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  • Writer's pictureCory Fourniquet

Welcome to the Carnival

First it was the renaming of their popular mid-size sedan from Optima to K5 to align with its global strategy, now Kia is debuting their new "multi purpose vehicle" replacing the Sedona minivan dubbed the Carnival.

Kia continues to reinvent itself as a brand in the eyes of the consumer. Hot on the heels of the successes of the Telluride 3-row crossover and the newly redesigned 3-row Sorrento crossover, the reimagined three-row "multi purpose vehicle" pushes expected boundaries of design and innovation

Aligning the naming structure with the rest of their global offerings, the Sedona minivan is dead, and the Carnival MPV is here. Kia is releasing this 2022 model is the first to feature the brands new, modern logo. Paired with the loss of the minivan name, Kia is hoping to cash in on the truly spectacular packaging and ergonomics of the minivan form-factor without the stigma of the name.

Matt and I have spoken many times on our podcast about our respect of the minivan, whether it be from our roots growing up in the back seat of one, or the examination of the benefits of the form factor.

*UPDATE [3/1/21]*

Kia has announced pricing of the 2022 Carnival.

The 2022 Carnival MPV is 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 and pricing starts at $32,100.

Prices do not include destination charges of $1,175.

What are your thoughts of this rig? It definitely rivals the interior of its main competitor when it comes to creature comforts and luxury inside: the Chrysler Pacifica.

Read the press release from Kia below. Sound off with your thoughts too.


Reimagined three-row pushes expected boundaries of design and innovation

  • Carnival MPV delivers a new name and new logo for the next generation of a vehicle that transcends a highly traditional segment

  • Bold and boxy SUV-like design for commanding presence and penned at Kia’s California studio, birthplace of the award-winning Telluride and all-new 2021 Sorento SUVs

  • More dynamic performance with new, more powerful 3.5-liter V6, delivering best-in-class 290 horsepower and 3,500 lbs. of towing capability

  • New levels of utility and luxury, with multi-seating configurations, including Slide-Flex 2nd-Row seating and VIP Lounge Seating options

  • Roomier and featuring more utility with best-in-class passenger room and best-in-class cargo room

  • Enhanced confidence with 12 standard Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS)1 features - the most comprehensive standard ADAS suite in segment – and available segment exclusive Blind-Spot View Monitor

(IRVINE, Calif.) February 23, 2021 – The all-new 2022 Kia Carnival Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) replaces the outgoing Sedona to become a multifaceted and unexpected companion. Staking claim on the unoccupied space between SUV and family hauler, the Carnival arrives with a new name and is the first vehicle to be sold in the U.S. with Kia’s new logo proudly displayed on its sculpted hood. It pushes the boundaries on expected fronts in much the same way the Kia K5 did to redefine what a midsize sedan should be.

Penned at Kia’s California design studio, the Carnival wears a bold and boxy appearance and conveys the visual language found on the brand’s recent and highly successful line of rugged utility vehicles - Telluride, Sorento, and Seltos. Inside, the three-row seven- or eight-passenger MPV delivers a premium level of refinement, savvy technology, and flexibility. And with best-in-class passenger room and best-in-class cargo room there is enough space to accommodate people, playthings, or plywood, depending on the day’s errands…or adventures.

The Carnival is motivated by a 3.5-liter V6 engine making a best-in-class 290 horsepower. This powertrain provides up to 3,500 pounds of towing capacity for confident trailer, boat, or camper excursions. And that confidence is amplified by an expansive roster of standard Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)1. Together, these elements make Carnival an exceptional combination of modern design, capability, safety and luxury.

“The Kia Carnival is here to disrupt a staid segment and proves once again what is possible when conventions are shattered,” said Sean Yoon, president & CEO, Kia Motors North America, Kia Motors America. “With its SUV-like character, our new multi-purpose vehicle delivers a combination of premium design, intelligent packaging, and an abundance of innovation in safety and technology. For these reasons, the Carnival is the first vehicle to proudly wear our all-new Kia badge and is a bold signal of things to come.”

The 2022 Carnival 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.

