The MPV gets grander
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 sleeker more car-like styling and 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, plus 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 Kia 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 include 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 seat 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 are 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.