2002 Kia Carnival LS 2.5 V6 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


My best car yet


It's nearly a month old - no complaints.

General Comments:


1. It's a bit on the large side so parking is not as easy as a smaller car. The high seating position helps a bit.

2. The manual shift gearbox is not that smooth on 1st. It's stiff to change and takes getting used to. Problem disappears after a few weeks.

3. There is not much low end torque from the engine below 2,000rpm. Just rev the engine more for a faster take off.


1. It has loads of space - can carry 7 adults in comfort.

2. Air-con works really well even in the Australian summer.

3. Rides very well. As long as you don't drive it like a sports car, it drives like a dream.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th February, 2002

13th Nov 2003, 05:04

My Carnival has done 42K kms now. 2 major problems, but were fixed promptly under warranty, kudos to Kia Australia.

1. Head gasket problem. Didn't know I had a problem, but after a regular service, they told me that the engine needed replacing. Booked in for a warranty replacement 2 weeks later. New engine has already done 23K kms - hasn't missed a beat, it actually sounds better that the old one.

2. Front Windscreen cracked. Took a few weeks to get it replaced also under warranty.

Even with these problems, I'm still very happy with the car after 42,000 kms.

22nd Nov 2004, 22:01

Your new engine is probably a recycled engine that has done on average about 35,000kms. Good luck.

25th Oct 2005, 22:29

Done 85,000km now - no problems with engine. Still recommend a Carnival.

6th Mar 2008, 16:41

I wrote the original review, in hindsight, I find all my comments have gone full circle. I would never buy another Kia again after my experience.

The Carnival was OK for the first 3 years. It started going downhill after that. Various rattles all thru the body started driving me nuts. Engine started to get noisy. Clutch started to give way (manual transmission). Traded in for a Toyota - hope I have better luck. Didn't get much for the trade in either. sigh.

The lesson I learnt here is this - don't listen to the guys who review their cars after 1 month or so. The best reviews will come from someone who has used their cars for at least 4-5 years.

My brother and I bought cars in 2002. After 5 years, my Carnival was falling apart and his Toyota Camry was almost as good as the day he bought it. He recently traded in his car for a new Camry and I traded in my Carnival for a Toyota Aurion.