KIA Carnival 2020

KIA Carnival 2020 Review

Filed under Car Reviews

KIA Carnival 2020 - Australia’s Top-selling People Mover

Named “Best People Mover of the Year” by Australian automotive website, the all-new KIA Carnival showcases a refreshed design and new smart features that are expected to boost more sales for the already segment-leading minivan.

Since its arrival in the country in 1999, the Carnival has undergone continuous upgrades from its first generation model with 5-speed manual and 2.5 L V6 producing 177 horsepower.

Now on its third generation, the Carnival comes with powerful petrol and diesel engines paired with 8-speed automatic transmission. It also has mandatory stability control, six airbags, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, auto-on headlights, speed-sensing door locks, as well as standard autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning. All these features have earned the car a 5-star ANCAP safety rating since 2016.

Kia Carnival 2020 specs

KIA Carnival 2020 Aggregated Reviews - 4/5 - 8.6/10 (Platinum diesel) - 4/5

We Love

  • Massive interior space
  • Comfortable ride
  • Versatile seats
  • 7-year warranty
  • Impressive real-world diesel consumption

Pain Points

  • Heavy fuel consumption
  • Noise of diesel
  • Only 4/6 rear seats have child seat mounts
  • The dark blue paint easily gets dirty

Kia Carnival exterior


Showcasing a refreshed design and new smart features, the KIA Carnival matches its distinguishable black and chrome tiger-nose grille set with a clean and sporty silhouette that makes the car presentable for sophisticated social functions.

The newly designed alloy wheels offer a commanding presence. The wheels also get bigger with the price: 17" alloy wheels on Si, 18" machine-finished alloy wheels on SLi, and 19" chrome alloy wheels on the top-spec Platinum.

The LED positioning lamps are employed for day and night illumination while the "Ice Cube" LED fog lamps (available on Platinum) ensure that the the driver can still find the path ahead when visibility is reduced.

Kia Carnival interior


The Carnival offers plenty of space and maximum flexibility with its partial and full folding seat rows. The second-row seats tip up and slide forward to provide easy access to the third-row. With the 2nd and 3rd rows folded down, the Carnival offers 4,022 litres of cargo space.

The dual power sliding doors provide easy entry and exit at the touch of a button while the hands-free smart power tailgate on the SLi and Platinum grades allows access to the car’s interior by simply wearing the Smart Key and standing next to the vehicle for three seconds.

The Driver’s Memory Seat, which is available on the top-spec Platinum, allows drivers to save their preferred position. The Platinum also has heated and ventilated driver’s and front-passenger’s seats for comfort in all types of weather.

Standard across the range are the seats with stain-resistant cloth and advanced fibres that help eliminate lingering odours.

The SLi and Platinum models have a cooling glovebox to keep food and beverages cool while on the road.

The Carnival also features trusted active and passive technology to provide an assured diver's command of the road, as well as to help protect both driver and passengers . These include:

  • Autonomous Emergency Brake (AEB)
  • Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS)
  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD) & Lane Change Assist (LCA)
  • 360° Camera View system
  • Rear View Camera & Rear Parking Sensors
  • Lane Departure Warning System
  • Smart Cruise Control
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Airbag Protection

Kia Carnival infotainment system

Infotainment and Connectivity

With the 8-inch high-resolution touch-screen display, integrated navigation and a suite of popular apps, the Carnival has the tech to make any drive a whole lot more fun.

The 8-inch touchscreen that’s available on Platinum, SLi and Si grades keeps occupants connected through the available Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ systems. The 8 speakers on Platinum, SLi and Si grades, perfectly integrated into the car’s interior.

The driver, in particular, can easily access messages, music, navigation and more, with intuitive voice commands or dash controls, all while staying focused on the road.

The available Smart Key on Platinum and SLi grades allows the engine to start or stop with the push of a button.

The Electronic Parking Brake, which is standard across the range, also engages the parking brake at the touch of a button. With the auto-hold function, the car is kept stationary even when the brake pedal is released.

Kia Carnival in action

What's it like to drive a KIA Carnival 2020?

The Carnival was subjected to a localisation and tuning program over thousands of kilometres across Australia's urban, country, and outback roads. Hence, it is ideal for driving on the country’s diverse terrains.

The Carnival’s steering feels planted and precise, especially in straight-ahead driving but to a very pleasing degree in low-speed and high-speed corners also. KIA’s chassis engineers dialled in safe and predictable handling and road-holding. The Australian-specific suspension dampers and thicker anti-roll bars contribute to the Carnival’s serenity in local conditions.

The various infotainment and safety features provide relaxation and ease for both drivers and passengers inside the car.

Being a heavy vehicle, however, expect a heavy fuel consumption when taking the car on the road. If fuel economy is a high priority, you could pay a bit more initially for the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel, and that’s probably the better bet.

Who’s the KIA Carnival 2020 for?

With plenty of people to accommodate, the Carnival is undoubtedly ideal for large families and groups of friends. It is also a great corporate and business car, enabling the comfortable transportation of many people in one trip.

If you’re transporting cargo, the Carnival is also up to the challenge. Even with the rearmost seats erect, there is an impressive 960 litres of total cargo space free behind them.

Kia Carnival pre-approval

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