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

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

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!

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.

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

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
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.

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!

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

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




  • http://www.clickcars.co.uk Jason

    A few years ago i would not have considered the likes of KIA or Hyundai, well it’s a brave new world out there and the impossible is more like a reality. I went to test a both a couple of months ago and was hugely surprised. The Hyundai was finished nicer but both were great cars / MPV. I hear that mercedes recently sold Hyundai its shares back. They had about a 10% holding but needed the cash as that silly SMART brand is just haemoraging money. Any case, while they were together Hyundai got the electronics from Mercedes and are putting them in their cars. so if you want some very reasonably priced German electrics look to a HMC (Hyundai Motoring Corp). I’m sure they would have put them in KIA too, perhaps that’s how they can have such long warranty’s? they know at least the electrics are going to last!

  • http://. ROBERTO

    Styling of this car is still bit bizarre, the front end is a hotch potch and the way the grille is finished off is not appealing as looks tad rugged (not real bad still).

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au Matt

    Whilst the styling may not be as refined as that of which we are used to, the car itself is well made and a good buy for the money. It’s nice that at least one manufacturer still makes a people mover the average family can afford to buy brand new.

  • http://. ROBERTO

    Fully agree Matt – to make respectable looking cars is not an exercise to get Mr Bean to design them on how they look, it is critical to get the look correct and just right; and not a case of just throwing $$$ at getting the design as most people would assume.

  • Matthew

    Let’s hope Kia’s a more reliable now . . .

    I know two people who have owned Carnivals and had engine failures and other reliability issues such that they will never buy the brand again.

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ alborz

    Matthew thats correct
    the early model Kia Carnivals were known for engine failures, but that engine has been put away, the new cars use a different engine and ofcourse it comes with a warranty!

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au Matt

    I can speak from experience on Kia & reliability. We’ve had one as our family car for almost three years now and the only time it has been back to the dealership is for scheduled servicing.

  • 280zx

    Must be getting near to the Australian open ?

  • 351XT

    I remember speaking to a kia salesperson about the carnivals V6 problems, he joked that with Carnivals going through the kia dealer only auction, the Auctioner would call out “dont worry folks, this engine is still good”
    Quality seems alot better now.

  • JW

    It seems like a practical way of carting people around, but it’s clearly a budget people mover.

    The interior is excessively grey for a $40k car, and the styling is quite boring and seems to have taken cues from the 2008 Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Voyager at the back.

    I would take an Odyssey or a Tarago, for a similar price.

  • troy

    I hired a grand carnival last year for a family road trip.

    I was sceptical at first…. i was expecting to hate it.

    dad asked, whats under the hood…. 2.7 wheezy v6 i said…. HAH!!! with 7 on board, we left the car dealers yard…. went round a corner, and opened it up…. after 3 minutes we had to stop, pop the bonnet and find what the hell was under the hood!!! we were VERY surprised to see the 180+kw 3.8L !!

    our only gripe was the fuel consumption. Though it was bad because dad and I were having fun smoking ricers and full sick vt commodore kids in the thing!!

    GREAT CAR!!! we didnt want to give it back!

  • troy

    also…. the one we hired was about 10 grand cheaper than an odyssey, and 20+ grand cheaper than a tarago.

    but the odyssey looks oh so cool in black, dumped on 20s!!

    :)

  • Philip

    The Grand Carnival’s safety pack includes ESP, so the article needs to be changed to reflect that. ESP has been part of the safety pack with a full set of airbags since at least March 2007.

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ alborz

    Philip, as far as Kia says officially, the ESP on the grand carnival EX is not standard, its part of the optional safety pack,

    the premium variants get it standard.

    have a look here

    http://www.kia.com.au/default.asp?action=article&ID=23769

  • ASM

    I think this article is looking past Kia’s poor reliability performance, despite recent improvements. It is not uncommon for couple of engine change outs to be needed while still under warranty. You’d be very brave to buy one second hand.

  • les

    ————————

    les wrote:
    les wrote:
    hi we were looking at your site inparticular you have a current reveiw on the
    2007 kia grand carnival , very interesting reading ,but in you summary at the
    end you stated that the vechicl use 12.8 litres to do a 100 kilomtre city cycle,
    and then go on to further state that it would more in the order of 15litre, as
    we own the said vechicle we inform you that inour vechicle it’s over 17.5 litre
    to do a 100 kilomtre trip city cycle ,
    and others here in wodonga have one that
    doe’s over 24 litres to do the same trip , we ourselves have been complaining to
    kia australia for over twelve months now , and after waiting since jan of this
    year for kia’s test equipment that was not sent to the local dealership
    contacted kia again , we recieved a letter from kia that states that the
    comsumption figures stated on the window of the new kia’s ( grand carnival) are
    unacheivable to normal motorist, they further state that anyone purchasing these
    vechicles should allow a minimum of 35 % extra in consumption , it further goe’s
    on that they tested the van with only 10 litre of fuel in the tanks , with no
    driver or passenger , no load and over a thirty kilomtre trip to acheive there
    comsumption figures , we feel had the true been being told by kia we ourselves
    would not have purchased this vechicle , that kia austarlia used false and
    misleading practices to deceive the australian public into buying there cars ,
    we have sent fax’s to the same to consumer affairs in victoria and nsw as well
    as the accc

