2022 Kia Carnival review: A party on wheels

Victoria D. Doty

The new Carnival looks a great deal more rugged than the Sedona it replaces. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Kia is out of the minivan company — effectively, based on who you ask. The unpopular Sedona spouse and children-hauler is absent, supplanted by the colorfully named 2022 Kia Carnival, which is billed as a multipurpose automobile, or MPV for shorter. The South Korean automaker is hoping to fill a vaguely described white space with this product or service, which happens to be a tall and boxy device with three rows of seats, cavernous inside space and a sliding doorway on every aspect. What kind of automobile does that describe? Appear on, Kia: Embrace the minivan, in particular considering that the Carnival is so very good.


  • Fantastic transmission functionality
  • Open up, airy inside
  • Helpful tech

Don’t Like

  • Relatively noisy at pace
  • Piano-black trim
  • Unsettled ride

No matter what you feel like calling it, the 2022 Carnival is built on Kia’s third-era N3 platform, which underpins other automobiles like the handsome Sorento SUV and avant-garde K5 sedan. Providing it noticeably sturdier styling than the previous Sedona, which was rounded in comparison, the Carnival options a modernized variation of the brand’s signature tiger-nose grille, complete with unique sculpting and tasteful brightwork. For a more rugged seem, the wheel arches are accentuated, moreover the hood is larger and flatter than what you will come across on other minivans. This is also the initial Kia in The usa to element the brand’s revamped symbol, which is modern-day and angular, or as Roadshow testimonials editor Antuan Goodwin explained it in a picture caption, “K-backwards-N.” What has been seen can not be unseen.

Thanks to these design attributes, the Carnival looks more robust than its rivals, significantly the billowy Chrysler Pacifica. But there’s only so significantly you can do with visible sleight-of-hand. This Kia is however undeniably a minivan, as evinced by its imposing two-box sort. Dimension-wise, the Carnival is in lockstep with rivals — its 121.7-inch wheelbase may possibly be the longest of the bunch, but it is just .one inches larger than the Chrysler’s. At 203 inches from grille to liftgate, it is an inch or two shorter than its rivals, with the Honda Odyssey being the longest of the team (if only just).

That generous size gives the Carnival a good deal of inside space. Behind its sixty/forty-split third-row seat, which manually folds into the floor with the pull of a pair handles and a massive downward shove, you get forty.2 cubic toes of storage space. Behind the 2nd-row chairs it supplies 86.9 cubic toes so you get up to one hundred forty five.one cubes to participate in with, more than in all but the voluminous Odyssey.

Aside from capaciousness, convenience is a further 1 of the Carnival’s strong fits in this midrange EX design. The Slide-Flex 2nd-row chairs are a good deal cozy and supportive, moreover they quickly go fore and aft by a important volume, while they do not fold into the floor like Chrysler’s ingenious Stow ‘n Go procedure. For maximum cargo space, you have obtained to eliminate them and hope you don’t pull a muscle in your again. Making sure passengers have access to electric power, USB ports are integrated into the entrance seatbacks. Mirroring the Toyota Sienna, the variety-topping SX Prestige design options twin VIP lounge seats, which slide, recline and have integrated ottomans for extra luxurious. They also give electric power controls as effectively as heating and ventilation for all-year convenience. The Carnival’s third-row seat is accommodating with a good deal of space far too, even for lanky grownups. As with the 2nd row, passengers in steerage have access to a pair of USB ports. No matter the place you’re sitting, there’s pretty much plenty of headroom in this automobile for Shaquille O’Neal to bolt upright though wearing a best hat.

What do you believe of Kia’s new symbol?

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Roomy and cozy, the Carnival’s inside is fashionable and effectively built. The dashboard is basic and cleanly laid out. The weather controls, which are partly comprised of bodily switches and touch-sensitive buttons, are obviously labeled and effortless to function. Aside from there becoming a little far too significantly piano-black trim (a magnet for dust and fingerprints) in this EX design, the supplies utilised are of significant high-quality, everything is assembled with painstaking precision and nothing at all is free or or else cheap feeling.

