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The one advantage that the 2024 Kia Carnival has over other minivans is its price. Kia has managed to pack many desired features into its minivan while keeping the cost low. It looks more like an SUV than competitor minivan brands, and Kia gets rid of the “minivan look” with its exterior design. The Kia minivan is not the top-selling minivan in the U.S., but it is gaining in popularity.  

The Kia minivan has the lowest starting price in its class

The starting price of the Kia Carnival minivan is $33,200. One of Kia’s biggest selling points across its vehicle lineup is that it sells affordable vehicles. This is, in large part, due to cheaper labor and production in South Korea. However, many Kia models are now made at its U.S. plant in West Point, GA.

Other factors that may play a role in Kia’s affordability are inexpensive materials, low resale value, and short lifespan. The brand suffered some reputation issues when it was first introduced in the U.S., and Kia has improved some quality control issues to make their cars more reliable. 

Essentially, Kia minivans and other Kia models are manufactured with affordability as a prioritized goal. They’re made to last about 200,000 miles and offer fairly good comfort and performance during that time. 

Trim levels of the Kia Carnival

The Carnival minivan, or MPV (multi-purpose vehicle), comes in five trim levels: LX, LX Seat Package, EX, SX, and SX Prestige. 

The base LX trim and all subsequent trims are equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine. It produces 290 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is an eight-speed automatic FWD with 22 MPG combined. 

The body style is not a classic minivan; it looks more like an SUV in many respects. The back end is squared off more than classic minivan shapes. But the power sliding rear doors are a huge advantage for this minivan over other brands. Inside, the Carnival LX seats seven passengers and has rear air conditioning. 

Technology is abundant in the LX model. It comes with blind spot detection, collision avoidance assist, lane keeping, rear parking sensors, and rear occupant alert. The eight-inch touchscreen display is equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, among other standard features. 

The LX Seat Package adds eight-passenger seating, a power driver’s seat, elevated SynTex trim on the seats, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped gearshift knob and steering wheel. The LX Seat Package starts at $35,200. 

Purchasing the EX Carnival trim adds 19-inch wheels and tech features like auto emergency braking, highway driving assist, and front parking sensors. The EX trim offers cabin cameras with passenger talk, a bigger 12.3-inch touchscreen display, and wireless charging. This trim starts at $38,700. 

With the SX trim, Carnival buyers get surround view and blind spot view monitors, ventilated front seats, two 115V power outlets, LED fog lights, and the option for a rear seat entertainment package. This trim starts at $41,900. 

The top trim level for the Kia minivan is the Carnival SX Prestige, which starts at $46,300. Dual sunroofs, leather seat trim, and a premium audio system are only some of the standard features on this top trim. It also comes with a heated steering wheel and second-row VIP lounge seats. The Carnival SX Prestige is worth it if you are looking for luxury features in an inexpensive package. 

Why the Kia minivan is not No. 1 in the U.S.


Not Much Separates the Top-of-the-Line 2023 Honda Odyssey and Kia Carnival

The 2024 Kia minivan is packed with standard features, but U.S. News only gives it an 8.5 out of 10 rating. Some don’t like the limited cargo space with the third-row seats. However, most people are disappointed that the Carnival does not come with an AWD or 4WD version. The powertrain is the same no matter what trim level you get. 

The Kia minivan streamlines production by only offering one powertrain configuration, which allows it to keep prices low. However, the cost-benefit is also likely to be the reason that some minivan buyers flock to other brands, such as the Toyota Sienna