The all-new Kia Carnival replaces the outgoing Grand Sedona to become a multifaceted companion to progressive families intent on living a big life. Staking its claim on the unoccupied space between SUVs and utilitarian people-movers, the Carnival offers the best of both worlds with its advanced technologies, new engine and platform, and luxurious cabin.
Penned at Kia’s world-class California design studio, the Carnival wears a bold appearance and conveys the visual language found on the brand’s recent and highly successful line of rugged SUVs – Sorento, Seltos and Sonet. Inside, the three-row seven- or eight-passenger vehicle delivers a premium level of refinement, savvy technology, and flexibility. And with expanded dimensions compared with the Grand Sedona, there is enough space to accommodate people, playthings, or plywood, depending on the day’s errands … or adventures.
The Carnival is motivated by a 2.2-litre ‘Smartstream’ CRDi turbodiesel engine that’s powerful enough to endow the all-new Carnival with a braked towing capacity of 1.5 tons for confident trailer, boat or caravan excursions. And that confidence is amplified by an expansive roster of standard Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. Together, these elements make Carnival an exceptional combination of modern design, capability, safety and luxury.
“The Kia Carnival is here to disrupt a staid segment and proves once again what is possible when conventions are shattered,” comments Gary Scott, CEO of Kia South Africa. “With its SUV-like character, Carnival delivers a combination of premium design and features, intelligent packaging, and an abundance of innovation in safety and technology at a price that packs a value punch.”
Rugged yet refined exterior
The exterior design of the all-new Carnival follows suit with Kia’s recent signature SUV style, with the strong and confident design language directly connecting it to the crisp lines found on other recent Kia debuts. Kia’s modernised ‘tiger nose’ grille affords substantial width to the face and artfully integrates high-tech LED headlamps. Dramatic bonnet lines enhance the vehicle’s unmistakably eye-catching character, while brawny wheel arches give a sense of volume to the body in profile.
A bold cutline runs the length of the vehicle, joining the front and rear lamps, and large two tone mirrors and black/chrome rocker panel mouldings contribute to the upscale look and feel of the all-new Carnival. The SUV aesthetic is enhanced by the addition of a rear skid plate garnish and reflectors, as well as the standard fitment of tasteful 18- or 19-inch aluminium alloy wheels.
Premium, flexible and innovative cabin
Within, the Carnival’s sleek design elements and quality materials come together to create a refined, harmonious and sophisticated space. The central facia stack takes on a premium image with high-gloss black surfaces, while a signature chrome garnish runs the length of the dash to create a sense of width, space and openness in the forward cabin. The integrated slim metal-effect air vents lend the cockpit a modern touch, enhanced by the standard two-tone leather trim which practically sees darker materials used on the seats and a lighter shade applied to those areas that are touched less frequently.
In addition to the Carnival’s elevated interior styling, it offers plenty of space for 7- or 8- passenger flexibility (depending on the trim level), comfort for long road trips, or jaunts to the local hardware store. With all seats erected, the Carnival offers a useful 1,139 litres of luggage space. Remove the second row and stow the third flush with the floor, and that figure increases to a massive 4,110 litres.
Seven-seat versions of the all-new Carnival offer two individual second-row chairs matching the front seats for comfort and configurability. On the mid-range EX+ derivative, ‘Slide-Flex’ seating for eight passengers allows multiple configurations including a sliding second row centre seat which, when in the forward-most position, allows the front passenger easy access the baby or child riding in it. This seat also converts into a functional table.
The Carnival also offers a roster of special and innovative features to make travel easier, safer, and more enjoyable. Just one example is standard hands-free electric sliding side doors with Smart Key, as well as a Smart Power Liftgate with auto-close (EX+ and above) to make loading and unloading the Carnival a doddle.
Built on a better base
The all-new Carnival is underpinned by the same all-new third-generation ‘N3’ platform as the talented Sorento. Kia’s engineers made sure it was lighter, stronger and quieter than the outgoing architecture, and highlights include:
- Expanded use of hot-stamped parts and ultra-high-strength steel for increased average tensile strength and torsional stiffness that results in better driving dynamics.
- Greater application of sound-absorbing and insulating materials to minimise road, wind and engine noise.
- Aerodynamic improvements to the wheels, front bumper and mirrors to achieve better fuel economy.
Overall, the new Carnival is longer (by 40mm), wider (10mm) and higher (35mm) than the outgoing Grand Sedona. Despite the growth in size and substantially more generous standard-features tally, overall mass has increased by just 14kg.
