“We’re all goin’ on a summer holiday. No more workin’ for a week or two. Fun and laughter on our summer holiday. No more worries for me or you.” Wait, let’s just back it up a bit Cliff! Before we actually get to the fun and laughter of our summer holiday with no more worries, there are have probably been a few worries leading up to the family holiday.
Firstly, finding accommodation that is within your budget, then prepping a list of everything you could possibly need for a week at the beach, planning pit stops, packing the car, taking everything back out to double check you have the favourite cuddly toy, re-packing, and finally actually driving to your summer holiday destination.
The final two points were made less stressful thanks to the Kia Carnival Platinum Diesel, my family’s vehicle of choice to ferry us to the beautiful Port Stephens area, just 2.5 hours north of Sydney. With its beaches, bushland, fish co-op and numerous places to eat, Port Stephens really is a wonderful family friendly place to holiday that is close to Sydney.
The Kia Carnival is an eight-seat people mover with plenty of boot space for the stuff those eight people may need to carry. The seating is flexible as well, with two ISOFIX/rear tether child seat restraint points on the outer third row seats and three independently movable seats in the second row, each with an ISOFIX/rear tether child seat restraint point. As an added bonus, if the centre seat in the second row is not needed it can either be folded down as a table with two cup holders or it can be completely removed. As we only needed five of the eight seats this is what we did to make it easier to access the third row.
This Carnival is powered by a 2.2 litre, In-line 4-cylinder diesel engine with an Electronic Variable Geometry Turbocharger paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission with dial-type Shift-By-Wire technology, and has front-wheel drive. There are four drive modes available, Eco, Normal, Sport and Smart, but we just spent the whole time in Normal mode. The engine produces a modest 148kW of power and 440Nm of torque, so the Carnival did feel it when we headed off fully packed for our week away. But this was all forgotten when we finally had to fuel the Carnival up, as it has an official combined fuel consumption figure of 6.5L/100km and for our time with the Platinum Diesel we used an average of 7.5L/100km.
Safety is also really important as a parent, and all current Kia Carnival models has a 5-star (2021) ANCAP safety rating. Airbags are fitted for the driver and front passenger, on the front sides, as a curtain on the first, second and third rows and for the driver’s knee. The ANCAP Adult Occupant Protection score is 90% (34.54 points out of 38) and te Child Occupant Protection score is 88% (43.52 points out of 49).
ANCAP tests of the Autonomous Emergency Braking (Car-to-Car) system showed GOOD performance with collisions avoided or mitigated in all scenarios and overall, the effectiveness was rated as GOOD. Overall performance of the Lane Support System was GOOD with a score of 82%, with ADEQUATE performance recorded in emergency lane keeping scenarios, and GOOD performance in lane keep assist scenarios according to ANCAP.
In addition to the above features the Kia Carnival Platinum Diesel also gets Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control. The reversing camera has a 360° camera display, combined with a multi-view second camera, with front and rear sensors. The headlights have automatic sensors for turning on and off and high beam assist, but the Carnival does not have rain-sensing wipers.
Both the driver and passenger will appreciate having heated and cooled seats with power adjustment, when on a long drive in the Carnival. The driver’s seat can be adjusted for recline, forward/back, seat height front and rear, 4-way lumbar support and has two memory seat positions, but the passenger seat misses out on the lumbar support and memory positions. The passenger seat also has buttons on the driver’s side of the seat to adjust the recline and slide the seat forward/back, a feature that can be very handy.
There is a blend of older and newer technology in the cockpit of the Carnival Platinum. For example, the steering wheel is heated, but the driver’s dash is a combination of two outer analogue dials, for the speedo and taco, with a 4.2” colour digital display between it. There is wireless charging for compatible devices in the cubby at the front of the centre console, but Apple CarPlay/Android Auto needs to be connected via USB, with three USB-A ports located in this cubby also.
I liked that the 12.3″ central touch screen had the option to split the view on the screen, so you can have the Satellite Navigation (which comes with 10 years traffic information and map updates) on one side and the Passenger Talk button on the other side, for example. The Passenger Talk button allows the driver’s voice to be projected onto the rear speakers, so less need to yell at your passengers when you need to speak to them. You can also access the infotainment system using voice control by pressing the button on the steering wheel with a masculine-looking silhouette on it, but voice control only works when Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are connected.
