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Used Kia Grand Carnival review: 2006-2009

Its bulky box-like shape is perfect for the purpose for which it was created, which was to move large families efficiently.
EXPERT RATING
7

With heaps of space, flexible seating and the punch of a big V6 engine it's no wonder the Kia Grand Carnival has become a family favourite.

MODEL WATCH

The Grand Carnival won't win any beauty contests, but it's not intended to. Its bulky box-like shape is perfect for the purpose for which it was created, which was to move large families efficiently.

Inside it can seat up to eight in three rows of seating that can be shuffled around, folded or removed altogether depending on the need. Removing the second row and folding the third one leaves an enormous cavity that can be filled with all manner of things, from cargo for a small business to sporting or camping gear for weekend fun.

From 2006 the Carnival used a 3.8-litre V6 that developed 184 kW and 343 Nm, enough to give it the punch many Aussies still demand from their cars. The downside is that it can be quite thirsty. Kia offered a five-speed auto across the range, with the added feature of manual shifting available on the Premium range-topper.

On the road the big Carnival drove well, although its bulk meant it was never going to brilliant, the suspension was at its most comfortable when loaded, and the throttle reaction was a little on the sharp side.

All models were well equipped, even the base model had auto air and cruise on top of the expected things like power windows and mirrors, remote central locking and CD sound.

IN THE SHOP

Unlike the first Carnivals the second-generation models only see the inside of a workshop when it's time for a service. Owners report that they are more than happy with the reliability and function of their cars, few report any issues at all. Check for service records and inspect bodywork for damage and the interior for the sort of wear and tear caused by transporting kids.

IN A CRASH

The Carnival has most of the safety gear demanded by today's buyers. All models came standard with dual front airbags and ABS brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, but the EX-L had the added safety of head and side front airbags. The best of all was the Premium, which also had electronic stability control. The only downside was the lack of three-point seat belts in the centre seating positions in the second and third rows.

UNDER THE PUMP

With a big and bulky shape and a large engine the Grand Carnival was never going to be a fuel miser. The official claim was 12.8 L/100 km, but expect mid-teens if you can't keep your foot out of the throttle.

OWNERS SAY

John James' company runs four Carnivals, three of which are driven by sales reps, and he could not be happier with them. The company used to run Falcon wagons, but switched because of the high number of warranty problems with the Fords.

"There have been virtually no mechanical problems, they have plenty of power, they're very comfortable and they have a huge space for carrying things, which makes them ideal reps cars."

AT A GLANCE

Engine: 3.8-litre V6 petrol; 184 kW/343 Nm
Transmission: 5-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Economy: 12.8 L/100 km
Body: 5-door, 8-seat peoplemover
Variants: EX, EX-L and Premium

THE BOTTOM LINE

Big efficient people transporter that gets the job done.

RATING

3.5 stars

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2009 $7,200 $17,050
2008 $7,100 $14,740
2007 $7,000 $14,300
2006 $5,000 $12,320

View all Kia Grand Carnival pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$6,991
Based on 12 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$4,490
Highest Price
$10,888

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(EX) 3.8L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $5,000 – 7,700 2006 Kia Grand Carnival 2006 (EX) Pricing and Specs
EX Luxury 3.8L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $7,000 – 10,780 2006 Kia Grand Carnival 2006 EX Luxury Pricing and Specs
Premium 3.8L, ULP, 5 SP $8,000 – 12,320 2006 Kia Grand Carnival 2006 Premium Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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