2012 Kia Grand Carnival: A Follow-Up Review
It’s been about 8 months since we first picked up our brand new Kia Grand Carnival.We had decided that with the new diesel model now available, it was a perfect time for an upgrade from our previous Grand Carnival.
With 4 children, the Kia Grand Carnival represents far more to me than just a car. It’s my freedom, my sanity saver, and our workhorse. On a single day it could be travelling up mountains as we explore the Gold Coast hinterland, or ferrying the kids to and from school, or stopping in at the local strawberry farm for some fresh produce, or delivering me to appointments in the middle of town, or guiding us safely to a family day out at the beach or a theme park.
We have also packed it chock-a-block with “stuff” as we take off on spontaneous weekends away, and it has certainly carted home it’s fair share of IKEA flatpacks – delivered to the not-so-excited Daddy Smiles for construction.
So yes it’s more than just a family car. It’s an integral part of our family that allows us the freedom to indulge in a way of life that we simply couldn’t do otherwise.
The Kia Grand Carnival is an 8 seater car (and no Daddy Smiles this is NOT a reason for us to have more children!). I love that we can take the whole family on an outing and still have space to bring along a friend or grandparent.
For our normal everyday use, we have removed one of the side seats in the middle row. This is probably one of the greatest features for us. It is our own little landing pad. I can open the doors as we are approaching the car (electronic doors are totally under-rated in my opinion), and have the three big children jump straight in. I then shut the doors, knowing they are safely inside, while they hop into their seats and buckle up. To replace the seat when we have guests takes about 2 mins – seriously!
Of course, I can’t go anywhere these days without a pram. I love having a huge bootspace so that the pram can live permanently in the car. There is plenty of room to add groceries, school bags (and maybe a few IKEA bags too!).
I remember when I first picked up the Grand Carnival, I was a little bit worried about the size. It is not a zippy little compact car, nor does it pretend to be. However I have never felt like I was driving a bus! The powerful engine has a whole lotta grunt, and the reversing camera (available in the SLi and Platinum models) gives me fantastic visibility which is not just a brilliant safety feature, but is incredibly helpful in getting me out of tight spaces in the school carpark.
And speaking of tight spaces – sliding doors, sliding doors, sliding doors! I don’t understand how anyone with children can survive without sliding doors!! For one, I have totally eliminated the stress involved in worrying about the children damaging other cars by pushing open their doors. Second, I don’t worry about little fingers getting accidently slammed in doors. And third, I have so many more parking options available to me because I don’t need the huge area of side-space for doors to open. I can park nice and close to a pole or a wall in a shopping centre, which makes me happy, because I am paranoid about out car being damaged!
So in a nutshell, would I recommend this car? Ah – heck yes! This is our second Kia Grand Carnival and I simply can’t imagine being without it. It makes my life so much easier, and in so many ways! The Grand Carnival S model starts at just $38,990, which is exceptional value for money. The luxury models are also an option depending on your requirements. It is no wonder that it has been the winner of the Cars Sales People’s Choice award for best people mover for four consecutive years.
Next weekend, pop down to your local Kia dealer and take one for a spin. Enjoy the space, feel the power of the engine, and imagine just what a difference the Kia Grand Carnival could make to your family.