3 Reasons to Buy a 2022 Chrysler Pacifica, Not a Kia Carnival

Despite minivans being phased out as manufacturers focus on other car designs, there are still a few options left for lovers of the family-friendly vehicle build. One of these options is the 2022 Chrysler Pacifica, but how does it compare against its few remaining rivals. Here are three reasons to pick the 2022 Pacifica over its South Korean counterpart, the 2022 Kia Carnival.

1. You get AWD as an option with the 2022 Chrysler Pacifica

2019 Chrysler Pacifica on at FCA Windsor Assembly in Ontario, Canada
2019 Chrysler Pacifica on an assembly line | JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

Regarding power, the Chrysler Pacifica and Kia Carnival are pretty similar. They both feature a V6 engine, although the Pacifica’s is 3.6L while the Carnival’s is 3.5L. As such, the power output difference between the two minivans is not much, with the Pacifica outputting 287 horsepower while the Carnival outputs 290 horsepower.

Even with only a 3-hp difference between the two family-friendly vehicles, the Carnival should have the edge in performance. However, once you account for the AWD option available with the Pacifica, which results in better traction off the line, the Chrysler comes out ahead.

In fact, on the Consumer Reports test track, the South Korean minivan took 0.4 seconds longer to accelerate to 60 mph. Also, if you typically encounter snow leading to slippery roads and less than ideal driving conditions, having the extra traction provided by an AWD system should be beneficial.

2. The Pacifica also offers a hybrid model option

While all trim levels of the Kia Carnival feature a 3.5L V6 engine, the Chrysler Pacifica offers a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) option. Notably, the non-hybrid options come with a nine-speed automatic transmission, while the hybrid variations have a CVT.

According to Chrysler, the battery in the minivan offers 32 miles of all-electric driving range and, when combined with a full tank of gas, can reach 520 miles. The hybrid system in the car also switches seamlessly from gas to electric and back depending on the drive’s power requirements. For instance, if you’re in traffic, the system will switch to electric and back to gas when you need more power.

Given that it’s a plug-in hybrid, you can install a charger at home or use charging stations. This, combined with a regenerative braking system, adds to the car’s fuel efficiency. Consequently, the minivan’s fuel economy stands at 30 mpg, according to Edmunds, up from the 22 mpg of the non-hybrid options. In comparison, the Kia Carnival’s fuel economy stands at 22 mpg for all trims.

Nevertheless, this system isn’t perfect, and according to the Consumer Reports road test report, there’s a slight bump when the minivan transitions between electric and gas. Additionally, by picking the plug-in hybrid powertrain, you automatically miss out on AWD. You can’t have both with the Pacifica.

3. The Chrysler Pacifica’s Stow ‘n Go seating setup

For the non-hybrid AWD and FWD variations of the 2022 Chrysler Pacifica, the brand’s convenient Stow ‘n Go seating makes setting up the minivan for cargo a cakewalk. This feature incorporates storage cubbies under the second row that the seats can be folded into for both the eight-seat and seven-seat configurations. However, the manufacturer uses less plush materials to make the seats fit, so they might be less comfortable than those in other minivans.

Comparatively, the Kia Carnival‘s second-row seat setup requires that you physically remove the seats when setting up the car for cargo. Given that some options come with extra comfort features, they can be heavy. As such, lifting them out of the vehicle is pretty taxing.

However, it’s worth mentioning that Chrysler doesn’t include the Stow ‘n Go storage cubbies in the hybrid versions of the Pacifica, instead opting for seats with extra padding. While these seats are more comfortable, the process for removing them should be similar to that of other minivans.

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