Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Third-generation Kia Carnival (YP)

2015 Kia Carnival

One of the least likable MPVs in the history gets a major regeneration and this all new Kia Carnival wants to show the other MPVs that this is the MPV-est of the MPVs. It's just in time for the summer holiday when their parents want to take their kids to some of South Korea's finest destinations, say Jeju Island or N Seoul Tower or the Changdeokgung Palace or maybe Gangnam. So, can the all new Carnival worth it of being an ideal car for the hot summer holiday in South Korea?

So...is it all new?

Well, of course. This is an all new model. ALL NEW. I capitalised it so you know that this is a totally new one rather than a minor refresh of the model that is highly forgettable for...let's just say...its age.

How is it differ from the previous generations?

The first generation, launched in 1998 was kinda more of a saloon in a minivan's body, especially it was just an old Credos II underneath it. The 2001 facelift was fine because not only it looks as Americanized as a Chrysler Town and Country but the 2.9L diesel engine has better torque than its petrol equivalents. The second generation model, launched in the summer of 2005, comes with the long wheelbase model that comes with 11-seats for the whole family and the short wheelbase model that seats 9 people.

For this new model, it truly sets apart from its predecessors because unlike those two, the new third-generation model features a more robust shape reminiscent of luxury Japanese MPVs. From its signature looks to its headlamps and to its rear design, from every angle, you can see that this new model is truly a standout from the past and it's not as bizarre as its rival, the Ssangyong Turismo.

What's it like on the inside?

2015 Kia Carnival interior

2015 Kia Carnival interior

2015 Kia Carnival interior

The new interior now employs the familiar look as seen from the K5, the K7, and the K9, and because this is an MPV on its own right, it's available in either a 9-seater or an 11-seater, if you're lucky. Either way, the new model is a fit for the whole family but the 11-seater model is highly recommended because if you have you, your wife, your kids, granny, pappy, or any one of your relatives, this variant is your best bet and because it has longer wheelbase than the previous model, it's more spacious as well. Those seats can also be folded for some luggage concerns, handy if you're carrying so many bags of stuff you spent from the grocery or other things in your hand.

What about driving?

2015 Kia Carnival
On an average day, the new model is not quite bad to drive and thanks to the use of MacPherson Struts on the front and multi-link rear suspension, it feels more European to drive. For the nine-seater model, it weighs around 2030kg, which is the same as the previous model but for the 11-seater, it adds 7kgs of weight. On the upshot is, that model weighs less than the Ssangyong Korando Turismo. It's partly thanks to the high-strength steel body that not only it feels lighter but also more rigid and more durable than the old one.

The only engine available is the same R 2.2 E-VGT diesel engine carried from the Kia Sorento SUV. Now Euro 6-compliant, this engine develops about 202PS of power and 45kg-m of torque output. Thanks to its torque output, this engine delivers a great pull from start to finish. It has a fuel economy of around 11.5km/l, which is somewhat less than the Turismo gave. It's mated with a 6-speed automatic gearbox, meaning that this new Carnival is the kind of MPV you would really want to relax while driving. It's not complicated to drive either and it's even more safer than ever because of the addition of new safety tech like the lateral alarm system, High Beam Assist, Lane Departure Warning System, Forward Collision Warning System, and the new active hood lift system.

Active hood lift system?

Yes. That's a new feature. It was made, what Kia Motors states, to decrease head injury during pedestrian collision. Composing of sensors, ECU, and pyro-type actuators, this system lifts the rear part of the hood up to 120mm.

Should I buy one?

2015 Kia Carnival

The new model actually costs 27,200,000 Korean Won (around $27,200) up to 36,300,000 Korean Won (around $36,300). In theory, this is kinda more expensive than the Ssangyong Korando Turismo but who knows, if they don't like the Turismo for its looks, they could just rush to their nearest Kia dealerships to buy one.

Available colors: Snow White Pearl, Bright Silver, Powder Blue, Black Berry, Platinum Graphite, and Aurora Black Pearl.

Photo: Kia Motors

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