Car review: Kia Carnival – this MPV has enough space inside to play football

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Published: August 20, 2018 12:45:04 AM

Kia’s multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), the Carnival, is big. How big? So big that while trying to park it in a mall in Gurgaon, it was a challenge to park it.

Kia Carnival (FE)

Kia’s multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), the Carnival, is big. How big? So big that when I drove it into a mall parking in Gurgaon, it was a challenge to park it. It was even tougher to negotiate it through some streets of the so-called India’s Millennium City. Worse, in my residential apartments, which has parking slots that were constructed during the days of Maruti 800, the Carnival took two-car space. The point is, the Carnival is so big that there isn’t ready infrastructure, at most places, to support it.

What is the Carnival?
It is a minivan, or MPV, manufactured by Kia Motors. It was first launched globally in 1998, and now it is in its third generation. In some markets, it’s called the Sedona.

Will it be launched in India?
At this year’s Auto Expo, Kia Motors of South Korea showcased its global line-up. Kia, which is building a plant in Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh, has developed a vehicle specifically for India, called the SP Concept, an SUV. Earlier, in an interview with the Financial Express, Kookhyun Shim, MD & CEO, said that “the SP concept is just the beginning, and we will build a diverse portfolio of India-made vehicles” (https://goo.gl/2NZdt5). The Carnival could be a part of that portfolio.

Which engines power it?
There are two choices: the 3.3-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel. It is the diesel that will be likely considered for India,
if at the Carnival makes it to the market. This engine produces maximum power of 147kW (197bhp) and torque of 440Nm. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox.

How big/plush is it?
It’s so big that it makes even Toyota Innova Crysta look like a junior. While technically the Carnival that I drove is a six-seater, there is enough space inside to play football. The plastic quality and the fabric used is top-rated—it matches what you find in German luxury cars.

How does it drive?
The drive is very smooth. Even while driving on poor Gurgaon roads, I felt like I’m sitting in the comfort of a sofa in a plush lounge of a star-rated hotel. Once you close the windows, almost no sound enters the cabin—so good are the NVH levels.

Should it come to India?
The Carnival, in the avatar that I drove, is simply too expensive for the Indian market. Even if Kia is able to price it at a realistic Rs 30 lakh, there will be few buyers, and most of them likely institutional.

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