If automakers were eligible for a Most Improved Award, we would make a strong case for Kia. Up until about a decade ago, the South Korean manufacturer produced sedans, hatchbacks and SUVs that looked and felt as cheap as their bargain-basement price tags suggested. But the 2011 Optima sparked a renaissance for the brand, one that continues to this day with the luxe Telluride and K5. Not one to rest on its laurels, Kia is turning its disruptive attention to one of the most unfairly maligned segments — the family-friendly minivan. So for 2022, the Sedona is out. Say hello to its replacement, the 2022 Kia Carnival.
2022 Kia Carnival
2022 Kia Carnival Review
- Lots of tech and convenience features for the price
- Easy to see out of
- Comfortable front seats
- Great warranty
- Ride can be a little uncomfortable over bumps
- Some controls require too much driver attention
- Unrefined operation of some advanced driver aids
- All-new minivan that replaces the Kia Sedona
- SUV-like styling
- 290-horsepower V6
- Kicks off the first Carnival generation
7.9 / 10
The all-new Kia Carnival has some very attractive qualities. It boasts distinctive styling, a ton of standard features, comfortable seats and a great warranty. However, an underwhelming driving experience and some unrefined technology features keep it from being a home-run hit.
How does the Carnival drive?
The Carnival's V6 engine makes a stout 290 hp, but in our testing we found the Carnival to be no quicker than the average minivan. Our test vehicle accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds. The gas pedal is a little slow to respond in stop-and-go traffic, and the brake pedal is overly sensitive at first touch. But you'll likely adjust to both over time.
The Carnival's steering has some vagueness off-center, so driving down a long straight highway requires a bit more attention to keep it in line. Drivability in most situations is on par for minivans. The eight-speed transmission shifts smoothly but isn't especially quick. If the minivan segment has a van built for the driving experience, it's the Honda Odyssey. All others, including the Carnival, sit together in the drives-like-a-minivan zone.
How comfortable is the Carnival?
The Carnival may well have the most comfortable front seats in the minivan segment. They are well suited for long drives and the heating and cooling functions worked just as expected.
The optional second-row lounge-style seats have some flashy features, but try them before buying because we think they're a bit gimmicky. You can only fully recline and extend the leg rests if you slide the seats fully toward the center and rear of the van. Even then, adults will not be able to fully extend the leg rests without having their feet touch the front-row seats. The third row isn't quite as spacious as in other minivans, but kids won't mind.
Our test Carnival managed to smooth out most bumps, but a few bad sections of freeway made our van shudder significantly more than any other we've driven through the same stretch. This minivan just doesn't feel quite as smooth or car-like as some other rivals. The climate control system heats and cools the cabin effectively, but the system's touch-sensitive controls offer no haptic feedback, which makes them cumbersome to interact with on the move.
How’s the interior?
The Carnival has quintessential minivan interior qualities. It's spacious, versatile, and easy to get in and out of. The Carnival's exterior design makes the rear sliding doors look smaller than those on other vans, but functionally the openings are just as big. Another advantage is the highly adjustable driver's seat; drivers of all sizes should find a comfortable spot. Outward visibility is excellent. The big windows and available surround-view camera system make it easy to know what's around you.
We're less impressed by the Carnival's smudge-prone piano black surfaces and lack of haptic response from some of the main cabin controls. Also note that the optional lounge-style seats can't be removed. We think the second-row bench seating will be the way to go for most.
How’s the tech?
Technology should be a highlight for the Carnival. On the upside, the optional 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display is huge and has crisp-looking graphics. The multitude of parking cameras erase all guesswork for those with spatial concerns, too. If it's USB ports you're after, Kia supplies almost two per passenger. Many of these features are included at lower prices than for the rest of the class.
But it's not all as rosy as it appears on the spec sheet. Yes, Kia sets the bar with this bevy of tech options, but not all of them are as polished as we expect. The voice control system is less intuitive and helpful than other systems we've tested, and many of the advanced driver aids don't perform as crisply as those in other recent Kia vehicles we've tested. Oftentimes the lane-keeping and traffic-adaptive cruise control systems seemed to be a hindrance rather than helpful.
How’s the storage?
Naturally, the Carnival does cargo space well. In the more parent-friendly, eight-passenger configuration, the second-row bench is divided into three sections that slide independently for flexibility. They can also be removed, though it's necessary to store them someplace. The third-row seats conveniently fold flat into the floor. There is 40.2 cubic feet behind the third-row seat and up to 145.1 cubic feet with the third row down and the second-row bench seat removed. Both figures are among the best in the class.