  • Mark

    I’ve owned a Grand Carnival for over twelve months now and I am generally happy with it. The performance is excellent and highway fuel consumption is reasonable (10 to 11 litre per 100klms). City fuel consumption is higher but this is to be expected of a vehicle of this engine size and Mass.
    Drive a Territory or Prado and see how much fuel they consume!!! Or conversely two Echos/ Getz in convoy to transport eight people.

    If u use all 189 kws and mountainous torque at each launch of course it will guzzle petrol.
    Possibly could do with a stiffer return spring on the throttle to prevent inadvert dragging at the lights.
    I also drive a late model falcon city driving and can only say I am glad it’s dedicated LPG with it’s 4 litre engine.

    I think u will find that the fuel economy test is applied equally to all new vehicles and the results are generally optimistic.

    The Grand Kia is a very roomy vehicle and does she go!!!!!

    Plenty of power to get out of trouble if the need arises. Excellent ship on the open road with eight aboard and a supreme view of the road. So comfortable and whisper quiet. Makes long distance trips effortless.

    A practical workhorse and not a show pony to move large families with the performance and comfort of a new Commodore or Falcon.

    Finally a people mover with a decent donk and five speed auto trany!!!!

    Imagine if they made these things with all wheel drive!

    Sidenote: Hyundai have run Kia for the last five years or so and this shows on my vehicle with numerous Hyundai labels on parts of the car. Hyundai out rates most other manufactures in quality surveys in the states and I think u’ll find that many engine trans components are also common between the two marques now.

  • Brett

    Hi guys, looking at buying a kia grand 2007, 2nd hand for around $35g with only 17000km. Looks good, but im no petrol head, and wouldnt mind a few yeahs or no,s for certain reasons.
    Cheers guys

  • Josh

    Anyone who want to purchase a old Carnival should read the complaints at http://www.motorsm.com/complaints/kia/default.asp before doing so

  • Mark

    Yes Josh the old model had head gasket issues. I had one of those and it was built after 2002 when prob was sorted and I had no probs at all.

    I would recommend the Grand Carnival for the reasons already mentioned and my ownership experience to date.

    If u can afford 65k for the new v6 Tarago then go for it.
    Although even Toyotas have problems believe it or not. Some early V6 PradoS blew head gaskets under warranty as an example. Nothing else has 7/8 proper seats.

  • Goodjob

    For those trying to make the Grand Carnival look inferior to the a Tarago and Odessey.

    Well, if you live in America you may be right, Odessey and Tarago there are much bigger, more spacious and gives you way more luxurious feeling than inferior Austalian versions yet at a similar price. But that’s still not the case, the Sedona still doing very good job with the Japanese contenders there.

    Grand Carnival has already been nominated as the minivan for the year by Motortrend, a well-known American car magazine which uninformed Aussie car buyers disregard.

    It recently got the top safety pick in IIHS study (Insurace Institute for Highway Safety, aka a must reference in America) beating Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey peoplemovers.

    You gotta appreciate Kia’s integrity and honesty in selling equally good people movers unlike its Japansese companies favouring American car buyers so much over the Aussies.

  • Jack Masters

    I’ve got an early Kia Carnival and I had to have the engine rebuilt at my own cost before it had done 100,000km. The problem was meant to be fixed in Carnivals built after March 2002. Only today I was reading reports from people with 2004 and 2006 model Carnivals with engine problems. It seems they’re no more satisfied with their cars than I am with my flawed 1999 model.

    Its great to know there are people out there that are happy with their new Carnivals. I hope they still feel the same when their vehicles reach 100,000km. I hope people looking to buy one will look at past reliability and not just the reports written by people sitting in brand new ones. For my money, I’ll never buy another Kia.