An eight-inch touchscreen is regular products in the base LX design, complete with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Car. EX and larger models, nonetheless, appear with a significantly much larger 12.3-inch exhibit, which is dwelling to a swanky infotainment procedure. This multimedia array is extremely snappy, responding to finger inputs practically instantaneously, moreover it is a cakewalk to use, with practically zero finding out curve. This will make the Carnival 1 of those people automobiles you can bounce suitable in and commence using without having to thumb by the owner’s manual or squander time figuring out how points function. This infotainment procedure also looks neat. Icons on the dwelling display screen resemble little neon indicators and the radio tuner is styled like nixie tubes, a playful touch. EX and larger models also appear regular with a wireless charging plate and each cabin camera and intercom systems — so the driver can hold tabs on and converse with passengers in the again seats.

The Carnival is run by a 3.five-liter V6 that belts out 290 horsepower and 262 pound-toes of torque. This Kia has a number of more horses in its steady than the Pacifica and Odyssey, but unexpectedly, all three of these minivans have an similar volume of torque. The Carnival’s motor is tranquil and easy, the little tingles generated by all V6s are effectively attenuated, with little vibration becoming felt within. Acceleration is very good, the van pulling effectively when you punch it, a functionality aided by the tremendous-responsive 8-pace automated transmission. As gearboxes go, this 1 is best: imperceptibly easy, swift-witted and keen to downshift when you require more oomph. What more could you ask for?

The Carnival’s cabin is roomy, effectively built and exceptionally cozy. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Fuel economic system is suitable in line with the Carnival’s main rivals. The Kia stickers at 19 mpg town and 26 mpg highway. Combined, it is rated at 22 mpg, similar to a entrance-wheel travel, non-plug-in Pacifica or the Honda Odyssey. Obviously, the hybrid-only Sienna blows this Kia away like topsoil through the Dust Bowl with its throughout-the-board score of up to 36 mpg (as does the pricier Pacifica plug-in hybrid, which returns eighty two MPGe when operating exclusively on electrical energy). If maximum gas economic system matters, get the Toyota. If towing prowess tops your chart, nab the Chrysler, as it is rated to drag up to 3,600 lbs ., 100 more than the Carnival, Odyssey or Sienna.

The Carnival’s steering is light-weight and moderately swift, which will help this minivan feel nimble and a little bit smaller sized than it is. The regular lane-preserving assist technological innovation is exceptionally very good, never ever sawing at the wheel or darting for the ditch when a line will get interrupted. The out there adaptive cruise handle operates a handle, far too. Common driver aids involve blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-visitors inform, lane-preserving assist and reverse parking sensors.

Dynamic downsides are number of, but the Carnival’s greatest weakness is its unsettled ride. Choppy, noisy and on the floaty aspect, this spouse and children-hauler can feel a little bit uneasy at moments. A total load of kiddies and cargo would probably settle points down, but the unladen tuning requires a little more function to truly get points dialed in. Commotion from the tires and wind is also recognizable at pace, possible exacerbated by the cavernous inside.  

Minivan or MPV, it truly doesn’t matter what you call the 2022 Kia Carnival for the reason that it is a excellent automobile.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

An desirable and effectively-rounded featuring, the 2022 Kia Carnival is out there in four trim stages: LX, EX, SX and SX Prestige. Base cost for this not-so-mini van is 33 massive types and transform, including $one,a hundred seventy five in supply service fees. As it sits, the EX design demonstrated listed here checks out for a not-unreasonable $38,775.

If you’re procuring for a minivan, thank you! Extra drivers would be wise to take into account 1 of these versatility all-stars over the SUVs all people is obsessed with these days. Building the selection even simpler (or possibly tougher), you are not able to get a terrible minivan. All the main players are excellent in their possess way. The gas-sipping Toyota Sienna is palms down the most inexpensive design without a plug Chrysler’s Pacifica looks the nicest as Stow ‘n Go however blows the competitiveness away and the Honda Odyssey is the most effectively-rounded of the bunch and possible the greatest to travel. As for the Carnival, it is as fantastic an choice as any, and has no difficulties heading toe-to-toe not just with other minivans, but with three-row SUVs, far too.

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