The Carnival cabin has plenty of nooks and pockets for storing things, but you can find more clever solutions in other vans. Are you transporting children at the car seat or booster age? There's plenty of room for installing safety seats, but Carnival's lower LATCH anchors are a little difficult to access.
How’s the fuel economy?
The EPA estimates the Carnival at 22 mpg combined (19 city/26 highway). Compared to other V6-equipped minivans, official EPA fuel economy estimates are average. But it can't touch the hybrid competitors capable of 30 mpg and higher. On Edmunds' real-world evaluation route, the Carnival returned 26.2 mpg, which suggests the van may exceed the EPA's estimates in some driving situations.
Is the Carnival a good value?
Kia continues to offer vehicles with strong value propositions. The Carnival has a competitive entry price in the low $30,000 range and each trim level upgrade seems to sneak in a feature that either the other guys don't have or only offer at a higher price point. Build quality is very good and the interior materials are impressive. Another bonus is Kia's excellent 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Kia is pushing the not-a-minivan marketing angle, and you might find the Carnival has a bit of counterculture personality. But in the end, everything substantive about the vehicle is straight out of the minivan playbook. Where the Carnival does stand out is with its technology features and value.
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 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 Carnival is a solid pick for a minivan. You could even consider it an alternative to run-of-the-mill three-row SUVs. Read our Expert Rating below for our full evaluation.
Which Carnival does Edmunds recommend?
Kia Carnival models
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. Standout features include:
The base trim has no shortage of standard features, including:
- LED headlights
- 17-inch wheels
- Power-sliding rear doors
- Seven-passenger seating with second-row captain's chairs
- Proximity entry and push-button start
- 8-inch touchscreen
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration
- USB ports (3 front, 2 middle, 2 rear)
- Six-speaker stereo
Standard driver aids on the LX include:
- Safe exit assist (can prevent a rear passenger from opening a door into traffic approaching from behind)
- Rear occupant alert (alerts you to check the rear seat before exiting the vehicle)
- Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while in reverse)
- Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
- Lane keeping assist (steers the Carnival back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
- Driver attention warning (issues an alert if sensors determine you are becoming fatigued)
- Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
Optional for the LX is the LX Seat package. It adds:
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Simulated leather upholstery
- Heated front seats
- Power-adjustable driver's seat
- Second-row bench seat (seating for eight people)
Boosts the Carnival's feature content with:
- 19-inch wheels
- Hands-free power tailgate
- 12.3-inch touchscreen with navigation
- Eight-speaker stereo
- Three-zone automatic climate control
- Wireless smartphone charging station
- Rear cabin intercom (projects voice of front occupants to rear speakers)
- Rear camera monitoring system (shows camera view of rear seating on the center touchscreen)
- Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the Carnival and the vehicle in front)
- Upgraded forward collision mitigation system
Gets you more convenience and tech features, such as:
- LED foglights
- Power-folding side mirrors
- 19-inch black-painted wheels
- Roof rails
- Ventilated front seats
- Power-adjustable front passenger seat
- Rear entertainment system
- Surround-view monitor (gives you a top-down view of the Carnival and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
- Parking collision avoidance assist (brakes if sensors detect an imminent collision with an object behind the vehicle)
The full slate of tech and comfort features includes the following:
- Heated steering wheel
- 12.3-inch driver information display
- 12-speaker premium stereo system
- LED interior lighting
- Leather upholstery
- Second-row reclining lounge-style captain's chairs with heating and ventilation
- Dual sunroofs
- Blind-spot monitor (displays an image of the vehicle's blind spot in the instrument panel when you activate a turn signal)
2022 Kia Carnival pricingin Ashburn, VA
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Best Minivan Comparison: Kia Carnival vs. Toyota Sienna vs. Honda Odyssey vs. Chrysler Pacifica
Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 19 City / 26 Hwy / 22 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 19.0 gal. capacity
- 7 seats
- Type: front wheel drive
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- V6 cylinder
- Horsepower: 290 hp @ 6400 rpm
- Torque: 262 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
- Length: 203.0 in. / Height: 68.5 in.
- Overall Width with Mirrors: 89.2 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 78.5 in.
- Curb Weight: 4376 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 40.2 cu.ft.
