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Refreshed 2018 Kia Carnival goes on-sale

The refreshed 2018 Kia Carnival has arrived Down Under boasting a host of safety and “comfort” tweaks to keep the top-seller on top.

THE THIRD-GENERATION KIA CARNIVAL (launched here in 2015) has come in for a mid-life refresh with the vehicle launching this week in Australia. Kia said, “the latest iteration of Australia’s favourite eight-seater brings exterior styling refinements and a substantial range of safety and comfort technology upgrades”.

Key updates for the Carnival include, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, smart cruise control and electric park brake as standard, while the Platinum variants add high beam assist and rear-cross traffic alert. All variants get a new infotainment system that offers Apple and Android smartphone connectivity as well as 10 years free MapCare support in Si, SLi and Platinum grades.

On the outside, there’s the latest-generation Tiger Nose grille as well as sleeker headlights that “sweep into the grille”. The rear has similarly been given a light touch up.

 Key changes to the interior, include the addition of  the brand’s latest-generation infotainment system which is a seven-inch screen for the entry-level S variant (up from a five-inch radio unit) and an eight-inch screen for Si, SLi and Platinum. As mentioned, this system offers Apple and Android connectivity. For Si, SLi and Platinum the entertainment system has also been improved by the standard inclusion of an 8-speaker JBL Premium sound system.

The eight-way power-assisted driver’s seat on Platium and SLi offers four-way lumbar support in the Platinum model (two-way in SLi), while the front passenger seat also gets eight-way power adjustment on Platinum models. For the range-topping Platinum ventilated and heated seats are standard.

In the rear, Carnival’s outboard second row seats have armrests on the outboard side. A 60:40 split-folding third row of seats completes the interior package – the third row can fold completely flat. The centre seat in the second row can be removed or simply folded down to provide additional cupholder storage for rear passengers.

A feature of the Carnival is the ‘Stand-up’ seats in the second row, which allows the base cushion to fold forward and the rest of the seat to slide forward and ‘stand up straight’, allowing easier access to the third row.

Boot space is 960 litres behind the third row of seats and grows to an impressive 2220 litres behind the second row and a massive 4022 litres when all rear passenger seats are stowed. Carnival features a powered tailgate which automatically opens when the key is sensed in close proximity, while the two power-sliding rear doors open at the touch of a button located on the driver’s overhead console on SLi and Platinum.

 The entry-level S features a 3.5-inch mono LCD screen located between two analogue dials in the centre of the instrument binnacle, displaying major trip computer information in one place, including average and instant fuel consumption data, distance to empty and outside temperature. For Si and SLi models a Premium 3.5-inch OLED instrument cluster offers additional information, including digital speedometer, service schedule and more. The Platinum grade features a seven-inch colour TFT LCD screen, with instrument cluster and digital speedometer.

Tri-zone air conditioning (Si, SLi and Platinum) allows for individual settings for the driver and front row passenger while the second and third row passengers have a separate zone which can be controlled from the second row. These controls can be locked out or over-ridden from the main front console. There are also built-in sunshades for second and third row seating on Platinum variant.

The engines are carried over and include a 3.3-litre V6 petrol and a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel. Local engineers further tweaked the Carnival’s ride and handling by “optimising” the shocks and spring rates.

2018 Kia Carnival pricing

The 3.3-litre GDI pricing is:

S $42,490

Si $47,990

SLi $52,490

Platinum $60,290

The 2.2-litre CRDI pricing is:

S $44,990

Si $50,490

SLi $54,990

Platinum $62,790


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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober