Debuting this year as a replacement for the Sedona, the 2022 Kia Carnival is a 7- or 8-passenger MPV (multi-purpose vehicle). Kia prefers that term rather than “minivan,” but whatever you call it, the Carnival has sliding side doors, three rows of seats, and impressive cargo room.
The Carnival is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that sends 290 horsepower to the front wheels. It’s plenty of muscle to get the Carnival moving, even fully loaded with people and their stuff, although there is no all-wheel-drive option. Driving manners are good, with precise steering and a suspension that absorbs bumps in the road for a smooth ride, yet is taut enough to feel nimble for such a family hauler. Standard equipment is good, including a fair number of safety features and a touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity.
As with all Kias, the Carnival comes with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Carnival prices range from $33,275 ($32,100 + $1,175 destination fee) for the LX up to $47,275 for the top SX Prestige. These prices are in line with its competition from Toyota and Honda. Some models can be configured with seven or eight seats, although the top SX Prestige is a 7-seater only. The second-row features dual captain’s seats rather than a 3-across bench.
The base LX Carnival seats seven and comes with keyless ignition, cloth upholstery, sliding and removable second-row seats, front and rear air conditioning, and powered sliding doors. Safety features include forward-collision avoidance, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assistance, automatic high beams, driver attention monitoring, rear parking sensors, and rear occupant alert.
Infotainment is controlled by an 8-inch touchscreen and includes wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity for multiple devices, six USB ports, and a 6-speaker audio setup.
Next up is the EX, whose price jumps $5,500 to $38,775. But we think it’s worth it, with things like a rear passenger camera and night vision, along with hands-free powered tailgate, a cabin intercom system, and a quiet mode for the audio system that sends music through just the front speakers. The EX comes standard with the Seating package (optional on the LX) that adds a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment, SynTex leather-like seating material, and leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob.
Above that is the SX. This model adds LED fog lights, heated and ventilated front seats, 19-inch wheels, satin chrome exterior finishes, roof rails, 8-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, and power-folding side mirrors. Also included are a dual-screen rear entertainment system, two 115-volt outlets, and a 360-degree camera system.
At the top of the line is the SX Prestige, which will retails for $47,275. The 2022 Carnival in SX Prestige treats second-row passengers to heated and ventilated captain’s seats with power adjustment, wing-out headrests, and extendable leg support. Up front, it has a dual-screen dashboard with a 12.3-inch digital driver information display as well as a 12.3-inch infotainment screen. All the upholstery is leather, there’s a dual-pane sunroof, and it touts a Bose 12-speaker audio system. With a few extras, the fully loaded Carnival SX-Prestige comes out to $50,850.
2022 Kia Carnival Fully Loaded Features:
12-speaker Bose premium audio system
Auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink
Embossed and perforated leather trim throughout
Second-row VIP Lounge Seats
Dual power tilting and sliding sunroofs
Rear seat entertainment system: $1,500
Cargo tray: $115
Carpeted floor mats: $200
Interior light kit: $450
Tow hitch: $575
Roof rail cross bars: $360
Cargo lighting kit: $375
Second-row VIP Lounge Seats
While we’ll agree that the name is a bit over the top. Still, these seats fold completely back, with wing-out headrests and supports that swing up for your legs. They are heated, ventilated, and power-adjustable, and they are only available on the SX Prestige.
Dual Power Tilting and Sliding Sunroofs
Nothing like an open sunroof on sunny days. For family road trips, the sunroofs add light and airflow through the cabin. They also allow the family to see more of the world outside. Only available on the SX Prestige trim.
12-speaker Bose audio system
Offered only on the top SX Prestige trim is this premium 12-speaker Bose audio system. Considering how much time you’ll likely be spending in the Carnival, from errands to road trips, you might as well please your ears and lift your mood.
Rear Seat Entertainment System
When traveling with kids, sometimes a little distraction for them can bring peace of mind for the driver. This two-screen setup with device mirroring and streaming, so passengers can watch the same thing or enjoy their own entertainment.
Interior Light Kit and Cargo Lighting Kit
These extra features provide for different types of ambient lighting schemes throughout the cabin and in the back. You can have a dance party inside your minivan!
Roof Rail Cross Bars and Tow Hitch
Since large groups tend to bring a lot of cargo, the crossbars help you stow more gear on the roof when the rear fills up. And since the Carnival tows up to 3,500 pounds, it’s a good choice when you want to bring a personal watercraft or another toy on the family outing.
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