All the power you could need, without the related fuel bills
The front-wheel-drive Carnival line-up keeps things simple with a single powertrain and transmission combination. Kia’s brand-new ‘Smartstream’ 2.2 CRDi turbodiesel engine is the perfect partner for the Carnival. It’s more powerful than the outgoing 2.2 CRDi yet is more efficient, too (CO2 emissions fall by 31g/km to 177g/km), boasting 148kW at 3,800 r/min and a stout 440Nm of torque developed from 1,750 r/min all the way through to 2,750 r/min. The ‘Smartstream’ engine finds the perfect companion in Kia’s 8-speed torque-converter automatic transmission, which offers imperceptible shifts whether the Carnival’s driver is pootling through town or towing a heavy trailer.
The Safety of Advanced Driver Assistance
As part of Kia’s overall commitment to safety, the Carnival has a more comprehensive list of standard Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) features than any of its rivals, including these ADAS systems (standard on SX Limited and flagship SXL):
- Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA): assists the driver when braking to help prevent a collision or lessen the effects in certain conditions if a pedestrian or vehicle is detected in front. Uses automatic braking to avoid or mitigate an impact.
- Blindspot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA): Under certain conditions, this system can detect vehicles travelling in the next lane. When a vehicle is “seen” in the blind spot, the vehicle brakes the outer wheel under certain conditions to help return the vehicle to its lane.
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert: Helps detect most approaching cross traffic when in reverse. When approaching cross traffic is detected, the system alerts the driver and applies brakes.
- Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) with Lane Following Assist (LFA): Follows lane markings that the system detects and provides steering inputs to help maintain the vehicle in the centre of the lane.
- Segment-exclusive Blindspot View Monitor (BVM): Projects live video view of adjacent lanes in the instrument cluster and activated via the turn signal.
- Smart Cruise Control (SCC): Proactively raises and lowers the vehicle’s speed and distance to vehicles in front.
- Around View Monitor (AVM): Utilises four cameras to provide a 360-degree perspective around the vehicle enhancing driver confidence in tight parking situations.
Four specification levels to suit every need
The all-new Carnival boasts four distinct trim levels. The entry point to the range is EX, which offers a generous specification tally to guarantee stellar value for money. Some of the standout features included on this derivative are:
- 8,0” touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Front and rear adjustable air-conditioning
- Auto light control
- Auto-folding side mirrors
- Overhead console lamps
- 4 USB ports
- Drive Mode Select
- Electrically adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support
- Leather trim
- LED headlamps
- PDC front and rear
- 18” aluminium alloy wheels
- 7 airbags
- ESC plus Hill-start Assist Control
Building on the comprehensive features available at the entry point into the Carnival range, the mid-spec EX+ model adds:
- 8 seats (2+3+3 configuration)
- Smart Entry with push-button start
- Powered sliding side doors
- Electric tailgate
- Remote rear door and tailgate opening on key
- Remote start on key
- Electro-chromatic rear-view mirror
- Front and rear adjustable automatic climate control
- Rear sunshade blinds
- Paddle shifters
- 7 USB ports
The second-to-top-tier specification level is SX Limited, which builds on the EX+’s tally with the addition of Kia’s renowned Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and a number of luxury and convenience features, including:
- 19” aluminium alloy wheels
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Electrically adjustable front seats with lumbar support
- Smart Cruise Control
- LED front fog lights
- Dual LED headlamps (high and low beam)
- Dual tilt and slide sunroofs
- Wireless smartphone charging
- 12.3” touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Rear LED combination lamps
- Skid plates front and rear
- Around View Monitor
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Blindspot Collision Avoidance Assist
- Blindspot Monitor
- Lane Following Assist
- Lane Keeping Assist
- Forward Collision Avoidance Assist
The Carnival SX Limited is a limited-edition model, and will be bolstered – from March 2022 – with the fully loaded Carnival SXL, which adds:
- 12.3” TFT Supervision instrument cluster
- BOSE surround sound with 12 speakers
A global leader in manufacturing
Like its Sorento stablemate, the new Carnival is built at Kia’s technologically advanced Hwasung manufacturing facility in South Korea.
Model Recommended Retail Price incl. VAT
Carnival 2.2 CRDi EX 8AT 7-Seater R799,995
Carnival 2.2 CRDi EX+ 8AT 8-Seater R879,995
Carnival 2.2 CRDi SX Limited 8AT 7-Seater R999,995
Carnival 2.2 CRDi SXL 8AT 7-Seater R1,024,995
All Carnival models ship as standard with Kia’s industry-leading Unlimited Kilometre, 5-year warranty (inclusive of roadside assistance), as well as a 6-year / 90,000 km maintenance plan. The latter is a comprehensive package that covers a number of components at no cost to the owner over and above a standard service plan, including (but not limited to) brake pads, discs and linings; shock absorbers, battery; clutch; cambelt; various belts; globes and fuses.
The all-new Carnival range is on sale across Kia South Africa’s national dealer network immediately, with SXL models available from March 2022.