South Korean carmaker Kia motors launched it’s second offering, the Carnival in India at the Auto Expo 2020. The Carnival is a ginormous MPV that dwarfs the fairly largish Toyota Innova by a good two feet [in length]. the carnival is huge in size in fact it’s nearly to feet longer than Innova.
Carnival is offered in 5 variants with prices starting at 24.95 lakh and going all the way up to Rs. 33.95 lakh, ex-showroom. That’s quite a bit of money. So what do you get for that? And which variant should be your preferred choice?
Before we get to that, here is what is common across all the variants, the engine: It is a 2.2-litre BS6-compliant diesel engine that makes 200PS and 440Nm, coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission. That apart, you have three colour options to choose from: Aurora Black Pear, Steel Silver and Glacier White Pearl.
Which Variant to Buy
First, let’s look at the line-up:
|Premium||Rs 24.95 lakh|
|Premium 8 STR||Rs 25.15 lakh|
|Prestige||Rs 28.95 lakh|
|Prestige 9 STR||Rs 29.95 lakh|
|Limousine||Rs 33.95 lakh|
The first two variants, Premium, are identical except for the difference in number of seats. They are well-appointed too: You get 18-inch alloy wheels, LED indicators on ORVMs and rear spoiler lights, auto Halogen projector headlamps, Door step plate, follow me home headlamps, rear defogger, rear wipe and wash. You also get three zone climate control, one touch power sliding doors, tilt and telescopic steering adjust, Power windows with one-touch up-down for driver, front armrest with storage, sunglass holder, driver seat height adjuster, push button start/stop, electrically adjustable mirrors, cruise control, auto defogger, 60:40 split in third row, conversation mirror. The 8-inch touchscreen-based infotainment system comes with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, 4 speakers, 2 tweeters, Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition, steering mounted audio controls, rear camera.
Not bad until you notice that upholstery is fabric [not leather] and safety equipment is rather sparse with just two Airbags. There is no traction control, no roll-over mitigation and no front parking sensors. All these are must for a car of this size and price. So while there is a lot to like about the base versions of Carnival, we don’t really recommend these.
These issues are addressed quite comprehensively in the Prestige variant which adds rake assist, electronic stability control (ESC), hill assist, roll-over mitigation, cornering brake control, side and curtain airbags, front parking sensors. It also has premium fabric upholstery in the 7-seater variant while the 9-seater Prestige gets leatherette treatment. And yes, you also get that big panoramic sunroof and useful 220v charger for your laptops. Now, we have a home on wheels!
There is a limousine variant and if you have the cash to spare, then go for it. It’s the best Carnival there is with genuine leather and host of other ‘show off’ features. But for us, Prestige is the Kia Carnival of choice—it has all that you really need and some more and is price in middle of the range.