Korean automaker Kia is all set to begin its Indian innings this year. The first car to be launched by the company will be the SP2i SUV, which has been spotted testing a couple of times already. Following the launch of the SP2i, the second model to be launched by the company will be the Kia Carnival MPV, which will compete with the Toyota Innova Crysta in India.
The MPV will be brought in via the CKD route to India. It will be assembled at the new Anantapur plant, which was inaugurated yesterday by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu.
The Carnival MPV is larger than the Innova Crysta and will be placed higher than the latter. This is because of the fact that it will not be made in India. CKD kits attract a higher tax and therefore, expect the pricing to cross Rs. 20 lakh mark.
The Indian-spec Kia Carnival measures 5,155 mm in length, 1,985 mm in width, 1,740 mm in height and has a wheelbase of 2,060 mm. In the international markets, the Grand Carnival is available in various seating configurations that includes 7-seater, 8-seater, 9-seater and 11-seater. However, the Indian market is expected to get only the 7-seater version with captain sits in the middle.
The Kia Carnival MPV will be powered by a R 2.2 E-VGT diesel engine that produces 199 Bhp of power at 3,800 rpm along with 441 Nm of torque at 1,750-2,750 rpm. The engine will come mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that will send power to the front wheels. The Innova Crysta, on the other hand, comes with three engine options. There is 2.4-litre and 2.8-litre diesel engines and a 2.7-litre petrol engine too. However, all the engines have lower power output than Kia’s 2.2 litre diesel engine. However, Kia’s performance won’t be higher than Innova’s because of the Carnival’s larger size and greater weight.
With the Carnival MPV, Kia will try to get a good traction of a segment which is largely ruled by a single vehicle. The Toyota Innova Crysta is currently the only option in India if you want to buy a MPV around Rs. 20 lakhs. The Innova Crysta is a pretty solid seller too with average monthly sales figures touching 7000 units. The Kia Carnival makes sense to customers looking for an MPV bigger and more sophisticated than the Toyota Innova Crysta.
Whether the Carnival will be hit or not that is a question best left unanswered for now. The MPV segment in India is seeing some changes of lately with the launch of the Mahindra Marazzo, Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and more recently, the Mercedes Benz V-Class. However, the Toyota Innova still does not have any real competition and it will be good to see it go head to head with the Carnival when it gets launched here.