Space shut­tle

Herald Sun - Motoring - - USED CAR | KIA GRAND CARNIVAL -

NEW

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.

NOW

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

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