There's going to be an awful lot of people coming to the Motor Show this year, and, keeping this in mind, Kia has decided to show its best effort at shifting an awful lot of people.
The Kia Grand Carnival CRDi takes the people-shifting capability of the V6 Grand Carnival but adds a frugal 2.9 litre diesel engine. A five-speed auto controls gear shifting duties with a tiptronic mode for those who'd like to control their own.
The four-cylinder, intercooled turbo-diesel produces a reasonable 136kW @ 3,800 rpm and 343Nm from 1750-3,500 rpm. The engine includes a variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) and common rail direct injection (CRDi).
The latest Grand Carnival offers the same pulling capacity as its V6-engined brother but with the added benefit of 33 percent better fuel efficiency - a combined ADR fuel consumption figure of 8.5 litres per 100 kms - and lower CO2 emissions from its Euro IV compliant engine.
According to Kia, the diesel Grand Carnival will be ideal for state and local government authorities, disabled transport conversion companies, taxi and limousine services such as airport shuttles. A common sight around Melbourne during the Australian Open Tennis thanks to Kia's courtesy fleet, Kia is also targeting the spacious Carnival to hotels as courtesy cars.
The new diesel Grand Carnival will mirror the petrol-engined in being available in three grades - EX, Premium and Platinum - and still caters for a wide range of users with seating options up to a full eight seats in a 2+3+3 configuration, as well as allowing owners to choose how much luggage space they really need.
The fully-removable 2nd row is complemented by a third row that folds into a well in the luggage compartment to create a fully-flat floor throughout.
Both diesel- and petrol-engined Grand Carnivals feature dual front airbags, ABS brakes with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution), and 3-point seatbelts on all window seats as standard, with front side and curtain airbags available as an option. Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and front and side curtain airbags are standard on the Grand Carnival Premium and Grand Carnival Platinum.
Other features common to all 2009 model Grand Carnivals include dual -zone air-conditioning, dual sliding side doors (powered on the Premium and Platinum), cruise control, power steering, power windows and heated mirrors, iPod compatible 6-speaker radio/CD, front foglights, remote central locking and security alarm with panic button.
The Premium and Platinum models add features such as alloy wheels, leather seats (powered driver's seat on Platinum), while the Platinum model also adds sunroof, powered rear door and upgraded audio.
The 2009 Kia Grand Carnival range starts at $38,890 recommended retail price (RRP) plus on-road costs for the 3.8-litre V6 auto, with the diesel range starting at $41,990 RRP plus on-road costs for the Grand Carnival EX with standard ESP.
The Grand Carnival range runs to the top-of-the-line Grand Carnival Platinum diesel at $53,990 RRP plus on-road costs. Metallic paint is a $450 option on all Kia Grand Carnivals.