MS Dhoni???s charges chased down their hosts??? total 130-6 with??19 balls??to spare ??? Faf du Plessis (55 from 41 balls) and Suresh Raina (41no from 34) the key men ??? as the two-time champions won their ninth game of the campaign and inflicted an 11th group-stage defeat from 14 games on their opponents.
Chennai, IPL winners in 2010 and 2011, will now feature in the first play-off qualifier on May 19 but should they lose that clash they will get another opportunity to make the showpiece game three days later.
Kings XI elected to bat after winning the toss in Mohali but stumbled throughout the majority of their innings after hard-hitting opener Wriddhiman Saha (15 from 12) fell in the third over.
George Bailey (12), Glenn Maxwell (six) and David Miller (11) all failed to make significant scores for last term???s beaten finalists as Chennai???s attack, including spinners Ravichandran Ashwin (1-14) and Pawan Negi (2-25), took charge.
Axar Patel (32 from 29) and Rishi Dhawan (25no from 20) were able to add 44 runs for the seventh wicket, though, to at least give the strugglers something to defend.
Chennai???s Mike Hussey (one) failed on his first IPL appearance of the season, while Brendon McCullum (six), playing in his final game before joining the New Zealand squad in England, went cheaply, too.
But Du Plessis and Raina then put on 92 for the third wicket and although the former was bowled by Dhawan with 29 runs still required, some lusty blows from Dhoni (25no from 16) blasted the Super Kings over the line with ease.