover.

2019 Kia Carnival PE Platinum interior..


The Kia Carnival has a five star ANCAP safety rating and is packed with both active and passive safety features as well as a suite of driver assistance systems.

These include: Autonomous Emergency Braking, six airbags (front to rear coverage), eight three-point seat belts, Electronic Stability Control (incorporating ABS, TCS, Hill Start Assist, Brake Assist, Cornering Brake Control and Roll Over Mitigation) and rear parking sensors.

Standard safety features also include Lane Departure Warning, Smart Cruise Control and Electronic Parking Brake. For Platinum owners the suite of active safety features expands even further with BSD (Blind-Spot Detection); LCA (Lane Change Assist), which alerts the driver to vehicles approaching from the rear at high speeds in neighbouring lanes; HBA (High Beam Assist) and RCTA (Rear Cross-Traffic Alert), which warns against other cars driving behind the Carnival in car parks.


2019 Kia Carnival PE Platinum.


With a definite familiar style to the Sorento, owners will take comfort in the fact that their family transport looks like a car, rather than a modified van. From the outside the Carnival looks much smaller than it is, and from the inside it feels much larger than it is in terms of space.

It’s hard to make such a boxy design, look god but the Kia designers have done just that. It looks bold, yet sleek, bulky yet slim and sleek and sculptured.

When I was driving it around, I had many mothers come up and have a look, all were impressed, and many said that they wouldn’t mind driving that as it looked like a car.

2019 Kia Carnival PE Platinum.

Kia’s Value Proposition.

The Carnival 3.3-litre GDI pricing is: S $42,490, Si $47,990, SLi $52,490 and Platinum $60,290 MLP*

The 2.2-litre CRDI pricing is: S $44,990, Si $50,490, SLi $54,990 and Platinum $62,790 MLP*

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

Add that pricing the Kia’s fully transferrable 7 Year Warranty, 7 Year Capped Price servicing and 7 Year Roadside Assist and the overall package is hard to beat.

Kia Carnival
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With a definite familiar style to the Sorento, owners will take comfort in the fact that their family transport looks like a car, rather than a modified van. From the outside the Carnival looks much smaller than it is, and from the inside it feels much larger than it is in terms of space.

About Rob Fraser 1991 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.