The holidays mean road trips, family visits and loads of shopping, so a vehicle with enough seats and luggage room is essential.
Enter the Kia Grand Sedona.
So far, it has been the perfect vehicle not only for the festive season but it has proved to be a sufficient daily-drive too.
We will have a more in-depth review later but for now, here are five things to know about the hefty people-mover.
GALLERY: 2018 Kia Grand Sedona
1. New design
Before the end of 2018, Kia upgraded its Grand Sedona with subtle updates. These include a revised front bumper complimented by reconfigured headlights and a new LED Daytime Running Light on higher specification models.
There's also a new bumper at the rear with a revised taillight design, also with a new LED lighting signature on higher specification models.
Inside the cabin it still as comfortable and luxurious as before, along with subtle upgrades including a redesigned fascia and a new graphics cluster.
2. Revised model line-up
Kia SA has also revised the model line-up of the local range, discontinuing the SX specification grade and adding a new, feature-rich EX+ specification to the line-up.
The Grand Sedona can be configured to suit every need and is available as a 7-seater, 8-seater, and even an 11-seater. EX models ship as standard with a 7-seat configuration.
What I love most about the Grand Sedona is that not only can it seat 8 passengers, but it still has a huge cargo area behind the third row of seats. The bay is quite deep leaving ample room for loads of shopping bags, luggage or anything else you might need.
3. The important power figures
KIA has retained its much-loved 2.2-litre 'R' turbodiesel engine, popular for its excellent mid- and low-range torque.
For a large vehicle, the smooth engine delivers 147kW at 3 800r/min, with 440Nm available between 1 750 and 2 750r/min. It reaches 100km/h in 13.6 seconds, with a claimed top speed of 190km/h.
Kia says the Grand Sedona features an exhaust gas re-circulation cooler to promote clean, cold, low-pressure exhaust gas that reduces nitrogen oxide emissions and improves fuel efficiency.
The automaker has also introduced a new eight-speed automatic transmission across the range which boasts 143 newly-patented technologies and delivers a slick-shifting, more decisive drive while reducing emissions.
4. Those awesome sliding doors
There really isn't much more to say about the sliding passenger doors on either side of the car. It couldn't be more of a convenience when seeking for parking spots during the festive season frenzy and you have to manoeuvre the van into a narrow space.
Having kids on board or more family members than usual in the car at this time, it means you don't have to worry about holding the doors while passengers get in or out, to prevent it from hitting the car next to you.
5. Goodies galore
Even the entry-level models are packed with features inluding air-conditioning (manual), automatic headlight control (incorporating ‘Welcome Home’ and ‘Escort’ lighting), a centre console armrest with large storage binnacle, electric heated side mirrors, electric windows front and rear, rear park distance control and rear USB ports.
There's also a new 7" touchscreen integrating audio controls and the rear-view camera, as well as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The steering wheel incorporates remote controls for audio and Bluetooth connectivity, with six speakers as standard.
I have been driving the higher-specced EX+ model which has automatic dual-zone air conditioning and auto-folding and heated side mirrors with integrated side indicators. There's also an electro-chromatic rear-view mirror, front and rear park distance control, front fog lights, glove-box cooling, leather upholstery, and a wireless smartphone charger.
The touchscreen in this derivative boasts with a new 8" colour touchscreen with embedded Satellite Navigation.