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Kia Carnival 2020 review: Platinum diesel long term

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The emergence and booming popularity of the SUV has meant that the traditional people mover is a bit on the nose, but I’ve always felt the current Carnival does a good job of swimming against the tide by doing a stellar job of moving eight people, while still being car-like to drive and amazingly managing to look pretty cool at the same time. Go and have a proper look and drive before roasting me in the comments.

Also backing me up is the fact that the current Carnival has built a bit of a cult following in the CarsGuide office. Everyone who uses one with their family seems to come back raving.

It is the top seller in the mainstream people mover class by a factor of 4:1, but is outsold by its smaller but more fashionably shaped Sorento SUV sibling by 2:1, even though they sit pretty close on price and spec.

If it’s the better tool, why don’t more of us choose it? Kia Australia has kindly offered us three months with the top-spec Carnival Platinum diesel to test the theory.

It’s also the most logical next step in my personal exploration of family cars, building on our time with the Tiguan, Escape, CX-5, CR-V, Golf R wagon, Santa Fe and CX-9 to date.

It’s indeed a bit OTT to ferry around my two toddlers, but with an increasing number of grandparents, aunties and uncles, not to mention little chums lining up to ride along too, I’m confident we’ll put it through its paces.

The Carnival continues to be available in S, Si, SLi and Platinum trim levels, each with a choice of 206kW/336Nm 3.3-litre petrol V6 or 147kW/440Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel for an extra $2,500.

One key difference from the Sorento is that there’s no all-wheel drive option for the Carnival, but we’ll let you know if we miss it.

It was last updated in May 2018 after first appearing in February 2015, which brought improved safety features across the range, range-wide Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a new eight-speed transmission and a bunch of other detail tweaks.

Our Platinum diesel is the first of the MY20 models, which actually doesn’t bring any changes for the 2020 Carnival 2020, even down to the $62,790 list price.

Read Mal's full review: https://carsgui.de/2Pk6vyP

Visit our Kia Carnival hub: http://carsgui.de/2plGwGW

Check out our Family Guide: http://carsgui.de/2qpbJia

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2021
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