March 19, 2020 By Kevin C. Limjoco Pictures: Andréas N. Delos Reyes C! Fast Fleet New Entry March 2020 Issue

2019 KIA Grand Carnival EX 11-Seater

The 3rd generation Kia Grand Carnival continues to provide very strong service to buyers looking for comfortable capacity combined with a strong powerplant and optimal fuel efficiency. It was the standard in its class for a few years but fierce competition knocked it back a bit. The Kia Grand Carnival still has the most potent engine in its class but even with the updated equipment levels, since the turn-over of local distributorship, it has lost some steam due mostly to the measured incremental improvements compared to its direct competition.

We still own two 11-seater variants in our C! Fastfleet from years back (in snow white and black) and we are generally still satisfied with their versatility, performance, general ride, and capacity. The biggest mechanical upgrade since then is the new 8-speed automatic gearbox. The extra two gears tangibly increase the engine’s elasticity and fuel range. So now the Grand Carnival is not just quicker and more effortless, it even has better fuel economy. The next big improvement is the new 8-inch infotainment system that supports the rear parking camera and sonar sensors on both ends but it unfortunately powers only six anemic speakers. So, with our new Silky Silver C! Fast Fleet Entry we upgraded the stock four 6.5-inch woofers for Rockford Fosgate Prime replacement 6.5-inch 3-way full-range speakers for the rear and slightly larger 6.75-inch two-way coaxial speakers in front. The sound improvement is dramatic using the OEM speaker locations. The power sliding doors and smart key system are most welcome too along with the push-button ignition but I wish the auto-door locks functioned.

The additional 70-kg. weight gain is a direct result of adding the fourth-row stowable rear bench, and adding two jump-seats to the redesigned second and third rows to increase passenger capacity from 7 to 11. The second and third row benches are smaller but yet are thankfully still comfortable. The leather seat surfaces, extended safety suite, dual moonroofs, captain chairs, powered trunk, and automatic anti-dazzle rearview mirror are swapped out for more durable cloth surfaces and a reduction of P115,000.00 to the acquisition cost. Despite all the little subtle improvements like the new front grille, new front & rear bumpers, LED rear light cluster, new alloys on 235/60R18 103H Kumho Crugen Premium (ironically slightly better than the 7-seater’s Nexen N-Priz RH7 set of tires) tires that should be replaced as soon as possible with a more premium set of rubber for an even better ride and handling to compliment the fully independent suspension, thankfully the price has mostly remained competitive.

The OEM projector headlights are carried over (the projector front halogen fog lamps are new) and still use halogen instead of the LED or HID units found in the competition, so we installed Philips X-treme Ultinon LED’s to replace them. The Grand Carnival is still one the most spacious full-size mini-vans in the market. The body uses 76% more Ultra High Strength Steel for even better rigidity, durability and collision protection. It is still ultimately the current best handling, best stopping, and most fuel efficient mini-van in the market.





Engine Inline-4, 2199cc, dohc 16V, Direct Injection E-VGT Turbodiesel, 8-speed AT
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 197 bhp @ 3800 rpm
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 325 lb ft @ 1750-2750 rpm


Top Speed 202 km/h (126 mph)
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 9.4 sec.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 8.9 L/100km Overall


Price as Tested (PHP) PhP 2,180,000.00
What's Great -Good looking, most powerful engine in its class, spacious, better transmission and standard equipment.
What's Not So -Missing some key equipment found in other territories.
C! Editors Rating 9.5/10
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