What is wrong with you…

I have been asking myself the same thing.

I have long held the view that MPVs are the reserve of Catholics and parents who have lost the will to live. And yet, here I am, somewhat ashamedly, announcing my love for Kia’s latest “grand utility vehicle” (their words, not mine).

You have officially lost the plot.

I think so, too.

Traditionally, people movers have been bought out of necessity, not desire.

Just to clarify, I have no need for a people mover. I am single. I have no children. And despite my earlier comment, I still love life.

Nevertheless, I want a Kia Carnival. And no, this is not a paid advertisement.

Humour me. What exactly do you like about it?

I think it looks fantastic.

Kia describes it as having an “athletic shape”; a statement that reeks of new-age body positivity.

No, it’s not athletic. Not in the slightest.

What it is, however, is eight classy seats of pure goodness.

Classy? A Kia? Tell him he’s dreamin’.

You better believe it.

It is still unmistakably an MPV, though, Kia’s latest design refresh imbues the Carnival with a newfound presence.

The Tiger nose grille is wonderfully aggressive, as are the narrow LED headlights. For the fourth generation Carnival, Kia also moved the A-pillar backwards to create a longer, more SUV-like hood. The more commanding appearance carries through the rest of the design, with the rear hosting an all-new light bar that mimics the geometric design of the headlamps.

The end result is a car that is infinitely more desirable than the car it replaces.

That was some top-level PR bullsh*t if I ever heard it.

Essentially, I think it looks grouse.

And the appeal doesn’t stop there.

It’s a Kia. How good can it be?

Pretty good. The days of the take-me-out-my-misery Spectra and Pregio are over. Kia is now a genuine player in the automotive space.

The Carnival starts at AUD$46,880 (before on-road costs) for the base S model and climbs to AUD$$66,680 (before on-roads) for the fully loaded Platinum. I am under no illusion that that is expensive. Though the level of kit on offer just about justifies the cost.

All Carnivals come with a 4.2″ Colour TFT Supervision instrument cluster in addition to a Mercedes-aping 12.3” side-mounted touchscreen (though the latter is only 8” on the S grade model). Wireless Apple CarPlay is standard (FYI Ferrari charge in excess of $7000 for the same privilege).

Audio is also fantastic, starting with a 6 speaker sound system (4 Speakers, 2 Tweeters; S model) growing to a 12 Speaker BOSE® premium sound system (8 speakers, 2 tweeters, centre speaker and subwoofer) in the Platinum model.

Then there are the optional “VIP Lounge” seats. If you tick the right boxes – and you should – you’ll end up with proper Gold-class-cinema-spec recliners in the second row. Brilliant.

Throw in Kia’s cracking 7-year unlimited-kilometre warranty and capped price servicing and it looks like cracking value. Even at around seventy grand.

I’d rather have a second-hand, 412kW, F10-series BMW M5 for seventy grand.

You are impossible.

I doubt the person attracted to a Carnival cares about BMW’s M5.

Hang on a moment, skippy. Didn’t you say you wanted one?

Err, yes.

How about we talk performance?

Go on, then.

All models are available with either a 3.5-litre petrol V6 (216kW, 355Nm) or a 2.2-litre diesel in-line 4 (148kW, 440Nm).


I’ll admit, I’m clutching at straws here.

You’re telling me.

What can I say, the heart wants what it wants.

Cough twice if Kia is holding you hostage.

Oh for Pete’s sake…

Look me in the eye and tell me you’d rather have a Carnival over a Volvo XC90.

Answer me this: can an XC90 seat 8 people comfortably? Does it have a best-in-class luggage capacity of 1,139 litres with all seats up (or 2,461L with the 3rd row folded)? How about a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty? I think not.

And besides, the Volvo starts at an eye-watering $85,000 (before on-road costs). That’s an exorbitant amount.

I value my dignity. I’ll take the Volvo.

Badge snob.

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