Last fall we brought you the preview of the latest Kia family hauler. Well, it’s finally be unveiled for the North American market as of this morning. Behold, the 2022 Kia Carnival. Don’t call it a minivan.
The all-new 2022 Kia Carnival Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) replaces the outgoing Sedona, but is built on the outgoing crossover’s “N3” platform that also hosts the K5. Kia is incredibly careful to NOT call it a minivan, noting that it stakes a “claim on the unoccupied space between SUV and family hauler”. Literally the press release is full of terminology like “multi-purpose vehicle” and “family hauler”, nowhere is the term “minivan” used. Ctrl-F the details and you’ll find that the word “van” is found eight times, but all part of the word “advanced”, which is used extensively. But regardless of lexicon, the Carnival matters to the automotive world.
As I noted back in November, it legitimately looks like an SUV, aside from the well-integrated door slider track. Kia has emulated other successful SUVs with their new offerings in the past, take a look at a Telluride and tell me it doesn’t look like a GMC Yukon. This also has elements of big American SUVs in it’s exterior DNA, and it’s a good looking…thing. Again, this may finally convince SUV buyers to take the minivan plunge with this new styling. And that’s just the outside.
Wow, just look at that interior, that’s pretty baller. Kia says the Carnival will have “Slide-Flex” seating for eight and what they term “VIP Lounge Seating” options for seven. If the picture above is any indication, it will be massively impressive.
Power is, unsurprisingly, from a 3.5-liter V6, putting out 290 horsepower (which is one horsepower less than a Telluride). That means 3,500 lbs. of towing capability, so this is clearly not a Yukon, but it’ll do light duty for your boat or small trailer or camper. The 2022 Carnival will have all the latest safety, convenience, and entertainment features you have been seeing on the latest Kia offerings and will be offered in four trim levels: LX, EX, SX, and SX-Prestige. This all-new “MPV” is expected to go on sale in the second quarter of this year.
I still dig that Kia called it the “Carnival”, it’s fun. I feel like this, plus yesterday’s new Lexus IS 500, would make the start of a great daily driver contingent. We’ll bring you a full road test soon, stay tuned hoons.