Offering an alternative to the usual Japanese “fridge on wheels” in Malaysia is the Korean Kia Carnival. Sold either as a seven-, eight-, or 11-seater, the Kia Carnival is not only bigger than its competition, but it is also a visually refreshing option, thanks to its SUV-styling.
You’ve seen our first impressions vlog of the Kia Carnival previously during a media drive to Ipoh. Now, we’re bringing you a full and thorough review of the all-new Kia Carnival in Malaysia, in its fully-imported 11-seater form.
On the outside, the Kia Carnival takes an alternative approach by implementing an SUV-like styling. At a glance, its side profile might even look like a Cadillac Escalade. The Tiger grille and the well-integrated headlights create a decent premium appearance, which is a vast improvement from previous generation Carnivals.
Inside, the interior of the Kia Carnival is only offered in one colour option – a combination of beige upholstery and black trims. The interior space is impressive, and on this 11-seater set-up, access to the third and fourth rows is as simple as folding the centre seats sideways.
The only engine option for the Kia Carnival – no matter which variant -is the diesel 2.2-litre Turbodiesel engine (CRDi) that produces 199hp and 440 Nm, with power sent to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Yes, it only comes with a diesel engine, but is the ride as smooth as the petrol-powered Japanese options? Is the diesel engine noise bearable? Watch and find out!