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Car buyer's guide – is now the best time to buy a people mover?

By Jez Spinks, 03 Nov 2016 Car Advice

Kia Carnival

In a new WhichCar series, we reveal upcoming updates or major changes for Australia’s most popular vehicles.

Car buyers have been moving away from people-movers to seven-seaters in recent years, yet they are one of only two passenger car segments (along with sports cars) to actually register growth so far in 2016.

There are three stand-outs in the sales charts: the latest-generation Kia Carnival, the Honda Odyssey that’s been running as a nameplate for more than 20 years, and the Hyundai iMax which is a variant of the iLoad van designed for carrying passengers rather than cargo.

Here, WhichCar provides a guide to any changes planned or expected for these models to help you pick the perfect time to buy one.


The fifth-generation Odyssey materialised in early 2014. Using previous models are a guide, an all-new replacement won’t be introduced until 2019. There’s likely to be at least one notable update before then, though for now the Honda continues to be available either in eight-seater VTi or seven-seater, higher-spec VTi-L forms. Prices, respectively, are from $38,990 and $47,620.

Honda Odyssey


The iMax was given a Series II update in February 2016 so no changes are anticipated for the foreseeable future. The update brought a 7-inch touchscreen, voice activation, rear-view camera, front side airbags, cruise control for diesel autos, and styling tweaks. Buyers have a choice between a 127kW/224Nm 2.4-litre petrol with four-speed auto, or a 2.5-litre turbo diesel producing 100kW/343Nm and mated to a five-speed auto.

Hyundai iMAx


A new, third-generation version of Kia’s popular people-mover was released in February 2015, serving up a longer wheelbase on a new chassis for greater interior space for up to eight people including driver. A more upmarket cabin also complemented the stylish exterior. Priced from $41,490 with three trim grades, engines consist of either a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel or more powerful 3.3-litre petrol V6. In late 2016, an autonomous emergency braking system will be added to the model.

Kia Carnival

Now read about the best value people movers of 2015.