Previously known as the Sedona, Kia's large MPV has returned to its original name, Carnival. The last generation was an exceptionally talented motor vehicle, providing everything a large family could need and more. Not only was it frugal, but the build quality was superb and, what's more, it was blessed with high levels of safety and luxury features.
Improving on such a talented car is a tall order, but it seems Kia has done just that. One engine option is available, and it's a good one. A 2.2-litre CRDI turbodiesel engine provides ample motivation, with 148 kW and 440 Nm of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission provides smooth shifting. Impressively, the Co2 emissions have fallen by 31g/km, bringing the new figure to an impressive 177g/km.
Inside, the legendary practicality remains. Available as a 7- or 8-seater, the Carnival is ideal for school runs, family holidays, and several other occasions you can throw at it. With all the seats in place, 1,139 litres of packing space is up for grabs. Fold the third row of seats flat and remove the second row, and you've got a true van on your hands - a whopping 4,110 litres.
But it's not just practicality. The Carnival has a plush cabin, with plenty of high-gloss black surfaces and leather giving the cabin a premium feel. Convenience features include the standard hands-free electric sliding doors, with EX+ models and above receiving Smart Power Liftgate. Like the Sorento, the Carnival is available with a host of standard safety features.
The entry-level model, the EX, ships standard with an eight-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 4 USB ports, auto light control, an electrically-adjustable driver's seat, leather trim, front and rear parking sensors seven airbags, and ESC are all standard.
Upgrading to EX+ nets you the eight-seater configuration, powered sliding side doors, an electric tailgate, remote start, adjustable climate control in the front and rear, sun blinds for the rear passengers and seven USB ports, among other things.
The SX Limited builds on this, boasting 19-inch alloy wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, smart cruise control, dual tilt, and slide sunroofs, 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a number of active safety features, such as Around View Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blindspot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Following Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist. The SX Limited is a limited run model.
The Carnival SXL, due in March 2022, will add a Bose surround sound system with 12 speakers, Blindspot view monitors, and a 12.3” TFT Supervision instrument cluster.
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
Carnival 2.2 CRDi SXL 8AT 7-Seater R1,024,995
All models ship standard with the company's five-year/unlimited km warranty and a six-year/90 000 km maintenance plan. Roadside assistance is included. The Carnival is now available in dealerships, although the SXL will make its debut in March 2022.