Fresh from its 23 March debut, the Kia Grand Carnival is in the news again, courtesy of Naza Kia Malaysia. Here’s a touching depiction of the Grand Carnival: There comes a time in most of our lives where everything from the way you dress to the car you drive goes through a major paradigm shift. While continuing to wear the sneakers is largely fine, a car tight on space becomes obsolete and impractical. A growing family and commitments at this point in life is usually followed by the arrival of an MPV. Of the many MPVs already in the market, the latest one has moved the game up a notch through added convenience, lots of style and smoking performance. Hence, you have the 2017 Kia Grand Carnival, the latest MPV in the country, in its third-generation guise and is considered the most stylish and fun to drive Kia MPV ever.

On the exterior, the Kia Grand Carnival makes its presence felt by its sheer size alone. It is like shaking hands with someone who has big hands, you notice it immediately. And then you notice the next thing about the Grand Carnival, and that would be its bold good-looks, like the signature ‘Schreyer Grille’ and the sleek white LED daytime running lights. It actually gives this one-time mundane MPV a touch of much welcomed modernity. And besides good looks and an imposing presence, the other feature that every MPV should have is power-sliding doors. Of course Kia understands that and the top-of-the-line Grand Carnival comes with powered doors that are easily operated at the touch of a button.

There is nothing quite like stepping out of a large MPV without the hassle of having to open and shut the doors yourself, it is like having your own personal valet. The Grand Carnival sits eight regular sized people comfortably, and access to the third row seats is done by simply pulling on a lever. You have a choice of opting for fabric seats or the plush, smooth dual-tone leather seats, the latter gives the Grand Carnival a true upmarket ambiance that rivals the most plush of MPVs. Comfort is the name of the game and the Grand Carnival is one of the best players. All passengers are kept cool and comfortable by their own dedicated air-conditioning vents. Cool, crisp air is distributed throughout the cabin, and no passenger is left hopelessly uncomfortable as passengers seated in any of the three rows will be able to choose their own temperature. Then of course there is the entertainment factor, which again the Grand Carnival does not skimp out on with a six-speaker system that is connected to a touch-screen entertainment system with a 4.3-inch TFT color screen. This system lets you connect a USB and even has an AUX port. But that is not the best part about the Grand Carnival. The fact that this MPV has ample storage room deserves a paragraph to itself. The center storage space between the driver and passenger alone is able to fit your handbag, or your 13-inch PC. There are also plenty of ample small compartments around the cabin for absolute convenience.

With the seats folded up, the interior of the Grand Carnival transforms into the perfect companion for trips to Ikea (say goodbye to those exorbitant transport fees) as it will easily fit a two-seat sofa, and the electrically powered booth makes opening and closing as simple as touching a button. And there is also enough space inside to stack four golf bags vertically without compromising sitting space for your golfing buddies. Did we mention that the Grand Carnival is big on practicality as well? Well it is. Very practical! Driving the Grand Carnival is a breath of fresh air as it is the balance of power and fuel economy. On one side is the ease of driving such a big MPV. The driver’s seat is adjustable in 12 different ways, making it super easy to find your perfect sitting position without any blind spots hindering your line of sight. And then there is the fact that the 2.2-liter diesel engine gives you 190hp and 440Nm of torque. It basically means the Grand Carnival offers adequate output without compromising on fuel. On the road, the steering is light and precise, you really do not feel like you’re driving an MPV. Parking is a breeze too as it comes equipped with front and rear sensors as well as a reverse camera.

And of course, safety is top notch too. The Kia Grand Carnival comes standard with electronic safety nets like stability control that gives you maximum control in all situations; there is the anti-braking system that lets you stir the car when the wheels lock up. Then there is the hill start assist that prevents the car from rolling backwards on a hill, and topping it all off are six airbags conveniently placed at the front and at the sides of the Grand Carnival to protect passengers from any side impact.

Topping it all off is what seems like a bargain of a price. With seemingly everything you could want in an upmarket MPV, the Kia Grand Carnival starts from just RM153,888 for the basic model that does not offer luxuries like the leather seats, powered doors, reverse camera, electronic driver’s seat, among others. Then there is the mid-range model called the 2.2 CRDI KX priced at RM169,888 and the top of the range 2.2 CRDI EX priced at RM185,888. Each Grand Carnival is tagged with a a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty. Additionally, there’s even a special financing program for a potential customer to easily get the desirable Kia Grand Carnival.

Edited: Naza Kia Malaysia