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2021 Kia Carnival pricing and specs detailed: Popular Honda Odyssey rival moves upmarket with bold new model

The new-generation Kia Carnival launches this month.

Kia Australia has released pricing and specification for the new-generation Carnival people mover, which is more upmarket than its predecessor, as reflected by its increased cost and expanded feature set.

As before, the eight-seat Carnival is available in four grades: entry-level S, mid-range Si and SLi, and flagship Platinum, all of which come with petrol and diesel engine options.

Now $3690 dearer, petrol variants are powered by a new 216kW/355Nm 3.5-litre naturally aspirated V6 engine, which replaces the previous 206kW/336Nm 3.3-litre unit. Its fuel consumption the combined-cycle test is 9.6L per 100km, 1.2L/100km less than before.

Meanwhile, diesel versions are now $3190 more expensive, swapping their old 147kW/440Nm 2.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine for a fresh 148kW/440Nm unit that drinks 6.5L/100km, a 1.1L/100km improvement.

As such, the Carnival range now starts from $46,880 plus on-road costs for the S petrol and reaches $66,680 for the Platinum diesel (see full pricing table below).

  • 2021 Kia Carnival Platinum 2021 Kia Carnival Platinum
  • 2021 Kia Carnival Platinum 2021 Kia Carnival Platinum

No matter the engine, the Carnival exclusively sends drive to its front wheels via an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission.

Standard equipment in the S grade includes satin-chrome exterior trim, dusk-sensing LED headlights and daytime running lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, power-adjustable side mirrors with heating, a roof rails, keyless entry, an 8.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system, dual Bluetooth connectivity, a six-speaker sound system, a 4.2-inch multifunction display and cloth upholstery.

Advanced driver-assist systems extend to autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, intersection assist, lane-keep and steering assist, active blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, speed sign recognition, driver attention alert, high-beam assist, Safe Exit Warning, a reversing camera and rear parking sensors.

The Si grade adds 18-inch alloy wheels, auto-folding side mirrors, LED tail-lights, a 12.3-inch touchscreen multimedia system, satellite navigation with live traffic, digital radio, an eight-speaker sound system, three-zone climate control, an artificial leather-trimmed steering wheel and front parking sensors.

Meanwhile, the SLi grade picks up LED foglights, power-sliding rear doors, rear privacy glass, a power-operated tailgate, keyless start, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, artificial leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, active rear cross-traffic alert, Safe Exit Alert and surround-view cameras.

The Platinum grade also gets matte-chrome exterior trim, black 19-inch alloy wheels, puddle lights, a sunroof, a 12-speaker Bose sound system, a wireless smartphone charger, a heated steering wheel with paddle-shifters, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, an eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, second- and third-row sunshades, ambient lighting and Rear Occupant Alert.

While the S grade gets wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, all other grades strangely make do with the wired variety, with Kia Australia explaining one of the tech giants insisted its version of sat-nav shouldn't have to compete with the factory's offering.

Seven paintworks are on offer, with only Ceramic Silver free. Astra Blue, Silky Silver, Deep Chroma Blue (SLi and Platinum only), Panthera Metal, Snow White Pearl and Aurora Black Pearl (SLi and Platinum only) all command a $695 premium.

For reference, the latest Carnival measures 5155mm long (+40mm), 1995mm wide (+10mm) and 1740mm tall (unchanged), with its 3090mm wheelbase (+30mm) helping to increase interior space by 60mm.

As such, cargo capacity (VDA) with all seats in use is up 268L, to 627L, while storage capacity now grows to 2785L (+67L) when the third row is stowed.

Like all of Kia Australia’s models, the fresh Carnival comes with a seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty and seven years of roadside assistance, while capped-price servicing is offered for the first seven visits.

2021 Kia Carnival pricing before on-road costs

S petrolautomatic$46,880 (+$3690)
S dieselautomatic$48,880 (+$3190)
Si petrolautomatic$52,380 (+$3690)
Si dieselautomatic$54,380 (+$3190)
SLi petrolautomatic$56,880 (+$3690)
SLi dieselautomatic$58,880 (+$3190)
Platinum petrolautomatic$64,680 (+$3690)
Platinum dieselautomatic$66,680 (+$3190)

UPDATED: 08/01/2021