2002 Kia Carnival LS 2.5Ltr petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A great budget wagon for a family budget.


The only mechanical problem to date was a slipping clutch at 30,000 kl, which was replaced without charge or argument by dealer, Eagers KIA of Brisbane.

At 2 tonne empty, the Carnival is a big, heavy car and suffers as a result. The small V6 has to be coaxed up steep hills with the gear shift when heavily loaded and a little more braking distance allowed. It is however, more than adequate for it's usual roll as "Mum's Taxi".

Intending buyers who would prefer a little more grunt, should investigate the cost/benefit of fitting an aftermarket turbo from new. The bargain purchase price would make this an affordable improvement.

General Comments:

What the Carnival lacks in Luxury, it makes up for in comfort, even for rear passengers. Sore backs were not an issue on a recent 5,000 kl driving holiday.

There is space to burn, in an interior designed for touring with children. The rear seating even removes completely, converting it into a van.

My wife has no problem maneuvering it and loves the high seating position.

My expectations were not high for a vehicle priced so much below it's competitors, but I have been pleasantly surprised.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th January, 2005

3rd Aug 2005, 01:36

Just off the phone with Eagers Kia. They have ordered a new engine and it is to be replaced free of charge.

Given that this common problem has reportedly been addressed in later models, I would still consider a Carnival again. Why? Because most new cars have problems which can take time to become evident and remedy. How a manufacturer stands by it's warranty is important and I have nothing, but praise for the way they have looked after the couple of problems we've had.

6th Feb 2008, 21:22

I appreciate your honesty and it has helped me decide on whether to purchase a Kia Carnival or not. Not! Thanks Jay Bird.

2002 Kia Carnival LS 2.9 turbo from Nicaragua


You get what you pay for, so beware what you buy


Mirrors are somewhat loose.

The fuel injector pump, since new had problems, and now at 40,000 Km is totaled. And the dealer says the 50,000 Km warranty does not cover it, even though they are aware of the problem from the start.

General Comments:

This minivan is really comfortable for seven.

The engine is reasonably strong above 2,500rpm.

The steering is somewhat imprecise.

The dealer service support is just inexistent, a rear tail light replacement took 4 months to arrive!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th September, 2004

2002 Kia Carnival LS from Australia and New Zealand


An extremely unreliable car


Engine problems. Was replaced at 30000 kms according to previous owner, but new one still did not perform - problems with flywheel and head gasket.


General Comments:

We replaced it with a Toyota Tarago after a month as we were traumatised by the experience... The Tarago is much more expensive, but 100% reliable so we now have peace of mind.

They say the problems with Kia Carnivals only exist in the older models ie. perhaps from 2003 onwards they have been rectified. Nevertheless, we will never buy a Kia or similar make car ever again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th September, 2004

2002 Kia Carnival LS 2.6 from Australia and New Zealand


Buyer beware


Oil pump replaced 3 times,radio and aerial 2 times, rust to seat belt buckle, fumes from coolant in interior after stopping, still the saga continues with no results.

General Comments:

KIA Australia needs to be taken to court, they blame the selling dealer and repairer, it's a design fault, I'm waiting for the head gasket to blow as I have been advised by other owners as its common for them to do.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th June, 2003

27th Apr 2005, 10:01

The local Authority should do something about it instead of allowing car manufacturer making us a victim.

I had enough problem bad experience with KIA.

The meaning of KIA in Chinese language is AFRAID. I am afraid of KIA car. They are rubbish and so unrealible.

7th Jun 2005, 18:05

Our 2002 carnival just blew its head gasket at 43k kia nz replaced engine in 1 week which was good. had problems with steering too.