All-new 2021 Kia Carnival prices revealed

Modest price bump for hugely upgraded Kia's popular people mover

2021 Kia Carnival
Gallery16

Kia has detailed its fourth-generation Carnival people mover in full, revealing new engines, sharper chassis, and significantly more technology and space, including room for up to 11 occupants.

The base model S will rise by just under $1200, while the top-shelf Platinum diesel auto jumps by almost $3200 - you'll find the full price list under this story.

Kia has confirmed that the fourth-generation Carnival will come in four specification levels  -S, Si, SLi and Platinum - with the choice of both petrol and diesel engines. 

The five-door people mover retains its pair of sliding rear doors, but looks considerably different to the Carnival it replaces.

MORE Australia's Best Value people movers ranked for 2021

The updated Smartstream-equipped 216kW/355Nm 3.5-litre GDI V6 petrol and updated Smartstream 148kW/440Nm2.2-litre CRDI diesel engines drive the front wheels through an in-house eight-speed automatic.

Specs will be confirmed when the car is officially unveiled on January 8, but the Carnival - rebooted from tyres to roof - will cost only fractionally more than the car it replaces.

Space

When Kia rolled out the Carnival in August, it was obvious that this is no mere facelift.

Rolling on the company’s new platform, the 2021 Carnival has grown in all directions. Measuring 5.2m in length, it is longer by 40mm than the outgoing model and has an extra 30mm in its wheelbase.

It’s also 100mm wider at just under the even 2.0 metres, and has a rear overhang that’s lengthened by 30mm.

2021 Kia Carnival
16

The net result is more space for people and things.

Depending on which variant you choose, the Carnival offers three seating arrangements including the most luxurious seven-seater; which has a three-seat third row, two ‘premium relaxation seat’ places in the middle row and two up front.

2021 Kia Carnival

In this configuration, middle occupants are offered a 'relaxation mode' one-touch electric operation to recline the ‘business class’ style seating. The middle row can also be flipped to face the third row.

MORE Best seven-seaters
For more capacity, there’s a three-seat middle row option for a total of eight onboard, while a new four-row option balloons the Carnival’s capacity to a minibus-like 11!

Kia Australia is yet to confirm if this version will be part of the offering coming Down Under.

2021 Kia Carnival

With just two people riding in the Carnival, all rear seating can be stowed for a monstrous load capacity of 2905 litres.

Even in three-row configuration, the Carnival still offers an impressive 627-litre boot.

‘Smartstream’ powertrains

As with the third-gen model, the Carnival is offered as a four-cylinder turbo diesel or a non-turbo V6 petrol, but both engines have been significantly updated for the new model.

The naturally aspirated V6 petrol is now larger at 3.5 litres and, thanks to direct injection has lifted power and torque to 216kW and 355Nm.

It also features exhaust gas re-circulation (EGR) and a more advanced thermal management system to cut fuel use and emissions.

2021 Kia Carnival

The diesel option appears to be little different from the outgoing equivalent with the same 148kW/440Nm as the existing four-cylinder engine.

However, the previous version’s cast-iron block has been swapped for much lighter alloy saving 20kg, along with higher-pressure fuel injection, thermal management system, and vibration-smoothing balancer shafts for an overall improvement in efficiency and refinement.

There is no all-wheel-drive Kia Carnival on offer.

Chassis

With a new platform to play with, Kia’s engineers have overhauled the Carnival’s ride and handling characteristics for a more comfortable ride without compromising driving enjoyment, it says.

Fully independent suspension is standard all round as it was before but with completely revised geometry and mountings in all corners.

At the front, there’s a new lighter arrangement that includes electric power steering in place of mechanical power-assisted version for faster more responsive steering.

2021 Kia Carnival

At the back end, the redesigned suspension is attached using fluid-filled bushings that eliminate more vibration and noise from the road surface for improved cabin comfort.

The revisions have also boosted the Carnival’s dynamics with more resistance to roll, better distribution of loads and more stable manner on the road.

Read next: Kia also has a new Sorento
Most importantly, says Kia, the chassis and suspension rework along with more widespread use of sound insulation has produced a Carnival that is a more pleasant place for all occupants with improved noise vibration and harshness (NVH) levels.

Either way, Kia's popular people mover will have its final chassis tune fettled for its arrival in Australia, as is the case for all Kias.

Comfort technology

Also adding to the more premium Carnival ambience are a number of technology upgrades with a massive 12.3-inch information and entertainment touchscreen as the centrepiece. It’s integrated into the driver’s instrument cluster seamlessly under a single pane of glass the spans more than half the width of the cabin.

2021 Kia Carnival

The system houses standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity applications as well as a number of Kia’s own Kia Live services, while two smartphones or devices can be connected via Bluetooth at the same time.

A dedicated camera allows the front row occupants to check on rear-seat passengers without leaning around which is both safer and more comfortable.

There is even a microphone and speaker voice amplifying system that prevents people at the back having to shout to be heard.

2021 Kia Carnival

And for the first time, rear occupants have access to voice control features, not just the front row.

Getting things in and out of the Carnival’s impressive cabin is also easier with the new model.

A smart button function allows the powered sliding side doors and tailgate to be opened simply by standing near the for a few seconds. And when loading or unloading the Kia at night, there are new puddle lights to ensure safe and dry footing.

Safety technology

Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) has bundled even more passive and active safety gear into the new Carnival.

Headlining the electronic safety suite is forward collision avoidance which recognises cyclists and pedestrians as well as other vehicles and larger obstacles.

But it’s complemented by blind-spot collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control, speed limit recognition, lane-keeping assist, driver fatigue monitoring, and automatic high-beam headlights to name but a few.

Standard safety equipment will be region specific, but Australia is likely to receive the high-end versions.

2021 Kia Carnival

Another new system prevents the sliding side doors from opening if the Carnival detects approaching traffic, while rear cross-traffic detection not only warns, but also brakes if approaching vehicles are not noticed by the driver.

More than two million Kia Carnivals have been sold since the genesis of the nameplate in 1998. 

Price List

Model 

RRP

Driveaway

S petrol auto 

$46,880 

$50,390

Si Petrol auto 

$52,380 

$55,790

SLi petrol auto 

$56,880 

$60,290

Platinum petrol auto 

$64,680 

$67,990

S diesel auto 

$48,880 

$52,390

Si diesel auto  

$54,380 

$57,790

SLi diesel auto 

$58,880 

$62,290

Platinum diesel auto 

$66,680 

$69,990

 

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