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Driven | KIA Carnival

The MPV segment, believe it or not, is a highly sought segment. Much like the SUV & the bakkie segment, manufacturers always try to have a slice of the MPV cake.

Previously dubbed the KIA Grand Sedona, the KIA Carnival has been given a complete makeover which is hard to ignore. It provides plenty of space and a comfortable ride, and it’s loaded with technology.

On the exterior, the Carnival has striking looks, from its large 'tiger nose’ grille that incorporates LED DRLs to the rear light bar, the KIA Carnival sure does look good! Inside, the Carnival has a 12.3-inch infotainment display that is android auto/Apple CarPlay ready and you will also find a wireless charger that can accommodate large phones. The digital driver’s display is also available (however due to microchip shortages, our unit was not optioned with one). The 2 + 2 + 3 seating is something we completely appreciated, it’s comfortable and has a lot of room with the downside being that we felt quite low to the ground and we would’ve appreciated a little ground clearance. However, we are happy to report that the Carnival's dashboard and front-seat area are both modern and accommodating. The second row "VIP Seats" provide a relaxing way for passengers on a long road trip while a panoramic sunroof brings in a lot of light. There are also Up to nine USB ports in the Carnival's cabin! Another downside? The Bose sound system is optional, and we would suggest ticking that option if you wanted rear entertainment as the standard sound does not sound that great in the rear.

On the drive train side, The Carnival is powered by a 2.2-litre turbocharged-diesel motor that is quite strong and fuel efficient. The diesel motor is suitable for 148kW and 440Nm, accompanied by an eight-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox that drives the front wheels. We particularly enjoyed how it is when cruising and when you need to overtake, it does the job without thinking. The other impressive part is how the Carnival has a well-balanced ride and handling, which is smooth when cruising but still composed in corners. On the fuel side, we average just under 10l/100km during our test period, something we thought was not bad for such a large vehicle.

On the safety side, there are many standard driver-assistance features, including lane-keeping assist, automatic high-beam headlamps, blind-spot monitoring, Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and Standard lane-departure warning with a lane-keeping assist as well as adaptive cruise control to mention a few.

Overall, the KIA Carnival is an amazing people mover, a people lover that should be on many people’s list’s considering its starting price. It’ looks beautiful, rides like a luxury car and drives like a dream. It’s a thumbs up from us!


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

The Kia Carnival is sold with a 5-year/unlimited km warranty (including roadside assistance) and a 6-year/90 000km maintenance plan.

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