Australia’s most popular people mover under $55,000, Kia Carnival, has just received an upgrade resulting in four long wheel base models, Bluetooth across the range and the introduction of the legendary “R-series” CRDi turbo diesel engine to the line up.
Most significant to the model refresh is the discontinuation of the short wheelbase Carnival S, replaced by a long wheelbase Grand Carnival S model. The Grand Carnival Si, SLi and Platinum remain.
“Carnival is a signature model in our range,” said Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Tony Barlow. “It is a good value proposition, which is why one in three new people movers under $55,000 sold so far this year have been Kia Carnivals.
“The latest refresh has allowed us to add new technologies to the existing long list of features and maintain Grand Carnival’s position as a great value people mover”.
The most noteworthy change to the entry level Grand Carnival S is the replacement of the 2.7-litre petrol engine with the more powerful and more efficient 3.5-litre V6 DOHC powerplant with continuous variable valve timing.
Buyers of the Grand Carnival Si, SLi and Platinum models will have a choice of either the 3.5-litre petrol or Kia’s latest 4-cylinder, 2.2-litre CRDi R-series diesel engine. The R-series diesel offers improved power and greater efficiency than the 2.9-litre predecessor and is the driving force behind Kia’s Sorento and Sportage.
The 2.2-litre R-series diesel produces an impressive 143kW of power and a massive 429Nm of torque. Torque is up 86Nm or 25%, while fuel consumption is down 3.7% compared to its predecessor.
The entire range has now received the transmission upgrade with both the petrol and diesel engines matched to Kia’s 6-speed automatic transmission. Compared to the 5-speed, the 6-speed automatic has 62 fewer parts, is 41mm shorter and 12kg lighter, making it one of the most compact and efficient 6-speed transmissions available.
New to the line up is the addition of Bluetooth functionality with remote audio controls located on the steering wheel. Buyers of the Si model and above will benefit from the standard fitment of roof rails, power third row windows, rear air conditioning controls, interior metal finish and heated outside mirrors. The Si model has also received sporty looking 16-inch alloy wheels.
Safety continues to be a priority across the eight-seater range with ABS and ESC with traction control standard throughout. Front, side and curtain airbags and side door impact beams also offer peace of mind for passengers in all four models.