Spacious and versatile, approachable and secure — the minivan is a marvel of suburban utility. The drawback is that most individuals do not truly need to be seen driving one, so many patrons skew towards cooler-looking SUVs. To fight this, the main gamers within the class have pushed minivan design in a path that is maybe greatest described as “sci-fi bullet train” with combined outcomes.Kia’s answer to the issue of uncool notion is to decorate its new 2022 Carnival “multipurpose vehicle” in SUV cosplay. The result’s a minivan that boasts all the benefits and facilities of its classmates, whereas standing aesthetically aside with sport utility model.The Carnival wears an upright, boxy design with a entrance finish formed extra like Kia’s Telluride than the Sedona it replaces. Details just like the L-shaped, chrome C-pillars break up the minivan’s profile and, together with the sculpted wheel arches and darkish decrease sills, assist pull the attention upward to create the looks of a taller, extra rugged journey. At first look, the Carnival appears virtually precisely like a full-size SUV from most angles, however then you definitely discover the reversed handles and tracks for the sliding doorways and, immediately, the minivan-ness of the silhouette turns into obvious.
The Carnival is the primary Kia to put on what I’ve taken to calling the model’s new “K-backwards-N” emblem.
VIP seatingThe Carnival’s energy sliding doorways open to disclose a spacious inside that is obtainable in seven- or eight-passenger configurations. The customary eight-seat setup encompasses a 40/20/40-split second-row bench with a middle part that may fold over to create a table-like armrest for the outboard seats. The bench can even slide far sufficient ahead permitting entrance seat passengers to simply attain a automobile seat. The second row can be fully eliminated when you must entry the Carnival’s most 145.1 cubic toes of cargo capability.Upgrade from the bottom LX to an EX or SX mannequin and the fabric upholstery is changed with synthetic leather-based. Step as much as the highest spec SX Prestige for actual leather-based trim and a pair of power-adjustable VIP seats rather than the second-row bench. These luxurious buckets robotically recline or return upright on the contact of a button, they usually characteristic heated and cooled surfaces and might even deploy footrests for optimum rest. The Prestige setup elevates the Carnival from a properly appointed household hauler to a reasonably luxurious shuttle with extra passenger area, extra cargo capability and simpler entry than a taller SUV can provide. With the third row folded flat, I can slide the VIP seats far sufficient again for a full recline and leg extension, even with the entrance seats in a cushty driving place. Try doing that in an Escalade.
Kia’s minivan is not the one one to supply reclining captain’s chairs, however these are a contact extra luxe than most.
The seven-seat SX Prestige is not with out its compromises, nevertheless. The nonremovable VIP seats imply this trim maxes out at 86.9 cubes of cargo capability behind the second row, and attending to the third row is extra of a squeeze.
Speaking of that customary third row, there’s loads of legroom again there for 2 average-size adults, and sufficient shoulder area for 3 children. Pulling a strap shortly folds the 60/40 cut up bench flat into the Carnival’s ground and a single pull lifts it again up, leaving a still-impressive 40.2 cubic toes for cargo.On the choices listing, you will discover Kia’s good energy tailgate, which robotically opens the hatch while you method the rear of the car with the important thing in your pocket. I often discover this characteristic extraordinarily annoying, however Kia will need to have improved its detection logic from earlier functions. I skilled virtually no false-positive unintentional openings throughout my testing, and the tailgate now robotically closes while you stroll away, making loading groceries or different cargo a really hands-free course of.Backseat techThe Carnival could be outfitted with a dual-screen rear seat leisure setup. Each options USB and HDMI inputs that may be shared with the opposite show. Each can hook up with a cellphone or Wi-Fi hotspot to energy apps like Netflix or mirror a smartphone’s show. There’s additionally a colourful Kid Mode interface that serves up child-friendly content material. Bluetooth connectivity permits customers to hear utilizing virtually any headphones they already personal, slightly than counting on low-quality pack-ins.The Passenger Camera and Passenger Talk options assist the motive force to observe and talk with occupants within the second and third rows.
An elective wide-angle Passenger Camera on the Carnival’s ceiling shows a fowl’s-eye view of second and third rows on the multimedia display screen, full with night time imaginative and prescient. This improve works effectively in tandem with the Passenger Talk characteristic that amplifies the motive force’s voice over the Carnival’s audio system, so they do not must shout to talk to people within the third row. When geared up with the elective Passenger Voice Recognition tech, second-row passengers can even problem instructions to the dashboard UVO system. This is useful for getting vacation spot solutions from adults within the VIP seats, however can be defeatable when you must maintain a van full of kids from requesting Baby Shark for the fifty-leventh time.Front seat techUp entrance, Kia’s latest-generation UVO infotainment lives within the dashboard. An 8-inch show is customary, however EX, SX and SX Prestige fashions all improve to a 12.3-inch show. Either approach, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity are additionally customary with USB — however not wi-fi — connectivity. UVO packs its intuitive interface with distinctive options like voice memo recording, Sounds of Nature (like calm waves, a forest or bustling cafe) and a quiet mode that limits media quantity and disables the rear audio system — helpful for when children are dozing within the again.The customizable star shortcut button on the dashboard — a small characteristic that you will discover on Kia’s different UVO methods — is joined by a second customizable button on the steering wheel, permitting drivers to map options just like the Passenger Camera or Passenger Talk to a single press.There are as much as 9 USB ports (seven are customary) for charging cell gadgets unfold throughout the Carnival’s three rows.
