The Kia MPV will be pitted against Mahindra Marazzo, Maruti Ertiga, XL6 and Toyota Innova Crysta
After tasting success with the Seltos mid-size crossover and Sonet compact crossover, Kia India has turned its attention towards yet another potential winner in the form of a people carrier. A recently leaked document detailing the automaker’s medium-term plans for our market confirmed that a new Kia MPV is in the works with launch slated in January 2022.
2022 Kia MPV based on Seltos
Technical details of the upcoming Kia MPV are scarce as of now but it will be based on the Seltos’ heavily localized platform. The three-row MPV segment has so far managed to withstand the meteoric rise of SUVs, and moving forward, shows promising growth prospects.
Kia’s version is expected to be positioned as a slightly more premium alternative to the likes of Mahindra Marazzo and Maruti Ertiga, while undercutting the immensely popular Toyota Innova Crysta significantly. This new MPV was recently spied testing near company plant.
Design specialist Pratyush Rout has envisioned the Kia MPV in question through a speculative rendering. The design inspiration has been derived from Seltos as well as some of Kia’s recent design studies. While the South Korean brand’s latest EV design language eschews the trademark Tiger Shark grille, the Seltos-based MPV, which is destined to adopt IC engines, is expected to retain it as the centerpiece of its exterior styling.
A steeply raked A-pillar and a flat roofline makes for a practical yet stylish MPV profile. A slightly longer wheelbase compared to the Seltos would be an ideal configuration to ease up space for additional row of seats, but a cheaper solution would be to simply extrude the rear overhang. It remains to be seen which way the Kia engineers and designers will lean.
Interior and equipment
The Kia MPV is most likely borrow most of its dashboard from the Seltos which is not a bad thing considering how widely acclaimed the crossover is. The UVO connect touchscreen infotainment system with over 50 features will be one of the key selling points of the people carrier. The features list and trim levels are expected to be comparable to those of its SUV sibling. The fully loaded variant will pack multiple airbags and ESP while ABS and EBD will be standard across the range.
The Kia MPV for our market is mostly likely to inherit its powertrain lineup from the Seltos. The entry level option should be the 1.5-liter naturally aspirated petrol motor which delivers 115 hp. The 140 hp 1.4-liter turbocharged petrol unit is also expected to be in the lineup. The 115 hp 1.5-liter oil burner will also be on offer.
With the platform already heavily localized and churning out good volumes with the Seltos, Kia can take advantage of the benefits of economies of scale and price the MPV aggressively. The company plans to sell 50,000 units of its upcoming product per annum in the domestic market in addition to exporting around 26,000 units. The Anantapur facility will have to be extended to accommodate the MPV.