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



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

Interior and Features 

The Carnival has the same equipment for both its models, though the seven-seat version has a tiny bit more stuff related to the captain’s seats. While the Carnival isn’t an inexpensive car, at S$200k with COE, it does deliver conspicuous value with a well-made cabin and a long, long list of features. 

As we saw in the current Sorento SUV and Stinger grand tourer, Kia’s capable of far more than just affordable cars, and it continues in the Carnival. There’s little to fault in terms of build quality, and while there’s lots of plastic the cabin isn’t tacky or cheap-feeling. The patterned metallic trim strip reflects that of the C-pillar, there’s interior ambient lighting, and the liberal use of gloss ‘piano’ black plastic is nice – as long as your hands are clean. 

The very-Mercedes dual 12.3-inch screens aren’t in our Carnivals like abroad, instead we have conventional instruments with a smaller display screen. It’s not a huge loss, although a glass cockpit surely looks nicer, and the infotainment screen is still a 12.3-inch unit, that’s zippy to use, and plays nice with Android and Apple smartphones. We also found useful: The wireless charging, ventilated seats, lots of cupholders, and a colossal armrest storage box big enough for takeaway to fit in. 

Additionally, there’s a full suite of active safety systems, which is quickly becoming a must-have on new cars: Autonomous forward braking/warning, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping/warning, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot warnings. And crucial for  a car of this size, a 360-degree parking camera. 

The convenience doesn’t stop at the front, either. Powered doors are de rigueur on big MPVs, and the Carnival also has an auto-tailgate with ‘approach to open’ function. All three back doors can be controlled via the key fob, and it can do remote engine start too.

Sliding doors, sunroofs, lounge chairs

There’s aircon controls for the second row, and two vents per row for the rear section, with the captain’s chairs also being powered and ventilated too, plus a sunroof for the first and second rows. 

Continue to Page 4: Does the Carnival drive like a party bus?

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

about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong