It’s almost a year since the new Kia Carnival scored a surprise four-star ANCAP rating, chalked up at the time partly to “excessive movement of the park and foot brake pedals and significant footwell deformation”.
Kia Australia at the time was taken aback by the result, which went contrary to what internal data suggested. As a result, the company’s Korean R&D headquarters embarked on a number of design changes to add the extra star. It succeeded.
“After a disappointing 4 star result for the Carnival in March last year, Kia has worked to implement a number of safety improvements which have seen the vehicle reach the 5 star mark,” ANCAP CEO James Goodwin said.
“A number of design changes to the Carnival have seen the score in the frontal offset test increase substantially and consumers should feel confident the updated vehicle offers significant improvements to safety.”
The frontal offset crash test result increased from 10.48 to 14.29 points out of 16, taking its overall score to 34.62 out of 37. The Kia Carnival is also the first model to meet ANCAP’s 2016 requirements and be awarded a 2016 date-stamped safety rating.
The 2016 safety rating applies to all variants of the Kia Carnival manufactured from December 2015.
However, all is not perfect. “There continued to be some issues with intrusion into the driver’s foot well area and pedal movement however, the risk was reduced compared to the previously tested model,” Goodwin added.
Speaking on the announcement today, Kia Australia chief operating officer Damien Meredith said the success of the re-development program was a “very satisfying” outcome.
“At the time of the original test it is fair to say that we were disappointed, but safety is a non-negotiable for Kia and the determination of all involved to retain Kia Motors Australia’s record of an all five-star model line-up was admirable."
Irrespective of the ANCAP rating, the Kia Carnival is certainly resonating with buyers. In 2015 it was the top-selling people-mover with 3638 sales, up 130 per cent. This gave it market share of about 32 per cent. Number two was the Honda Odyssey with 2836 sales.