This Aint Your Mom’s Mini Van: The Awesome 2022 Kia Carnival Is Reinventing the Family Vehicle

When it comes to practicality, the vehicle that generally comes to mind for soccer moms and big families is the stereotypical minivan. However, in today’s world of ingenuity, competition and convenience minivan’s were taking a back seat to even more practical, comfortable and stylish vehicles. That is, until the 2022 Kia Carnival hit the scene. The Carnival is rapidly becoming the vehicle of choice, with it’s rave review from parents and journalists alike.

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What’s So Great About the 2022 Kia Carnival?

2022 Kia Carnival

The 2022 Kia Carnival, dubbed a multi-purpose vehicle by Kia themselves, is the new kid on the block. The Carnival has significantly redefined the boring stereotypical minivan with luxury, comfort, style and grace.  It has drawn accolades because 1) it does not resemble a minivan in the slightest, in fact, on the outside it more resembles an SUV. And 2) once inside, it capitalizes on all the great practicality associated with a minivan … intelligent technology, expansive cabin, abundant cargo space, making the 2022 Kia Carnival a viable, if not preferable, choice for today’s modern families.

It also has a ton of features that are comparable to luxury SUV’s that are double in price. Features like, Driver Assist Tech, a long list of safety features, interior comfort and convenience, a phenomenal warranty, and Best In Class Awards.

And at $32k-$46k it is affordable! And that is great for families with young kids!

What’s Not So Great About the 2022 Kia Carnival?

2022 Kia Carnival


First and foremost, Kia is not offering the 2022 Carnival in AWD, front wheel drive only. This is a deal breaker for me as I live in Colorado where it snows a ton and 4wd or AWD wheels are all but mandatory.

Second, while the engine is powerful enough to take the steepest of grades without losing speed, I am a lover of power. I should have been a NASCAR driver, I belong on the Audubon, I struggle with speed limits, I was fired once as a test driver because I pushed a vehicle to it’s max speed, my dream car is an Audi R8. The Carnival wasn’t slow, nor weak, but I like 1600 HP, twin turbo V8’s. I’d take the Bugatti Chiron 1,479 Hp 8.0L Quad-Turbo W16. Never gonna happen, but a girl can dream. In comparison, the 2022 Kia Carnival is a 3.5L, V6. It’s a preference thing, and since there was very little negatives about the Carnival, I decided to divulge this lest anyone think I’m not transparent. It’s a great engine, it has power … just I want more.

What We Drove

2022 Kia Carnival

Kia lent us a 2022 Carnival SX for a week to give us a scrupulous look at what this MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) is made of. We made sure to conduct short quick trips to the grocery store, the mountain, the gym, the grocery store, as well as a 3-hour drive home from Denver.

2022 Kia Carnival SX

Seats: 7 – The Carnival can be configured to seat up to 11!

Engine: 3.5L Gas Direct Injection V6 Engine, 8 speed Automatic Transmission

Price: $42,770.00 ($32,000 lowest model price)

Ext Color: Ceramic Silver

Int Color:  Tuscan Umber

Fuel Economy : 22mpg average

Add Ons: $495 (paint)

The Upgrades from the EX to the SX

  • Surround View Monitor
  • Dual Screen Rear Entertainment System
  • 19″ Black Alloy wheels
  • Roof Rack
  • Projection LED Fog Lamps
  • Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist-Reverse
  • Memory Driver’s Seat and Outside Mirror Position
  • Ventilated Front Seats
  • Driver’s Seat Lumbar Support
  • Power Passenger Seat
  • Additional USB Ports
  • Power Folding Outside Mirrors

First Impressions

2022 Kia Carnival


Obviously, I loved the fact that the 2022 Kia Carnival does not look like a minivan, because it’s not, right? It’s a Multi-Purpose Vehicle and it brings that new moniker home with a bang. It’s makeover from the aging Sedona to the downright youthful vigor of the Carnival is making waves with automobile journalists as well as mom’s and has a quality reputation.

The interior was roomy and spacious, the technology kept up with much more expensive luxury SUV’s, such as the Infinity QX80. I loved the assisted driving, the Apple CarPlay and the remote automatic doors. There wasn’t much to dislike, aside from the very disappointing fact that the 2022 Kia Carnival is front wheel drive only. This does not work for those of us in a snowy climate. Hopefully Kia will change this going forward and at least offer an AWD option for the Kia Carnival.

