Why this is the ultimate family car 💥👩💥

Big Aussie families looking to travel in style and on a budget should look past SUVs and at this very tempting alternative.

Longer, wider, safer and better equipped than before, the eight-seater Carnival is a tempting alternative to seven-seat SUVs.

Prices have jumped to reflect the improvements. The entry-level S starts at $46,880 plus on-roads, while our family sampled the $58,880 SLi diesel, one rung down from the flagship $66,680 Platinum.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Iain: How can something that feels so right be so wrong?

Jules: Oh dear. Have you fallen for a people-mover?

Iain: I’m of midlife crisis age and am pining for an eight-seat Kia over a two-door sports car.

Jules: Practical is the new sexy, haven’t you heard?

Iain: Sign me up. Kia’s designers have triumphed here. The Carnival’s not too boxy and takes the best styling cues from the Sorento SUV.

Jules: The side view has shades of Range Rover to me. It has skinny LED front lights, a wide front grille and intricate detailing like a diamond pattern on the big silver rear pillar.

Iain: That’ll get you on Kia’s Christmas card list. Wraparound rear lights are edgily modern too. Ours is Silky Silver, but I’d pick the matt Ceramic Silver – battleship grey basically – which looks incredible over black alloys.

Jules: What are its rivals?

Iain: The Carnival owns the people-mover segment with 60 per cent share. The Honda Odyssey (from $44,250) and Volkswagen Multivan (from $58,990) are the closest rivals.

THE LIVING SPACE

Jules: It feels like a spaceship with its hi-tech dash and cavernous interior.

Iain: Its trump card is versatility. There are eight seats for super breeders, and they all slide on runners for your custom ideal layout.

Jules: We completely removed the middle row’s middle seat in about two minutes, allowing passengers to walk through to the third row of seats. Excellent.

Iain: It’s much easier than trying to slide behind second-row seats, which is okay for small kids but not for teens or adults.

Jules: There’s proper room in those three rear seats. They’re firm, but adult-sized. USB points, ceiling air vents and two cup holders each side make it a comfy place to ride.

Iain: There are four Carnival grades: S, Si, SLi and Premium. The S is your rental car version, but our SLi looks the best bet for value.

Jules: The standouts are a 12.3-inch wide-screen that merges with the driver display, faux-leather seats, a power driver’s seat and one-touch sliding power doors.

Iain: Kids just love those doors. As with other big Kias, the cabin quality is very good with soft-touch plastics, a smartly designed dashboard and an overall premium feel.

Jules: There are some things missing, though – there’s no heating or ventilation for the seats and no wireless phone charging. You need to pay extra for the Platinum to get those.

THE COMMUTE

Iain: It’s big, there’s no hiding it.

Jules: But it doesn’t really feel more cumbersome than a seven-seat SUV.

Iain: The diesel four-cylinder is $2000 extra but a smarter choice than the cheaper V6 petrol. Its 440Nm of torque gives the big Carnival plenty of shove and we returned an impressive 7.7L/100km over 700km. The V6 would be in double figures.

Jules: It’s smooth, handles well despite being a bus and I love its radar cruise control on highways.

Iain: The tyres are big balloons over 18-inch alloys and help absorb road bumps. I can see why Carnivals are being used for luxury limo services. They’re seriously comfortable.

Jules: My only complaint is the lane-keep assist can be too aggressive, tugging at the wheel, but overall the safety kit is generous.

THE SHOPPING

Iain: It’s big enough to carry a couple of cows home from market. Still moo-ing.

Jules: The space is huge. The boot’s wonderfully deep, so you just drop shopping bags in and the handles are at an easy-to-grab height.

Iain: Ours has a surround-view monitor; handy for parking such a big lump. If you stand beside the rear the tailgate with keys in pocket it opens automatically. I love that.

THE SUNDAY RUN

Jules: I’d happily do a family road trip around Australia in this.

Iain: You couldn’t head off road, though, as there’s no all-wheel-drive version of the Carnival. It’s more than happy tackling mountain roads, though.

Jules: At more than five metres long, it’s not as happy negotiating tight parking spots.

THE FAMILY

Iain: For versatility, I don’t think there’s a better family car.

Jules: Our two kids adore it. Giant rear windows to see out, they don’t fight as they have space between them and when they ask can they take their bikes, scooters, balls, surfboards and toys, we can say yes to all.

Iain: They also folded down all the seats for a van-like 2785 litres of space, threw in doonas and pillows and basically made camp. Cheap childcare for us!

Jules: There are five Isofix points and giant rear storage bins for the likes of clothing and nappies, while the boot could take a pram without the need to fold it. I’d have loved that with infants.

Iain: It’s not cheap at $62,790, but a seven-year warranty is excellent. Five years of services are a pricey $2573.

THE VERDICT

Jules: The Carnival has made people-movers cool. If you can live with its size – and afford the price tag – this is the most complete family vehicle I’ve sampled. Its versatility, luxury and style are first class.

Iain: Unless you really need all-wheel-drive, it’s a better choice for a big family than a seven-seat SUV.

HYUNDAI KIA CARNIVAL SLI DIESEL

Price: $62,790 drive-away (getting expensive)

Warranty/servicing: 7 years/unl’td km (excellent) $2573 for 5 years (not cheap)

Engine: 2.2-litre 4-cyl turbo-diesel, 148kW/440Nm (solid)

Safety: 7 airbags, auto emergency braking), lane-keep and blind-spot assist, junction assist, safe exit alert, rear-cross traffic avoidance assist, radar cruise (excellent)

Thirst: 6.5L/100km (optimistic)

Spare: Space saver (not good)

Boot: 627L/2785L (jumbo)

Why this is the ultimate family car

Get link

xoonews.com

websitetrafficnews.com