Kia Motors India is on a roll. With over 50,000 bookings under its belt for the hot-selling new Kia Seltos compact SUV, the Korean car maker has got off to a great start in India. As has been previously reported, Kia will not waste any time in expanding its product offering for India. And in line with some of those reports, we can now confirm that the Kia Carnival premium MPV will be the second model from Kia in India. The large and well-appointed MPV model is a direct rival to the Toyota Innova Crysta which enjoys sales leadership and benchmark status in India at present, in the full-size MPV segment. The Carnival will be made at Kia's Anantapur plant in Andhra Pradesh. It will make its market debut at the February 2020 Delhi Auto Expo, with deliveries commencing within the same month. Contrary to some media reports, we can confirm that it is the current generation car coming to us, and not a new generation.
Also Read: Kia Carnival MPV First Drive Review
The third model from Kia will also be another global car that will have its world debut in India. And it too will be made in India from scratch - initially for domestic sales, but eventually also exports. This is the is the subcompact SUV codenamed QYI (also called QY internally). This will complement the Kia Seltos to beef up the company's already strengthening reputation in SUVs, and will compete with the likes of the Hyundai Venue, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Mahindra XUV300, Ford EcoSport, and Tata Nexon. It too will be shown as a concept or pre-production model at the 2020 Expo, but a market launch is only likely around July 2020, well in time for the festive season next year.
The third generation Kia Carnival has been around globally since 2015, and is now in the middle of its product life cycle. It sells as the Kia Sedona in the United States. While the Carnival/Sedona was facelifted worldwide as a 2019 model year car, the one coming to us will be a version that is specific to India. This means it will offer some design tweaks, higher trim levels, and shall be more premium and luxurious than in other markets. The reason is that Kia wants to establish the Carnival as the luxury benchmark in the segment, by topping the Toyota Innova Crysta on features. So expect not just the electrically sliding rear door, and leather seating, but also a large sunroof, an 8 inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, connected car app and internet services (UVO Connect), and ambient lighting. Kia is also considering offering the air purifier option as seen on the Seltos already. Besides this the car will also sport multiple airbags, isofix child seat anchors, active and passive safety features like EBD, ABS, and traction control. For long distance driving there will be active cruise control and of course it goes without saying that the Carnival shall offer a 7 or 8 seat layout. Engine duties will be supplied by a 2.2 litre diesel, with automatic being standard.
The QYI subcompact SUV will offer similar equipment as seen on the Seltos (and indeed its cousin - the Hyundai Venue). It will however play up on being youthful and fun, and so expect vibrant colours, two-tone roof, and customisation options galore. It is also likely to come in with more than one automatic transmission option - with petrol likely to dominate the model mix. Of course it will share engines with the Hyundai Venue too, with the focus being more on the 1.0 turbo GDI petrol, than the other offerings. The Kia QYI will also sport the touchscreen and UVO Connect options, along with connectivity, safety and creature comforts - in line with the Seltos product offering. Kia will stay niche with a premium offer for the individual buyer, or the high-end fleets with the Carnival MPV. However Kia India will seek volumes with the QYI subcompact SUV, and will go after numbers in what has become the fastest growing segment in the India car market.