After I sold my Nissan Vanette Cargo, I decided to buy a Kia Sorento, the problem is I don't have enough money, so I opted for the Kia Carnival LS instead.
I'm expecting the worst from this, maybe the engine head gasket blowing at the middle of the highway, but instead, the Carnival came out pretty darn excellent!
I can't believe that my Carnival has gone up to 60,000kms already, encountering only minor problems like tire wear!
I wonder why other Carnival owners have been experiencing lots of problems, even when it's only 1 or more months old or only 5,000kms on the odometer...
The engine is refined, creamy smooth, torquey, frugal and powerful. The van accelerates briskly, and easily overtakes almost all vehicles on the highway. But on a full load, the van is noticeably slower, but not strained.
Steering has decent feedback, but there's still some understeer, but it's not too much, and the van is easy to drive. Visibility is good too.
4-speed automatic gearbox up and downshifts are smooth and unobtrusive.
There's no shift shock or struggle during an uphill climb.
Bump absorption is good. I only feel little to moderate amounts of jiggling when going over bumps, even the worst ones.
My previous van, the Vanette Cargo however, jiggles and bangs its way through potholes, giving a nauseating and massager-like ride, and the cabin crashes very violently when going over the worst ruts.
Fuel mileage is 11km/L on highway driving, crawling down to 7km/L on city driving. Average fuel mileage is a good 9km/L. The Carnival has a 75-liter gas tank.
There are 2 problem on the Carnival.
1st, it's a smoke belcher- it belches out lots of visible gray smoke, so I took it to the dealer and let them installed a device that will prevent the car from farting lots of smoke again.
2nd, it doesn't come with a catalytic converter, so I took it to a shop and let them place a catalytic converter.
Inside, the driving position is very car-like. The steering wheel is easy to reach and tilted at the same angle as the Corolla Altis. The seat is high, and there's no need to bend, climb up, twist and turn to sit down. The instrument panel as well as the controls are logically placed and is very easy to learn and reach.
My previous Vanette Cargo however has bus-like driving position, and you need to slide and bend to get into the driver's chair, and the controls are ancient (pull-type hand brake, slide-type air-con controls, etc.) and a little hard to determince which is which.
There are lots of cubby holes and boxes here to keep your storage in place. From cupholders to dual-glove boxes, you can lose nothing here.
The seats are very comfy and provides lots of support and is adequately bolstered for long distance travel, and doesn't bore either.
In Korean tradition, the 6-speaker sound system is par excellence, sometimes turning the car to a boom-box whenever I crank up the volume.
Now that's the front, now we go to the rear.
This is the only van I know that lets you switch to different seats. You can go to the 3rd row to check if your child is OK, and go back to the front, without re-entering the van.
The seats at the middle row is very comfy. It has armrests and makes me feel like I'm in a 1st-class airplane.
The 3rd row is also very comfy, with cupholders on each side. There are also hooks to hang your bags full of things that may scatter on the floor when a child or someone bumps it by accident.
There are also numerous cubbyholes to store your other things and valuables.
And that sums up the Kia Carnival, fast, spacious, solid, refined, pailess, durable and reliable.
But I'm wondering... how come many Carnival owners experienced blown engine head gaskets, broken camshaft pulleys, squeaks, and many other problems at a short distance, lets say 10,000kms or less while mine never experienced any of the afformentioned problems, just tire wear, worn ball bearings and shock absorbers and other minor problems and still in good condition even though the odometer is registered at around 60,000kms already?