KIA Motors has made its mark on the Indian automotive industry. In these times of a slowing economy, the South Korean company managed to debut its first product the KIA Seltos, which still remains a leader in the mid-suv segment in India.
Six months have passed since KIA officials had announced that a new car is hitting the market very soon. We thought that the next product would be the KIA Stinger GT or a premium hatchback, but instead KIA Motors brought its globally acclaimed minivan to India the Kia Carnival (also known as “Sedona” or “Grand Carnival”).
Technically the KIA Carnival is not a MPV, rather it is a Minivan. But in India it is recognised as a MPV. Let’s see how the 2020 KIA Carnival in its ‘Limousine’ trim fares in this review of ours.
Exterior & Design
KIA Carnival is a quite good-looking minivan with not much missteps in terms of aesthetics and is free of fancy or overly engineered bits that are often the result of over-designing a car. The styling is low-key and elegant.
The front of the car is dominated by KIA’s signature Tiger Nose grille. Closely surrounding are the full-LED headlamps that are smoothly swept back across the fenders while the LED fog lamps are positioned a bit lower. The skid plate underneath the car is not just there for looks but is actually functional and protects the car’s bottom from the unpredictable roads of our country.
The side profile of the car is like a minivan but with a few tweaks such as the the DLO (Daylight Opening) at the B-pillar.and the groove for the sliding-door mechanism blends perfectly with the other body lines. The chrome 18-inch alloy wheels look a bit blingy but suit the overall premium looks of the car.
The rear is minimal with the cuts on the bumper and the spoiler on the top trying to blend in. The LED taillamps flow from the rear to the side of the car floating over the edges of a neat chrome strip.
The top of the Carnival looks very good thanks to the dual-sunroof in-between the roof rails. The aerodynamic styling has enabled the Carnival to have a very low drag coefficient of 0.342.
Interiors & Features
The KIA Carnival is mostly about the interiors and the list of features related to comfort, convenience and technology is very long. Lets go through it.
The dual-tone coloured dashboard layout houses lots of dials and controls surrounded by soft-touch leatherette, hard plastic and dark wood. There are two glove boxes (the lower one can be locked). The dashboard on the KIA Carnival is quite large and has a 8.0-inch touchscreen which looks rather small. The AVNT (Audio, Video, Navigation & Telematics) infotainment system has features such as, in-built navigation, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and easy and hassle free connectivity with KIA’s India-specific mobile application, UVO which is available in the App Store and Google Play. Another highlight is the eight-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system delivers very good quality audio for you to enjoy your music collection.
The steering wheel is a 3-spoked leather-rimmed one which feels very nice to hold on and looks like it came from an sports car. The buttons and rollers let the driver set the following settings, audio, cruise control and phone calls and additional functions within the 3.5-inch MID in the instrument console. However, the all-black theme gives the dashboard area a very basic feeling, we think a bit more chrome/silver bits were required in this part.
The instrument cluster on the Carnival looks like any other premium car offering. It shows a lot of information including the level of urea remaining in the AdBlue Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system that cleans up diesel emissions. Using the controls on the steering wheel, functions related to the doors, sound system, exterior lighting, convenience features, vehicle service, etc. can be accessed.
The overhead controls enable the driver or co-passenger to open the two sun roofs, either sliding doors, open the tailgate and change lighting of the interior. There is a wide-angle mirror integrated into the overhead controls that gives a crystal clear view of the entire cabin.
There are two cupholders placed in near the gear lever, both of them have small storage bins at the back and front. one of them has a wireless charging dock. There is even more storage and connectivity options under the wide armrest.
The Carnival has a three-zone climate control system that cools down the cabin very fast and can be adjusted from the dashboard. Second-row passengers get their own climate control setup near the vents on the roof, behind the driver.
Seating & Comfort
The KIA Carnival has one of the most comfortable seats in this segment. The minivan comes in a 7-seater seat arrangement with dual-tone leather seats on the Limousine trim. The driver seat is cooled and ventilated with 10-way power adjustment, the passenger seats don’t come with those features but are very comfortable and support the body very well (except the third row seats).
