The all-new 2022 Kia Carnival is ready to hit North America as a replacement for the Sedona. It’s not marketed as a new minivan, though, but rather as the brand’s first, self-titled “Life Utility Vehicle” (LUV).
Because, you know, minivans are out and SUVs are in. The Carnival is equally spacious and practical as the outgoing Sedona, but more rugged-looking and attractive.
“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.”
By the way, “Carnival” is the name Kia has been using for its minivan in other markets since 1998. The Korean automaker is in the process of simplifying its vehicle nomenclatures globally, which is why the Optima became the new K5, for instance.
A Utility Minivan?
On the outside, the 2022 Kia Carnival shares some similarities with the new Sorento and Seltos. It retains the stretched profile of a minivan, but offers a bit more ground clearance. Dramatic character lines on the hood and bumper combine with prominent wheel arches and a metallic bumper garnish to add muscle to the body, while the raised roof rails provide extra utility.
There are quite a few distinctive touches, as well, like the chrome C-pillars, two-tone mirror caps, tucked-away rear wiper and chicane-style LED signature below the headlights.
Inside, you’ll find a clean dashboard design with available connected integration of a 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster and 12.3-inch centre display. The interior can be finished in Black or all-new Martian Brown leather, with available 3D HydroGrafic trim and premium stitching details.
In eight-passenger configuration, a long-sliding centre seat in the second row makes it easy to safely care for kids in the back or to open up more space for passengers. You can also create a table space by folding the seatback forward or remove each second-row seat individually. If you go with the seven-passenger variant, “VIP Lounge Seats” complete with heated/cooled seats and power-adjustable leg rests and head rests are available.
When it comes to technology, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging, a Bose premium sound system and UVO Intelligence connected services are available.
Five Trim Levels
When it goes on sale this spring, the 2022 Kia Carnival will offer five trim levels (LX, LX+, EX, EX+ and SX) with a starting MSRP of $34,495 plus destination and handling. It’s a bump of $2,200 from the 2021 Sedona.
All models share a 3.5-litre V6 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Output is rated at 290 horsepower along with 262 pound-feet of torque.
Unfortunately, AWD can’t be had with the Carnival. However, safety is covered by a host of advanced systems including Lane Keeping and Following Assist, Smart Cruise Control, Driver Attention Warning, High Beam Assist, Parking Distance Warning, and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with available Junction Turning.