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Overview

Kia tempts seven-seat SUV buyers with handsome new-generation Carnival people-mover

Kia logo27 Feb 2015

By TIM ROBSON

IF THERE is a car that underlined the concept of ‘quiet achiever’, the Kia Grand Carnival was it. It wasn’t exactly pretty, it wasn’t chock-full of the latest tech, but it kept on posting great sales numbers in the people-mover segment month after month, year after year.

After nine years on sale, however, the Grand Carnival had done its best work, and was usurped at the top of the people-mover tree by Honda’s new Odyssey in 2014. Even Hyundai snuck past it into second place for the year with its iMax van.

Of course the people-mover segment itself has certainly changed in the nine years that the Grand Carnival – the last vehicle design in the current Kia roster that pre-dated the merger with Hyundai in 1998 – has been on sale.

The fine division of the notion of what an SUV offers to a customer has seen a generation of buyers looking to large ‘soft-roaders’ that can be configured with seven seats, albeit at the expense of cargo capacity.

The new Carnival is set to straddle the line between capacity and civility. With eight full-sized seats, a genuine ability to carry plenty of cargo and a new-world approach to looks, ride and handling, the Carnival is a people-mover in the most modern sense of the word – and one that will have people who are looking at a large SUV sit up and take notice.

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Model release date: 1 February 2015

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