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Kia Carnival

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Kia Carnival Australia

Even though seven-seat SUVs have take the shine off genuine people movers, there is one that leads all others. A brand new version of the Kia Carnival was launched in 2015, which vaulted straight to the top of the people mover charts and stayed there.

It'll hold eight adults in absolute comfort, and has been designed with the modern family in mind. The Carnival is offered locally in four grades - S, Si, SLi and Platinum – each with a choice of 3.3-litre naturally aspirated V6 petrol or 2.2-litre four cylinder turbo-diesel power. A six-speed auto transmission is standard across the range. Current prices range from $47,480 for the Carnival S to $67,580 for the Carnival Platinum.

This vehicle is also known as Kia Sedona.

Kia Carnival Models Price and Specs

The price range for the Kia Carnival varies based on the trim level you choose. Starting at $47,480 and going to $67,580 for the latest year the model was manufactured. The model range is available in the following body types starting from the engine/transmission specs shown below.

Year Body Type Specs Price from Price to
2022 Wagon 3.5L, ULP, 8 SP AUTO $47,480 $67,580
2021 People mover 3.3L, ULP, 8 SP AUTO $32,300 $65,230
2021 Wagon 3.5L, ULP, 8 SP AUTO $38,000 $71,280
2020 Wagon 3.3L, ULP, 8 SP AUTO $28,200 $68,310
2019 Wagon 3.3L, ULP, 8 SP AUTO $26,500 $55,000
2018 Wagon 3.3L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $22,800 $50,930
See All Kia Carnival Pricing and Specs

Kia Carnival Seats

Helping to boost headroom and reinforcing the Carnival’s car-like feel are lower seat heights, and the functionality of the removable centre seat in the second row has been expanded. 

It can now be slid all the way forward to enable easier access to a child seat from the front, or reversed so a parent can face a child seat in either of the other second row positions. It could also be used to face those in the third row, but has not been homologated for mounting a child seat on itself in this rear-facing configuration, even though it’s technically possible. This centre seat still doubles as a table with cupholders when folded, but no longer has wheels for making it easier to move around when in storage.

The second row of seats still slide and recline three ways, so considering the removable centre section there’s three ways to access the third row, all of which are miles easier than any SUV.

One big step over the previous Carnival is that five out of the six seats now have ISOFIX and top tether child seat mounts, so you can now carry five child seats fitted as safely as possible. Previously, there were only three ISOFIX and four top tether points spread across both rows. Now, only the centre third row seat is without a child seat mount, but it is likely too narrow for this to be possible anyway.

The third row is still one of the best in the business, with good room for two adults for long journeys, and while it is a bit narrower than the second row, most adults wouldn’t mind sitting three across for short journeys. Older kids no longer in child seats will be no problem though.

Kia Carnival Seats

Kia Carnival Interior

On the inside, the new Carnival continues Kia’s trend of pretty snazzy looking interiors, while still using sturdy materials for withstanding family use. 

One particularly nice detail in the Platinum is the 3D ambient lighting in the doors, but even the base S gets great colour and texture variety. 

All bar the base S get the nice and big 12.3 inch multimedia screen, where the S gets a still-decent 8-inch unit. But remember, only the smaller screen comes with wireless Android Auto and CarPlay. The rest need a USB cable.

Kia Carnival Dimensions

The dimensions of the Kia Carnival Wagon and People mover vary according to year of manufacture and spec level.

Year Body Type Height x Width x Length Ground Clearance
2022 Wagon 1775x1995x5155 mm 172 mm
2021 People mover 1740x1985x5115 mm 171 mm
2021 Wagon 1775x1995x5155 mm 172 mm
2020 Wagon 1740x1985x5115 mm 171 mm
2019 Wagon 1740x1985x5115 mm 171 mm
2018 Wagon 1755x1985x5115 mm 171 mm
The dimensions shown above are for the base model. See All Kia Carnival Dimensions

Kia Carnival Boot Space

The Kia Carnival People mover has a boot space size of 1139 Litres.
Kia Carnival Boot space

Kia Carnival Accessories

You can pick the base S trim level by its 17-inch alloys, which means no more hubcaps and steel wheels for the base Carnival as we’ve seen in the past.

Its equipment highlights include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (yes, wireless) through an 8-inch multimedia screen, rear parking sensors, roof rails and all the most important safety features, which I’ll cover in detail under Safety. 

Note the S comes with a cast plastic steering wheel though, which is a bit cheap in a car of this price level.