Our experts’ favorite Carnival safety features:
- Blind-spot monitor
- Displays an image of the vehicle's blind spot in the instrument panel when you activate a turn signal.
- Surround view monitor
- Gives you a top-down view of the Carnival and its surroundings for tight parking situations.
- Highway driving assist
- Combines adaptive cruise control with automated steering to keep the Carnival in its lane, and can operate down to stop-and-start speeds.
Kia Carnival vs. the competition
2022 Kia Carnival
2021 Honda Odyssey
Kia Carnival vs. Honda Odyssey
Like the Carnival, the Odyssey is not available with all-wheel drive, nor can you buy a hybrid version. But this stalwart remains one of our highest-recommended minivans because it nails the basics. It too has a strong V6 engine, plus enjoyable handling and a smooth ride. The Carnival does have the more modern infotainment system, however. Click here to read about our long-term Odyssey.
Kia Carnival vs. Chrysler Pacifica
Want all-wheel drive? Or a hybrid? You've got it. The Pacifica has an impressive range of variants, and a new Pinnacle trim that is downright luxurious. We also like the Pacifica's technology, its innovative fold-in-the-floor seats and standard adaptive cruise control. Ultimately the Carnival is more polished, but the Pacifica has some great qualities.
Kia Carnival vs. Toyota Sienna
There's one undeniable victory for the Sienna: fuel economy. Now that it comes standard as a hybrid, the Sienna blows away the class when it comes to the pump. There's also good handling, visibility and accessibility. It's too bad the touchscreen is easily washed out by sunlight, and you can't remove the middle-row seating. Click here to read about our long-term Sienna.
2022 Kia Carnival First Impressions
Though its styling is certainly unique, the Carnival has a rather conventional powertrain. Rather than switch to a hybrid powertrain like the Toyota Sienna, or offer a plug-in hybrid to compete with the Chrysler Pacifica, the Carnival uses a typical gasoline engine. With 290 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, the Carnival can claim the segment's most potent engine, but only just. The Honda Odyssey is 10 hp in arrears, and the Pacifica has only three fewer ponies. The engine routes power to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Like most minivans, the Kia Carnival can tow up to 3,500 pounds.
When you're behind the wheel, the Carnival's V6 engine supplies plenty of power. We found it paired well with the eight-speed automatic transmission to make driving smooth around town but also capable when you need that downshift to pass or merge onto the highway. The engine noise itself is reasonably subdued unless you're asking a lot of the van.
The Carnival generally exhibits SUV-like handling that's pretty much standard in the minivan class. The steering is light at lower speeds and heavy enough on the freeway that the minivan tracks well and is easy to keep pointed straight. On longer curves, it can lose feedback, which sometimes requires corrections in the middle of a turn. The suspension reacts firmly to bumps and road imperfections, as opposed to the softer ride of some competitors.
From the driver's seat, the Carnival is a supremely comfortable minivan. The first and second rows have supportive cushion padding that we'd expect to remain inviting over long distances, even though our seat time was limited to about 30 minutes straight. Whether the Carnival has the eight-passenger bench seating or the seven-passenger VIP seat configuration, the first and second row seats are some of the more cozy in the segment. Legroom here is also commendable. In the third row, the cushions firm up considerably and those lower limbs run out of space, so best to designate that a kid-only zone.
Kia has gone to great lengths to ensure the Carnival's cabin is just as impressive as its interior. A number of visual elements, including the dashboard and arrangement of the center stack, are short and long, emphasizing the Carnival's width and, by extension, the sense of available space.
The layout is an impressive combination of digital and analog. The digital instrument panel and central touchscreen are joined in a single large frame, not unlike what you'd find in a high-end Mercedes. At the same time, the climate controls are all physical, ensuring you can easily modify settings without taking your eyes off the wheel.
Being a minivan, passengers in the second and third rows are given just as much attention as those in the front. This is especially evident in models with the VIP Lounge Seating option — a layout with second-row captain's chairs outfitted with heating, ventilation and legrests. Even if you stick with standard eight-passenger seating, a flexible new middle seat can slide forward, so watchful parents can keep tabs on their most precious cargo. The seat also converts into a functional table when unoccupied.
