By Otsile Kadiege
After countless delays due to unforeseen circumstances like Covid-19 and computer chip shortages, the much-anticipated Kia Carnival has finally arrived in South Africa. The fourth generation Carnival replaces the Grand Sedona and bears a bold SUV-like exterior design. Kia promises new levels of utility and luxury, with multiple seating configurations as well as improved dynamic performance, and the latest safety systems.
As mentioned above the new Carnival features an SUV-like exterior design thanks to adopting Kia’s recent signature SUV style. Up front, the new Carnival features Kia’s modernised ‘tiger nose’ grille flanked by stylish LED headlights. Its side profile has a bold cutline which runs the length of the vehicle, joining the front and rear lamps, and large two tone mirrors and black/chrome rocker panel mouldings. As standard the new Carnival is fitted with 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels (235/60R18) while larger 19-inch aluminium alloy wheels (235/55R19) are reserved for higher trim levels.
Highlights at the rear of the new Carnival include rear skid plate garnish and reflectors, an illuminated light strip with a modern design, as well as the new Kia logo nested in the centre. The new Carnival is longer (by 40mm), wider (10mm) and higher (35mm) than the outgoing Grand Sedona. Despite the growth in size and generous list of standard-features, overall mass has increased by just 14kg.
It is available in seven exterior colours, namely Snow White Pearl, Panthera Metal, Flare Red, Deep Chroma Blue, Ceramic Silver, Aurora Black Pearl and Astra Blue.
Inside, the new Carnival is more upmarket than before thanks to a new central facia stack with high-gloss black surfaces, signature chrome garnish across the dashboard, integrated slim metal-effect air vents and standard two-tone leather trim. Depending on the chosen trim level, the new Carnival can seat between seven to eight passengers. Seven-seat versions of the new Carnival offer two individual second-row chairs. 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 new Carnival has an impressive 1,139 litres of luggage capacity with all seats erect and can be increased to 4,110 litres after removing the second row seats and stowing the third row seats.
There are four new trim levels for the new Carnival. These include the entry level EX, mid-spec EX+, second-to-top-tier specification level is SX Limited, and the range-topping SXL. The EX gets an 8.0-inch 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, 7 airbags and ESC plus Hill-start Assist Control.
The EX+ 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 and 7 USB ports.
The SX Limited adds Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems as well as 19-inch 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-inch touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear LED combination lamps, skid plates front and rear and Around View Monitor whilst the SXL adds a 12.3-inch TFT Supervision instrument cluster and a 12 speakers BOSE surround sound system.
Powering the new Carnival range is a single turbodiesel powertrain designed to be more powerful and frugal than the Grand Sedona it replaces. The new 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine makes 148kW and 440Nm and it is paired to an 8-speed torque converter automatic transmission. Kia claims a 0-100 km/h takes 10.7 seconds and atop speed of 190 km/h.
The new Carnival in SX Limited and SXL guise comes standard with the automaker’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). This safety systems suite includes Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA), Blindspot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) with Lane Following Assist (LFA), Blindspot View Monitor (BVM) which is said to be a first for the segment, Smart Cruise Control (SCC) and Around View Monitor (AVM).
Pricing and warranty
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; and
Carnival 2.2 CRDi SXL 8AT 7-Seater – R1,024,995 (available from March 2022).
All new Carnivals come standard with Unlimited km, 5-year warranty (inclusive of roadside assistance), as well as a 6-year / 90,000 km maintenance plan.
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