Kia is pretty much on the cusp of launching the locally assembled 2022 Kia Carnival version of their newest MPV that debuted on Malaysian soil in late 2021.
Since its initial appearance as a fully imported (CBU) vehicle in a sole 11-seat configuration, the public has been anticipating the eventual emergence of a better-equipped, possibly cheaper 4th-generation (KA4) Carnival from new local distributors Dinamikjaya Motors.
2022 Kia Carnival CKD - but not cheaper
As was previously reported, a Kia dealer in the Seri Kembangan area has been pretty liberal with information about the yet-to-be-launched MPV in locally assembled form in addition to accepting new bookings.
Now, the same dealership has published more detailed specifications of the incoming models alongside comparisons against the 11-seat CBU Carnival, which will presumably be discontinued once the current inventory is depleted. Interestingly, with a starting price of around RM235,000, it’s priced considerably higher than the RM196k version that was sold previously.
Clearly, Kia is hoping to compensate for this price bump with a much longer list of standard equipment, but it has yet to be seen if customers will also agree.
The powertrain is carried over unchanged with all variants powered by a 2.2-litre turbodiesel four-cylinder that outputs 202PS and 440Nm of torque that sends power to the front wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission.
In terms of the exterior, there shouldn’t be much to differentiate between them as they should share the same body colour options as well as a set of 18-inch wheels.
Besides the seat count, this ‘entry-level’ CKD version will essentially come fitted with all the kit already found on the CBU version such as the analogue gauge cluster but adds a 12-speaker Bose audio system.
7-seat or 8-seat Kia Carnival?
Above this, buyers will get the option of a ‘High-Spec’ range-topper Carnival but have the option of choosing a 7-seat or 8-seat cabin. Upgrades include a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster, dual powered sunroofs, heated/ventilated front seats, and LED interior lighting.
Importantly, it’s this variant that receives a full suite of active safety and driver aid features above the 360-degree camera system, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Blind Spot Monitoring that the CBU version had and will now be shared by the CKD 8-seater (Mid).
Beyond this, the incoming top rung Carnival will get High Beam Assist, Smart Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, Driver Attention Warning, and Forward Collision Avoidance (AEB) with Junction Turning.
We’ll have to wait and see if Kia’s new distributors will continue to offer the 11-seater as a locally assembled variant but judging against the relatively small number of buyers that actually need that sort of carrying capacity, it’s likely that 8 occupants are to be the maximum capacity going forward.