Both the Kia Seltos and Carnival are arguably the best choices in their respective segments
Kia Motors India has had a triumphant start in the Indian automotive market last year with the launch of its Seltos urban SUV (or more precisely; compact crossover). The South Korean brand introduced the Carnival luxury minivan as its second product. Despite being relatively expensive, the Kia Carnival has also proved to be a success thanks to being a bridge between products such as Toyota’s Innova Crysta and Mercedes-Benz’s V-Class.
Either model has collectively returned Kia Motors India a UV market share of 9% — an impressive figure considering the brand’s fresh presence in the country. The ongoing COVID-19 lockdown protocol has brought down sales figures across major brands to an all-time low (in recent history) but still, Kia Motors managed to remain in a respectable position on the chart. As you may know, Kia Motors is partly owned by Hyundai Motor. Combined, both brands share a UV market share of 27.66% in India.
UV Sales FY 2020 vs FY 2019
|No||Brand||FY 2020||FY 2019||Diff||%|
The Kia Seltos (starting price: Rs 9.89 lakh) was introduced at a time when the market was already moving at a slow pace. With almost 25 variants (including dual-tone options), the Kia Seltos managed to attract a wider customer base. The five-seater SUV shares its platform with Hyundai’s new 2020MY Creta (starting price: Rs 9.99 lakh). One could argue that the latter is better in terms of the overall packaging.
UV Market Share FY 2020 vs FY 2019
|No||Brand||MS 2020 %||MS 2019%||Diff|
Both the Seltos and Creta are available with three powertrain choices: 1.5-litre NA petrol (113bhp/144Nm), 1.5-litre diesel (113bhp/250Nm) and 1.4-litre turbo petrol (138bhp/240Nm). The engines come mated to a CVT, 6-speed AT and 7-speed DCT while a 6-speed manual transmission is standard across the range.
Coming to the Kia Carnival (read our detailed review), the luxury minivan is an interesting choice for those who wish to have something more than just another Toyota Innova Crysta. The Carnival has no direct rival and sales are going well considering its segment and pricing (which starts at Rs 24.95 lakh).In fact, a dealership in Surat had delivered 11 Carnival units on a single day. The India-spec Kia Carnival (Grand Carnival or Sedona in foreign markets) is powered by a 2.2-litre diesel four-cylinder that churns out 197bhp and 440Nm of torque. The engine is mated to an 8-speed TC automatic.
Meanwhile, Kia Motors India is actively working on the Sonet new subcompact crossover. The Kia Sonet was showcased at Auto Expo 2020 in a concept format and prototype testing has already commenced. We have shared some spy spics of it over the past few weeks.