By Larry Lark, contributor
It’s the way of the world.
As old models go, new one’s replace them. Kinda like humans, I guess.
The all-new 2022 Kia Carnival SX – which replaces the Sedona – is a perfect ample.
Yet this new model is different. Carnival is an amalgam of sorts. It’s a combination SUV, minivan, and crossover vehicle, forming the newly-coined “Multi-Purpose Vehicle, or MPV moniker.
The bold, boxy design arrives simultaneously with Kia’s new logo to deliver an eight-person, three-row, front-wheel drive family-hauler that pushes boundaries on expected fronts.
“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.”
The 2022 Carnival will be offered in four trim levels: LX, EX, SX, and SX-Prestige.
Inside, Carnival delivers a premium level of refinement, savvy technology, and flexibility. And with best-in-class passenger room and best-in-class cargo room, there is enough space to accommodate people, playthings, or plywood, depending on the day’s errands…or adventures.
Powered by a 3.5-liter gas direct-direct-inject V6 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Carnival delivers a best-in-class 290 horsepower. The powertrain provides up to 3,500 pounds of towing capacity for confident trailer, boat, or camper excursions. The EPA rates the Carnival at 22 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving.
What families will appreciate most, however, is Carnival’s new levels of utility and luxury. That starts with the power sliding doors on either side and power tailgate that allows passengers easy ingress and egress. Heated and ventilated seats are available for the first two rows.
When cargo is the priority, the second-row seats can be easily removed, and the third-row seats fold into the floor to provide a best-in-class 145.1-cubic feet of cargo room. That, my friends, is flexibility.
Creature comforts are delivered in spades with a dual screen rear entertainment system to watch DVDs or play video games, touchscreen navigation system, surround view monitor, USV chargers for all three rows, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless phone charging, tri-zone climate control, parking distance warning and XM satellite radio.
The Carnival’s exterior, for practical reasons, is bold and boxy. The “Ceramic Silver” paint job gave it a land-based aircraft carrier vibe that was enhanced somewhat with 19-inch black, machine-finished, alloy wheels and Kia’s “tiger-nose” grille.
Probably the most important Carnival attribute is Kia’s “DriveWise” driver-assist technology and safety features. The lengthy list is highlighted by forward collision avoidance, biind-spot
collision avoidance assist, rear-cross traffic collision avoidance, lane-keeping assist, safe exit assist and smart cruise control with stop and go.
Carnival is way too big to be called a clown car. So let’s just say Carnival is a party vehicle for families looking for lots of room, flexibility, and value.
Base Price: $42,275
Price As Driven: $42,770
Destination charge is included in base price. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.