A Bigger Wagon. 2022 Kia Carnival SX Purchased.

Oct 17, 2007
After a tough battle between a Pacifica Hybrid and the all new Kia Carnival, a victor emerges from the brutal battles taking place in the white hot Mini Van Market. Everyone wants mini vans these days. Trucks and SUVs are dead, people would rather walk than take sedans anywhere. They move the lambos and ferraris out of they way in order to park these at the front of the clubs and resturants...

Seriously though, it's pretty not bad. Previous family automobile was the Buick Regal TourX, coming in at about 3700lbs and good space for 4. This Carnival can seat exactly how many you want it to. 2-8 seats. No "Sto-N-Go" in the floor like Chrysler but mid row individually detaches seat by seat. The mid row also has a lot of slide range. Tourx is 196" long and Carnival is 203" long, Width 73" vs [with mirrors] 89.2", so i assume its around 80" wide w/o mirrors like normal people measure things. Point is, its not much bigger than a mid to large size sedan/hatchback. SX weighs in at 4600 pounds and there is no way to hide that weight/height in high speed turns. The Tourx could fly through sweeping curves at any speed you dared go. You have to drive this like you still have a shred of sanity left.

This is exactly what you want for transporting your little snot nosed kids around. Automatically opening doors on 3 sides of the "MPV" makes life easier. When your doing time waiting for your offspring to be able to handle themselves, easier is gold. Kia Marketing calls its an MPV and no mention of being a mini van is made. Great lengths were taken to trick people into thinking this is an SUV. I don't know why they don't just slap giant sliding doors on a Suburban and call it a day.

Ours is "Astra Blue" a $495 upcharge color, most colors cost extra for some reason, i blame Elon. Its the same color as most of the press reveals and leads me to think they designed the styling around this color but what do i know. It is a reactive color and looks quite different based on lighting. I forbade they grease monkies at Kia from touching my precious mini van in any way. So i took delivery in completely unwashed/undetailed state. They insisted they remove the plastics as part of a PDI.

How does it drive? Well pretty good for its heft. Power is from a naturally aspirated 3.5 V6 coming in at 290 hp without any stupid engine shutoff nonesense, turbos, or hybrid schemes. 8 speed torque converter automatic by Kia. Its an honest powertrain. Direct and Port injected for the best of both worlds. Suspension is compliant but confident, ride quality and noise comfort not quite as good as the TourX but certainly good enough. Even in the high altitude rocky mountains there was plenty of beans to get on a freeway or do some passing. I came out of the Ike Gauntlet tunnel not knowing how to manually shift the gears. I didn't have to, because this little Korean Gem automatically downshifted for me keeping my desired speed without the service brakes. It has all the lane/steering/braking/laser cruise stuff you could ever imagine. There i was, descending a massive 7% grade without touching the brakes once. Only if a careless motorist cut off my lane would the van MPV automatically apply some braking.

Driving slightly above speedlimits had us showing a 26.6 mpg fillup partway through. It seems to deliver at least EPA ratings at higher speeds. Some owners who just upgraded form a long term Prius ownership are claiming 29-30 mpg possible.

Pricing? Well, its brand new and in short supply, so good luck saving anything. I did manage to be net under sticker by about 750 with some Kia incentives and an early deposit placed. Financed w/Kia 2.25% for 66 months so i can leave my tendies in the market. Some nefarious dealers are charging above sticker...for a ____ minivan i mean MPV. If you want a big discount, get yourself a Chrysler and hope its one of the well put together ones. Pacifica has a bit more luxurious interior but you gotta ask yourself, what corners were cut in this 2021 era. I had a Pac Hybrid limited all lined up and was ready to buy a plane ticket when the salesmen called and told me the entire charging system was broken right out of the box and required a 3 week wait.

The Carnival is about 85% Korean parts, Korean manufacturing, and it appears to be very high quality. All the other appliances in my house are made in Korea LG brand so why not my people mover appliance too? The leather is "SynTex" where the Pacifica Limited has rich nappa leather. This fake stuff will clean up easier and breathe more. Real leather has its pros and cons.

It has the rear seat mounted entertianment screens. They seem like cheap android tablets that are factory installed, but have custom firmware so you can't do exactly what you want with them. Maybe go for the EX model and skip these things.

Is it the best minivan? Possibly. The others are not far behind and may offer nuances that you prefer more. A Pacifica owning relative was quite impressed with the style. This was quite possibly the least exciting new car purchase of my life but i'm still quite happy with it.


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I’m not sure they always pick good names for vehicles … some yes, not this.
Worst I ever saw was a K9 billboard in Korea … fortunately US marketing made interception 😷
Very nice! I didn't know that model existed. The sliding door thing is perfect.

We got out of minivans after 16+ years with them and into a 3-row seating used 2019 Nissan Pathfinder back in 2019. The pathfinder's 3rd row is actually very useful, but you don't have much room for storage if you have 7 people in it. Sliding doors would be the bomb.
I hadn’t heard of the Carnival before this post. Looks like an Explorer and Expedition had a baby.

Hope it treats you well!
Their minivan has been called the Carnival elsewhere for over twenty years. Kia finally decided to use the same name globally. They are going to sell a lot of these.

Congrats on the new Kia.
exactly.... the van we called the Sedona in North America, has always been the Carnival outside North America.
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I still can’t do it, Kia’s vehicles just don’t appeal to me. Maybe it’s the Honda fanboy in me, but I’ll still take the Odyssey over any other minivan.
Looks great, I'd expect you will be happy with that for a long time. Light years ahead of our 12 Sedona, it never the less was an awesome workhorse so much so my daughter has it now. They have made strides in mpg for sure, the Sedona got 19!

Good choice.
I like it. Good job.

What was the OTD price and which options did you choose?
It's just an SX package in Astra Blue, none of them are showing up with options like tow package yet. My OTD with Utah taxes was around 45k, $715 a month/66 with 1k down. Was only 750 under sticker with the factory financing incentive and military rebate applied.

Thanks for the kind words all. I got to ride in the back today for the first time. I had my rear facing daughter in middle, me on the left, and booster seat son on the right. All had tons of space. Short wife driving gave me copious amounts of leg room. You can do 3 across and just leave the rears folded for tons of space. We will probably take out the center seat for captains chairs and use the 3rd row in the long run but we have options for days with this.
Hyundai is doing the same thing with the 2021 Santa Fe. They claim a tow package is available, however when owners go to the dealer and attempt to purchase it and have it installed, they are told the tow package is not yet available. The tow hitch ball is available oddly enough, but not the actual hitch.
So this expensive van does not have Homelink garage buttons. My mom's 2002 Dakota had those. Also missing is any form of on board 4G LTE. It's got these entertainment screens but no built in way to play a DVD/Blu Ray or have high speed data. You have to tether to a hotspot/tablet.

I cleared enough room in the garage for this longer vehicle and pulled it in last night. It knew i was pulling into a garage and turned on a front view camera as well as the 360 birds eye cam. Very cool and high res video of what is in front and on the sides. You would have to be extremely careless to crash this thing in a parking situation.
The original SUV minivan, this thing doesn't look so out of place anymore does it? The KIA should do well for you, I kind of like their tendency to KISS. My neighbors just brought home a new KLX 140 dirt bike for their son in the back of their well used Caravan. Useful vehicles for sure!