(Can you spot my little photo bomber?!?!)
Don’t panic! I didn’t actually crash it. I’m not that dedicated ;)
I did however get to put the KIA Grand Carnival through its paces for a week in the life of the Crash Family. It was great switching up from our old KIA Sorento and trying on something new for size.
And size was a factor – it’s huge! Probably too big for running around doing our normal everyday things as a family of four.
But it really came into its own when we took it for a spin down the Mornington Peninsula on a family plant buying expedition. Check it out:
I was excited to be working with KIA Australia because we already own a Sorento and it was a very considered decision based on affordability. We bought second-hand, but with the Carnival starting at $38,990 (S model) it’s worth the trip to your local KIA dealership to check it out yourself.
There are so many features (too many for me to cover here) that caught my eye. The main one is the flexible space. This is a true 8 seater car that comfortably seats 8 adults with no dinky seats in the boot. Folding seats down and removing them altogether gives you all sorts of configurations (more on that later).
It drives really well and is a very smooth ride, for the driver and the passengers. It is also quite grunty, but then it would need to be to haul a full load. We didn’t test it out to full capacity, but it certainly has revs to spare. Even the guy at the nursery noticed our ride and mentioned he’d heard the Carnivals were “pretty grunty”. There’s that word again!
Here are some of my favourite features (bear in mind I’m a chick and I didn’t really get into the whole mechanics of the car!)
Clockwise from top right:
Headrests that fit down over the top of our car seats! May seem like a little thing, but it means you don’t have to take them off and have them floating around the back somewhere. It also extends the height of the seat for talker kids.
Perfect place for my handbag! My bag fitted snuggly between the centre dashboard and the drinks console. Loved not having to move it off the passenger seat and also all the contents stayed safely inside.
Rear camera in the rearview mirror! This little bit of magic pleased me no end. I love how part of the mirror becomes a rear camera when you’re reversing. Peace of mind that you’re not going to run anyone over or back into something (SLi and Platinum models only and rear parking sensors in the Platinum model).
Electric seat controls! I hate having to fiddle around under the seat, pulling handles, turning dials etc. This control is awesome. You can see exactly what you want to adjust and it’s electric. Too easy. (Platinum model).
Electric sliding side doors! This feature was a clear favourite for the kids. Mine too. Getting kids in and out of carseats can be tiring enough. It’s nice to not have to lug open and pull close a big sliding door as well. (SLi and Platinum models only). In the Platinum model the boot door is powered too. Bonus.
There were also some Cons:
- I got less than 500km out of the tank, and no, I didn’t thrash it. However, it could be because it was it’s first tank. The car only had 30km on it when I picked it up.
- Beware the sliding door buttons on the keyring. A couple of times I went outside to find the side doors open because CrashBoy had been playing with the keyring inside the house!
- Very strong ‘new car’ smell. It is quite plastic smelling and at times irritated my eyes. I would hope this would settle down over time.
Final word on Seat Configuration
I put the kids car seats on either side of the middle row which meant you couldn’t access the third row because you need to push the side seats forward. I have since learned that you can take the middle row centre seat out to give access to the back row.
I also noticed that the seats on the outside of the rows have Isofix mounts, designed for car seats that snap straight into the seat without needing the extra anchor points over the back. I wish our car seats were Isofix compatible. It would be great to be able to use the Isofix mounts because frankly, it’s a bit tricky accessing the anchor point in the back because you have to reach up and over the back of the seat.
Maneuvering the seats is really easy and you can quickly make more space in the back, as you can see in my video.
Would I recommend buying the KIA Grand Carnival?
As a family car it’s a luxury for a family of 4, but the extra space and being able to pick up friends and family is a bonus.
For a family with 3 kids or more, I think it’s a really great buy. It looks good, it has all the bells and whistles and all the important safety features like front, side and curtain airbags and Electronic Stablity Program.
I’m happily giving the KIA Grand Carnival 4 stars.
How many in your family? Does this look like the car for you?