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After what seems like an eternity, Naza Kia finally appears set on bringing in the latest third-generation Kia Carnival to our shores. The massive MPV will be previewed at the Mines International Exhibition and Convention Centre (MIECC) this Thursday, before its inevitable launch soon.

It may be new to Malaysians, but the word might not be best used in this context. The Carnival was first unveiled in New York in April 2014, but there was no indication then that it would be offered here – although the original model was sold in Malaysia in both original and Naza Ria-badged forms, the second-gen was never made available on our shores.

Fast forward nearly two years later and the people mover was captured in front of JPJ Putrajaya, hinting that the the Carnival could well be introduced here. The sighting was bolstered by a source at Naza Kia, which told paultan.org then that the Carnival was under consideration to be sold in Malaysia.

This Carnival is an absolute beast – it’s 40 mm longer than the already-commodious previous model. The increase in dimensions is claimed to have enabled the Carnival to offer more front shoulder room, greater leg room in the first, second and third rows and a slightly higher hip-point than the previous model.

Available in either seven-, eight- or, in Korea, eleven-seater configurations, the Carnival is offered with two powertrain options – a 202 PS/441 Nm 2.2 litre R CRDi turbodiesel, a 270 PS/318 Nm 3.3 litre naturally-aspirated MPI petrol V6 or a 280 PS/336 Nm GDi version of the V6. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic. If the recent introduction of the Sorento was any indication, Naza Kia could offer both petrol and diesel engines here, with the latter being low-spec model.

So, what do you think of the return of the Carnival on our shores? Could it really take the fight to the likes of the Toyota Alphard and Vellfire? Sound off in the comments section after the jump.

SPYSHOTS: Kia Carnival in Malaysia


GALLERY: Kia Grand Sedona at GIIAS 2016