The 2021 Kia Carnival has been launched in Australia priced from $46,880 plus on-road costs ($50,390 drive away) with a sharp new look, a new platform borrowed from the Sorento SUV, a new diesel engine and a lot more technology than the previous model. Though the vast majority of buyers looking for five or more seats choose an SUV in Australia, the new Carnival is still an important vehicle locally and with its new range of features, is more appealing than ever before.

“The Kia Carnival has always provided practicality, comfort, space and power, which has seen it consistently hold an unchallenged segment share of up to 51 per cent.” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith said.

“The all new Carnival still provides these essentials but adds on class leading features, with an outstanding design and driving features similar to a SUV. The appeal has increased; possibly to shoppers looking at the Upper Large SUV <$100,000 segment.” 

Now sitting on Kia’s medium platform borrowed from the new Sorento, the 2021 Kia Carnival has grown – its 5,155mm length is 40mm longer than before. But it’s also changed stylistically too – the A-pillar has been moved rearward to create a longer bonnet for a more stylish appearance. The wheelbase has also been increased by 30mm to 3,090mm, which has increased interior space further, according to Kia – with only the front row in use, a huge 2,785-litres of space is available. With all seats in use, 627L of bootspace is still available.

The interior of the 2021 Kia Carnival has grown to become a higher quality, more mature and more stylish space with new materials, larger screens and a new layout including a horizontal air vent that runs the entire length of the dashboard. Choose the entry-level S or Si and tasteful cloth is on offer, while the SLi and Platinum add faux leather. All models are equipped with eight seats as standard. 

As before, the 2021 Kia Carnival is front-wheel drive with two engine choices: a 216kW/355Nm 3.5-litre petrol V6 or a 148kW/440Nm 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel that are both mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission – but not the new dual-clutch unit in the Sorento diesel. Updates to both engines have resulted in efficiency gains – the petrol V6 now uses 9.6L/100km on the combined cycle, while the diesel just 6.5L/100km. 

Standard equipment is extensive for each model of the 2021 Kia Carnival range. The entry-level S (from $46,880) includes kit such as 17-inch alloy wheels, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-speaker sound system, manual air conditioning, keyless entry, rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and LED lighting.

Safety kit includes seven airbags, auto emergency braking (AEB) with car, pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane keep assist, blind-spot collision avoidance assistance, intelligent speed limit assist, driver attention alert, auto high beam, adaptive cruise control and lane follow assist. 

The Si (from $52,380) adds larger 18-inch alloy wheels, a 12.3-inch touchscreen, an eight-speaker sound system, dual-zone climate control, a faux leather steering wheel and gearknob and front parking sensors.

The SLi (from $56,880) adds rear privacy glass, keyless entry and start, faux leather seats, a 360-degree parking camera, a power tailgate, power-sliding doors, an eight-way driver’s seat, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, safe exit alert (which stops the doors from opening after the car has been switched off and traffic is detected) and rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist.

The top-spec Platinum (from $64,680) then adds black-coloured 19-inch wheels, a shift-by-wire circular gearknob, a 12-speaker Bose sound system, rear occupant alert, a heated steering wheel, wireless phone charging, paddle shifters, a dual-panel sunroof, ventilated 12-way electric memory front seats, heated rear seats, LED interior lighting and second and third row sun blinds. 

2021 Kia Carnival pricing (drive away):

S petrol: $50,390

S diesel: $52,390

Si petrol: $55,790

Si diesel: $57,790

SLi petrol: $60,290
SLi diesel: $62,290

Platinum petrol: $67,990

Platinum diesel: $69,990

Premium paint: $695

About The Author

Jake is the veteran automotive journalist in the DiscoverAuto team having been in the industry since 2017. His first word was Volvo, he nitpicks every piece of practical design and has an unhealthy obsession for cars that feature rain-activated headlights.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.