The 2022 Kia Carnival minivan comes in four main trim levels: LX, EX, SX, and SX Prestige. Depending on the trim and configuration, the Carnival can seat seven or eight people.
All are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine (290 horsepower, 262 lb-ft of torque) and an eight-speed automatic transmission in front-wheel drive.
Following its successful launch of its new Telluride and updated Sorento SUVs, Kia is turning its disruptive attention to one of the most unfairly maligned segments: the family-friendly minivan.
So for 2022, the old Sedona is out. The Carnival is in, and it presents an interesting alternative to minivan mainstays such as the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and Chrysler Pacifica.
This people mover has a fresh look similar to that of the Sorento (if the Sorento was stretched and given a set of sliding rear doors, of course).
At the same time, the 2022 Kia Carnival retains typical minivan strengths, including massive interior space for people and cargo, and gains a few distinctive upgrades. One notable one is the option for reclining lounge-style second-row seats complete with heating, ventilation and extendable leg rests.
For large families with an eye for aesthetics, the 2022 Kia Carnival is a solid pick for a minivan. You could even consider it an alternative to run-of-the-mill three-row SUVs.
The Carnival is all-new for 2022, with updated styling, features, and technology to help it better compete with the likes of the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, and newly redesigned Toyota Sienna minivans.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2022 Kia Carnival is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 churning out a healthy 290 hp; an eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. All-wheel-drive, unfortunately, is not on the menu, as the Carnival will be offered only as a front-wheel-drive model.
The Pacifica has an optional plug-in-hybrid powertrain and the new-for-2021 Sienna comes only as a hybrid, but we don’t expect Kia to offer such a setup on the Carnival, at least not right away.
Kia says the Carnival can tow up to 3500 pounds. During our initial test drive, we were impressed with the Carnival’s well-balanced ride and handling.
It delivered a smooth ride when cruising and felt composed in corners. The refined V-6 engine provides sprightly acceleration and powers the Carnival to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds at our test track.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Fuel-economy ratings from the EPA for the 2022 Kia Carnival are 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined, which are slightly better than the 2021 Sedona’s numbers.
We haven’t had a chance to subject the 2022 Kia Carnival to our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test to see how it stacks up against the Pacifica, Odyssey, and Sienna, but when we do we’ll update this story with its results. For more information about the 2022 Kia Carnival’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The 2022 Kia Carnival‘s dashboard and front-seat area are both more modern and accommodating than the outgoing Sedona’s. A large center console and an optional Mercedes-style dual-screen infotainment system with a digital gauge display are notable design changes.
The upscale SX-Prestige trim comes with leather upholstery and reclining second-row seats with pop-up footrests. A panoramic sunroof is optional and provides a large opening over the second row so the kids can get some fresh air.
Kia says that interior spaciousness has been improved on the new Carnival; both the van’s wheelbase and overall length have been stretched to provide more room for people and cargo.
In our testing, we fit 14 carry-on suitcases behind the third row of seats and a whopping 48 in total with all seats folded. That’s a ton of cargo space, but it should be noted that both the Pacifica and Odyssey proved slightly more spacious.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Interior technology and infotainment take a big leap forward in the 2022 Kia Carnival. While a single 8.0-inch infotainment screen is standard, dual 12.3-inch displays that stretch across two-thirds of the van’s dashboard are optional, with one serving as a digital gauge display and the other performing infotainment duties.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standards. Up to nine USB ports dot the Carnival’s cabin. A rear-seat entertainment system is standard starting on the SX trim but a 12-speaker Bose stereo is limited to the top-spec SX-Prestige trim.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Kia is offering a lot more standard driver-assistance features this time around, including lane-keeping assist, automatic high-beam headlamps, and blind-spot monitoring, all of which will help the Carnival compete with the Pacifica, Odyssey, and Sienna.
2022 Kia Carnival
front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door van
PRICE AS TESTED
$42,770 (base price: $33,275)
DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, port and direct fuel injection
212 in3, 3470 cm3
290 hp @ 6400 rpm
262 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 12.8-in vented disc/12.8-inch disc
Tires: Continental CrossContact RX, 235/55R-19 101H M+S
Wheelbase: 121.7 in
Length: 203.0 in
Width: 78.5 in
Height: 68.5 in
Passenger volume: 167 ft3
Cargo volume: 40 ft3
Curb weight: 4644 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 7.0 sec
100 mph: 17.8 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 7.4 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.5 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.0 sec
1/4 mile: 15.3 sec @ 93 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 118 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 173 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.82 g
Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 22/19/26 mpg