  • Rob Pittman

    I too was worried about buying a grand carnival. But after much research,(and sick of working on my voyager)we took the plunge.
    well, what can i say. If you’re thinking of one of these cars. stop thinking, and stop worrying. we’ve done 5000ks in 5 weeks, I have 4 kids,(yes, you can put a roof mount in it)and it hasn’t faltered.
    It has been back to the shop though.parker bulb died(bulb was good, so was fuse) and the brakes warped a hubcap.
    A bit wishy washy on the road, but what can you expect from truck tyres.

    All in all, well worth the money.
    ps: if you buy 1 that’s used, be careful of mid 2006. problem with fuel system, use twice the fuel.
    thanks, and i hope you like it as much as we do

  • Bruce Norris

    After my Falcon wagon with 3rd row seat became too small for my 6 kids to travel comfortably, my wife and I decided a bigger vehicle was needed. They want space and comfort, I want performance, handling , reasonable towing abality and a reasonable cost. The options were, Prado, Landcruiser, Patrol, Voyager, Tarago and Grand Carnival. Turns out the Kia had the best overall package. After swallowing my pride, we purchased a Black Grand Carnival in March 2007. I immediatelly took it to the local tyre guys and tossed the original wheels for a set of 17 inch rims and some quality tyres. Next stop, King Springs at Southport, lowered 2 inches and nuch firmer. Now it goes around corners without threatening to fall over. Next stop, new exhaust to resolve rediculously restrictive exhaust system, better performance, economy and sound. After 25000k in 6 months, so far so good. If you buy one, sort the handling out, play with the exhaust and you will have a nice ride for a family of up to 8. Only gripe, why does it have to be front wheel drive. Torque steer is a pain and it’s harder to balance on the throttle and towing reduces grip. Ah well, kept the Falcon to keep perspective anyway.

  • Alicia

    DO NOT GO NEAR A KIA!!!! When your engine seizes up because of overheating due to coolant going into the fuel – a design problem – and they are still doing so, just outside of their warranty period, the dealerships and KIA will not want to know and will cause you much heartache, walletache, stress and time and misery.

    BE WARNED. Join this CARNIVAL and you may never find your way home!!!!

    Google KIA CARNIVAL ENGINE FAILURES and read the horror stories, don’t listen to glossy adverts and slick salesmen. Listen to your other families and carers who just want to spare you the grief :)

  • Jill

    I am driving a Carnival, courtesy of a dealer, while my Rio (38000km) is having its blown-out auto trans fixed under warranty. I note that I complained at its 15000km service, and the nechanics could not find a problem: after it died, they took the trans apart and found (quote) ‘an assembly line fault’. We have now waited six weeks for the parts to arrive, and no-one in Korea will give them a date or even availability, although the dealer said two days ago that he nailed them down to 3-5 weeks for despatch. Considering freight of about two weeks as well, my car will have sat in the sun in a mechanic’s yard for three months by the time it arrives. Frustrating for all. Buy a Kia again? Never. I just hope that if ever I get mine back I can sell the darned thing.

  • Duck

    The worst bus people mover on the market!

  • Derek

    Good car for it’s price till the engine dies. Then join the Carnival Engine Failure Club and grow old while waiting for it to be fixed.

  • Derek

    Good car for it’s price. Until the engine dies. Then go join the Kia Engine Failure Club, share horror stories and grow old while waiting for it to be fixed.

  • Steve

    My family and I bought a new Carnival way back in 2000, and yes, we had the short engine replaced at 27,000kms, but it was picked up during a regular service, and repaired under warrenty. We are in the process of purchasing a 2008 model next week, and I wanted to put my 10 cents worth in….
    Since the engine was replaced, it hasn’t missed a beat in 8 years, and that includes 3 major trips across Australia with a trailer and 7 members of my family. There have been the usual items replaced over the years, including power steering pump, brake disks and ignition leads and coils, but other than that we haven’t had a problem. We have done over 127,000kms in our Carnival, and consider ourselves very happy with its performance. Our new one has a 5 year, 130,000km warrenty so that and the price, was the major factor in going for another Carnival. I know there have been lots of engine problems, but from what I had been told it was due to the Rover Engines being used in the pre 2005 vehicles. I hope I have made a good decision, if not the local dealer is going to be cringing when I see him again!!
    Cheers all…..

  • Realcars

    Hyundai markets this vehicle as a Hyundai Entourage in the States along side the Kia Grand Carnival. Both offer 10 year unlimited KLM warranty.

    The 3.8 ltr motor and 5 speed auto is going to be used by Hyundai in it’s new Lexus/ BMW/ Merc style luxury car.

    The problems Kia had with the previous 2.5 ltr British Rover designed motor also occured in same powered Landrover models at this time such as the Freelander etc.

