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First Look: 2022 Kia Carnival

The new SUV-mimicking Carnival replaces the Sedona as Kia’s minivan for 2022.

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We live in an era dominated by SUVs so much that perhaps some people have forgotten minivans still exist. But the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and Chrysler Pacifica are still meeting large families' particular needs. The Kia Sedona was doing that as well and making a darn good job of it. But now, it's been superseded by the new 2022 Kia Carnival.

“We can’t wait for Canadians to get behind the wheel of our very own Life Utility Vehicle,” says Elias El-Achhab, Chief Operating Officer at Kia Canada. “With bold SUV-inspired characteristics, incredible cargo space, our most advanced safety tech and luxurious appointments, Kia Carnival embodies our leading-edge design philosophy,” he added.

 

What’s new?

Like Kia replacing the older Optima badge with its global K5 name for the recently launched mid-size sedan, the Carnival nameplate is what the Sedona was called outside North America. With the 2022 Carnival, Kia continues its relentless push as a purveyor of quality vehicles with exciting styling. Similar to Toyota’s approach with its redesigned 2021 Sienna, there’s more than a hint of SUV styling to the Carnival’s exterior design. It was penned at Kia’s California studio that also created the Kia Telluride SUV and the new-for-2021 Kia Sorento SUV.

One remarkable thing about the new Carnival is that this is the first vehicle to wear Kia's redesigned logo. We also know that the new Carnival is based on the same platform as the excellent K5 sedan. This includes extensive use of ultra-high-strength steel to make the foundation lighter yet stronger and quieter than the outgoing Sedona. From this, we can surmise that basic safety standards are high, while the torsional rigidity allows suspension engineers to fine-tune the Carnival’s ride quality. Kia also claims that sound-absorbing and noise-insulating materials contribute to keeping the Carnival’s cabin exceptionally hushed.

Yes, power-sliding side doors are standard on the Carnival. And they only need the proximity of the Smart Key to work. Inside, Kia claims best-in-class passenger space of 4,763 litres, along with the most cargo space with 4,109 litres behind the front seats. The Carnival seats up to eight occupants, but higher trims can be had as 7-seaters. Kia’s Slide-Flex seating feature comes with an 8-seater arrangement. Multiple configurations are available, including a sliding center 2nd-row seat that allows parents more accessible access to a predominantly young person sitting in it. This seat can also turn into a table.

Available on higher Carnival trims will be a dual-screen dash (very Mercedes-Benz-like) consisting of a 12.3-inch digital driver information display and a 12.3-inch infotainment screen. Top-of-the-line tech includes UVO Intelligence, quiet mode, passenger view and power tailgate auto-close. Safety features include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Junction Turning and Safe Exit Assist. Kia is also offering three “bold” interior colour schemes.

 

What’s the same?

As with the outgoing Sedona, the 2022 Carnival’s lone engine will be a V6. Whereas the older Kia minivan was powered by a 3.3-litre engine making 276 horsepower, the new Carnival gets a larger 3.5-litre 6-cylinder producing 290 horsepower. An 8-speed automatic transmission sends that power to the front wheels only. The Pacifica and Sienna offer all-wheel-drive, but not the Carnival.

 

When will it go on sale?

The 2022 Kia Carnival is set to go on sale in Canada in late spring/early summer 2021.

 

How much will it cost?

Five available 2022 Kia Carnival trims (LX, LX+, EX, EX+ and SX) will be available, with prices starting at $34,495 CDN. 
 

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