2022 Kia Carnival Buyer’s Guide

Source: Kia

Kia has made a name for itself as a leading manufacturer of reliable and affordably priced vehicles. In 2016, the automaker vaulted to number one on J.D. Power’s annual review of the most reliable auto brands. The South Korean company became the first non-luxury producer to accomplish the feat since 1989.

In 2021, Kia returned to the top of J.D. Power’s yearly survey by besting all competitors in the mass-market category. The Carnival is the company’s signature minivan (or MPV, as they call it). It’s emerged as one of its most popular vehicles. Here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 Kia Carnival.

Essential Specifications

The 2022 Kia Carnival LX is the vehicle’s base model. The front-wheel drive minivan has an eight-speed automatic transmission with an optional manual mode. It carries a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $32,100.

Here’s a run-down of the vehicle’s key physical specifications:

  • Height: 68.5 inches
  • Width: 78.5 inches
  • Length: 203.0 inches
  • Wheelbase: 121.7 inches
  • Front headroom: 40.9 inches
  • Front legroom: 41.1 inches
  • Rear headroom: 39.5 inches
  • Rear legroom: 40.5 inches

Performance

All 2022 Kia Carnival models come with a 3.5-liter V6 engine. In independent testing, the base LX model posted the following performance metrics:

  • Maximum horsepower: 290 hp
  • Maximum torque: 262 lb-ft
  • Fuel efficiency: 19 mpg (city), 26 mpg (highway)
  • 0-60 mph: 7.2 seconds
  • Quarter mile: 15.4 seconds @ 91 mph (147 km/h)
  • Top speed: 144 mph (231 km/h)

Reviewers noted that the 2022 Kia Carnival ranked among the quickest and most powerful vehicles in its class.

Comfort and Safety Features

All 2022 Kia Carnival models come loaded with a long list of comfort and safety features. Standard comfort features include interior climate control, cruise control, power sliding rear doors, and power windows, among many others.

Kia has also equipped all Carnival models with extensive safety and driver assistance technologies, including:

  • Lane departure warning and lane-keeping assistance
  • Blind spot monitor
  • Forward collision mitigation
  • Rear cross-traffic alert system
  • Traction control

The vehicle also comes with a rearview camera that automatically activates when the vehicle is in reverse.

Technology

The 2022 Kia Carnival is primarily built for families. As such, it is chock full of entertainment and technology features. They’re great for keeping kids occupied during long journeys.

These signature technology and entertainment features merit special mention:

  • Android and Apple smartphone integration
  • Seven USB ports (3-2-2 front-mid-rear)
  • Internal 0.7 GB hard drive
  • 8-inch multifunction touchscreen display
  • Trip computer
  • Text-to-speech/speech-to-text functionality

Buyers can also add an optional rear seat entertainment package to any base model for an MSRP of $1,250.

Trims and Variants

The 2022 Kia Carnival comes in four main trim levels. They start with the LX and LXS base models, then ascend to the EX package. Buyers shopping for the top-of-the-line vehicle can explore the SX and SX Prestige packages.

All models come with the same 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine. However, some trim packages come with significant standard or optional upgrades. The subsections below summarize their main differences.

LXS FWD

If you opt for the base LX model, you can upgrade to the LX Seat Package (LXS). This trim variant features faux-leather seats, a leather steering wheel, and heated front seats. It also delivers a power-assisted driver’s seat.

However, the upgrade’s most noteworthy feature is the second-row bench seat. This increases the vehicle’s passenger capacity from seven to eight. The 2022 Kia Carnival LXS has an MSRP of $35,755.

EX FWD

The EX trim package comes with an MSRP of $39,530. That extra money gets you a lot more bang for your buck. Major upgrades include:

  • 19-inch wheels
  • 12.3-inch touchscreen
  • Wireless smartphone charging port
  • Multi-zone climate control (front, mid, and rear)

You’ll also enjoy a much better in-vehicle entertainment experience with eight-speaker surround sound. This upgrades on the standard six speakers that come with the LX packages.

SX FWD

The high-end Carnival SX has a $42,870 MSRP. For the added investment, Kia delivers a significantly upgraded comfort and entertainment experience.

Highlights of this model include:

  • Roof rails
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Parking collision avoidance assistance
  • Surround-view monitors for a 360-degree view of the vehicle’s immediate environs

The 2022 Kia Carnival SX also includes the rear entertainment system as a standard feature.

SX Prestige FWD

The SX Prestige is the Carnival’s most luxurious model. Its MSRP of $47,870 reflects its premium positioning. In addition to all the features that come with the regular Carnival SX model, the Prestige adds:

  • Middle-row reclining captain’s chairs (with ventilation and heating)
  • Two sunroofs
  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated steering wheel
  • LED cabin lighting

The SX Prestige improves on the entertainment system with 12-speaker surround sound. It also features an innovative blind spot monitoring system. Whenever you engage a turn signal, cameras generate a real-time view of your blind spot. The view is displayed in the 12.3-inch onboard monitor.

Warranty Protection

Kia is known for its generous warranty protections. Here’s a basic rundown of the various coverages you get with any 2022 Carnival model:

  • Full Warranty, that covers 60 months or 60,000 miles
  • Powertrain Warranty, that cover 120 months or 100,000 miles
  • Roadside Warranty, that covers 60 months or 60,000 miles
  • Corrosion Warranty, that covers 60 months or 60,000 miles

However, the Kia Carnival does not come with any level of free scheduled maintenance. Some other minivans in its class, most notably the Honda Odyssey, outperform the Carnival in this regard.

Pros and Cons

Professionally conducted road tests reveal several distinctive strengths and drawbacks of the 2022 Kia Carnival. On the positive side, here’s what reviewers especially liked:

  • Outstanding warranty.
  • Comfortable seating.
  • Excellent visibility.
  • Loaded with standard comfort and convenience features.

Reviews also noted several commonly cited drawbacks:

  • Certain controls require intensive driver input, creating potential distraction hazards.
  • Some optional and advanced driver assistance technologies aren’t as seamless as they could be.
  • The vehicle’s suspension doesn’t absorb bumps as smoothly as some competitor vehicles.

Comparables and Competitors

The 2022 Kia Carnival competes with several other mass-market minivans. Comparable vehicles include the following:

  • Chrysler Pacifica (MSRP starting at $38,590)
  • Chrysler Voyager (MSRP starting at $32,115)
  • Honda Odyssey (MSRP starting at $32,090)
  • Toyota Sienna (MSRP starting at $34,560)

Professional reviewers generally rate the 2022 Kia Carnival at or near the top of the list when comparing it to similar vehicles. The Carnival’s outstanding reliability gives it a significant edge.

The Last Word

Trustworthy auto industry publications and reviewers are unanimous in their praise of the 2022 Kia Carnival. Some rate it above-average. Others have anointed it the best vehicle in its class, especially for value and reliability.

The 2022 Kia Carnival’s base model comes in near the lowest price point among competitors. Yet, many experts say that the vehicle outperforms more expensive comparables. If you’re seeking value and reliability above all, the Kia Carnival delivers admirably on both counts.

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