Essentially a five-door minivan, the Kia Carnival (also known as the Grand Carnival or Sedona, in certain foreign markets) is aimed to rival the likes of the present king of the MPV segment, the Toyota Innova Crysta. However, the Carnival will be placed in a segment above the Innova Crysta.
Now, automotive enthusiasts SGN Murthy and Deepak Tushir have shared a few images of the Kia Carnival doing test runs, wearing TC number plates. Quite possibly a pre-production model, the Kia Carnival in question could be doing rounds for various dealership events across the country since the vehicle was wearing AP plates (Kia Motors India’s plant is in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh) despite being in North India.
The company has already shared a teaser video of the minivan or, in the Indian context, large MPV. The teaser showcases the premium side of the Carnival in a 6-seater format i.e. with individual captain seats. Along with the 6 seater variant, India will also get 7 and 8 seater options with Carnival.
The interiors of the Kia Carnival is loaded with enough and more equipment, including optional rear-seat entertainment packages. Top variants will come with features like electric adjustable front seats, touchscreen infotainment system, leather interiors, sunroof, etc. Base variants will not get these features.
Since the Carnival is a global product, expect to see minimal shortcomings for its segment. While the base variants might be ideal for family runs, the top-end variants (the 6-seaters) would prove its worth in corporate environments in which VIP transportation cannot be limited to just another 7-seater taxi.
The India-spec Kia Carnival will come powered by a BS6-compliant 2.2-litre CRDi engine capable of almost 200bhp and a strong 440Nm of torque. The front-wheel-drive powertrain is expected to come mated to either a 6-speed manual or an automatic transmission.
Besides the size, space and ‘premiumness’, one of the main highlights of the Kia Carnival is its electric sliding doors. Sliding doors became popular on the Indian market back in the ‘80s with the launch of the Suzuki Carry microvan or our dear Maruti Omni. Sliding doors are quite useful in tight parking conditions or when easy ingress/loading is a priority.
However, the trend died down with the Maruti Omni, Toyota Voyager, Maruti Versa, etc., in the affordable segment and the Maruti Eeco is the only vehicle to feature it today. On the premium side, popular choices at present are the Toyota Vellfire and Mercedes-Benz V Class. The Kia Carnival will be a much cheaper alternative to these popular names with an expected on-road price tag between Rs 25-32 lakh. Launch is scheduled for January 2020.