The people mover category has been around for many decades and there have always been vans that shine and others that well, fall behind.

Since 1998 when the first Kia Carnival arrived as a purpose-designed people mover, sales have always been strong. But now the fourth generation has come to Australia, the Carnival offers more than just getting people from a to b.

Based on Kia’s new mid-size platform, which is shared with the new Sorento, the Carnival offers more value, space, refinement and capability than its predecessors and any current challengers and has been dubbed a GUV, Grand Utility Vehicle.

The design has moved the Carnival closer to a stylish SUV-like profile, reflecting the all-new Sorento, particularly in the side and front profiles from the C-Pillar forward. The distinctive people mover styling becomes more evident from the rear.

Kia Carnival

The fourth-generation Carnival has four specification levels, S, Si, SLi and Platinum, in both petrol and diesel engines.  

Both the Smartstream 3.5-litre GDI V6 petrol (216kW and 355Nm) and Smartstream R2.2-litre CRDI diesel (148kW and 440Nm) drive the front wheels through a Kia-developed 8-speed automatic.

While people movers are not normally known for their handling, speed and decent road abilities, the new Kia Carnival has all of that and more. When behind the wheel, it really doesn’t fell like you are driving a large van and even when fully loaded the Carnival is enjoyable to drive.

On a long road trip, every passenger has leg room, head room and there are charge points, aircon vents and cup holders all around. Getting in and out from the back rows is no longer a struggle and there is still enough boot space to take luggage and picnic gear with all the seats occupied.

Kia Carnival

Some nifty features in the infotainment system enables the driver and one passenger to connect two smartphones via Bluetooth at the same time. This means the driver can talk on their phone when needed and the passenger can play the tunes.

The Carnival also has a new ‘Rear Passenger View & Talk’ feature. Front passengers can use this to check on rear-seat occupants with a small camera linked to the infotainment system – instead of turning around in their seat. It also lets front occupants communicate more easily with other passengers, as the system amplifies their voice through the rear-seat speakers.

As always with Kia, the Carnival will come stacked with features right across the range along with an extensive range of both passive and active safety and driver assistance systems, protecting the driver and passengers on every journey.

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