The Si steps up to 18-inch alloys, plus a big 12.3 inch multimedia screen that only offers corded Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but adds eight-speaker audio, three-zone climate control, an artificial leather steering wheel and front parking sensors. 

The SLi has the same alloys as the Si, but scores artificial leather seat trim, tinted rear windows, proximity keys, power sliding doors and tailgate, 360-degree cameras and a few other minor details. 

The top of the range Platinum gets a whole new grille and black 19-inch alloys, wireless phone charger, 12-speaker Bose audio, twin electric sunroofs, heated steering wheel and first two rows of seats, ventilated front seats, memory adjustable front seats, retractable window blinds for the second and third row of seats and a rotary gear selector.

Kia Carnival Accessories

Kia Carnival Colours

The Carnival range offers five colours, two of which are silver, one is blue, one is grey, and one is a pearlescent white. Only the base silver is a free colour while the others carry a $695 price tag. Black and an additional blue shade are available on the SLi and Platinum only.

  • Ceramic Silver
  • Silky Silver
  • Astra Blue
  • Panthera Metal
  • Snow White Pearl
  • Deep Chroma Blue
  • Aurora Black
To confirm current colour availability, please check the manufacturer's website.

Kia Carnival Towing Capacity

The Kia Carnival has maximum towing capacity of 2000kg for the latest model available.

Year Body Type Braked Capacity from Braked Capacity to
2022 Wagon 2000kg 2000kg
2021 People mover 2000kg 2000kg
2021 Wagon 2000kg 2000kg
2020 Wagon 2000kg 2000kg
2019 Wagon 2000kg 2000kg
2018 Wagon 2000kg 2000kg
See All Towing Capacity for Kia Carnival

Kia Carnival Q&As

Check out real-world situations relating to the Kia Carnival here, particularly what our experts have to say about them.

  • What should I do to fix problems on a Kia Carnival 2009 that isn't covered by the warranty?

    This is precisely why I loathe the typical aftermarket warranties dished up by used-car yards. They are written very carefully to cover the stuff that won’t go wrong, and not cover the things that typically do fail or break. It’s often been said that these warranties are not worth the paper they’re written on, and here’s proof yet again.

    What does it matter if the engine failure was caused by a radiator that is blocked, broken, cracked or leaking? The bottom line is that a dud radiator (sold with the rest of the car) appears to have caused the car to overheat and destroy its engine. And yet the fine print of this warranty will allow the warranty company to wriggle out its responsibility to repair an engine it accepted money to cover. The ACCC should get involved in this grubby end of the car trade and sort it out. Now.

    As for your friend, I’m not sure what can be done. Allowing somebody with the right legal background to read the warranty might be a good idea. But the used-car dealers who profit from these warranties know the fine print backwards. And I suspect that even if the blocked radiator exclusion hadn’t scuppered her warranty cover, the fact that a previous owner did his own servicing (and therefore, no stamped service book) would have been an alternative get-out for the warranty company. Actually, that’s a thought: If the service book wasn’t fully stamped, should the warranty have even been offered when the car was sold? I’d be asking that of the car-yard.

    I’d also be asking who diagnosed the radiator as the problem. If your friend noticed coolant disappearing but not leaking on to the ground, I’d say that was more consistent with a blown head gasket – for which these early Carnivals were infamous. Find out if a blown head gasket is covered in the warranty. If it is, I’d be very suspicious about blaming the radiator. And yes, I’m absolutely suggesting that you’re potentially being lied to about the cause of the engine failure to move the official reason into an area not covered by the warranty. I reckon I’d be having the RACQ (which has a fair bit of clout in these matters) inspect the engine and rule on what caused the meltdown.

    Meantime, forget about a $7000 engine. Find a parts recycler (we used to call them wrecking yards) that specialises in second-hand engines and get a good, tested, used engine fitted. Just make sure it doesn’t have the same head gasket problem.

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  • What Does GUV Stand for?

    What does GUV stand for? Glad you asked. GUV is a relatively new term on the motoring landscape and, in bald terms, stands for Grand Utility Vehicle. The broad view is that it was an acronym first coined by Kia to describe its current-model Carnival on the basis that it was a step up in luxury from the average SUV and, therefore, needed a grander name; literally, Grand Utility Vehicle.

