The South Korean automotive manufacturer, Kia has launched the Grand Carnival in Pakistan in collaboration with its local partner Yunus Brothers Group under the brand name Kia Lucky Motors, Pakistan.
The first generation of this vehicle was launched back in 1998 and the third generation in 2015. The Grand Carnival launched in Pakistan is the third generation facelift, which the company has launched globally at the beginning of 2018. Internationally, it was introduced in both petrol and diesel variant; however, in Pakistan, the company has launched the petrol variant first. In this review, we will be discussing the Grand Carnival Ex Variant.
The exterior of the Grand Carnival is sleek and solid, and the company has put extra efforts to make it more aerodynamic. The vehicle’s design is considered as one of the most influential and revolutionary in the recent time. All credit goes to Peter Schreyer, the Chief Design Officer of Kia, who is also known for his design contributions to the Audi TT and Volkswagen.
One can easily decipher that the company not only put extra efforts to build the quality and durable vehicles but also focuses on its design.
If one has to describe the exterior of this car in one word, then the word is Grand; just as the name of this car suggests. The front grille of the Grand Carnival has chrome silver lining, which is giving the car an overall good look. The front headlights have DRLs (daylight running lights), and projection headlamps, both low and high beam, are installed in the front headlights. Moreover, the fog lights have projection lamps as well.
Moving onwards, at the front bumper, there are four park assist sensors. And at the extreme lower end of the bumper, there is a lip attached to it, which is giving the vehicle a more sporty look.
In my opinion, the Grand Carnival falls into all three categories; MPV, SUV and Crossover, however, it would be unwise to just limit this amazing vehicle in just one category, as it has to offer a lot more than in each particular category.
Now coming to the side profile of the car, the length is almost 6 inches bigger than that of Toyota Land Cruiser. It comes with 18-inch alloy wheels with imported tyres, because these are CBU vehicles, that’s why the tyres installed are imported.
The side doors of Grand Carnival are sliding, so there is an impression at the rear fender which helps the door to open smoothly.
Same as the front part of the vehicle, the rear part also has a lot more to offer. It has a shark fin antenna mounted at the top. Furthermore, there is also a spoiler with high mount brake light, and a back viper is also there. The backlights have LED lights in them, which makes it appear good. There is a chrome garnish at the rear, a reverse camera, parking sensors, reflectors, and a diffuser bumper.
Smart Keyless Entry:
There is a keyless entry with smart entry function in the vehicle, which means you don’t have to hold the key in your hand to open the door of the vehicle, you can easily open the door automatically with the push of the button even if the key is in your pocket.
The first thing to grab your attention as you enter is the engine start/stop button. After hitting the start button, the engine comes to life without making much sound, which in my opinion is a good treat for the consumer. The interior, just like the exterior, is captivating.
There are two sunroofs in the vehicle, which can be opened by just tapping buttons given on the roof in the front and back. The backdoors are automatic; they can also be opened by just tapping a button.
You will find a cluster of buttons in the vehicle; it has infotainment system, climate control system, steering controls, etc. The company has equipped the vehicle with state-of-the-art speedometer, that signals the driver about the average distance, and also there is a thermostat in it. Additionally, there is a trip meter as well. It also shows the setting of doors, lights, sound, and service interval, etc. You can navigate through it and can easily change the settings according to your preference and taste. There is an onboard computer present in the vehicle. There is a conversation mirror in the vehicle, which helps you to talk easily with the people sitting in the back.
The telescopic steering of the car is quite sporty with all sorts of buttons placed on it. There is a voice command control present in the steering, and if you connect your mobile phone with the infotainment system, you can receive the call by just pressing the button on the steering wheel.
The important thing to mention here is the cruise control button. I have used this cruise control, and I am very much impressed by it. For example, if you use the cruise of jeeps such as Toyota Land Cruiser, which I use, it doesn’t work when you are speeding over 110. However, on the contrary, in this vehicle you can easily opt for cruise control from 60 Km/h to the end limit, it works perfectly fine.
The dashboard and its paneling are within the arm length; you don’t have to stretch yourself much to reach the desired spot in the vehicle. There are two glove boxes in the dashboard; the lower glove box has a cooling compartment as well. You can place your drinks, and the cool air will keep it chilled.
Coming to the parking brake of the car, as compared to the other vehicles it seemed older. As all the newly manufactured cars come with electronic parking brakes, which, if in the long run malfunctions, can create a major problem. So, in my view, the parking brake in Carnival is a blessing in disguise. It is placed near your accelerator. You just have to push it for applying and similarly push it again to release.
