Imagine it or not however vans don’t need to be daggy. I imply, the A-Workforce didn’t get about in a soft-roader SUV, did they?
OK, so whereas the brand new Kia Carnival isn’t precisely a GMC Vandura with racing stripes, it’s additionally a great distance from the automotive beige cardigan look of most individuals movers.
It borrows rather a lot from the brand new Sorento, which is an effective factor: it’s aggressive, trendy and, whereas the C-pillar garnishes are a bit a lot, it stands out on the highway — particularly because it’s surrounded by household SUVs.
In actual fact, driving the brand new Carnival simply hammers house how significantly better folks movers are at comfortably hauling folks and kit than seven-seat SUVs.
This factor is insanely sensible, like a cave on wheels.
All eight seats supply good headroom and legroom, with all seats in a position to both be folded into the ground or slid a great distance ahead or again as wanted.
It’s all completed manually, even on our top-spec Platinum overview automobile however it all works simply. In actual fact, we’d argue even those that’d hardly ever, if ever, use the rear three pews would nonetheless profit from the Carnival over a soft-roader.
With all three rows in place there’s nonetheless a hefty 627 litres of cargo house. Fold the third row down and also you’ll have as much as 2785 litres accessible. Insanity.
However what’s actually cool — sure, I used the phrase cool in a mini-van overview — is how uncompromised the Carnival feels regardless of its practicality.
Sure, its 5155mm size, 1995mm width and 3090mm wheelbase might be difficult within the tightest of carparks however that’s about the one time you’ll discover it.
To not point out, sliding doorways make it a heck of rather a lot simpler in mentioned conditions when loading and unloading children and the 172mm floor clearance is the same as many SUVs and means you gained’t be bottoming out on kerbs whenever you’re absolutely loaded.
The brand new structure makes the van really feel mild on its toes, aided by the wonderful diesel engine which will get it transferring in comparatively fast time whereas nonetheless being frugal. It could lack the all-wheel-drive of many seven-seat SUVs however solely on unfastened or moist surfaces below extreme acceleration did the front-wheel energy develop into noticeable.
The cabin is basically quiet of engine and highway noise and it’s comfy too; not like rivals such because the Toyota Granvia and Hyundai iLoad, the Carnival doesn’t have to beat commercial-van origins.
And the Aussie suspension tune means it’s adequate on coarse roads and whereas COVID could have pressured the Korean steering mapping to be utilized to our automobiles for now, we didn’t discover it to be a problem in any respect.
As we had been within the Platinum vary topper, the worth tag was a major $66,680 plus on roads.
That’s rather a lot for a folks mover — the truth is, you will get right into a premium European providing for much less.
However as with its Sorento brethren, the Carnival nonetheless feels value it. It has nearly each function you possibly can consider, plus a couple of you wouldn’t: you possibly can open the sliding doorways with the important thing fob, begin the engine remotely to pre-heat or cool or warmth the cabin, and the air-conditioning will even swap to circulating the air within the automobile when the sat nav detects you’re coming into a tunnel.
It made the Polly Pipe rather a lot nicer every day.
Auto wipers and a digital driver show (coming quickly) had been the primary omissions.
There’s a heap of security tech accessible, which supplied our solely actual frustration.
The lane hold help was intrusive however simply turned off, not like the adaptive cruise management.
Our check automobile additionally appeared to have a delicate sensor, which noticed the alarm go off once we parked with the window down on a windy day and likewise when our six-year-old determined to remain within the automobile on a visit to the servo.
Sure, it’s costly and sure, you may cop flak for getting a folks mover however the Carnival is about nearly as good as city household transport will get and lots of might be high-quality to take a ribbing for the practicality on supply.
Variant Kia Carnival Platinum
Engine 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel
Transmission Eight-speed automated, FWD
Gasoline economic system 6.5L/100km
Variant Vi LX7
Engine 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol
Transmission CVT automated
Gasoline economic system 8.0L/100km
Engine 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel
Transmission Six-speed automated, RWD
Gasoline economic system 8.0L/100km
Engine 2.1-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel
Transmission Seven-speed automated, RWD
Gasoline economic system 6.6L/100km