2021 Kia Carnival Review: Space Jam [w/video]

Derryn Wong

1.Intro/Design and Appearance
2. Space and Practicality 
3. Interior and Features 
4. Driving Experience
5. Competition, Conclusion

Competition, Pricing and Conclusion 

As mentioned, the Carnival occupies an interesting space in the MPV realm. It’s bigger and more expensive than big MPVs like the Volkswagen Sharan but also bigger and less expensive than Jumbo Japanese MPVs like the Toyota Alphard. 

None of those cars quite have what the Carnival does, since it blends huge space with an impressive level of driving dynamics, and even efficiency at the same time. In fact, we almost have no complaints, other than the excessive use of black plastic in the cabin.

The only thing to really consider is the diesel bit: It’s not super kosher in the electric age, even if it consumes less, for one. Diesel’s being phased out in 2025, though it has no bearing on new car sales for the short term.

More importantly for a carbuyer’s wallet, you’ll pay S$2,052 in road tax a year, compared to S$1,390 for a similarly-sized petrol, and even the 2.5-litre petrol Alphard asks S$1,792. Where you’ll make it up is at the pump – high-mileage drivers will certainly save in the long run.

But even ignoring the diesel question, it’s quite clear Kia is laying down a convincing beat with the Carnival. It’s an excellent MPV that looks good to boot, a car with no major faults, and a huge list of features that make the price tag of just over S$200k seem utterly reasonable. 

Kia Carnival 7-Seat Tech Pack 

Engine2,151cc inline 4, turbodiesel
Power202hp at 3800rpm
Torque440Nm at 1750-2750rpm
Gearbox8-speed automatic 
0-100km/h10.7 seconds 
Top SpeedNot stated
Fuel Efficiency6.9L/100km
VES Band C1 / +S$15,000
AgentCycle & Carriage 
PriceS$207,900 with COE and VES
Verdict The most car you can get for your money? Kia’s Carnival doesn’t disappoint with a lot to like
in a package of plenty

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5-door 7 seat 7-Seat Tech Pack carnival diesel Kia MPV

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's former chief editor was previously the editor for Top Gear Singapore and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment.

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