LX, EX and SX trims all characteristic conventional bodily gauges and a small 4.3-inch data show. The SX Prestige upgrades to a 12.3-inch absolutely digital instrument cluster with 4 user-selectable themes, together with a dynamic setting that adjustments together with the time of day. The digital cluster additionally integrates Kia’s Blind Spot View characteristic, displaying a digicam feed of the adjoining lane when the corresponding flip sign is activated. DriveWise security suiteKia’s DriveWise superior driver-assistance system suite is customary on all Carnival fashions. That will get you entrance, rear and lane-change collision detection, ahead computerized emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping help, blind-spot monitoring and a rear digicam. DriveWise additionally rolls in driver consideration monitoring and a sonar-based rear occupant alert that forestalls unintentionally leaving a baby or pet within the parked car.The EX trim provides park distance warnings, enhanced collision avoidance that may additionally detect cyclists and Highway Driving Assistant, Kia’s umbrella know-how that rolls in navigation-based adaptive cruise management that works in stop-and-go visitors and enhanced lane-keeping steering help. Upgrading to SX brings a encompass view digicam system on-line. Finally, the full-fat SX Prestige completes the protection suite with the aforementioned blind-spot digicam tech.
2022 Kia Carnival SX Prestige is an SUV-styled MPV for VIPs
See all images
Performance and effectivityThe solely powertrain provided within the 2022 Carnival is a 3.5-liter V6 paired with an eight-speed computerized transmission and front-wheel drive. Despite wanting like an SUV, all-wheel drive isn’t an choice. On the brilliant facet, 290 horsepower imbues the Carny with fairly good hustle for a minivan, and the 262 pound-feet of torque is sufficient twist to tow as much as a 3,500-pound trailer.Handling is delicate, however snug. The Carnival is not probably the most swish dancer on a twisty highway, however the minivan manages to remain off of its personal toes effectively sufficient that it feels secure. The steering is responsive, however physique roll and understeer are noticeable at velocity. This is, in fact, nice. Despite Toyota’s advertising for the brand new Sienna, I do not assume that anybody searching for a minivan is searching for “sport-tuned handling.” More importantly, the Carnival does an awesome job absorbing bumps with poise and speaking its limits to the motive force effectively and early sufficient to remain out of hassle.The EPA estimates 19 miles per gallon metropolis, 26 mpg freeway or 22 mpg mixed from the 2022 Carnival. That’s on par with different front-drive, V6-powered minivans on this class. The numerous drive modes — Normal, Eco, Smart and Sport — may have some impact on the Kia’s efficiency and effectivity steadiness, however over the course of three days, testing each the SX and SX Prestige trim ranges in quite a lot of conditions, my common of 21.7 mpg was virtually spot-on with these estimates.Kia’s betting that the Carnival will discover a dwelling within the grey space between minivans and SUVs.
Pricing and competitorsThe 2022 Kia Carnival begins at $33,275 (together with its $1,175 vacation spot cost) for the bottom LX mannequin and tops out at $47,275 for the absolutely loaded SX Prestige. Add $200 for ground mats and $495 for the premium Astra Blue paint to achieve an as-tested worth of $47,970. I solely ever need to be picked up from the airport in a Carny with VIP seating any longer, however for households trying to maximize area for folks and cargo, the candy spot is the eight-passenger SX mannequin beginning at $42,275.The Carnival is priced and appointed competitively in opposition to the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. However, Chrysler and Toyota provide all-wheel drive, hybrid and plug-in hybrid configurations that increase the value ceiling but in addition deliver vital efficiency and gasoline financial system benefits. Also take into account that the Carnival’s sport-utility model has the potential to tempt a number of households on the fence away from a brand new SUV buy, so one may make the case for it being an oblique competitor to one thing like Kia’s personal Telluride as effectively.Kia can name it an MPV and magnificence it like an SUV, however what issues is that the Carnival is a rattling good minivan. Kia’s designers have pulled off this stylistic double-take with aplomb. With the 2022 Carnival arriving in dealerships now, the automaker can solely hope that consumers assume it is as cool as I do.