  • Duck

    Whats the difference between a “Carnival” and “Grand Carnival”

  • FORD is No.1

    A. Carnival thats not so Grand in the first place, KIA builds crap….

  • Barney

    Duck
    The Grand Carnival is longer (lots more room) than the stanard Carnival
    Go and hire one for a week and test it ,great car if you have lots of kids

  • MarkA

    Recently purchase a second hand Sept 2006 Grand Carnival and must say 99% happy with it. The 1 percent is to do with fuel consumption, lousy!. 21 litre/100km in in city run and 16litre/100km on combine run. Rob Pittman in Sept 07 stated there was a fuel problem with the mid 06 versions. Does anyone know exactly what that problem is. Had my local Kia dealer look at the car and can’t find anything wrong. Need to give them some ideas to the problem. I don’t expect 12.8L/100km in the city but was hoping it was no more than 15L/100km.

  • Gavin & Michelle

    We have had a Carnival for the past 4 years ’04 Model’ has never given us any trouble has 70,oookms on the clock and yes is a bit thirsy but hey 5 sp manual v6 show me a car that isn’t. There people movers not race cars….
    We have taken the plundge and purchased a Grand Carnival 08 model…

    I hope that we and achieve around 13 to 14 litres / 100km in the city and 11 – 12 / 100kms for highway….

    I was wondering if anybody has installed a towbar on a gran carnival yet?

  • MarkA

    When I sort out why my Grand Carvival is so thirsty then I will install a Tow Bar. I think they are about $750 from Kia but if you go through a towbar shop should get one for $470-500 with a detachable ball (save the shins!).

    Off to another dealer next week to see if the fuel usage problem has anything to do with the Automatic as I detected it changes down gears when I take the foot off the pedal, apparently it shouldn’t do that.

  • Davo

    We own an early 2006 Grand Carnival. Used initially as a work vehicle for numerous client visits, it now sits in our driveway on family duties.

    I must say it’s probably the best value vehicle we’ve ever owned, and also by far the cheapest.

    I’d buy another in a heartbeat. City mileage is 15/100km, which is fine for any 2000kg hauler. No warranty problems at all after 30000km. The 3.8 V6 is a treat, and makes for effortless driving with a full load and both front and rear a/conds running.

    Anyone with a fuel problem should check if the FUEL PUMP recall (replacement) has been performed.

  • Steve

    Bought the 2007 Carnival, and am very happy, have done 2500 kms so far, and agree with the fuel consumption being high…
    The salesman explained to me that it will use more fuel for the first 3000km as the computer senses and records how you drive ie lead foot or sunday driver and will adjust itself to suit the way you drive and the fuel consumption will improve….
    I will wait and see if it is true……
    Other than that I am impressed with the overall quality of manufacture and handling, and the engine bay and paint job is 100% better than our previous model
    Cheers all,

  • Hector

    I live in Pietermaritzburg ,South Africa and have been researching and comparing different experiences in different markets about the Kia Sedona/Carnival since with the size of my family I need a people mover. We get only one model fully specced ( Grand Carnival Platinum) with all the works. The are two engine derivatives a 3.8L V6 petrol and a 2.9CRDi diesel. This is the third installment of Kia here after first being called Carnival and then Sedona. Based on comparisons in different markets it is my conclusion that it is the best value for money.If you buy one now, you will be showing good judgement rather than the sise of your wallet. You guys in OZ, UK and USA are fortunate to have forums like these as they help inform ones decisions on purchases, keep it up and hold the peace.

  • Duck

    There’ve [Kia] picked there act on reliability i say, because ive heard many people about the last model (carnival) that it kept dyeing on them.

  • Mike

    Had an ’05 carnival, new grand carnival premium gets delivered this saturday. I considered many cars before buying Kia again, as we had a few QC issues with the previous carnival. If money was no object, you would have to get a diesel chrysler voyeger, but the cost is too much for me. Same goes for the Tarago Ultima… $25k more than the premium model I bought. But they are better quality cars than the Kia. The Odyssey is a joke, seriously under powered and very small inside – same goes for the Grandis and the Rondo… They are a different class of people mover, ie small mpv rather than the large mpv such as the grand carnival, torago, voyeger etc.
    Early Kia Carnival engine failures should have been a factory backed recall, but there was NO factory backing… The importer at the time was Ateco and not Kia. Shows you what the ACCC is worth….
    If the engine failed in a new Carnival, 5 year warranty, unlimited KMs and backed by Kia.

  • Luis

    Any comments about the short wheel-base version Carnival EX? This is the one with the 2.7L V6 engine. I am particularly interested with it’s actual fuel consumption – it publishes 11L/100 km on combined driving. What is the actual consumption – very important these days? Also, there are reports of “gear hunting” among the different ratios. I’ve taken it out for a road test but did not actually notice this. EX owners – any comment?

