While the 2012 Sportage comes less than a year since its local debut, the segment-beating Grand Carnival is ageing. The latest updates are to tide it over until its replacement arrives.
For 2012, Kia waves goodbye to the short-wheelbase Carnival, its entry-level S specification shifting to the Grand Carnival range where it joins the Si, SLi and Platinum grades.
With the absence of the $35,990 Carnival S, the cost of entry into the Grand Carnival range is now $38,990 for the Grand Carnival S - $2000 short of the previous entry model, the petrol Si.
Gone too is the Grand Carnival's 136kW/343Nm 2.9 litre diesel engine, replaced with Kia's newer and smaller (but more powerful) 2.2 R-Series turbodiesel that offers 143kW and 429Nm of torque.
Kia's new six-speed automatic transmission replaces the five-speed auto, cutting fuel consumption to 8.1 l/100km - down from 8.5 l/100km.
The Grand Carnival range however gets a price increase for 2012 (most notably among the diesel models), but gains Bluetooth audio and handsfree calling, along with USB/aux connectivity and steering-mounted controls for cruise and audio control.
The Si specs up with 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails and rear chrome highlights, while the SLi and Platinum get a rear-view camera and electric sliding doors in the sticker price.
Rear parking sensors, a sunroof and a powered tailgate are unique to the Platinum spec.
Inside, look for a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob in the SLi and Platinum, while the Si, SLi and Platinum all offer rear-quarter power windows and a front centre table.
- 2012 Kia Grand Carnival S 3.5 petrol - $38,990
- 2012 Kia Grand Carnival Si 3.5 petrol - $40,990 (+ $1000)
- 2012 Kia Grand Carnival SLi 3.5 petrol - $46,190 (+ $200)
- 2012 Kia Grand Carnival Platinum 3.5 petrol - $52,190 (+ $200)
- 2012 Kia Grand Carnival Si 2.2 CRDi – $44,990 (+ $2400)
- 2012 Kia Grand Carnival SLi 2.2 CRDi – $50,190 (+ $1600)
- 2012 Kia Grand Carnival Platinum 2.2 CRDi – $56,190 (+ $1600)
As for a replacement for the ageing Carnival range, Kia Australia's Kevin Hepworth hinted to TMR that a successor is expected to debut internationally in mid- to late-2012.
Styling of the new model remains a secret, but with Ford's boxy Flex people-mover proving a strong seller in the US market, Kia's recent KV7 concept could offer one preview of what lies ahead.
2012 Kia Sportage
The popular Sportage joins the line of new models and updates to the Kia range this year, gaining a number of minor improvements - and a small price increase.
Among the 2012 model-year updates for the Sportage are rubberised bottoms for the cup holders, and a similar treatment to the storage cubby located in front of the gear shifter.
Stain-resistant fabrics are now featured, along with a dash-dimming function across the range and a smart-key for the Platinum grade. Larger brakes are also now standard for the SLi and Platinum models.
Although improving, the Sportage continues to struggle with supply on the diesel front, averaging a two month wait - down from seven to eight months. Supply of petrol models has been greatly improved however, dropping to just two weeks.
- 2012 Kia Sportage Si 2.0 manual - $26,720
- 2012 Kia Sportage Si 2.0 automatic - $28,720
- 2012 Kia Sportage SLi 2.4 AWD automatic - $32,720
- 2012 Kia Sportage Platinum 2.4 AWD automatic - $36,720
- 2012 Kia Sportage SLi 2.0 CRDi AWD automatic - $35,720
- 2012 Kia Sportage Platinum 2.0 CRDi AWD automatic - $39,720
Note: all prices are manufacturer's list price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.