July 02, 2021 By Kevin C. Limjoco

2019 KIA Grand Carnival EX 11-Seater

C! Fast Fleet Update

The 3rd generation Kia Grand Carnival continues to provide very strong duty 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 which includes the upcoming Hyundai Staria that replaces the hugely successful Starex model. To answer the challenge, Kia Philippines is bringing in the all-new 4th generation Grand Carnival which looks completely different, will considerably be fuller featured, and much larger. In fact, the only part that is being carried over, but in retuned form, is the brilliant and reliable 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine.

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 comfort, and capacity. The biggest mechanical upgrade since then was the 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 rear 6.5-inch woofers to Rockford Fosgate Prime replacement 6.5-inch three-way full-range speakers and slightly larger 6.75-inch two-way Rockford Fosgate Prime coaxial speakers for the front while using the stock dashboard tweeters. The sound improvement was dramatic using the OEM speaker locations but still nowhere as good as a factory-tuned and installed multi-speaker premium system produced from a branded supplier like Harman Kardon, Bose, Infinity, Bang & Olufsen, Bowers & Wilkins, Mark Levinson, and others.

So, I needed to find another solution from an expert who I could genuinely rely and count on. That solution provider is the famous PartsPro company with the lovable Raffy David as its the lead principal. PartsPro just celebrated its 5th anniversary as the finest full range one-stop online shop in the Philippines. They deserve all the past success and I am confident that they are here to serve for generations to come!

“PartsPro.PH was established in 2016 to cater to the large automotive market place in the Philippines. And within a short period of time, we’ve established ourselves as the #1 online automotive and motorcycle parts store. With a group of dedicated staff and rapidly growing inventory selection, our goals are clear – To provide the best customer service experience and deliver the highest quality products available. With our knowledgeable sales staff, vast product selection, and large inventory; we aim to be the best online retailer in the Philippines.”

Raffy David applied all his experiences as a customer, one of us, your everyday consumer and built a new business to serve the automotive and motorsport community expertly. Raffy know exactly how it feels, with deep knowledge, to be emersed in every facet of the auto industry from literally the dealership sales floor to building a winning race team. Raffy on his own is already legendary for his decisive quality control, attention to detail, and customer-first mentality, but it is also his team led by the very popular and energetic Billy Billano that make the magic happen at more than fair costs too.

Under Raffy’s keen advice, he recommended an audio solution built around a Nakamichi NDS-4610A amplifier (50-Watts x 4, PhP 9,995.00) with Digital Sound Processor to properly adjust the timing and acoustics to fill the large mini-van cabin environment, which I agreed to instantly as I have been a fan of Nakamichi for years but hadn’t had an audio system setup in one of my vehicles with the brand since my old Toyota Land Cruiser LC200 back in 2001, a full twenty years ago. The Nakamichi DSP AMP has 4 inputs and 6 outputs, that was connected seamlessly to the stock Kia 8-inch touchscreen head unit via proper harnesses so there was no cutting/splicing that would have compromised the factory warranty. The new amplifier was also able to better optimize the Rockford Fosgate Prime speakers which did require more juice and range to sound better.

 

We used one of the extra outputs on the new amp to manage the fantastic Nakamichi NBF8.0A Underseat Subwoofer (PhP 7,500.00) that was discreetly and securely installed underneath the front passenger seat. Technically, we could install a second matching subwoofer underneath the driver’s seat but that may be overkill. Other costs and parts required for this setup were the following: Nakamichi RCA Cable at PhP 550.00, Nakamichi NK-WK14 Gauge Kit at PhP 850.00, Y Connector (1 Female/2 Male) PhP 1000.00, and NF2 Distribution Fuse Box PhP 850.00, with the installation charge of PhP 2,500.00 and approximately 4.5 hours to complete the setup.

The end result was astonishing, what first began as a lifeless sound generator with a bit better range than stock, is now a properly soulful and full-range daily audio experience. All the standard Kia functionalities and appearance are intact but the aural sensation now is outstanding. From the Kia factory 6-speakers powered by a 100-watt built-in amplifier, the new system now has a total of 13-speakers (including the new sub-woofer) and at least 300-watts of potent sound energy! I strongly recommend to all you audio fans out there to seek PartsPro out as a worry-free and professional experience solution provider. Their services and available parts for both automobiles and motorcycles are very extensive and extend well beyond just audio upgrade solutions too. Now we love our workhorse even more thanks to the new aural experience.

Specifications

Engine

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

Performance

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

Ratings

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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