Buyer's Guide

2022 Kia Carnival
Select a Different Model (5 Available): EX
Fuel Economy $ 19 / 26 mpg
Cargo (Std/Max) 40 cu.ft.
Seating (Std/Max) 8/8
See All Specs
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2022 Kia Carnival MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Great ride/handling balance
  • Huge infotainment screen on most trims
  • Most cargo space in the segment

Cons

  • No hybrid option
  • Annoying touch buttons

Sometimes, even a three-row SUV as competent as the Telluride just won't cut it. For buyers who need a more spacious people-mover, Kia offers the new 2022 CarnivalPreviously called the Sedona here in the U.S., the new 7- to 8-passenger Carnival features an updated design inside and out, and competes with other minivans including the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and Chrysler Pacifica.

Interested in a 2021 Kia Sedona? See our buyer's guide on the minivan here.

What's New

  • Fresh exterior styling
  • Stronger, lighter platform should improve driving dynamics and reduce noise
  • New 3.5-liter V-6 engine
  • More cargo space
  • New second-row seat configurations
  • Improved suite of driver assist safety and convenience features

What We Think

Whether Kia insists on calling it an MPV or not, the new Carnival is a great minivan. The Sedona replacement comes with more cargo space, improved infotainment tech, and clever family-friendly features like a cabin camera and intercom system. Countless charging ports and cupholders ensure no passenger will end up with a dead phone or a spilled drink.

The Carnival drives shockingly well, too. Kia's V-6 and eight-speed automatic combo is rarely caught in the wrong gear and provides the van with ample acceleration. Ride quality is plush but without sacrificing control; body movements are kept to a minimum and the thing is actually fun to drive. The standard driver-assist systems confidently pick up the reigns when you want to reduce fatigue on a long drive. The Carnival's impressive feature-per-dollar value, thoughtful feature content, and remarkable comfort earned it a win in our recent four-way minivan comparison.

Design is another strong point—the Carnival is more stylish than most minivans inside and out. We don't love the cabin's over-reliance on capacitive touch buttons, though. Our most significant complaint is the lack of powertrain options, especially in a segment where available AWD and hybrid options have become the norm. Other than that, though, the Carnival is a versatile, well-executed people-mover.

Performance and Fuel Economy

Under the hood, a 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine pairs to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Producing a healthy 290 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque, the 2022 Carnival is more powerful than the outgoing Sedona. When we took it to our test track, the Carnival reached 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, which makes it quicker than the Sienna or Pacifica but not as athletic as the Honda Odyssey.

The EPA has already released fuel economy data for this engine; it achieves 19/26 mpg city/highway. These numbers make the Carnival more efficient than its predecessor, the Sedona, which delivered 18/24 mpg with its 3.3-liter V-6. But fuel economy is slightly behind the 2022 Honda Odyssey, which is rated 19/28 mpg.

Cargo Space and Interior Room

The Carnival offers three rows of seating with capacity for up to eight, although the SX Prestige model swaps the second-row bench for individual captain's chairs. Legroom measures 41.1 inches up front, 40.5 inches in the second row, and 35.6 inches in the way-back.

Both the seven- and eight-passenger 2022 Carnival models have their own advantages. On the eight-seater, the second-row center seat can be positioned forward to give the front passenger easy access to a baby in the back, or alternatively, it can be converted into a table. Seven-seat models can be outfitted with posh VIP Lounge seating in the second row. These seats offer power controls, heating and ventilation, and leg extensions. Providing more versatility in the Carnival, the second-row seats are removable, and the third-row seats fold flat into the floor.

So exactly how much stuff can the Carnival fit? The cargo area behind the third row is rated at 40.2 cubic feet, and that number swells to 86.9 cubes behind the second row. There's enough space to fit an 82-inch TV inside the cabin while still leaving enough room to leave a second seat up as we found out in our review of the mid-level 2022 Kia Carnival EX. Most trims boasts an impressive 145.1 cubic feet of space behind the first row, putting the minivan on par with the max cargo capacity of the 2022 Odyssey.

Cargo Space behind third-/second-/first-row seats (cubic feet)

2022 Kia Carnival: 40.2 / 86.9 / 145.1
2021 Toyota Sienna: 33.5 / 75.2 / 101.0
2021 Honda Odyssey: 32.8 / 89.2 / 144.9
2021 Chrysler Pacifica: 32.3 / 87.5 / 140.5
2021 Kia Sedona: 32.3 / 87.5 / 140.5

Safety

Expect a full package of active safety tech. Every 2022 Carnival comes standard with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot avoidance assist, lane keeping assist, rear cross-traffic crash avoidance assist, and high beam assist. Optional features include a 360-degree camera system, parking collision avoidance assist, and a navigation-based adaptive cruise control system that can lower vehicle speed before upcoming curves. Also available: Kia's Blind-Spot View Monitor, which shows a camera view of what's behind you in the digital instrument cluster display when you activate a turn signal.

Technology

Taking a page from the Mercedes playbook, the Carnival offers two digital displays integrated into what appears to be one large unit. A 12.3-inch display in front of the driver serves as an instrument cluster, and a center display of the same size handles infotainment functions. This setup is optional, though, as the standard touchscreen display is an 8.0-inch unit. The Carnival also comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Kia offers up to nine USB ports throughout the three rows of seating, as well as two 11-volt power inverters. Drivers can keep an eye on their kids in the back seats with a rear passenger-view camera, and communicate with them through an intercom system. These two handy features are standard on all but the base trim.

Key Competitors:

2022 KIA CARNIVAL SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
REBATES
Engine Name
Engine: V6 3.5 Liter Lambda III
Transmission Name
Transmission, 8 Speed Automatic Mode Select with Manual Mode
Trim
EX
Class
Minivan
Horsepower
290@6,400
Standard MPG
19/26
Body Style
Van
Drivetrain
FWD
Fuel Type
N/R
Seating Capacity
8/8
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
100,000
Maintenance Warranty Months
none
Corrosion Warranty Months
60
Powertrain Warranty Miles
100,000
Full Warranty Miles
60,000
Powertrain Warranty Months
120
Full Warranty Months
60
Roadside Assistance Miles
60,000
Maintenance Warranty Miles
N/R
Roadside Assistance Months
60
IIHS Best Pick
0
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$0 1.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models. 01-31-2022
$0 2.5% Financing for a maximum term of 66 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models. 01-31-2022
$0 3.25% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models. 01-31-2022
$0 4.25% Financing available for varying term lengths : 75, 84 Months - Kia announces special APR Financing on select models. 01-31-2022
$400 Kia announces a Bonus Cash on select models for eligible military personnel. 01-31-2022