New car launches have become quite frequent these days. And while every new car has something different to offer, once in a while we get a new automobile that dramatically alters the market dynamics by pushing the boundaries and driving competitors to offer more. Kia’s Carnival is definitely one such product. And what makes things interesting is that the Carnival doesn’t have a real competitor in India. It looks quite desirable and is incredibly big and spacious, which makes it very comfortable for as many as eight occupants, thanks also to its car-like driving dynamics and overall ride comfort.
The Carnival’s interior is very inviting too, with premium materials and a very generous equipment list, which isn’t limited to top-end models. But it’s the pricing of the Carnival that makes it an absolute winner, starting at ₹24.95 lakh and going up to ₹33.95 lakh (ex-showroom). The price band is wide enough for it to be perfect for those Innova buyers who want to upgrade to a more comfortable, spacious, and better-equipped MUV. Another highlight of the Carnival is that it offers 540 litres of boot space, even with all the rows of seats in place.
Despite its large size, the Carnival feels remarkably easy to drive on our tight urban roads, thanks to great visibility from the cabin and excellent manoeuvrability. On the road, it feels fairly effortless to drive too – the engine offers linear performance, while the automatic gearbox goes about its business smoothly. Even the steering has a nice weighted feel to it at higher speeds.
Overall, the Carnival feels very composed at high speeds, with limited body roll around bends. During our test, it really surprised us with its performance on the track. We were impressed by the composure of this rather large minivan – one that has no business being on the track in the first place – around the tight corners of the BIC. It’s a truly multifaceted car, which not only excels at its job as a people mover but can also be a comfortable daily driver.