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KIA Carnival: Fit Your World inside

The Indian Automotive industry is 70 years old. During this time there were handful of cars that set a benchmark so high that it became extremely difficult for the competition to match it. One such brilliant product is the Toyota Innova.

After 13 years of ruling the road, we have a new MPV which has the potential to displace the Innova from its throne. But, Would someone pick this over a car which is sworn by its reliability? Let’s find out.

Kia Carnival has been launched at a price of 24.5 lakhs (ex-India)

Exterior

When I first saw the Carnival, I was wondering if we could still drive it using a normal Driving license, because it is that Massive. Its not only longer and wider than the Innova Crysta, but its just 30 cm short of Tempo Traveller. What’s really surprising is inspite of the rocketing dimensions, KIA has managed to style it really well. Infact, it looks much better than the Mercedes V-Class.

First look at the front and you would wonder if its actually a sibling of the stylish Seltos. But, your misconceptions are put to rest when you spot the tiger nose grille of the KIA family. The Headlamps are projectors with integrated turn indicators and neatly laid out DRL’s. You get the front parking sensors which are very helpful in manoeuvring this SUV in the city. KIA has definitely decided to play safe with the styling to align with the MPV proportions of the Carnival.

The rear of the Carnival is nothing fancy to write about. You get the stylish large tail lamps which are neatly integrated in the tail gate with a chrome strip running around. Not to forget, the boot is electrically controlled.

The party starts when you move to the side. These sliding doors look like they are inspired by those humungous SUV’s of the Western world. The best part is they open in style, let me show this to you. Don’t worry, you won’t have to put in all the effort to close them just like the Maruti Omni. Oh, that’s a horrible comparison.

Interior

Once inside, you would be left spellbound by the acres of space inside. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next IPL is held inside this car. The rear seats offer brilliant comfort, it’s one of the best I have ever seen. a lot of legroom and pretty good under thigh support. Since the carnival is extremely huge, you do get the roof mounted AC vents which does the job really well.

The cabin is made with good quality materials and the piano black inserts on the dashboard, steering wheel and the door pads uplift the premium appeal of the car. The 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel is identical to other Kia cars and has plethora of buttons for music control, cruise control and voice commands but the instrument console with a MID display in between looks very sporty. The dashboard is dominated by a massive 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with all sorts of smartphone connectivity options along with navigation and reverse camera. The performance of AC is just brilliant, it makes you feel like a native of Antartica in no time.

Space

There is a lot of storage space on offer. You get the sunglass holder, cupholder, USB charging socket and a lot more. One of the most sensible feature of this Carnival is that the rear doors can be Shut and Opened using a button here. How cool is that.

One thing that I must really appreciate is the amount of space and comfort offered in the 3rd row. There is no second thought that its better than the competition. Thanks to the large wheelbase of mm which means the wheelbase is longer than the entire length of M800. However, its not the best place to be in if you plan to sit here for a very long time.

Open the massive bonnet with all the horsepower available with you because there aren’t any hydraulic struts. The engine bay is well insulated to prevent the clutter from entering the cabin.

Drive

The carnival is powered by a 2.2 L CRDI Motor that churns out 190 bhp and 440 nm of Torque. Don’t get carried away by the numbers, let’s find out how does it drive.

Tap the accelerator and the Carnival takes a progressive approach to reach a ton in 11 seconds. Firstly, the Carnival feels very refined inspire of this being an oil burner. The low range is good, the mid range is brilliant but beyond that it reminds you that its not an AMG, so set your expectations right. There is a slight turbo lag from the 8 speed automatic but its not that severe to actually bother you. The steering feels slightly lighter at low speeds but this being an MPV I give it the benefit of doubt and not look at it from an enthusiasts point of view, for once.

The Carnival is a heavy car. To be precise, it weighs just over 2 tonnes. This coupled with its MPV stance means that a slight body roll is part of your breakfast. But I am pretty sure, you won’t be buying this to push it on the corners. One USP of the Carnival over Innova Crysta is the phenomenal ride quality . It absorbs the potholes very very well. Hello Innova, are you listening?

Carnival Vs Innova

Would I pick the Carnival over Innova? Definitely yes. It’s stylish, it rides better, has a lot of features and probably, I could build a house inside it too. Having said that, It will be challenging for KIA to push this off the showroom floors like the Seltos. That’s because in India we do not accept MPV based vans with open hands. Nissan tried it with the Evalia, Mercedes tried it with the V class and the rest is History.

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