Kia's new, bigger and more powerful Grand Carnival MPV can seat eight adults, in three rows of seats, instead of the more usual seven.
The Kia, which replaces the previous Carnival, has a two-three-three seating layout.
It's being marketed locally in two versions, each with identical mechanical specification. The base model Grand Carnival EX has a driveaway price of $39,980 for the standard model; the luxury Limited sells for $47,650. The Grand Carnival Limited is the flagship of Kia's New Zealand range.
The Carnival now has has sleeker more car-like styling and a wedgy front end lines. Kia New Zealand general manager John Keenan says the new model is not "a box on wheels."
It is bigger, and has a roomier and more versatile cabin than its predecessor. Its wheelbase has been stretched to 3020mm (115mm longer than before) and body length of 5130mm (up 200mm). Even the third seat row provides good shoulder room and legroom for three adults without stealing luggage space in the back. With all seats in use, Kia says there is room for at least two large suitcases, pljus soft luggage.
Three separate command-style seats are fitted in the centre row, which makes the Grand Carnival a true eight-seater.
The third-row seatbacks split-fold 60/40 and fold into the floor to be completely hidden. Each of the three centre row seats can fold forward or be completely removed and easily trundled away on built-in wheels. Fold the backrests only and they turn into picnic tables or workstations.
Kia's driveaway pricing includes road tax, 12-month registration, Warrant of Fitness, full tank of fuel, 1500km first service and a five-year up to 100,000km warranty with 24-hour roadside assist.
What you get
Standard equipment includes electrically-powered sliding side doors and opening tailgate, operated by the remote control from outside the vehicle, buttons on the inside or a light tug of the door handles.
A safety reversing mechanism prevents the doors and tailgate closing on limbs.
The Limited model has soft, full leather upholstery on all seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and black lacquer-style finish to the central dash fascia. The standard Grand Carnival EX has velour upholstery.
An eight-way electrically adjustable seat is fitted to the Limited.
A triple zone climate-control air-conditioning system that individually controls the air received by occupants in each of the three rows of seating is also part of the Limited model specification, as is an electric sunroof. The standard model has dual zone climate control.
The Limited's sound system includes an in-dash six-disc Compact Disc player, MP3 and eight Infinity Hi-Fi speakers. The EX has a single CD player, MP3 and six speakers. Both models' sound systems also incvlude a cassette player.
Both have extra audio controls on the steering wheel, a trip computer and rain-sensing windscreen wipers. There’s also a ceiling-mounted convex "conversation mirror " that enables front seats occupants to see what’s going on in the other rows – like parents having eyes in the back of their heads.
In-cabin storage includes 13 cupholders and a double glovebox. There afre multiple power outlets front and rear to run portable fridges and other gadgets.
Roof-mounted luggage rails are standard and the heated door mirrors can be electrically folded when manoeuvring in tight parking spaces and warning sensors in the rear bumper help when reversing.
Bigger more powerful engine
The Grand Carnival's engine is the same 3.8-litre V6 that sister brand Hyundai uses in the Grandeur luxury car.
It replaces the previous model's 2.5-litre V6, and is 41 percent more powerful and delivers 55 percent more torque,
Kia's version of the 24-valve 3778cc unit develops 182kW at 6000rpm and peak torque of 343Nm at 3500rpm.
It has a Continuously Variable Valve Timing System to improve efficiency, fuel economy, and performance.
Kia says the Grand Carnival will accelerate to 100km/h in 10.5 seconds, and sprint from 80 to 100km/h in 5.5 seconds. Top speed is 190km/h, and Kia quotes fuel economy of 24.5mpg.
The gearbox is a newly-developed five-speed automatic, driving the front wheels. The gearbox has a Tiptronic-style sequential manual shift capability.
The transmission has an adaptive function that monitors driver habits and road conditions, using the information to match the shift pattern to the driver's tyle, and ensure smoother gearchanges.
Both Grand Carnival models get an Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) which helps the driver to maintain control, correcting unstable manoeuvres. Both have larger, four-wheel disc brakes than the previous model. There's an ABS anti-lock system and Electronic Brake Distribution.
Kia has designed the new Grand Carnival to be safer than its highly-rated prececessor, with increased collision safety structures built into the body and the provision of six airbags (front, side and curtain) on the Limited model.
The standard Grand Carnival has dual front airbags only. Kia NZ says that because it anticipates that many will be bought for mixed business and passenger use by many intended buyers or will be converted to carry wheelchairs.
A special feature for skiers is an electronically adaptive steering system called VRS or Variable Rack Stroke. When the front wheels are fitted with snow chains the driver can decrease the turning radius to prevent the chains coming into contact with inside guards and suspension.
Kia Grand Carnival specifications
Engine: 3778cc 24-valve V6. Maximum power, 182kW at 6000rpm. Peak torque, 343Nm at 3500rpm.
Transmission: Front-wheel drive. Five-speed adaptive-shift automatic gearbox with sequential-shift manual mode.
Suspension: Front, MacPherson struts. Rear, muilti-link independent.
Brakes: Front, ventilated disc. Rear, solid disc. ABS with EBD. Electronic Stability Programme.
Dimensions: Length, 5130mm. Width, 1985mm. Height, 1830mm. Wheelbase, 3020mm. Kerb weight, 2141kg. Fuel tank capacity, 80 litres.