  • Tamara

    We bought a 2007 grand carnival and whilst i admit it is nice to drive we have lost reverse after 500km and when told was fixed lost reverse again at 1000km and then again at 1040km. Kia are still running tests as they don’t know what the problem is. Have to say after paying $40k am very dissapointed.

  • Greg

    Hi All,

    Interesting forum, with lots of good comments. I thought I would add my two bits. I first started with the Carnival in 2001 as a affordable 7 seater. Generally, we were very happy; no engine issues, but did have a brake master cylinder fail and it was terribly under powered. Let’s face it, most of us would be like to be driving an SS Commodore, but being practical, three kids and their friends just do not fit. Last year (2007) we decided to move on, and the Carnival was off the list. Mainly because of build quality and resale value. After looking around and around, we tempted fate and took the Grand for a test drive. WOW what a difference. 12 months on, 35000Ks, not one issue. Comfortable, powerful and practical, very practical. Once you get over the name and see this car for its purpose you cannot really fault it. On our first family holiday, we average 10.1L/100Ks from Sydney to Brisbane. Around town it is between 15 and 17 dependant on who is driving.

    Anyway, if you got a big family, I would put this on the top of your short list, as you cannot beat the bang for your buck you get with car.

  • John

    I am seriously looking at buying a 2008 Grand Carnival Premium, but a few issues still concern me 1. engine and other mechanical problems 2. service issues 3. gas guzzler. I still think its better value for money than the new Chrysler Voyager diesel(about $20k extra)and the Toyota Tarago which doesnt have the same capabilities and is quite a tired look, in need of a serious revamp. Its a pity there are many more serious options out there.

  • Alan

    Has anyone had an autogas (LPG) conversion done on a Grand Carnival ? I’d like to know how well it performs ?

  • Billster

    The Final Opinion on the Kia Grand Carnival.

    For those who have the grand carnival this is probably not relevant.But for those who have an opinion but have never really tried it. There are some important things to consider.
    One: It’s not the same as the previous model, Forget about talking about the previous model they are not remotely similar.
    Two: After driving the Grand Carnival all over Australia and doing over 100,000 kilometers it has only had one problem it needed a $3.50 AUD fuse replaced for the left indicator. It has been incredibly reliable. My previous car a 2001 Toyota camry had oil leaks, electrical problems etc. It caused me nothering but trouble. The Kia has been more reliable than my toyota.
    Three: It gives you Bang for your buck unlike other manufacturers. Kia ought to be congratulated for improving its standards. It is one of the best manufacturers in car market.
    Best Regards
    Happy Australian Customer

  • Fuel Consumption

    When measuring your fuel consumption, remember that the second the fuel light comes on is not an indication of true consumption, most cars have at least 5 litres in the tank or more when the light comes on. Its a safety feature so people dont run out of fuel, on the tests they run the cars dry till they stop to get a true consumption.

    wake up and adapt to the fuel price, just means most australian families can buy one less carton of beer a week.

    Fed up with wingin australians

  • justin

    I purchased a 2007 model EX Safety Pack Carnival in May this year.
    3500K klms later we have nothing but praise for the quality and options for a veh at this price.
    The comfort and space is unmatched with other stated options either too dear, too small or under powered.
    I spent 7 months in detail planning a purchase and looked at other options. I did take in to accout the KIA history. However with the Australian Tennis Open sponsership and the marked improvment in commitment with the 5 yrs guarantee it was an easy decision.

    Take one for a drive before you judge.
    Remember to not compare the Grand to the KIA carnivals of old!!!!!

  • Tezza

    Tezza Says:
    August 20th, 2008 at 12:10 am

    I own Territory 7 seat TX 2 Wheel drive have had for 2 years since brand new, it now sits in the garage waiting to be sold and the Grand Carnival Premium is now in the driveway, for those of you out there who have a large family (There is 6 in ours) and own a Territory 7 seater a question ? How much space to you have left over when you go on the family holiday for luggage???????? I know the answer to this one “BUGGER ALL” you need to have the mother in law coffin on the roof to put your suit cases in. Plus this car is a rocketship for its size KIA needs to be commended for their efforts on this one.

  • http://yahoo.com Herbert

    Hi, just want to ask if you have any review/s or comment/s about the new KIA Carnival diesel edition ?

  • http://yahoo.com Herbert

    hi, just want to know if anyone of you have any review/s or comment/s about the new KIA carnival diesel edition ?

  • Nobby

    Got 22.5% off the on road price of my last purchase at Kia(Brand new 2005 LS Carnival).

