Toyota has been reaping the benefits of being the only player in the premium MPV segment in India. This is part of the reason why around 3000 units of the Innova Crysta get sold every month even after three years of its launch here. Now, Kia has launched the Carnival in the country which will slot in just above the Innova, hoping to cash in on demand for even more luxurious MPVs. Here’s how they compare.
The Toyota Innova Crysta feels familiar now, it has been in the market for over three years, but it refuses to show its age. With a sharp design, inspired by SUVs like the Fortuner and Highlander, the Innova hides its MPV underpinnings quite well. Be it the stretch-back all-LED headlamps, imposing grille, large overall dimensions and design flairs like the rear quarter glass – the Innova Crysta is a looker.
The Kia Carnival is at the other end of the spectrum in terms of design, it does not hide the fact that it is a people-mover – there’s even a sliding side door! But its low stance, and blink-it-and-you’ll-miss-it design cues give it an understated elegant look. Kia’s also got the signature ‘Tiger Nose’ grille and ‘Ice Cube’ fog lamp design, but the rest of the design prioritises function over form. How will Indian consumers take to this? Only time will tell.
The Kia Carnival is larger than the Innova Crysta in almost every parameter except overall height. The extra 380mm of length, better space utilisation thanks to a front-wheel-drive setup and a monocoque chassis allows enough space for the Carnival to have four rows of seating.
The interior design of both these MPVs mimics their respective exterior design. The Innova Crysta uses more eye-catching design, with bold swooping lines on the dashboard and more contrasting colours used.
The Kia Carnival is understated in terms of design, the features on offer are what makes its interior special.
Features unique to the Innova Crysta include a colour MID in the instrument console, cooled glove box and seven airbags (including a driver knee airbag).
Features unique to the Kia Carnival include one-touch sliding side doors, dual touchscreen entertainment screens for 2nd-row passengers, VIP seats for 2nd-row passengers, three-zone climate control, nine-seater configuration, dual-pane sunroof, powered tailgate with smart functionality, front and rear parking sensors, third row side sunshades, ventilated driver seat, wireless phone charger and connected car function with smartwatch compatibility.
The Kia Carnival is not offered with a petrol powertrain but the Innova Crysta is. So, your choice is limited if you are looking for a petrol-powered MPV. The 3.0-litre petrol engine powering the Crysta is tuned for reliability and efficiency rather than outright performance. A six-speed automatic transmission is also offered for added convenience.
Both the MPVs here are offered with diesel engines, but the Innova Crysta is not offered with the peppier 2.8-litre motor anymore because it does not meet the new BS6 emission norms. The Carnival’s engine may be 200cc smaller than the one powering the Innova, but it develops more power and more torque while also returning an impressive ARAI-certified efficiency of 13.9kmpl.
With an expected price starting from Rs 25 lakhs (ex-showroom), the Kia Carnival will not rival the popular Toyota Innova Crysta directly. But it certainly does offer more for those looking at a more premium MPV than the Innova but not as expensive as the Mercedes-Benz V-Class.