People-movers got a bad rap when they first started to appear on the market in the 1980s, rightly so as they were based on dodgy commercial vans that were no place for families concerned about their safety. But the latest generation of people-movers tackled those issues and are much better.
The Kia Grand Carnival was still a box-like shape, that was a consequence of its assigned task, but that’s where the comparison with the bad old people-movers ended.
There was a range of models, starting with the S, and moving up through the Si and SLi until you reached the Platinum, which had a host of standard features.
Inside, it had enough space to carry a large family of up to eight, and their luggage as well. There were three rows of seats, with enough flexibility to move around or remove to suit the needs of most families, and child seat anchorages allowed nippers to be transported in safety.
There was nothing breathtaking about the technology in the Grand Carnival; it was a conventional front-wheel driver with the choice of petrol and turbodiesel engines and an automatic transmission.
The petrol option was a 3.5litre V6, which gave the big wagon a decent push-along, but it was a keen consumer of fuel.
On the other side of the fuel picture was a 2.2-litre fourcylinder turbo-diesel, which still offered decent performance while reducing the Grand Carnival’s thirst for fuel.
Both engines were matched to six-speed auto transmissions.
As would be expected the Grand Carnival wasn’t an exciting drive, but it was competent, and handled and stopped well for its bulk.
Space is the main priority of anyone considering a peoplemover; they usually have sizeable tribes that demand a big vehicle, and the Grand Carnival has been one of the favourites in the field.
It takes up to eight in three rows that can variously be