2002 Kia Carnival Reviews - Page 4 of 4

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

Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.5 V6 petrol Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired40 kilometres
Most recent distance2500 kilometres
Previous carMitsubishi Magna


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.

Average review marks: 5.5 / 10, based on 11 reviews