Second-hand car review: 2018 Kia Carnival

The best people movers are designed to do exactly that, rather than modifying a commercial van into a minivan, and the Kia Carnival typifies this recipe.

It includes ingredients like space in all three rows, an uncluttered and functional interior, and a car-like ride.

The bad news for used-car buyers is that the 2018 Carnival has held its value. However, it was one of the cheapest cars to run in 2018 when it was released.

The good news is that it still has a seven-year unlimited-kilometre warranty. Part of the Carnival’s success as a family car is its safety technology.

The likes of autonomous emergency braking, lane departure and radar cruise control help protect your precious cargo.

They’ve been a popular rental car, so it’s best to check the life history of any used Carnival you’re interested in purchasing. Look for scratches and wear to the seats and cargo area.

A blue Kia Carnival on the road.
The Kia Carnival has a car-like ride. Image: Kia

The drive

The popularity of seven-seater SUVs has been driven in some part by the high-riding driver’s seat position. This provides the driver a clear, confident view out of the car.

The purpose-built Carnival gives you all that without the downside of an inefficient 4WD system that is rarely used and the handling instability of an SUV.

The Carnival’s Australian-tuned suspension gives the people mover more of a car-like ride compared to other brands’ vans.

The interior

Powered sliding side door and rear tailgate make accessing the Kia Carnival convenient and easy. When you open the doors, you’ll notice a plethora of storage spaces, with 10 bottle and cup holders and six power outlets in the cabin, makes the Carnival family-friendly.

To cap it off, there’s an exceptional amount of cargo space even when all three rows are full.

The second row of seats in the Kia Carnival.
The Kia Carnival offers power doors for easy access. Image: Kia

Under the bonnet

The more responsive 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine is a better choice of engine than the 3.5-litre petrol.

The eight-speed automatic transmission makes the most of this power with seamless shifts, and its two-tonne towing capacity is also a useful asset.

The Kia Carnival is one of the best value-for money people movers and, for good reasons, it’s highly sought after in the used car market.

Price new$54,990
Used-car price range$36,400 to $40,200
ANCAP safety rating5 stars (when new)
Used-car safety rating (2022)5 stars
WarrantySeven-year unlimited kilometre warranty