What is the Carnival?
Introduced in 2022, the Carnival replaced Kia's long-running Sedona minivan as the brand's most family-friendly offering. Sharing a lot of the Kia Telluride's bold styling, the Carnival looks more like an SUV than a traditional minivan. But the Carnival packs in the practicality and useful features minivan buyers have come to expect, with features such as dual power-sliding side doors, a spacious interior with a multitude of configuration options, and some of the most comfortable front seats in the segment.
The Carnival is only available in front-wheel drive and derives power from a 3.5-liter V6 engine (290 horsepower, 262 lb-ft) mated to an eight-speed transmission. While acceleration and fuel economy are perfectly adequate, they're nothing to write home about and could be an area where Kia sneaks in a major change. Other minivans, like the Toyota Sienna and Chrysler Pacifica offer hybrid powertrains as well as all-wheel drive, and we could see the Carnival gain some electrification and all-weather versatility to keep it competitive.
While there aren't a lot of other minivans to choose from, the Honda Odyssey, as well as the aforementioned Sienna and Pacifica, all offer fairly exceptional practicality and comfort. The Carnival is no different, and while we don't think Kia is likely to make any major changes so soon after introducing its new minivan, we'll see if Kia can step up its minivan game for the 2023 model year.