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2007 Kia Grand Carnival Road Test

2007 Kia Grand Carnival Road Test

Affordable, well built and with enough space to carry eight adults and the week’s groceries, the Kia Grand Carnival is the perfect large family mover.

Model tested: 2007 Kia Grand Carnival EX five-speed auto

CarAdvice rating:

Recommended Retail Price: $37,990 (Kia Grand Carnival EX five-speed auto) -> $50,990 (Kia Grand Carnival Platinum five-speed auto)

If you have always wondered why anyone would buy a car as big as the Kia Grand Carnival, the answer is actually rather simple, apart from the family size, the Grand Carnival provides the practicality and the ability to do nearly anything.

2007 Kia Grand Carnival Road Test

Initially I was scheduled to pick up the standard Kia Carnival but a few problems here and there and I ended up with the Kia Grand Carnival, the biggest Kia (bar the trucks) in the market. From a distance it’s actually a little hard to tell the two apart, but once you get inside, it becomes quite obvious.

The differences between the two models are aplenty, firstly the price, the standard Kia Carnival (pictured below on the right) starts from $32,990 for the EX five-speed manual (you would be mad to buy this in a manual), and goes all the way to $36,490 for the luxury five-speed auto. The Grand Carnival starts from $37,990 for the five-speed auto EX variant and goes all the way to $50,990 for the platinum variant.

With a longer wheel-base, the Grand Carnival needs more power than the standard model, and it gets this in the form of a 3.8-litre petrol engine with 184kW of power and 343Nm of torque. You wouldn’t believe it, but the Grand Carnival is very quick for a car its size, 0-100 in 10.5 seconds. It can easily spin the front wheels on take-off and put a few of the medium cars to shame!

The selling point for the Grand Carnival is that even with the third row of seats in use, there is still more room in the back than your average family sedan! That means you can carry eight passengers and the day’s shopping at the same time, not to mention everyone will ride in comfort!

2007 Kia Grand Carnival Road Test
2007 Kia Grand Carnival Road Test
2007 Kia Grand Carnival Road Test

With 8 seats that can each fit a fully grown adult, the Grand Carnival really does emphasis the Grand part. There is just so much room in the rear that you will be amazed as to what you can actually fit! I honestly think you can fit two cattle calves in the back.

With the third row of seats folded, you already have access to 2.3 cubic meters of load space, fold the middle row and you get 3.1 cubic meters, remove the middle row of seats and you get 4 cubic meters of usable space!

There is a noticeable amount of body roll around corners, but the soft ride and comfort easily make up for it. As far as interior comfort goes, there isn’t much to complain about, the seats are very comfortable, even the third row in the far back. The rear doors slide open easily and stay there as expected. Power windows for all, as well as power rear side vents which open slightly outwards!

2007 Kia Grand Carnival Road Test
2007 Kia Grand Carnival Road Test
2007 Kia Grand Carnival Road Test

This car is rather massive, seating height is on par with a four-wheel-drive. There is a huge gap between the passenger and driver seat, you actually can’t reach the passenger safely, and if you lose something, there is a good chance you will never find it.

Another noticeably annoying bit is the stereo system. Although the speakers are adequate, the volume knob sits on the left hand side of the headunit and given the lack of steering wheel audio controls (on the model tested), you actually need to get out of your seat to reach the headunit, this can become rather annoying once the Scissor Sisters come on for the 6th time in a row.

There are two massive cup holders and a great deal of room to store nearly anything you can think of. You can actually walk through this car. The third row of seats easily pull out, and you can have the third row setup and ready in less than 30 seconds, guaranteed. The middle seats get their own food tray that open up much like the ones found on a plane.

From the centre console you can independently control the temperature for the front and the rear, the middle seats have their own separate system (mounted in the roof) giving the Grand Carnival three separate climate zones! It would be nice if the climate control system was digital. The centre console in general looks a little cheap, but it does the job rather well.

2007 Kia Grand Carnival Road Test
2007 Kia Grand Carnival Road Test
2007 Kia Grand Carnival Road Test
2007 Kia Grand Carnival Road Test

Here is the thing, you wouldn’t buy this car unless you had kids, a few kids, and there is absolutely no reason why a family mover, in 2007, does not come with a DVD player and rear LCDs!

The screens themselves alongside the system would not cost more than $1,500 and this needs to be either standard or available as a cheap option. I believe a great deal of car accidents are caused by distracted parents, so why not keep the kids busy and keep the family safe at the same time?

For those that can’t stop worrying about their kids, Kia has installed a convex interior mirror that allows you to keep an eye out on your passengers, a clever feature, but also a little risky given that once behind the wheel, one needs to put all emphasis on, well, driving.

There are some serious downfalls for the Grand Carnival though, the car misses out on side curtain airbags and there is also no ESP. You can option out the extra airbags for $1,500 (ESP not available). For that you also get some updates to the interior, a leather steering wheel, and rain sensing wipers – all of these features, specially the side curtain airbags need to be standard, but for $1,500 it’s not much.

Standard safety features include Anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, dual front airbags and… not much else.

2007 Kia Grand Carnival Road Test
2007 Kia Grand Carnival Road Test
2007 Kia Grand Carnival Road Test

All that extra room comes at a price, weighing over 2 tonnes, the Kia Grand Carnival is big and thirsty, using 12.8 litres of fuel /100kms. Realistically you’d be looking at around 15 litres.

If you want to be fare, you have to compare the Carnival to the competition, the Toyota Tarago starts at $49,490 for the 2.4-litre four-cylinder variant, the 2.4-litre Honda Odyssey retails for $39,290, and both cars are smaller in all respects.

It probably won’t inspire you to passionately make out with your wife while the kids are still in the back, but when you consider what you actually get for the price, the 3.8-litre V6 Grand Carnival is an absolute bargain and you can use the money you saved on a babysitter and a holiday away from the kids!

Alborz Fallah



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Kia Grand Carnival Specs

Car Details
Make
KIA
Model
GRAND CARNIVAL
Variant
(EX)
Series
VQ
Year
2006
Body Type
4D WAGON
Seats
8
Pricing
New Price
N/A
Private Sale
$9,240 - $10,500
Dealer Retail
$10,920 - $12,980
Dealer Trade
$7,400 - $8,400
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
MULTI POINT F/INJ
Engine Size
3.8L
Cylinders
V6
Max. Torque
343Nm @  3500rpm
Max. Power
184kW @  6000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
92.5W/kg
Bore & Stroke
96x87mm
Compression Ratio
10.4
Valve Gear
VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
5 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
3.333
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
80Litres
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
Not Provided
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1990
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1760mm
Length
5130mm
Width
1985mm
Ground Clearance
140mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:2000  Unbrake:670
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
12.1
Front Rim Size
6.5x16
Rear Rim Size
6.5x16
Front Tyres
225/70 R16
Rear Tyres
225/70 R16
Wheel Base
3020
Front Track
1685
Rear Track
1685
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Multi-link system, Coil Spring
Standard Features
Comfort
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones
Control & Handling
Electronic Brake Force Distribution
Driver
Cruise Control, Power Steering
Entertainment
Radio CD with 6 Speakers
Exterior
Power Mirrors
Interior
Power Windows
Safety
Dual Front Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Driver
Leather Steering Wheel
Entertainment
Premium Sound System
Exterior
Metallic Paint, Roof Racks
Interior
Leather Upholstery
Safety
Side & Head Airbags
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Eng Scuttle
Country of Origin
Korea