KIA wants the number one people-mover position back. And the new MY15 Kia Carnival has the goods to regain the title from the Honda Odyssey when it officially hits showrooms next week.
"This is a car that changes the landscape for people movers, MPVs, CUVs - whatever you want to call them," Kia chief operating officer Damien Meredith said. "It is a genuine eight-seat vehicle that can take both passengers and their luggage in comfort and safety."
Mr Meredith said that early interest in the new Carnival had been exceptional from private, fleet and rental buyers.
"Across the board, this car is creating waves of interest and enquiry," he said.
No longer in the bargain basement with a starting price of $41,490, the Carnival is still available with a choice of diesel and petrol engines across four trim levels but has lost the "Grand" from its name and also abandoned its gawky looks.
Base S models are really the target of hire car and government buyers, coming with 17-inch steel wheels, 10cm colour touch-screen, rear parking sensors and camera, cruise control, six-speaker CD stereo with Bluetooth phone connectivity and air con.
After that is where the private buyers should really start shopping, the Si adds alloys, sat-nav with an 20.3cm touch-screen that is also DVD capable when stationary, tri-zone air con, leather wrapped steering wheel, along with LED rear lamps and positioning lights up front.
Getting into the SLi throws in leather trim, power sliding side doors and rear tailgate, push button start, power weight-way driver's seat, front parking sensors, cooled glovebox and slicker looking 18-inch alloys.
Then comes the Platinum which gets the lot, such as chrome 19-inch alloys, sunshade blinds in the second and third rows, 17.7cm TFT cluster for the driver, wood/leather steering wheel, electric seat adjustment for the front passenger (both front pews also get lumbar adjustment functions), as well as a full safety suite incorporating blind sport warning, radar cruise control and a forward collision warning which can help the driver avoid accidents.
With a seven-year warranty and capped price servicing available over the same period, there is ample peace of mind with the Kia brand. And that capped price will be attached to the vehicle at time of production, with dealers unable to jack up prices to meet higher costs in the future.
The Carnival is available in five colours, black, blue, grey, graphite and white - everything other than latter is metallic which costs an additional $695.
Model: Kia Carnival.
Details: Five-door eight-seat front-wheel drive people-mover.
Engines: 3.3-litre V6 petrol generating maximum power of 206kW at 6000rpm and peak torque of 336Nm a 5200rpm; 2.2 turbo diesel 147kW @ 3800rpm and 440Nm @ 1750-2750rpm.
Transmission: Six-speed automatic with manual mode.
Consumption: 11.6 litres/100km (combined average), 7.7L/100km.
CO2: 271g/km; 199g/km.
Bottom line: Petrol - S $41,490, Si $45,490, SLi $49,990 Platinum $57,490. Diesel - S $43,990, Si $47,990, SLi $52,490, Platinum $59,990.
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