2022 Kia Carnival previewed in Malaysia, a worthy challenger against the Alphard?

CY Foong · Dec 3, 2021 01:30 PM

2022 Kia Carnival previewed in Malaysia, a worthy challenger against the Alphard? 01

A little more than eight months after announcing itself as the new distributors for Kia, Dinamikjaya Motors Sdn. Bhd. has introduced the all-new 2022 Kia Carnival in Malaysia. The 11-seater MPV is the first all-new Kia model introduced by the new distributor which took over from Naza.

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Prices for the local-spec Carnival has not been announced yet but the 11-seater is available for public viewing at Carlist Drive Auto Fair 2021 at the Setia City Convention Centre this weekend from 3-5-December 2021.

2022 Kia Carnival previewed in Malaysia, a worthy challenger against the Alphard? 01

For now, the all-new Carnival is fully-imported (CBU) from Korea though local-assembly (CKD) is on the cards alongside the Seltos.

Also read: CKD plans for Kia Carnival in Malaysia pushed to May 2022 due to lockdowns

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Kia has dropped the ‘Grand’ moniker from the previous generation but that doesn’t mean the all-new Carnival is short of the G-word. It is still a grand-looking MPV both inside and out.

Also read: 30 pics for 30 reasons for you to skip recond Alphards and wait for the CKD Kia Carnival

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We’ll start with the exterior and it is a progressive step-up from the previous-gen. Though the glory days of MPVs are far behind, the Carnival bears a grandiose look that mixes elements of an SUV with the familiarity of a minivan.

Also read: MPVs aren't selling here, but how is the Proton Exora still growing in sales 11 years on?

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Unlike the Hyundai Staria or the Toyota Alphard, the Carnival doesn’t look like a van with its prominent front hood. After all, Kia even calls it a Grand Utility Vehicle (GUV) in an attempt to create a new body style.

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But we’ll stick to calling it an MPV which is what the Carnival is and has always been since it was introduced in 1998.

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From the looks of things, the all-new Carnival is massive but it looks so modern. Admittedly, it doesn’t stand out as much as the Staria but the looks are definitely futuristic enough for a proper MPV.

Also read: This over Alphard/Vellfire? Priced from RM 359k, Hyundai Staria launched in Malaysia

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2022 Kia Carnival vs Hyundai Staria
Model/Dimension Kia Carnival Hyundai Staria
Length (mm) 5,155 5,253
Width (mm) 1,995 1,997
Height (mm) 1,775 1,990
Wheelbase (mm) 3,090 3,273

In terms of dimensions, the all-new Carnival is overall longer and wider than its predecessor which is a given. Though it is built on the same platform as the Staria, the giant helmet on wheels is a little longer than the Carnival though there are no plans to bring in an 11-seater variant.

Also read: Not a Mercedes Vito competitor, HSDM says no plans for 11-seater Hyundai Staria

2022 Kia Carnival previewed in Malaysia, a worthy challenger against the Alphard? 08

Powering the Carnival is a 2.2-litre Smartstream turbodiesel engine which produces 202 PS and 440 Nm. This is paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission which sends power to the front wheels.

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Unlike in Thailand, the Malaysian-spec Carnival is only available with a single variant, just like in Indonesia.

Also read: After Thailand, 2021 Kia Grand Carnival now heads to Indonesia, Malaysia waits

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Yet, the equipment and features on the sole variant of the Carnival is quite generous. This includes 18-inch wheels, bi-LED headlights, and LED DRLS.

2022 Kia Carnival previewed in Malaysia, a worthy challenger against the Alphard? 11

Inside, the generous equipment continues with leatherette seats, a leather steering wheel, dual-zone air-conditioning, a wireless charger, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity.

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That connectivity feature is paired to a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display. Though some overseas units come with a digital instrument cluster, our local Carnival is only offered with an analogue instrument cluster.

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Yet that isn’t the only feature that appeared to be a downgrade for the Malaysian-spec Carnival. While it features customary safety features like 7 airbags, ESC, and hill assist control (HAC), the only active safety features available are the blind-spot warning and Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist (RCCA).

Also read: Advanced Driver Assistance Systems ADAS, more harm than good?

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Meanwhile, the top-of-the-range Thai-spec Carnival comes with the additional Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Smart Cruise Control, Lane Following Assist, and Smart Exit Assist.

Also read: First right-hand-drive 2020 Kia Grand Carnival launched in Thailand

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Still, despite missing some features that are available overseas, the all-new Carnival looks like a family-friendly hauler to bring along more during those road trips. Pricing has yet to be announced and this is merely a preview of what is to come.

Also read: Pros and Cons: 2020 Kia Grand Carnival – are 11 seats too many?

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As Dinamikjaya’s first new Kia model ever since it took over distributorship, do you think the all-new Carnival will help to restore some sort of semblance to Kia’s plight in Malaysia?

Also read: No easy solution for Kia’s after-sales woes in Malaysia, even with Bermaz

CY Foong

Writer

Traded advertising for a career that fits his passion for cars. Enjoys spotting cars during his free time and has a soft spot for Japanese Kei cars but drives a thirsty manual sedan.

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