The Carnival has VIP middle-row seating with leg support, you can recline your seat back, extend the leg support and have the same level of comfort as you would have on a bed. The middle-row seats can be adjusted sideways for added practicality. The middle-row passengers get a 10 inch touchscreen with almost every connectivity choice available currently, but the screens have a tendency to produce glare at some times of the day.
Three row passenger vehicles don’t provide enough comfort and flexibility to the third-row passengers but in the case of the KIA Carnival it is different as third-row passengers get almost the same level of comfort and flexibility as the rear seat of a standard vehicle such as a hatchback or an compact-SUV.
Cabin Space & Practicality
The doors on the KIA Carnival have a power-sliding mechanism and can open on its own by pressing a button inside or by using the normal door lever present outside. The automatic door opening is quite slow, if you are in a hurry we suggest you to use the manual mode for the sliding doors, it is faster and but mind you the doors are quite heavy and one has to put their back into it to close them.
The Carnival has excellent cabin space and has lots of space in all of the three rows of the car, especially in the middle row and the last row has a bit less headroom compared to the other rows. Going in and out of the third row is pretty easy, there is a lot of space after the middle row seats are folded.
The third-row seats can be folded down to add more storage space in the back and if the middle row is also folded down then the total storage capacity comes up to a whopping 2700 litres. The tailgate of the Carnival is electric and has a “Smart Power Tailgate” feature, the tailgate can open on its own when the key is in range of it for more than three seconds.
Powertrain & Performance
The KIA Carnival comes with one engine option of a BS6 2.2-litre CRDi R-Line 4-cylinder diesel engine, developed jointly by Hyundai and KIA Motors. The engine develops 197bhp of power and 440Nm of torque and is mated to an 8-speed Sportsmatic Torque-Converter Automatic Transmission with Manual Mode.
The engine used on the Carnival has been in use since 2009 by Hyundai and KIA for their cars such as the Hyundai Santa Fe, Hyundai Palisade and the KIA Sorento. The carnival has front wheel drive and is not sporty by any means, the kerb weight of around 2,200 kg doesn’t help much either. However the main purpose of the car is to haul people around with the maximum levels of comfort possible and that it does very good without any hassles.
Handling & Driving Experience
The suspensions on the KIA Carnival are more comfort focused rather than being able to do it all, it is perfectly balanced between comfort and reliability. When turning the vehicle one can feel the body roll even during changing lanes, this is all thanks to the heavy body and a heavy power steering, but this is common for most minivans and the Carnival seems to be one of the better ones.
The Carnival doesn’t do wheel spins even when ESC is turned off and full throttle is applied, but when there is a minor lag when downshifting but it gradually picks up speed after that.
The Carnival gets disc brakes on all wheels which are running on MRF Wanderer Sport tyres which grips quite well even on unpaved roads and the car has a decent turning radius of around 5.6m.
Fuel Tank Capacity & Mileage
The KIA Carnival has a fuel tank capacity of 60 litres with a separate tank for storing urea, that has to be topped up for the AdBlue Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system. The Carnival has a ARAI rated mileage of 13.9 km/l, with our testing we were able to return a mileage of around 12.2 km/l on mixed road conditions.
The KIA Carnival gets features such as, Dual Front, Side and Curtain Airbags, EBD+BA, SC (Electronic Stability Control), HAC (Hill-Start Assist Control), ROM (Roll-over Mitigation), CBC (Cornering Brake Control), TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System), Front & Rear Parking Cameras, Automatic Headlamps, Anti-Pinch for Sliding Doors and Sun Roof.
Variants & Colours
The KIA Carnival has three variants with five seating configs: Premium 7, Premium 8, Prestige 7, Prestige 9 and Limousine 7VIP. Colour choices are limited to three: Steel Silver, Glacier White Pearl and Aurora Black Pearl. The interior colours are change according to variants.
We think that KIA motors has made a very ambitious move onto the Indian market with the Carnival, this segment is ruled by other MPV’s such as the Toyota Innova Crysta and the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. But the Carnival unlike those options is a premium offering for the VIP’s and will be able to cater to them. Pricing of the KIA Carnival starts from Rs 24.5 Lakhs all the way to Rs 33.95 Lakh.
* Prices indicated are ex-showroom.
Pic Courtesy:- Rushlane