The 2022 Kia Carnival has made its formal American debut. Replacing the Sedona nameplate, this new Carnival brings SUV-like style to the generally mundane minivan segment. It’s also the first Kia product to wear the company’s new logo.
For those who follow global Kia news, the Carnival looks pretty familiar. That’s because the Carnival was actually revealed for global markets back in August. Its signature SUV-like design and upscale amenities fortunately remain unchanged for the American market, meaning there’s little in the way of new news here.
The Carnival is based on the same architecture that debuted on the Kia K5 and Sorento. This new platform offers additional structural rigidity and improved NVH over the outgoing Sedona. These attributes play well with the Carnival’s upscale exterior design. The butch-like design aims to erase the stigma of a minivan with a boxy greenhouse. That said, sliding rear doors remind everyone that this Carnival is still a van.
Inside the Carnival also maintains its upscale feel. There’s an overall interior design that harkens to other recent Kia products, such as an optional 12.3-inch infotainment display. This display aligns with an available 12.3-inch gauge cluster display that really ups the tech vibe of this family hauler. Of course, this interior is also laden in USB ports and features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Perhaps the big news inside is the Carnival’s optional VIP seating. With this option selected second row passengers are greeted with captain’s chairs suited for royalty. They recline with an integrated footrest, while heating and cooling will keep even the most unruly passengers relaxed. Carnival’s with VIP seating will have seating for 7 in total, while the standard configuration will offer seating for 8. No, Carnival’s fourth row of seats offered in South Korea is not coming stateside.
All iterations of the Carnival will be powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. This mill sends 290 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Oddly, power is sent exclusively to the front wheels. Minivan shoppers wanting all-wheel-drive will have to look elsewhere.
The 2022 Kia Carnival is slated to hit the U.S. market sometime in the second quarter. Expect pricing details to be announced closer to launch.