Pros: Upscale interior appointments on top models; unique and stylish exterior design; broad range of available features; competitive pricing
Cons: All-wheel drive isn’t offered; SX Prestige’s second-row lounge seats aren’t removable and make third-row access more difficult
CG Says: Kia introduces an all-new minivan for 2022, replacing the previous Sedona with a more contemporary design that aims to blur the line between minivan and SUV.
Unlike true SUVs (and the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna), the Carnival is available only with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive isn’t offered. The sole powertrain is a 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Four trim levels are available: LX, EX, SX, and SX Prestige. Seating on all is the usual minivan three-row configuration. Maximum seating capacity is 8 people with a second-row bench seat, or 7 with the available second-row captain’s chairs.
Standard second-row seating on the SX Prestige model are ritzy “VIP Lounge” heated/ventilated seats with power controls, multi-adjustable headrests, and power-extending leg rests. Unlike the Carnival’s other second-row seat choices, the Lounge Seats aren’t removable, their seatbacks don’t fold forward to ease third-row access, and reclining them all the way back renders the third-row seat essentially unusable.
Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity are standard, and Carnival’s infotainment features are accessed through an 8.0-inch touchscreen or available 12.3-inch touchscreen. Standard driver-assistance features include lane-keep assist and blind-spot monitoring.
Available features include a 360-degree surround-view monitor, rear-seat-monitor camera system, rear cabin intercom, hands-free power liftgate, and a dual-screen rear entertainment system. With the Carnival, Kia hopes to get back in the sweet spot of the minivan market by focusing on style, an upscale interior ambiance, and competitive pricing.
The Carnival doesn’t offer quite the same level of family-friendly functionality as the Chrysler Pacifica or Honda Odyssey—or the hybrid powertrain and all-wheel drive offered on the Pacifica and Toyota Sienna. Still, with its distinctive SUV-esque looks, plentiful features, and available luxury touches, the Carnival presents itself as an appealing alternative to top sellers in the category.
|Drive Wheels||front-wheel drive|
|Nation of Manufacture||South Korea|
|Base Prices||LX: $33,275
SX Prestige: $47,275
|EPA City Range (mpg)
|EPA Hwy Range (mpg)