    Just about to start negotiating a price for a brand new Grand Carnival Premium. (RRP $44990 with some dealers offering $42990 Driveaway)

    Any ideas what the cheapest price one could expect on this?

  • Nobby

    Herbert

    I sent Kia Australia an email about this in January and they stated that they currently have no plans to introduce to Australia. I had a 2.9 CRDI carnival in the UK, But europe only has 7 seat SWB models for sale. I done some research and Kia are sticking the same 2.9 CRDI into the Grand Models in South Africa. visit kia.co.sa Cost wise would be more expensive to run due to the 20c spread in fuel cost and performance wise, the 2.7 petrol seems better than the 2.9 diesel I had.

  • http://www.2j.com.my ROSMAN BIN MOHD NORDIN

    I am using Kia Carnival year 2000 but engine 2005..
    Few months ago i was change my gearbox but after 3 months still having a problem.. My question is how to get the original gearbox? How much the price?

    Thanks

    Rosman bin Mohd Nordin
    No 28, Jalan 14/108, Taman Salak Jaya
    57100 Kuala Lumpur
    Malaysia

  • http://wrxsti Muz

    Had our ’06 Grand Carnival for 45000 k’s now, and LOVE IT!!!

    Why are there still ignorant people trying to compare this model with the earlier ones??? Have you heard of GOOGLE??? They are actually a rebadged Hyundai Entourage, as they are known in America. First people mover to recieve 3 gold stars for front, rear, side impact testing in Yankee land.

    With regards to fuel usage, i’m an a-grade mechanic. I know they have 15000 k service intervals, but the engine in these are so well built (Mitsubishi engines, same as the engine in a Hyundai Granduer, only detuned slightly), with such close tolerances, once the oil starts to break down and degrade – around 6000-7000 k’s, watch your economy go out the window. I change my oil& filter religously every 5 thousand, and get around 14L around town, a best of 9L on the highway. It’s all how you drive it too!!! Don’t winge at the car using fuel because you cannot control your right foot, and have to beat every VE Crappodore off the lights. It weighs over 2 tonnes, with 187 k’w (more than a vs ss v8 btw) – what do you think gets it going in the first place?? Be gentle with the foot, and you will get the economy – and change your oil religiously!!

    Only beef – CRAPPY TYRES!! Useless size 22570r16. Soft, crappy Kumho’s with regular small car pattern on a truck!! Mine almost due, but out of shape and noisey like nothing else!! Rotated and balanced religously every five thousand, wheel alignment every 10000. That is seriously my ownly gripe.

    Otherwise – brilliant!!! Go and buy one if you thinking about it, stop your judging and hire one for a weekend if your a sceptic, or continue to enjoy if you already wised up to the fact that there is nothing on the market that can come close regards to value for money!!

  • Sedona dragon

    We have a Aug06 Grand Carni with the Premium pack $43990 d/away (power sliding doors,ESP, rear sensors ,leather everything ..top of the line at that time before the Platinum came out last year).Took delivery in Jan 07 with the $1k cashback and 6yr/200,000 km warranty. 2 years later and nearly 24,000 kms ( mainly home to school trips and one Sydney/Gold Coast trip last year) we are very happy with it , no problems whatsoever. Lots of room for luggage for a family of 6 with 4 girls.

    When I first bought the GC i was told by a mechanic at a party I went to to sell it straight away. Because they are unreliable and the engine was a piece of crap!!! I asked him what model he was talking about…..it was a 2000 model carnival. I told him they are far more superior now and that it was wrong for him to compare two different models and judge them as being the same….much like comparing a 1989 EA Falcon 3 speed auto to a ’08 Falcon XT.

    Like the previous postings have said rent one out before you buy..Europecar have a lot of them….

  • matthew

    just bought 2007 grand carnival auto seems to take a while to engage into drive from reverse and slips auto fluid level all good antone else haveing this problem?

  • Dave

    Today I bought a 11/2006 build 12/2006 Compliance KIA Carnival, I hope I’ve done the right thing (traded a AUIII Ford Falcon XR8), can any one tell me if there is anything I should look out for.

  • Dave

    By the way it’s A KIA Grand Carnival first registered 04/2007, 78628ks

  • sam

    i have 12/08 ex australian tennis grand carnival premium,best investment i ever done,(wish i could say the same about my wife)lol…..love the car nice black all lether and my right foot loves it…..i recomend you to buy one,,,,stuff the tarago…had one for 1 week too slugish, not the same luggage room, not much passenger space like the grand carnival,never go back to a tarago…well done kia,cant wait for the next new shape ….

