MPVs unfortunately have a pretty bad reputation in many parts of the world, for either being too “soccer mom”, or too “I’m a rich man I can do whatever I want on the road” i.e. your typical Alphards or Vellfires. But that might all change soon, as the all-new 2022 Kia Carnival has flipped the script entirely for what it means to be an MPV.
You see, Kia now calls the Carnival a “GUV”, short for Grand Utility Vehicle. While we usually hate silly marketing names (ahem, Gran Coupe), this one here makes just enough sense for us to give it a pass.
That’s because the all-new Carnival features some fundamental changes to its proportions that differentiates itself from the run-off-the-mill MPVs in the market. Particularly, the A-pillars have been pushed backwards for a longer bonnet giving the impression of an SUV – at least when viewed from the front.
The Korean carmaker also incorporated several other SUV-inspired design elements into the Carnival, including the stylised C-pillars, floating roof, well-proportioned wheels, and sleek belt line on the sides to further add to the illusion. But most importantly of all, the Carnival just plainly looks good.
Video: Can the 2022 11-seater Kia Carnival MPV finally dethrone the Toyota Alphard?
And yet, the 2022 Kia Carnival doesn’t forget its true purpose as a people carrier. Inside the cabin is, on paper, space for 11 passengers – although we’ll argue that it’s perhaps more comfortable to carry just six (or eight in a pinch) and save the rest for your luggage. There’s also rear air con blowers with a separate single-zone climate control, sliding doors, sunshades, and plenty of USB ports to keep all your passengers comfortable and occupied.
It’s also pretty well-equipped for the driver, too, with a large 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display on the dashboard for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, eight-way powered seats with lumbar adjustments, and safety features such as blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert to take away some of the stress when driving such a large vehicle.
The more advanced safety features such as autonomous emergency braking and lane-keep assist, however, are unfortunately lacking here. Hopefully they’ll be present on the eventual CKD model.
As for the actual driving part, the all-new 2022 Kia Carnival is powered by a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine making 199 hp and 440 Nm of torque, with drive sent to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
All of the above come at a very competitive price of RM196,341. Enough for you to forget about the recond Alphards? Check out the detailed gallery below and decide for yourself.