A year may feel like forever, but exactly 12 months have passed with Kia’s long carnival. Whether it’s everyday driving, cross-country travel, freight delivery, or track days, none of our long-distance vehicles are as exciting as Carnival. And frankly, we wouldn’t have done it if we didn’t have to bring the test vehicle back. Carnival deserves to go home for a long time.
There’s still the ridiculous stigma that minivans aren’t cool, and this type of vehicle is on the decline as buyers seek out three-row SUVs instead. Maybe that’s why Kia actually doesn’t call the carnival a minivan, but uses the term MPV (multipurpose vehicle). Anything to help you get a good night’s sleep, but a year with Carnival has proven that it can do everything an SUV can. In some cases, you can do much better.
We opted for a fully loaded Carnival SX Prestige for a test price of $47,970 (including a $1,175 goal). That’s a lot higher than the $33,275 starting price for the 2022 Carnival, but considering the number of creatures Kia has in this truck and the amount of technology it offers, the tester’s price of less than $50,000 looks a bargain.
A year with Carnival, we always feel it’s best in class. Carnival was praised inside and out. A Starbucks employee even told former editor-in-chief Chris Bookert that this was “the most expensive Kia car ever.” But the barista wasn’t wrong. We love the rich two-tone Tuscan upholstery, black leather, and metallic details throughout. After a year of use and abuse, the Carnival Booth is mostly seen and felt the same day it was delivered.
The main complaint about the Carnival Cabin is not unique to this car. The automaker’s continued reliance on piano black trim looks pretty and cool when it’s new and clean, but it catches dirt, fingerprints, and minor scratches faster than any other surface. Kia uses a lot of piano black trim on the front, especially at Carnival, and moving to something else will likely make the truck look richer after years of owning it.
Kia tried cutting out the carnival front as part of its “Don’t Call Me a Pickup Truck,” and we had to say. “Many automakers periodically try to remove the stigma of owning a minivan by offering an SUV-like design model, but no one has managed to negotiate this trick like Kia,” Paukert wrote. . “I wouldn’t even have realized this was a minibus without a tracksuit for carnival door handles and rear slider ”.
Carnival has lots of great design details.
When you are not a VIP
The main reason we chose to test the fully loaded SX Prestige was access to one of Carnival’s coolest features: VIP lounge seating. The second row captain’s seat slides forward, backward, side to side, and is fully adjustable, allowing the backrest to recline for added comfort. There is also a footrest that stretches when the chair is pushed back enough.
Looks great in theory, and the VIP lounge chairs are great as travel props. However, they have made carnival much more difficult to work with and share on a daily basis. Comments editor Antoine Goodwin said: “This seat is so heavy that it is not easy to get out.” He also noted that even if one of the second row seats was shifted back and forth, it was surprisingly difficult to reach the third row. Meanwhile, the middle seat can be pushed together, making it a very comfortable space for pets. The dog, of course, agreed.
Obviously, the main reason for buying a minivan is to transport people and goods on a regular basis, so I’d like to go with the mid-range SX or EX for greater ease of use. No, the second row seats are uncomfortable, but they make Carnival easier to use. people and things. And with 145.1 cubic feet of usable space behind the front seats, the Carnival is more spacious than most three-row SUVs. We had no trouble hauling tons of camera gear, suitcases that could fit in a truck full of people, or endless bags of mulch. Speaking of camera gear: Kia’s straight design makes this vehicle useful as a camera vehicle that can be easily mounted on the front or rear.
VIP lounge seats turned out to be harder than it was worth.
let’s talk technology
Another feature of the Carnival interior is the pair of 12.3-inch screens available on the high-end model. Bright, colorful, reconfigurable digital meter clusters or large infotainment screens are never a problem, and Kia’s multimedia software has always been easy and intuitive to use from the start.
Again, small pods are not unique to carnivals. Kia (and parent company Hyundai) has the issue that wireless smartphone mirroring is only available in its core infotainment system. This means Carnival can only support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto via a wired connection, but the base model can operate these features wirelessly. Representatives from Hyundai and Kia have assured us several times that the company is working on solving this problem, but this is a bit of a hassle for Apple/Android serial users like our employees.
Another minor complaint Goodwin noticed was that the Carnival’s automatic headlights were “too sensitive”. Driving under a bridge even in the middle of the day can cause the lights to come on. Damn, even the shadow of a tree overhead would cause lighting. Goodwin said, “Most drivers probably don’t notice it from the driver’s seat. But it drives me crazy,” says Goodwin. “Maybe the automatic headlights will turn off, which is a bit of a problem.”
One of the technologies we love around the world is Kia’s Highway Driving Assist, which is standard for all but the basic Carnival. Sean Zimkowski, former news editor, says, “I think the Kia Highway Driving Assist is the best system Hands-Free Highway Driving Assist lacks.” We like this technique for its natural movement that mimics the movements of a polite person. Szymkowski said: “
We were hoping for a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Carnival driving is always easy. Delivering 290 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque from the 3.5-liter V6, the Kia doesn’t feel underpowered for loading people and goods, although that’s not what we call fast speed. The eight-speed automatic runs very smoothly and over the course of a year we found it easily met or exceeded the EPA highway rating of 26 mpg. Our final fuel economy figure of 24 mpg is also the EPA’s best estimate of 22 mpg.
One area where Carnival lacks a competitive edge is that it doesn’t offer all-wheel drive to beat rivals like the Chrysler Pacifica or Toyota Sienna. So, in winter, we put on Michelin X-Ice winter tires, perfect for bad weather. When traveling from Michigan to California, Paukert wears snow tires, especially when crossing the Rocky Mountains. Paukert wrote “No need to worry “. “Kia is never wrong.”
Road trips are definitely the best carnival. “It’s a little longer than a regular car, so I don’t panic when I see the bumper to drive everything. But it’s not that long, so it looks awkward and full of trucks , ‘ said comment editor Andrew. bastard. “Many large SUVs can feel heavy on the road, but Carnival is near Terra Ferma which offers a much lighter and quieter ride. “
We decided to have some fun and left the Kia to pro driver Andy Pilgrim for a hot ride around NCM Motorsport Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Is this a carnival for the track? Of course not. Is Andy having fun? Deny In fact, he was impressed.
Few vehicles can move across the country as easily as this Kia.
Who needs an SUV?
“I’m very impressed” seems to be the general consensus year after year with the 2022 Kia Carnival. Despite our little quirks, we didn’t really find anything wrong with this truck, and the staff cleaned the axle. In the parking lot, we don’t have to pay for any repairs other than routine maintenance.
Should I drive a three-row SUV like the Kia Telluride? For most of us, the answer is yes. Not only does the Telluride’s all-wheel drive feature come in handy, it also has extra ground clearance for driving through deep snow. But if you don’t need those features, the well-chosen Carnival SX is a few thousand dollars cheaper than the Telluride SX and quite luxurious inside, with more room for people and cargo. Skip the SX Prestige upgrade. This VIP seat is harder than it’s worth.
Minivans may never be a hit, but from the few offerings that endure, they don’t do much better than the Kia Carnival. Forget the stigma and you will be happy for years to come. None of us at CNET really need a minivan in our lives, but it’s really sad to see these minivans disappear.