In longer traffic times, the car starts to produce annoying sounds due to the parking sensors. So, you can just tap the button near the gear to deactivate the parking sensors. You can see another button near the parking sensor button, which is named as Eco active button. It turns the Grand Carnival into eco mode, and you can use this function to increase fuel mileage of the vehicle. And if you want to get more power out of the machine, just tap the eco button once again, and it will deactivate.
One of the amazing things, in my opinion, is the cardholder which is introduced into the vehicle. You can place your cards there to keep them handy when required.
As far as the infotainment system is concerned, it is placed right at the centre of the dashboard. It has a 7-inch TFT and android system. It has the feature of screen mirroring; you can mirror both Android and Apple smartphones. There are 3 USB ports in the vehicle which are present at the front, in the central armrest and the second row. Also, there are 3 12V charging docks in the Grand Carnival; one is present in the front, second in the armrest and third in the boot. Furthermore, there is an Aux-in socket as well.
The driving seats of the Grand Carnival are electric, and you can slide in the car to and fro and also upward and downward. One of the interesting features which Kia has introduced in the vehicle is the 4-way lumbar support that helps one on long routes. You can adjust the seat according to your driving posture to avoid backache.
Moving onwards, the headroom and legroom for the first three rows are very good. However, in the last row, which is the fourth row, travelling long distances will be quite tricky. Teens can easily fit in the last row.
A total of 8 adults and three children can easily travel in the car. It is to be noted here that if 11 people are travelling in the car, there is zero luggage space.
If you want to carry your luggage in the vehicle, you have to fold the fourth row in order to put your luggage in the car, otherwise as I have said before there is zero boot space in all four rows, but there will be great space in the boot, if the fourth row is folded.
One large bag, two mid-sized bags, and two small bags can easily fit in the back, leaving some extra space.
Engine Performance, Suspension, and Braking:
The vehicle is equipped with a 3.3 V6 petrol engine, which is indeed a powerful engine, mated to a 6-speed auto transmission with a Tiptronic that produces 270 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 318 Nm of torque at 5,200. As I drove the Carnival, it never felt underpowered, there is no lag in it while delivering the power, you just floor the accelerator, and it gives you the required response. However, it is important to mention here that if you get the maximum output from the vehicle, the fuel economy will plunge sharply.
The fuel average in Urban areas is around 7 to 7.5 litre, and on highways, it gives 9 to 9.5 litre. Given the size of the car and the number of passengers it carries, in my opinion, these numbers are impressive.
The suspension of the Grand Carnival is just impressive, as you won’t feel any bump while driving the vehicle, it passes through all the potholes with ease. The ground clearance of the Carnival is also good, with much speed and carrying 8 passengers; it didn’t touch any speed breaker. The brakes of the Kia Grand Carnival are quite good.
One thing to remember here is that if you are driving the vehicle at high speed, manoeuvring it might become difficult as the car is longer and which is why it also sways out sometimes from the back. Parking the Carnival could become a hectic task as the side mirrors do not show the last tip of the vehicle, there are parking sensors at the back, but still, parking will be difficult.
Security and Safety Features:
The car comes with dual air-bags. However, one can add six more airbags in the vehicle. My point here is that these six-airbags should have come by default from the company as the life of people sitting in the back is equally important as the life of the people sitting in the front. One can also add Electronic Stability Program (ESP) in the car, which doesn’t come standard in it. There is an immobilizer in the Carnival on both standard and high-end variant.
The vehicle is also equipped with Traction Control and Anti-Lock Braking System.
The Grand Carnival is being offered at a starting price of PKR 3,999,000 for the standard version and PKR 4,799,000 for the Ex (high spec) version. Moreover, Kia is offering four years or 100,000 km warranty, which speaks volumes about the confidence they have in their product.
0 to 100-speed test:
The vehicle reached from 0 to 100 km/h in over 11 seconds.
All in all, the newly launched Kia vehicle is Grand just like its name. It will undoubtedly diversify the local market. Its built quality, features, engine performance, etc. are all exceptionally well. If you debadge the car, it will look like a German made car. Kia Lucky Motors has inaugurated its dealerships in big cities such as Lahore, Faisalabad and Karachi and they are expected to launch in other cities as well. So, parts availability will not be an issue, on the other hand, the parts will be available at a competitive price.
Some of you may think that the vehicle is overpriced, however, if we look at all the aspects, then it is a good price at which the company is offering the vehicle. If you compare this vehicle with other cars in the same category, which are being imported into Pakistan, then they are 3 to 5 years old with no warranty and backup services. On the contrary, it’s a brand new CBU vehicle from the company with warranty and backup services. So, it’s a bold move by Kia.
Watch the full review by Mr. Suneel Munj:
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