Some lux features in the Platinum Diesel Carnival include the 12-speakers BOSE premium sound system with BOSE Centerpoint Surround Technology with media sources from FM/DAB, AM radio, Bluetooth, USB music, USB video, and Sounds of Nature. I also liked the 3D pattern garnish mood lighting in the door trims. On the downside though, the drink bottle storage cubbies in the front doors are awkwardly shaped, so it is difficult to fit a rigid drink bottle info them.
Stepping into the back of the Carnival Platinum is where this people mover really comes into its own from a family-friendly standpoint. The power sliding doors can be operated from the door handle, a button on the B pillar or by buttons in the front of the cabin for the driver to use and the driver can also lock the rear doors to prevent them from being opened. The sliding doors not only open up to create a wide access, you don’t need to worry about your children opening the door onto the car next to you in the carpark.
In addition to forward/back movement the second-row seats can each be independently adjusted for recline as well and the two outer seats are heated. There is adequate head and leg room for adults, even with the third-row seats are in use. But in both the second and third rows I was unable to stretch my legs out and my knees felt like they were sitting up high, so on a long drive it became a little uncomfortable.
Comfort is not a problem though when it comes to temperature control for second and third row passengers. With roof vents and separate climate controls located on the driver’s side of the roof that allow this second-row passenger to adjust not only the temp, but air speed and mode control, digitally. The rear climate settings can also be easily adjusted from the front of the cabin as well. The second-row windows can be opened if you need some fresh air and for protection from sun glare there are manual blinds on the windows.
To keep the second-row seat passengers hydrated there are cup holders at the rear of the main centre console and drink bottle cubbies at the base of each sliding door. To keep their devices powered there is one 12V outlet behind the main centre console and a USB-A port located in each side of the front seats. And to help you clean the sand out of the Carnival after a day at the beach, there are removable carpet mats on the floor.
The third-row seats can be accessed by manually sliding the outer second row seats forward and this creates a gap that an adult can easily step through. The third row headroom was a tight for me and I found that I had to sit slightly stooped down so that my head did not touch the roof. From back there I also felt that the ride in the Carnival could be a little more comfortable as well. Another issue I discovered was there is no lever on the shoulder of the second-row seats to allow third-row passengers to let themselves out, so they rely on someone else to slide the second-row seat forward for them.
In addition to the roof vents the rear sunroof also opens and this allows the third-row passengers to get some fresh air as the very back windows do not open, but they do have manual blinds built in. Third row passengers get a rigid drink bottle/storage cubby above the rear wheel arches and there is one USB-A port on each side as well. There are removable carpet mats on the floor of the third row to make it easier to keep this area clean.
Quite possibly the star of the Carnival show is the boot, which easily accommodated all of our holiday packing, thanks to its deep design. The tailgate is power operated from the buttons on the boot, key fob or in the front of the cabin. The boot space has four hooks, one 12V outlet and storage cubbies built into the sides of the vehicle. If you are wondering where the space saver spare tyre is located, it’s under the vehicle towards the centre of it. When the 50:50 split folding third row seats are not in use, they can be manually folded down in the deep boot space and this creates a very large flat storage area.
All new Kias come with a 7-Year Unlimited Kilometre Warranty and one year of complimentary Roadside Assist. Owners can renew their Roadside Assistance package yearly, for up to eight years, by simply returning their vehicle to an Authorised Kia Dealer for its annual scheduled services. Membership will remain valid for one year following your scheduled service, and will be renewed if an Authorised Kia Dealer completes the vehicle’s next scheduled serviced within one year. For the Carnival Diesel, service intervals are once a year or 15,000km, whichever comes first, and the total service costs for the first seven services is capped at $3,767.
Taking the Kia Carnival Platinum Diesel on our family summer holiday really did take the stress out of the driving experience for my family. The Kia Carnival Platinum Diesel costs $71,890 drive away with premium paint costing an extra $695, this colour is Snow White Pearl and still looked acceptable even after three weeks. You can Build & Order a new Kia Carnival on-line or visit your preferred Kia dealer for more information.
|Flexible seating for up to eight passengers||Some of the technology fitted is an older-style|
|Fuel efficient diesel engine||No way for third row passengers to slide second row seats forward to exit|
|The size of the boot||Headroom in third row is tight for adults|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.