Of course, you can fold and remove all seats behind the front row if you need to pick up plywood while the kids are at school. Fold down both rows and the Carnival impresses with 145.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity, which is right in line with the current class leader, the Honda Odyssey. We don't know how much gear the Carnival can hold with all seats up, but considering that the third row folds flat into the floor, the deep well behind those seats should be able to hold quite a few suitcases, soccer balls, and anything else an active family might need.
In a word: loaded. The plethora of standard driver assistance and safety systems includes automatic lane centering, forward collision mitigation and automatic rear braking. You even get a nifty blind-spot monitor feature that can keep you in your lane if you try to cross over the marker and a vehicle is in your blind spot. Kia also gives you the option to add onto those essentials. Upper models feature items including a blind-spot camera, a 360-degree camera, and navigation-based adaptive cruise control, which slows your speed proactively when you approach a curve.
Tech goodies aren't limited to safety features. An 8-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes standard, as does multi-device Bluetooth connectivity. On the options list are a 12.3-inch touchscreen, a rear cabin camera (to keep an eye on unruly passengers), an intercom system (when you inevitably have to reprimand said unruly passengers), a 12-speaker Bose audio system, and dual-screen entertainment monitors with Apple and Android device mirroring.
The 2022 Kia Carnival returns an EPA-estimated 22 mpg combined (19 city/26 highway). Fuel economy is roughly on par with the V6-powered Odyssey and Pacifica but well below the Sienna and its whopping 36 combined mpg. There's also the Pacifica Hybrid, which features a plug-in powertrain with a useful 32 miles of EV range and 30 mpg after the battery is depleted.
While we liked the Kia Sedona, it always lacked the presence and features of its rivals. With strikingly good looks, a premium interior loaded with lots of tech, and a wealth of standard and optional features, the 2022 Kia Carnival offers a value proposition that could prove tough to beat.
Is the Kia Carnival a good car?
What's new in the 2022 Kia Carnival?
According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2022 Kia Carnival:
- All-new minivan that replaces the Kia Sedona
- SUV-like styling
- 290-horsepower V6
- Kicks off the first Carnival generation
Is the Kia Carnival reliable?
Is the 2022 Kia Carnival a good car?
How much should I pay for a 2022 Kia Carnival?
The least-expensive 2022 Kia Carnival is the 2022 Kia Carnival LX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $32,100.
Other versions include:
- LX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $32,100
- SX Prestige 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $46,100
- LX Seat Package 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $34,100
- EX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $37,600
- SX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $41,100
What are the different models of Kia Carnival?
2022 Kia Carnival Overview
The 2022 Kia Carnival is offered in the following submodels: Carnival Minivan. Available styles include LX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A), SX Prestige 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A), LX Seat Package 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A), EX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A), and SX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A). Kia Carnival models are available with a 3.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 290 hp, depending on engine type. The 2022 Kia Carnival comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 8-speed automatic. The 2022 Kia Carnival comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What do people think of the 2022 Kia Carnival?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2022 Kia Carnival and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2022 Carnival 4.3 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2022 Carnival.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2022 Kia Carnival and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2022 Carnival featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
What's a good price for a New 2022 Kia Carnival?
2022 Kia Carnival LX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
2022 Kia Carnival LX Seat Package 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A)Available Inventory:
We are showing 11 2022 Kia Carnival LX Seat Package 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.
2022 Kia Carnival EX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A)Available Inventory:
We are showing 2 2022 Kia Carnival EX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.
2022 Kia Carnival SX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
2022 Kia Carnival SX Prestige 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
Which 2022 Kia Carnivals are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2022 Kia Carnival for sale near. There are currently 31 new 2022 Carnivals listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $33,525 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2022 Kia Carnival.
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Find a new Kia for sale - 12 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $18,135.
Why trust Edmunds?
Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.
What is the MPG of a 2022 Kia Carnival?
2022 Kia Carnival LX 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A), 8-speed automatic, regular unleaded
22 compined MPG,
19 city MPG/26 highway MPG
2022 Kia Carnival SX Prestige 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A), 8-speed automatic, regular unleaded
22 compined MPG,
19 city MPG/26 highway MPG
2022 Kia Carnival LX Seat Package 4dr Minivan (3.5L 6cyl 8A), 8-speed automatic, regular unleaded
22 compined MPG,
19 city MPG/26 highway MPG
|EPA Est. MPG||22|
|Drive Train||front wheel drive|
|Curb Weight||4376 lbs.|
Should I lease or buy a 2022 Kia Carnival?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
Check out Kia lease specials