The Kia Grand Carnival, a major part of Australia's best selling people mover range for the past five years, has been made even better with the release at this year's Melbourne International Motor Show of a diesel variant.
The new 2.9-litre turbo-diesel VQ Grand Carnival CRDi complements the existing 3.8-litre V6 petrol VQ variants which have been so popular with Australian people mover buyers since 2006.
The diesel Grand Carnival boasts 136kW of power @ 3,800 rpm and 343Nm of torque from 1750-3,500 rpm from its four-cylinder, intercooled turbo-diesel engine with a variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) and common rail direct injection (CRDi), matched with a five-speed tiptronic-style automatic transmission.
The latest Grand Carnival offers the same pulling capacity as its V6-engined brother but with the added benefit of 33 percent lower 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.
Kia Grand Carnival has long been famous for comfort, convenience, an affordable price-tag and a range of extras designed for maximum versatility.
Now, with the addition of a powerful and efficient turbo-diesel engine, the Grand Carnival will be even more appealing for large families who use the model's eight-seat capacity more frequently, as well as a range of fleet and government customers.
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, and courtesy cars such as those by hotels, resorts and even the Australian Open tennis tournament's courtesy fleet in Melbourne each January.
Indeed last January, the AO courtesy fleet of 101 Kia vehicles, including 60 Carnivals, travelled a record 40,500 trips in the hands of 236 courtesy car drivers, covering a record 320,468 kms transporting players, officials, media and other guests during the Australian Open period.
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 3rd row that folds into a well in the luggage compartment to create a fully-flat floor throughout.
Grand Carnival's flexible seating and strong performance are not the only criteria when it comes to choosing a people-mover. Safety is a major factor when it comes to moving large families or a business crowd.
The Kia Carnival continues to be recognised as one of the safest people movers around the world, proven by the five-star crash safety rating of the Grand Carnival (known as the Sedona in the USA) from the US Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and 'Top Safety Pick' honour from the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
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.
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