South Korean automaker Kia is evaluating two new cars for the Indian market – the Stonic compact SUV and the Grand Carnival MPV. Kia, which is part owned by Hyundai, has already started constructing a factory in Andhra Pradesh, and the first vehicle – a Creta-rivaling compact SUV – will be launched in India next year. The Creta challenger from Kia will be based on the SP Design concept, which was shown at the 2018 Indian Auto Expo. The sharply styled SP Design SUV will be toned down slightly for production. It will be followed by another compact SUV, but in the sub-4 meter segment. The Stonic is likely to be that SUV.
The Stonic sold internationally measures 4.14 meters in length. For India, this SUV could be chopped up to duck under 4 meters in length for excise duty benefits. The Stonic sold internationally gets a 1 litre-3 cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with 120 Bhp, a 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine with 84 Bhp and a 1.6-litre turbocharged diesel motor with 110 Bhp. So, Kia does have a ready line-up of petrol engines that it can deploy in the India-spec Stonic? A 1.4-litre turbocharged diesel borrowed from Hyundai could be a better fit on the sub-4 meter Stonic considering that sub-4 meter cars claiming duty benefits need to use a diesel motor smaller than 1.5 litres. The international-spec Stonic has manual and automatic gearbox options, but is a front wheel drive-only model.
Coming to the Grand Carnival, the MPV is sold with multiple seating layouts that can handle 7,8 or 11 passengers. The large MPV measures over 5 meters in length, and is also wider than the Toyota Innova Crysta with a 1.98-meter width. The MPV is powered by a 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel engine that outputs as much as 200 Bhp. A six-speed automatic gearbox is standard. It gets power sliding doors, a unique feature that makes ingress and egress very comfortable. The Grand Carnival is likely to be an upmarket rival to the Toyota Innova Crysta.