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Updated 2018 Kia Carnival steps up in refinement and safety

Kia’s segment-leading Carnival people mover has been updated with a range of safety and comfort upgrades in a mid-life freshen of the third generation 8-seater.

The new look is characterised by a fresh definition of the tiger nose grille, combined with sleeker headlight clusters now sweep into the grille and provide an upper tension line across the front of the car.

A character panel below the grille and the lower air intake with integrated fog lights add to the horizontal strength of the front design.

At the rear the lower tailgate panel and rear three-quarter panels have been given a light once-over for a bolder appearance.

Inside, the spacious cabin has been further enhanced by the introduction of a new infotainment system with 7-inch screen for the entry-level S model (up from a 5-inch radio unit) and 8-inch unit for Si, SLi and Platinum. The new unit comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

For Si, SLi and Platinum the entertainment system has also been improved by the standard inclusion of an 8-speaker JBL Premium sound system.

The 2018 Kia Carnival carries over the pair of strong engine packages, a 3.3-litre V6 petrol producing 206kW and 336Nm, and a 2.2-litre turbo diesel rated at 147kW and 440Nm. Both motors are now paired with new 8-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the previous 6 speeder.

The diesel engine has been further refined with improved NVH levels thanks to efficient acoustic covers for the engine block, diesel particulate-filter and drive chain case and a sprocket rubber coating.

The enhanced model carries over the previous-generation’s MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension. However, the adoption of optimised shock absorbers and spring rates has further refined the localisation of the Carnival to provide a smoother ride.

Carnival owners have the comforting assurance of a range of standard active safety technologies, including Autonomous Emergency Braking, six airbags (front to rear coverage), eight three-point seat belts, Electronic Stability Control (incorporating ABS, TCS, Hill Start Assist, Brake Assist, Cornering Brake Control and Roll Over Mitigation) and rear parking sensors.

Standard safety features also include Lane Departure Warning, Smart Cruise Control and Electronic Parking Brake. For Platinum owners the suite of active safety features expands even further with BSD (Blind-Spot Detection); LCA (Lane Change Assist), which alerts the driver to vehicles approaching from the rear at high speeds in neighboring lanes; HBA (High Beam Assist) and RCTA (Rear Cross-Traffic Alert), which warns against other cars driving behind the Carnival in car parks.

Review: Kia Carnival Platinum Diesel

Download: 2018 Kia Carnival Specs

Kia Carnival 3.3-litre GDI pricing (excluding on-roads):

S $42,490

Si $47,990

SLi $52,490

Platinum $60,290

Kia Carnival 2.2-litre CRDI pricing (excluding on-roads):

S $44,990

Si $50,490

SLi $54,990

Platinum $62,790

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