Kia Has a Stellar Reputation

2022 Kia Carnival

The Carnival’s reputation precedes itself in quality. The all-new 2022 Carnival MPV comes from a brand recognized for SIX consecutive years as having the highest rated vehicles in the initial Quality among mainstream brands. Kia was also ranked the #1 performer among mainstream brands for J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study that measures quality issues over the course of 3 years ownership.

The All New Kia Carnival is Award Winning

  • Best in Class Passenger Room and space for up to 8 occupants
    • Passenger Room 168 cubic feet
  • Best in Class Cargo Room (more than the Chevy Suburban!)
    • Cargo Room 145.1 cubic feet
  • Carnival MPV features an all-new 3.5L V6 with 8-speed automatic Transmission
    • Best in Class 290 HP & Class Leading 262 lb-ft torque

Capabilities and Performance

  • Superior Performance and Safety
    • Accelerates to 60MPH in 7.4 seconds
    • Braking 70-0 in 166 ft
    • Pulls .87g on Skid Pad for confident cornering

Technology & Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

  • Most Comprehensive Standard ADAS suite in segment w/12 systems, including:
    • Standard Forward Collision Avoidance with pedestrian detection
    • Blind Spot Collision Warning and Collision Avoidance
    • Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning and Collision Avoidance
    • Parking Distance Warning-Reverse
    • LaneDeparture Warning & Lane Keeping Assist
    • LaneFollowing Assist
    • Driver Attention Warning
    • High Beam Assist
  • Additional Available Features
    • Standard Rear Occupant Alert with Motion Detection
    • Standard Rear Cross0Traffic Collision Avoidance
    • Standard Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance with Parallel Exit
    • Standard Passenger Safe Exit Assist
    • Available Blind-Spot View Monitor (Live video display)

Entertainment, Comfort and Convenience

  • Wireless Streaming (Apple and Android), dual rear seat entertainment (ability to play different movies on each screen)
  • Second Row VIP Captain’s Seats with segment exclusive ventilated and power reclining operation
  • Segment exclusive smart power sliding door and rear tailgate open with walkaway feature (automatic closing)

The 2022 Kia Carnival is Family Friendly

2022 Kia Carnival

Unique to the world of minivans is their low ground clearance, which makes life easier for parents to reach inside and for small passengers to get in and out. Also, one of my favorite features in the 2022 Kia Carnival is the smart power sliding doors! I challenge you to find this on any SUV on the market … not only sliding doors, but automatic sliding doors with a tough of a button on either the key fob or on the door! Let’s not forget the Carnival’s available hands-free liftgate and automatic walkaway closing feature – baller!

I’m not the biggest fan of screens, but whilst traveling, my kids have full access to anything that will keep them occupied and engaged. The Carnival delivers in the entertainment arena as well, with wireless streaming capabilities for either Apple or Android, multiple USB ports and (this is cool) dual rear seat screens that have the ability to play different movies on each screen. I’d love to see Kia, or anyone for that matter, add these screens in the third row!

The Carnival is spacious, which is invaluable to families with children. There is ample room for diaper bags, strollers, friends, toys, snacks, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, etc to join in the fun. The 2020 Kia Carnival won best in class for both the passenger room, and the cargo room!

Engine and Performance

2022 Kia Carnival

The 2022 Carnival is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 churning out a healthy 290-hp; an eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. Now, we live in the mountains and the Carnival did a great job taking the turns and the switchbacks and mustered enough power to maintain speeds driving up Vail Pass which is at least a 7-8% grade!

I also like fast pickup and speed. While the Carnival’s standard 290 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine delivers best-in-class spirited acceleration, I much prefer the 6.2 L 420 HP V 8 that is in the GMC Yukon AT4. But the Carnival’s power doesn’t come at the expense of fuel economy, which in today’s day of inflation means a lot! The Carnival delivers a combined fuel economy rating of 22 MPG, compared to 16 MPG with the Yukon.

Kia Has the BEST Warranty

2022 Kia Carnival

Among many things that make KIA a great brand is that they stand behind their product with the best warranty in the biz. While most car manufacturers offer 3-5 year warranty, Kia knocks it out of the park with their warranty.

KIA offers a warranty of ten years. Yes, that’s right. Kia’s warranty is 10 Year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty! 5 Year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty. And, 5 Year/60,000 mile Roadside Assistance! This is unheard of, and increases brand trust across the board for all of their vehicles!


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