2004 Kia Carnival LS 2.5 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


I love my Kia


The only fault I would say the car has, is the fact there are no back windows to roll down.

The car has run perfectly for 8 years from brand new. She has never missed a beat in the whole time I have owned her. Only the fact that I had an accident two days ago... she is off the road for major repairs, and even then, she took a major hit like an old car. The driver's seat broke in the rear end accident... which I don't understand... but she is a beauty.

General Comments:

Turning circle is not great, but she kicks into gear on the freeways really well... keeps up with most other cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th January, 2013

29th Dec 2014, 09:48

Hi, I own a KIA Carnival built Aug 2004 and passed compliance in Australia 1/2005.

I'm the second owner. The vehicle has 198000 on the speedo now. The only faults I have had are the starter motor, the thermostat housing and the thermostat pipes. Apart from that it goes great.

A great family car.

22nd Sep 2016, 13:14

Just curious, I'm looking at buying a 2004 model, though the starter motor needs to be replaced. Should I still consider it, considering I don't know how much it'll be to fix it and if that'll be the only problem.

2004 Kia Carnival LS 2.5 litre from Australia and New Zealand


It's a very good car for the price, and I'm happy with it


The ONLY ONE real fault is the "turning circle"; sadly lacking, but maybe it's a front wheel drive thing.

General Comments:

Maybe I haven't had a bad run, 495000, still starts first time every time.

I work the Carnival hard, and it takes it. It's a taxi, so it must take the work or be replaced.

I do most of the general work/servicing upon the vehicle myself, because mechanics working on any car are overrated and overpriced.

Use synthetic oils and change the filters often.

Well done.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th December, 2011

22nd Jun 2017, 12:32

Synth in the high km Carnivals is just a bad idea.

This is why the mechanics charge more... because we actually know what we are talking about.

2004 Kia Carnival LS 2.5 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Reliable, but boring


LS rear speaker is buzzy.

Light coloured fabric not very well suited to a family people mover.

General Comments:

The cabin is much roomier than the Zafira I used to own (which makes the kids happy), but it handles like a heavy older style van compared to the Zafira.

It is good value for money and it's the only full 7 seat people mover in it's price segment, but there are better people movers out there.

That doesn't help if ones new people mover budget (like mine) is such that the only 2 affordable and available alternatives are the Holden Zafira (too small) and the KIA Carnival.

The other alternatives are 33% to 50% more expensive in this market.

So... basic, boring, roomy and does the job it's built for about sums it up.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th June, 2006

2004 Kia Carnival LS 2.5 V6 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Good cheap people mover with a reluctant factory back up to admit problem and fix it


The automatic transmission.

General Comments:

The automatic transmission has been doing its own thing since new.

Kicks down when it feels like it and over revs the engine.

Mostly will not kick down when it should.

Overtaking is a dangerous manoeuvre and requires a lot of space.

When the auto computer is rebooted it actually feels like there is an engine under the bonnet, but that only lasts for a couple of days then it goes off to flexi time land again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th October, 2005

2004 Kia Carnival LS 2.5 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Excellent value for money


No problems with the car after over 34000 kms.

General Comments:

Carnival does all I expected of the car, and does it well.

Ventilation is excellent,

We have done several multi thousand kms trips in comfort and without complaints from our 4 kids 10 to 17 years of age.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th July, 2005

10th Feb 2006, 08:00

We have a carnival 2004 LS. I bought this car new and driven for 2 years and 50000 KM with no problem at all.

15th Mar 2008, 21:55

I purchased a KIA Carnival in September 2004, I had all the extras added for protection etc. A week after delivery we took it back to have the tow bar added, well the electrical end they put on it was for mounting, and every time I tried to connect the trailer the part that KIA installed it fell out. When I asked them about this, they said that was the norm.

So now I have been going to a mechanic closer to home. It gets serviced as close to date as possible, it is now 6 months out of warranty and only done 71,000 klms, The KIA chugs when started and sounds like it is missing. I took it to my mechanic 4,000 klms before service is due and he has informed me that the engine has a problem that will possibly cost lots to fix. He told me that the problem is to do with a cylinder and the head gasket and the sleeve. My mechanic did not charge me for seeing him, but warned me that although the Carnival is only 3 and a half years old and only done 71,000 klms, it is now more than likely worthless. I was advised to contact KIA which I did; they told me to go see an auto electrician, as this will be the problem. They are too busy to look at my car.

When I dispose of this vehicle, I will never touch KIA again, and I will do everything I can to warn others.

$38,000 into 3.5 years is not good enough, and from what I now read on forums around Australia and worldwide, I am one of a large number of fools.

2004 Kia Carnival LS from Australia and New Zealand


Stay away from this car


Auto transmission require replacement after 5,000 k's due to flaring between gears.

The previous model I owned had the same problem. that's why I traded it.

Radio tuner won't stay on stations.

General Comments:

Returned to Kia service department five times before the fault was acknowledged. Off road for two weeks with replacement transmission. After two weeks the problem returned. Kia's answer? Drop it in for more tests.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th April, 2005

15th Jan 2011, 23:17

04 Carnival LS - put it in reverse at the supermarket. The shift went loose and floppy in my hand, one of the cables had snapped. Had to push it out of the park bay, then pushed the selectors on the gearbox to get it in a forward gear and managed to get home in 4th gear; just about cooked the clutch trying to take off at stop signs and lights. Pulled out the cables to replace them. They have got to be the worst idea I have ever seen. Far too light for the task; also, timing belts are due to be replaced at excessive cost. Kia nearly got it right, but this stuff is avoidable. The next vehicle I buy will be devoid of cable controls, and have real timing chains.