Rugged yet Refined Exterior

The exterior of the 2022 Carnival follows suit with Kia’s recent signature boxy SUV style. This strong and confident design language directly connects to the crisp lines found on other recent Kia debuts:

Kia’s modernized “tiger nose” grille gives substantial width to the face and artfully integrates the high-tech LED headlamps

Dramatic hood lines enhance the vehicle’s unexpected aggressive character

Brawny wheel arches give a sense of volume to the body from the side view

A bold cutline runs the length of the vehicle, joining front and rear lamps

Large two-tone mirrors and black/chrome rocker panel moldings contribute to the upscale look and feel

Sleek combination taillamps feature unexpected geometric shapes

Rear skid plate garnish and reflectors lend to an SUV-like presence

Robust 17- and 19-inch wheels and available gloss-black wheel design bring style and strength to Carnival’s athletic stance

Premium, Flexible and Innovative Cabin

Within, the Carnival’s sleek design elements and quality materials come together to create a refined and sophisticated interior space:

The center fascia takes on a premium image with high-gloss black surfaces

A chrome garnish runs the length of the dash to create a sense of space and openness in the forward cabin

Integrated slim metal air vents are a modern touch

Three bold interior colors bring richness to this finely crafted environment

In addition to the Carnival’s elevated interior styling, the all-new MPV offers plenty of space for 7- or 8-passenger flexibility, comfort for long road trips, or jaunts to the local lumber store:

Best-in-class 168.2 cubic feet of passenger room

Best-in-class 145.1 cubic feet of cargo room (behind first row) in LX, EX, SX trims

“Slide-Flex” seating for 8-passenger versions allow multiple configurations including a sliding second row center seat which, when in the forward-most position, allows the front passenger easy access the baby or child riding in it. This seat also converts into a functional table

Available heated and ventilated second-row VIP Lounge Seating with power controls, wing-out headrests and leg extensions in up-level 7-passenger configuration

Removable second-row seats and fold-in-floor third-row seats for best-in-class cargo room (second row seats not removable in SX-Prestige)

The Carnival also offers a roster of special and innovative features to make travel easier, safer, and more enjoyable:

Standard hands-free opening power sliding doors with Smart Key

Available hands-free Smart Power Liftgate with auto-close (EX and above)

Available Smart Key with one-button open/close functionality for rear sliding doors and liftgate (EX and above)

Rear Occupant Alert (ROA)2 uses ultrasonic sensors engineered to detect child or pet movement in the second and third rows after the doors have been locked. It then can notify the driver and surrounding area by sounding the horn, illuminating the hazard lamps, and notifying the driver through mobile phone via the UVO link app (EX and above)

Safe Exit Assist (SEA)3: Audibly alerts the driver or passengers opening their door not to exit the vehicle when the system detects approaching traffic. The system can intervene to lock the rear doors when the vehicle is equipped with available Power Child Lock

Rear Passenger View Camera with zoom and night vision to keep an eye on children in the back seat, even after dark (standard on EX, SX, SX-Prestige)

Passenger Talk cabin intercom system for clear communication between passengers up front and in the rear (standard on EX, SX, SX-Prestige)

Passenger Voice Recognition allows second row occupants to control numerous in-vehicle functions through voice commands by pushing a button mounted on the ceiling (standard on EX SX, SX-Prestige)

Dual Rear Screen Entertainment Monitors with Wireless Apple and Android device screen mirroring (standard on SX, SX-Prestige)

And like all of Kia’s lineup, the Carnival offers a wide array of standard and optional technology, including:

Standard 8-inch touchscreen display with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Wireless smartphone charging4

3-in. navigation display5

3-in. full digital instrument cluster

Multi-Bluetooth6 connectivity

Up to nine USB ports for all three rows and two 110-volt power inverters

Bose7 Premium sound system, available with 12 high-performance speakers

Bose Centerpoint technology converts stereo sources into a richer surround-sound experience

Dynamic Speed Compensation analyzes the sound source and automatically adjusts according to speed

UVO link telematics offers an array of advanced connected vehicle features, such as:

Connected Routing: A new cloud-based route calculation system that uses UVO cloud to calculate the optimal route using real-time maps, predicted upcoming traffic info based on historical information and AI to learn the preferred routes of users

Connected Weather: Provides weather information for more than 25,000 cities

Enhanced UVO voice assist feature allows voice control of the vehicle’s climate, seat and steering-wheel heating, audio system, and other functions

Connected User Profiles: Allows customers to add an additional driver profile to their vehicle. The drivers can have their individual UVO accounts linked to the vehicle and access to the remote features using the Kia Access App. The profile stores some select settings in the UVO account and can be shared with other compatible Kia vehicles

Calendar Integration: Designed to sync your Google or iCloud calendar with UVO link allowing you to receive event notification alerts while in the vehicle, and, in some cases, navigation to your event’s destination, if the address has been entered in the calendar event

Last Mile Navigation: Gives you walking directions to your selected navigation destination from up to one mile away through the Kia Access with UVO link app on your compatible smartphone

