The Kia Carnival is the pinnacle of premium comfort, convenience and functionality in the realm of multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs).
Now in its fourth generation, the Carnival is the South Korean carmaker’s third model to be locally assembled at the Inokom Assembly plant in Kulim and this MPV certainly departs from the usual aesthetics with sleek stylish design cues combined with bold lines and chrome accents.
Priced at RM198,500 (limited units), the 11-seater Carnival variant adds on extra capacity for three more persons over the usual three-row seating MPVs or sports utility vehicles.
Overall, the Carnival boosts the aesthetics of a modern MPV through its sleek and stylish exterior design to make an on-road statement of confidence, sophistication and elegance.
Slim and proportionately sized automatic LED headlights provide exceptional visibility in low light conditions and are underpinned by daytime running lights that double as turn signals to harmoniously integrate into the crisp frontal lines and allow the distinct Tiger Nose grille to remain undisturbed for a modern, futuristic presence.
Hidden behind the Carnival’s grille lies a powerful 2.2-litre (2,151cc) turbodiesel engine producing 199hp at 3,800rpm and 440Nm of torque from 1,750rpm to 2,750rpm – all managed by a smooth eight-speed automatic (E-Shift) transmission for the front wheels.
Robust in construction and efficient in operation, the engine sips from its accommodating 72-litre fuel tank that allows owners to travel over 800km on a single fill.
Fluidity best describes the Carnival’s 5,155mm-long flanks that blend its soft-closing automatic sliding doors into the bodywork.
The rear combination lamps, while seamlessly connecting with the Carnival’s character lines, help to accentuate the rear’s 1,995mm breadth with a neatly sculpted and convenient inclusion of a powered tailgate.
Being a modern-day people-mover, the Carnival’s comfort comes from not just its expansive interior and plush leatherette seats but also its attention to detail via high-quality materials and a refined finish to create an ambience of premium well-being for up to 11 persons spread across four seating rows with sufficient leg, shoulder and head room.
In terms of convenience, seven USB-A ports will help keep gadgets powered during a long-haul trip to a weekend staycation or “work-ation” and together with the ease of a keyless-entry and push-start button owners will have its premium feel elevated to a new level.
The Carnival can strike a balance between hauling people and cargo via the flexibility of easily adjustable and foldable third-row seats as well as the collapsible fourth-row seats that pop out from under the boot’s floorboard.
Equipped with a crisp and clear 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system that powers a six-speaker sound system with Bluetooth connectivity, wireless charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, passengers can be treated to an immersive audio experience.
The driver also gets access to navigation services via a seamless smartphone integration for a connected journey – while the eight-way powered front seats (with two-way lumbar adjustability for the driver) deliver remarkable comfort levels.
The intuitive driver-assistance features help to ensure a safe and secure ride, making every trip a stress-free delight through the inclusion of blind-spot collision warning and rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist which bolsters the existing plethora of safety features such as seven airbags, anti-lock braking system, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, electronic stability control, traction control, multi-collision brake control, hill-start assist control, auto-hold function, auto door lock, rear occupant alert, safe exit assist, engine immobiliser and ISOFIX anchor points.
Regardless of payload (people and/or cargo), the Carnival’s responsive powerplant provides versatility in both city and highway journeys as it rolls on stylish 18-inch alloys with 235/60 series tyres that partially hide the front ventilated and rear solid disc brakes that provide more than necessary stopping power.
Coupled with a compliant suspension, the Carnival’s driving experience becomes supple over uneven surfaces with little affliction to its already low levels of noise, vibration and harshness levels while still allowing for sharp manoeuvrability should the need arise.
Driving comfort is exalted with an upright seating position that allows for an uncompromised forward view and the large external mirrors accommodate more rear-ward visibility than usual for an all-seeing experience.
Although some might find the Carnival’s overall size to be daunting, turning the multi-function steering wheel with paddle-shifters feels almost feather-light when at low speeds and when combined with a multi-view 360-degree reverse camera system, it helps to melt away such a notion, only to replace it with confidence which quickly becomes innate over time when helming this MPV.
At speed, the Carnival is a wonder to helm as the steering tightens up for added stability and the suspension does away with anything that would jolt its passengers.
Suffice it to say, the 11-seater Carnival is a lifestyle choice that perfectly combines space, technology, design and performance.
Be it chauffeuring duties or embarking on an adventure, the Carnival will exceed expectations with its elevated driving experience and plush up-market confines where luxury, comfort and versatility converge to create an enjoyable journey for all on board.
Kia Carnival 2.2D 11-seater (CKD)
Engine: 2,151cc (D4HE) Commonrail direct injection (CRDi) turbodiesel
Maximum power: 199hp at 3,800rpm
Maximum torque: 440Nm from 1,750rpm to 2,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic (E-Shift)
Brakes: Front ventilated discs; rear solid disc
Suspension: Front MacPherson struts; rear multi-link
Fuel tank capacity: 72 litres
Kerb weight: 2,129kg
Fuel efficiency: 6.5-litres/100km combined cycle
Features: Seven airbags, anti-lock braking system, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, electronic stability control, traction control, multi-collision brake control, hill-start assist control, auto-hold function, auto door lock, rear occupant alert, safe exit assist, engine immobiliser, ISOFIX anchor points, blind-spot collision warning, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist, dual-automatic LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, front LED fog lights, bulb rear combination tail lights, bulb reverse and rear fog lights, automatic wipers, rear wiper/washer, keyless entry with push-start button, power adjustable and folding heated external mirrors with integrated turn signals, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, dual-powered sliding doors, front and rear parking sensors, roof rails, electronic parking brake, leatherette-wrapped multi-function steering wheel with paddle shifters, 4.2-inch TFT-LCD instrument cluster, one-touch (up and down) driver-side power window, seven USB Type-A ports, dual-zone automatic climate controls, rear air-conditioning with dedicated controls, leatherette seat upholstery, two 12V power outlets, bulb interior lighting, centre console armrest with storage bin, rear window sunshades (second and third rows), cruise control, eight-way powered front seats with two-way lumbar adjustment (driver), six-speaker sound system powered by 12.3-inch touchscreen with voice recognition, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, multi-view 360-degree reverse camera system, wireless charger, 18-inch wheels with 235/60 series tyres and 18-inch T135/80D18 spare wheel.
Warranty: Five years with five years of free maintenance including labour, parts and lubricants.
Price: RM198,500 (on-the-road without insurance, limited units)
Kia Carnival 11-seater: Big and people-friendly