  • eddie

    Have a 2007 Grand. Converted to run on LPG (80L LPG tank – 320KM). Huge saving. as compared to running on Petrol alone. The only complaint I have is that the Engine Light will come and go off. Any mate having the same problem on the engine light? Anyway, the 2007 Grand is a great car to have. If only KIA will not void the engine warranty after teh conversion.

    • Mooseman

      Where abouts did they put the tank?

  • http://www.kiacarnivaldisaster.com/ kate

    • 2005 kia carnival brought may 2006 with 11 000km on the clock
    • 94000 kms just stopped whilst driving it no warning, no noises nothing.
    • Cam shaft seized
    • Timing belt thrown
    • One head damaged by the above
    • Opposite side bottom end pistons burnt and overheated
    • Little or no oil and water to one side of engine due to carbonisation blockages caused by poor quality rings
    • Mechanic advised not worth repairing engine is a write off
    • Unable to purchase new motor, have to purchase second hand motor and rebuild $8000 plus!
    • Financially unviable to repair.
    • Was worth $10 000 to $16 000 now worth NIL
    • Left owing money, no car with 5 kids and a frail age mother in my care.

    The car dealer we brought it from said too bad out of warranty
    Kia said if it had done under 90 000 kms they may have covered parts only.

    • Tashandsteve4

      What did you end up doing with your car? I have the same problem, but my car broke down two hours from where I live. Any suggestions?

  • david mckee

    well well people were still winging about the old 2001 carnival. Kia has come a long long way since 2001 it would be good if some of you people had the same memory about bad politions get over it deep breath in out ps how about lifting the bonnet check the oil and water or did,nt dad teach you how to do that it takes 5 minuites of your timeit could save you a whole lot of money and that goes with any brand of car not just kia

  • Robert Wooley

    I have had my Grand Carnival Premium for 2 years now. Just run up 65,000km, and just replaced the 4 tyres.
    I love my GC, Electric Doors are great.
    I took the middle centre seat out of the car, we dont need to use it. makes enrty to back seats even easier.
    I can lower the rear seat and carry heaps.
    I have added a Rear Camera beside number plate and a LCD review mirror. I have a box trailer with a Camera also, so when reversing the trailer camera works. I chose the car for my Novated Lease.
    i intend to buy the CRD Platium next year.
    I have had no problems at all, and for the price the package is the best on the market.

  • dario

    I might be onto something with high city cycle fuel consumption.I’ve noticed my july 2007 grand carnival changes up into 3rd,4th& 5th too soon,it also seems to hog 3rd for every corner even @ 20km/h.This makes the engine labour,& with little to no torque below 2000rpm,it really makes the tranny slip & engine bog down,hence high fuel cosumption. Another thing I noticed when in sequential shift mode,it never changes down from 3rd to 2nd with the programmed override,it jumps straight to 1st @ approx 18kp/h,very annoying. One more issue with the auto, it needs a lot of pedal travel to force it to change down a gear,when it does you feel like you’re giving it to her.I would like to hear from other fertile GC drivers if they agree. Size matters! go the Grand!

  • Andrew

    Have a 2007 Grand Carnival – love it. With 4 kids and occasional grandparents – takes all onboard comfortably. We chose it originally because it was the only people mover that could take the family, strollers plus shopping etc…with plenty of power. Yes – it does chew up fuel – particularly depending on driving styles (my wife uses less fuel than I do …surprise), but it’s a big vehicle that is capable of moving quickly. Have driven to Syd, Melb, Bris, Adelaide and around Tassie…90k never had any major issues.
    Other than fuel – the only a couple of issues – factory tyres are poor – changed to Goodyear – but they scalloped, more regular wheel alignments would have helped, but it’s an issue Kia should investigate. Currently have Bridgestone – going great. Brakes tend to wear quickly with machining required….again could reflect driving style, particularly with such a heavy car.
    Keen to explore LPG. Overall..would recommend as very fit for my purposes – not luxury –but does the job I need exceptionally well.

  • Darryl

    I have a 1999 Carnival Ls. Believe it or not….190000kms.
    No engine trouble.
    Have read the comments here, and am convinced to upgrade to post 2006 Grand Carnival! Inspected inside of one today, am in love! I need to have one!…..at a good price of course.

  • matt

    The Hyundai Entourage is actually a rebaged Kia Sedona/Grand Carnival, Muz. Built by Kia in Kia’s Sohari plant.

  • HyundaiSmoke

    They stopped selling Entourages in the States. Its absolute rubbish, and this is from a Hyundai guy here. Anyhing made at Sohari is absolute Rubbish, thats why HKAG is shutting that plant down soon. Its a drag on their reliability scores, and they would already be the most relaible company on the planet if it wasnt for that dammed stupid Sohari plant.

