Kia offers a fresh take on a tired segment.
It’s out with the old and in with the new for Kia’s minivan. Leaving us is the 2021 Sedona and taking its place is the 2022 Carnival. The Sedona is a minivan, while the Carnival is called a multi-purpose vehicle, but it’ll compete in the same segment as the Sedona. Indeed, according to Kia, the all-new Carnival transcends the minivan segment by occupying space between the SUV and the family hauler.
The Carnival name also debuts Kia’s new logo. This model is boxier than a traditional minivan, but it retains the traditional sliding doors common to the segment. It offers three rows of seating with room for seven or eight. One powertrain choice motivates every model.
“The Kia Carnival is here to disrupt a staid segment and proves once again what is possible when conventions are shattered,” said Sean Yoon, president & CEO, Kia Motors North America, Kia Motors America. “With its SUV-like character, our new multi-purpose vehicle delivers a combination of premium design, intelligent packaging, and an abundance of innovation in safety and technology. For these reasons, the Carnival is the first vehicle to proudly wear our all-new Kia badge and is a bold signal of things to come.”
Here are some of the important points about Kia’s newest model:
1. New platform. Not only is the Sedona replaced with the Carnival, but the new model gains Kia’s third-generation N3 platform, which also supports the K5 sedan and Sorento SUV. This platform is more rigid and includes greater sound absorbing and insulation materials, along with multiple aerodynamic improvements.
2. Flashy styling. Minivans rarely turn heads, especially since they’re geared toward excelling in people carrying, which they do. In the 2022 Carnival, Kia attempts to take what it describes as a “staid” segment and reinvigorate it with a forward-thinking design. Key design elements include a fresh interpretation of the brand’s tiger-nose grille, dramatic hood creases, beefy wheel arches, profile-running cutlines, large two-tone side mirrors, sleek rear combination lamps, and sporty wheel choices.
3. Offered in four trim levels. The 2022 Carnival will be offered in four trims: LX, EX, SX, and SX-Prestige. This vehicle is front-wheel-drive-only with three rows of seating. Depending on how it’s configured, the Carnival will hold seven or eight passengers.
4. Ample room inside. The 2022 Carnival features several class-leading attributes, including 168.2 cubic feet of passenger room and 145.1 cubic feet of cargo room behind the first row in all but the top trim. Kia also introduces “Slide-Flex” seating for 8-passenger versions, which allows for multiple configurations, including a sliding second-row center seat. In its most forward position, the seat allows for ease of access by the front passenger for a baby or a small child riding in it. Also, available heated and ventilated second-row VIP Lounge Seating includes power controls, wing-out headrest, and leg extensions in an upper-level 7-passenger configuration. Also, the second-row seats and fold-in-floor third-row seats enable the Carnival to claim the best-in-class cargo room. Notably, the second-row seats are not removable in the SX-Prestige.
5. One powertrain combination. Common to this segment, one powertrain combination is offered. Every Carnival is motivated by a 3.5-liter V6 engine developing 290 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Power routes to the front wheels utilizing an 8-speed automatic transmission. This vehicle has a 3,500-pound towing capacity.
6. A long list of driver-assist features. Every 2022 Carnival comes with forward collision-avoidance assist, blind-spot avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist, parking distance warning-reverse, lane-keeping assist, high beam assist, and driver attention warning. Also available is a blind-spot view monitor, forward collision-avoidance assist-cyclist, highway driving assist, adaptive cruise control, parking collision avoidance assist, and a surround-view monitor.
7. Lots of tech features. Kia equips the 2022 Carnival with a standard 8-inch touch-screen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, wireless smartphone charging, a 3-inch navigation display, 3-inch fully digital instrument cluster, Bluetooth connectivity, as many as 9 USB ports across all three rows, two 110-volt power inverters, and a Bose audio system with 12 speakers.
8. Advanced link telematics. An important feature in today’s vehicles is telematics connectivity. Kia’s UVO system is one of the earlier examples and it’s available in its latest guise. Here, drivers will find connected routing, connected weather, enhanced voice assist, calendar integration, last-mile navigation to your destination, smart speaker integration, and several advanced safety notifications including 911 Connect and Roadside Assistance.
The 2022 Kia Carnival arrives in the second quarter of this year (April-June). Pricing information will be released ahead of its arrival date. The new model will take on the industry stalwarts, including the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, and the Toyota Sienna.
Photos copyright Kia Motors.