    Like a lot of marketing, of course, the name is more or less meaningless when it comes to being an actual descriptor for the vehicle in question. Yes, the Carnival is well equipped and luxurious for a family vehicle, but 'Grand'? Grammatically, there’s also scope to interpret the vehicle as having a grand level of utility which, given its eight-seat capacity and family friendliness it arguably achieves. Beyond that, however, the definition is rooted purely in the imaginations of the marketing department. Searching for more GUV meaning than that is unlikely to expand the sum of human knowledge.

    But now that Kia has slipped the genie from the bottle, you can expect to see the GUV tag applied to all sorts of vehicles formerly known as SUVs, both large and small, and both in Australia and globally. It’s also likely that the vehicles to adopt the GUV tag will be high-end versions of more prosaic SUVs, and there’s a good chance that the prestige brands might introduce the term to their brochures as well.

    That said, GUV could also disappear without a trace. The same thing happened to Toyota’s AUV (Action Utility Vehicle) tag a few years ago which was applied to variants of the HiLux range. But the AUV moniker has since been reclaimed by the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle industry which builds unmanned submarines to explore the undersea environment.

    There’s another reason GUV could disappear from car advertising and marketing: In the US, rising fuel prices have forced older, gas-guzzling SUVs into the driveways of a poorer demographic who can’t afford anything more efficient. At which point, as Urban Dictionary points out, the term GUV was coined to describe the 'Ghetto Utility Vehicle'.

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  • Kia Carnival 2018: Can the software be updated to support Android Auto?

    In short, no, there is no software upgrade available. The head unit was changed for the 2019 model, and it is the new unit that has the capability of Apple and Android compatibility.

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  • Kia Carnival 2005: Where can I find an electrical wiring manual?

    You can buy a workshop manual for the car on the Internet, and it contains a wiring diagram.

    Show more
See All Kia Carnival Q&As
Disclaimer: You acknowledge and agree that all answers are provided as a general guide only and should not be relied upon as bespoke advice. Carsguide is not liable for the accuracy of any information provided in the answers.

Kia Carnival Fuel Consumption

The Kia Carnival is available in a number of variants and body types that are powered by Diesel and ULP fuel type(s). It has an estimated fuel consumption starting from 6.5L/100km for Wagon /Diesel for the latest year the model was manufactured.

Year Body Type Fuel Consumption* Engine Fuel Type Transmission
2022 Wagon 6.5L/100km 2.2L Diesel 8 SP AUTO
2022 Wagon 9.6L/100km 3.5L ULP 8 SP AUTO
2021 People mover 7.6L/100km 2.2L Diesel 8 SP AUTO
2021 People mover 10.8L/100km 3.3L ULP 8 SP AUTO
2021 Wagon 6.5L/100km 2.2L Diesel 8 SP AUTO
2021 Wagon 9.6L/100km 3.5L ULP 8 SP AUTO
2020 Wagon 7.6L/100km 2.2L Diesel 8 SP AUTO
2020 Wagon 10.8L/100km 3.3L ULP 8 SP AUTO
2019 Wagon 7.7L/100km 2.2L Diesel 8 SP AUTO
2019 Wagon 11.6L/100km 3.3L ULP 8 SP AUTO
2018 Wagon 7.7L/100km 2.2L Diesel 6 SP AUTO
2018 Wagon 11.6L/100km 3.3L ULP 6 SP AUTO
* Combined fuel consumption See All Kia Carnival Pricing and Specs for 2022

Kia Carnival Wheel Size

The Kia Carnival has a number of different wheel and tyre options. When it comes to tyres, these range from 235x65 R17 for Wagon in 2022.

Year Body Type Front Tyre Size Front Rim Rear Tyre Size Rear Rim
2022 Wagon 235x65 R17 235x65 R17
2021 People mover 235x65 R17 235x65 R17
2021 Wagon 235x65 R17 235x65 R17
2020 Wagon 235x65 R17 17x6.5 inches 235x65 R17 17x6.5 inches
2019 Wagon 235x65 R17 17x6.5 inches 235x65 R17 17x6.5 inches
2018 Wagon 235x65 R17 17x6.5 inches 235x65 R17 17x6.5 inches
The dimensions shown above are for the base model. See All Kia Carnival Wheel Sizes

Kia Carnival Speed

Kia doesn't make any claims regarding the Carnival's 0-100km/h acceleration or top speed, but the power output split between the petrol and the diesel engine, combined with all models weighing just under 2140kg gives a good indication of their relative performance. The 216kW petrol engine's extra 68kW over the 148kW diesel places it well ahead in terms of performance, and you can boast to your friends that your petrol Carnival has one more kilowatt than a VS HSV GTS. The HSV is around 500kg lighter, however.