I bought the car new and was impressed initially by the cheap price in comparison to other cars in its class.
Power is nothing to write home about.
Driving it is more of a chore than a pleasure.
Seating is comfortable.
The air conditioning is probably the cars best feature overall.
Without warning, at just over 4 years of age and with less than 60,000km on the dial, the engine died. It had always been serviced by the Kia dealer. When this happened, the dealer knew of the problem as soon as we drove up. He could not take the car then as he had 12 other cars with the exact same problem. He said the cost to fix would be around $6,000.
After searching the internet (including this site), we found this was a common problem due to a known Kia fault. We contacted Kia and demanded the repair be done under warranty as we were nowhere near the 100,000km that Kia warrants the car for, although we were beyond the 3 years. I believe it was because we had prior knowledge and a Kia service history that they agreed to repair the car free of charge to us. The problem was it would take 3 months.
After gaining approval for the repair, we went to the Kia dealer and suggested we would like to trade the car in, on the understanding that the car would have a new engine in three months time. We managed to secure a A$15,000 trade price on a new Honda Jazz VTi-S (same dealership).
We had paid $32,000 in 2000 for the Kia. Today the 2004 model Carnival is available for $28,000 drive away.
They say Kia Carnival is "the best value for money people mover on the market". What good is a cheap car that dies after only 60,000km??