  • craig

    got a carnival and motor is toast after low km what a joke
    and been told 10 large to fix ……. now car in garage and heading for scrap when load paid out :((

  • Solange Berry

    I have a large family of 8, 6 children 11-21. WE absolutely love our Grand carnival after being a family who always drove a Tarago. The Kia middle row seats have ample room for long legged teenage sons. We test drove a new tarago and the smaller width of seats in the 2nd and 3rd row don’t compare to the kia. Also the back seat in the Tarago is low and the view for smaller children is dismal. Recipe for car sickness. The older model taragos back seat were much better and I believe Toyota has failed the larger family with the back row. We drive 2000km every christmas for family holiday and even our older children 21, 19 choose to travel in the car with us.
    Recently drove 2000km with all family(luggage) and towing 6m fiberglass boat and car cruised effortlessly. Didn’t even lose speed on the hills. Higher fuel consumption is worth the trade off for power and I believe much safer on the open highway. Would never go back to a sluggish Tarago which struggled to cope with a full load let alone towing as well. The view from all rows is fantastic and makes motoring enjoyable for all. It is a pity that the previous kia problems has put people off even trying one because they are missing out.

  • Nath746

    We have a 2009 Kia Grand Carnival Identical to the one tested here. One thing though, ours accelerates faster than 10.5 seconds from 0 to 100km/h. ours did it in about 9 seconds (with the air conditioner on). Kia seems to be underrating themselves… and the Fuel Economy is TERRIBLE!! we average about 11L/100km mostly highway driving in country victoria and it gets up to 15-17L/100km in the city or when towing… Ours is the Petrol Powered Model. Very Powerful Engine and smooth gearbox, but slow to change gears in manual mode… The Diesel has exactly the sam etorque output (but a lot lower in the rev range) but less power.
    CA, can you please test the Diesel Model (or have a comparison between the Diesel and Petrol Powered Models) as I find it hard to find a Diesel Review of the Grand Carnival.

  • http://t.a.verrall@bigpond.com alan

    hi we own a grand carnival 07 model we got this one 2nd hand after getting rid of our 2000 model with the dodgy quad cam 2 and a bit litre engine i can say this model is if u wernt one of a few that had to have the revised brake rotors and pads replaced at 40 something thousand ks fitted we have traveled from s.a to melb with car trailer in tow picked up 70s model car and drove back to s.a with out a prob.so hey were happy with our purchase and were up 73,000 kms

  • virja

    own a grand carnival 2007. past warranty. local dealers and repairs cant seem to advise or repair faulty electric sliding doors. poor support from dealers outside of warranty period. anyone with this problem. is it electrical as it simply no longer functions and has to be manually opened and closed. is there a fuse- even this is not clear in the manual. poor feedback for Kia review and will certainly discourage this maker of cars to anyone looking to purchase in the future.

  • Canberra Base

    You can’t compare the old carnival to the new Grand. KIA has come a long way. Hire one if you are sceptical, thats how I fell in love with Grand Carnival. Truly this car is by far more practical, more comfy, more roomy and spacious and more family friendly than a Tarago or Oddyssey.

    I have a 2007 Grand Carnival (owned since new) and it has been incredibly reliable and I have no issues to report after owning it for 4 years.

    Its an absulte gem of a family car, it defied all of our expectations and has been by far the most wonderful and surprisingly reliable car experience that we have ever encountered.

    Incredible value for money, very reliable, plenty of power, and most importantly very comfortable and very roomy cabin with large seats and enormous luggage boot space to move our family and everything we need to go holidays or anywhere. Something the Tarago and the Odyssey couldn’t do for our family of 6.

    You can’t even compare a Tarago or Odyssey to it. Travelling in a Grand Carnival is literally like travelling in Business Class for the whole family and every passenger has a large window seat and plenty of leg room. This is the only car that our kids truly enjoy travelling in and never complain or get claustrophobic or dizzy. Tarago and Odyssey owners eat your heart out.

  • Huski

    Will the Grand Carnival tow a caravan – we have a 16 foot pop top – whats the tow ball weight on one of these things?
    Thanks

  • Peter

    Help? Anyone put a heavy duty tow bar on a grand carnival (2010). I am worried about ground clearance going up a steep undercover shopping centr car park

Kia Grand Carnival Specs

Car Details
Make
KIA
Model
GRAND CARNIVAL
Variant
(EX)
Series
VQ
Year
2006
Body Type
4D WAGON
Seats
8
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
80
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
12.8L / 100km
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
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 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
9-H-13
Country of Origin
KOREA