UVO & Smart Speaker Integration lets customers use Amazon-Alexa or Google-Assistant enabled smart speaker or device to remotely control some functions (such as remote start)

Advanced notifications:

Engine Idle Notification and Automatic Engine Shut Off notifies the driver via the UVO link app if the engine is left idling and, after a pre-selected time, turns off the engine

Rear Occupancy Alert can send push notification alerts via the UVO link app if movement is detected inside the vehicle

911 Connect and Roadside Assistance will automatically attempt to call 911 via the built-in UVO modem if an airbag deploys. For non-emergencies, it can connect with 24/7 roadside assist and share the vehicle’s location

Built on a Better Base

The 2022 Carnival is underpinned by the same all-new 3rd generation “N3” platform as the capable Sorento and sporty K5. Kia’s engineers made sure it was lighter, stronger and quieter than the outgoing architecture, and highlights include:

Expanded use of hot-stamped parts and ultra-high-strength steel for increased average tensile strength and torsional stiffness that result in better driving dynamics

Greater application of sound absorbing and insulating materials to minimize road, wind, and engine noise

Aerodynamic improvements to wheels, front bumper, and mirrors to achieve better fuel economy

Powered by a Single Source

The front-wheel drive Carnival keeps things simple with a single powertrain and best-in-class horsepower that is a perfect partner for this MPV’s size and intentions:

3.5-liter V6 GDI Engine

Best in class 290 horsepower at 6,400 rpm

262 lb.-ft. torque at 5,000 rpm

8-speed automatic transmission

3500 lbs. of towing capacity

The Safety of Advanced Driver Assistance

As part of Kia’s overall commitment to safety, the Carnival MPV has a more comprehensive list of standard Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) features than any in the segment, including these standard ADAS systems” 1:

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA): Assists the driver when braking to help prevent a collision or lessen the effects in certain conditions if a pedestrian or vehicle is detected in front. Uses automatic braking to avoid or mitigate an impact.

Blind-Spot Avoidance Assist (BCA): Under certain conditions, can detect vehicles traveling in the next lane. When a vehicle is “seen” in the blind spot, the vehicle brakes the outer wheel under certain conditions to help return the vehicle to its lane

Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist (RCCA): Helps detect most approaching cross traffic when in reverse. When approaching cross traffic is detected, the system alerts the driver and applies brakes

Parking Distance Warning-Reverse (PDW-R): Detects certain objects behind the vehicle, issuing an audible warning when an obstruction is detected. The warning tone chimes faster as the vehicle gets closer to the detected object

Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) with Lane Following Assist (LFA): Follows lane markings that the system detects and provides steering inputs to help maintain the vehicle in the center of the lane and includes Lane Departure Warning (LDW), which provides an audible warning when the vehicle drifts from its intended lane

High Beam Assist (HBA): Detects oncoming traffic and automatically switches off the high beam headlights then turns them on once traffic has passed

Driver Attention Warning (DAW)8: Senses inattentive driving patterns and sends an audible/visual warning to alert the driver

In addition, the Carnival offers several available “Kia Drive Wise” Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) for additional peace of mind:

Segment-exclusive Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM): Projects live video view of adjacent lanes in the instrument cluster and activated via the turn signal

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist-Cyclist (FCA – cyclist): Helps detect cyclists in front of the vehicle and uses automatic braking to avoid or mitigate an impact

Highway Driving Assist (HDA)9. Uses federal highway speed limit information from the navigation system and, under certain conditions, will automatically adjust speed to be within the posted speed limit and maintain distance with the vehicle detected in front

Navigation Based Smart Cruise Control-Curve (NSCC-C): Leverages the navigation system to lower the vehicle’s speed proactively before upcoming curves

Parking Collision Avoidance Assist (PCA-R): Uses rear view camera and rear ultrasonic sensors to help detect most pedestrians or nearby obstacles when the vehicle backs out of a parking spot, warning drivers with a chime and can engage brakes to prevent a collision

Surround View Monitor (SVM): Utilizes four cameras to provide a 360-degree perspective around the vehicle enhancing driver confidence in tight parking situations

Kia Motors America – about us

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia Motors America continues to top quality surveys and is recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands. Kia serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and offers a complete range of vehicles sold through a network of more than 750 dealers in the U.S., including cars and SUVs proudly assembled in West Point, Georgia.*

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About Kia Motors America

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia Motors America continues to top quality surveys and is recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands. Kia serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and offers a complete range of vehicles sold through a network of nearly 750 dealers in the U.S., including cars and SUVs proudly assembled in West Point, Georgia.*

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