Kia Carnival Party Begins in 2022

The don’t-call-it-a-minivan is a Multi-Purpose Vehicle.

1 month ago
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Jason Fogelson
Managing Editor

This week, Kia Motor America announced its latest new vehicle, the 2022 Kia Carnival. The three-row people-hauler with sliding side doors replaces the Kia Sedona minivan in the lineup, but don’t call the new entry a minivan. It’s a Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV), according to Kia, and it is expected to go on sale in the second quarter of 2021 with prices starting around $32,000.

If you are looking for a more accurate idea of pricing, you can build and price a Carnival on Kia’s official web site.

The new Carnival was designed at Kia’s California studio, and shares an overall look with that studio’s Telluride and Sorento SUVs, including the signature “Tiger Nose” grille. The body is bold and boxy, and does everything it can to avoid looking like a minivan, while retaining the convenience and utility of the form. The interior will be rendered in 7- or available 8-passenger configurations with three available interior color combinations. The Carnival will be one of the biggest minivans with 168.2 cubic feet of passenger volume and up to 145.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row. Select models will feature removable second-row seats, and third-row seats will fold into the floor to maximize cargo carrying convenience. 

Power-opening sliding side doors are standard, and a power liftgate is available. Rear Occupant Alert and Safe Exit Assist as standard on EX and above, great safety features for families with young children. Rear Passenger View Camera, Passenger Talk cabin intercom, and Passenger Voice Recognition are all standard on EX and above. 

The Carnival shares a platform with the 2021 Sorento and the K5. A single powertrain will be standard for the Carnival lineup, a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline direct injection engine (290 hp/262 lb-ft of torque) with an 8-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.

There will be four trim levels for the 2022 Kia Carnival: LX (starting around $32,000); EX (starting around $37,500); SX (starting around $41,000); and SX Prestige (starting around $46,100). 

WHY THIS MATTERS

In the age of the SUV, the minivan has taken a back seat. Yet today’s crop of minivans is better than ever, as the people who need minivans demand continuous improvement. Rather than abandon the minivan, Kia is attempting to camouflage their participation in the unfashionable marketplace by dropping the Sedona name and calling its new Carnival an “MPV.” Guess what? A minivan by any other name is still a minivan. And there’s no shame in that. Riding on a very good new platform, the Carnival promises to be a competitive entry in the still-vibrant minivan set.


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