Skip to main content

The Kia Carnival is more than just a rebadged version of the Kia Sedona. This minivan sports a completely redesigned exterior, a bigger engine, and more of the latest in-car technology features.

The Carnival is also one of the only remaining minivans on the market, so it doesn’t have many rivals. One of the few is the Chrysler Pacifica, which continues to enjoy high sales numbers year after year. Even so, there are a few reasons why the Carnival is superior. 

1. The 2022 Kia Carnival is the cheapest minivan of them all

A 2022 Kia Carnival minivan/multi-purpose vehicle driving through an urban city
2022 Kia Carnival | Kia America

According to Kia, the base Carnival LX has a starting MSRP of $32,200. Chrysler lists the Pacifica’s starting price at $37,095 for the base gas-powered model, while the Pacifica Hybrid starts at $47,478.

The standard Carnival model offers seating for seven riders, and the sliding second-row seats can be easily removed. With the optional LX seat package, you get one extra seat along with synthetic leather upholstery. The center stack has a vibrant 8-inch touchscreen with smartphone integration, and there are seven USB ports throughout the interior. 

It’s also worth noting that the Kia Carnival’s interior has been completely renovated. The Chrysler Pacifica’s interior hasn’t had a redesign since its release for the 2017 model year. It got a few new tech features in 2021, but the lower trims still have thinner seating materials and numerous plasticky surfaces.

The Carnival has many standard safety features, including automatic emergency braking and rear cross-traffic alert. Safe Exit Assist keeps children from opening the doors if there are oncoming cars on either passenger side. The Carnival also received a great rating in almost all of its IIHS testing procedures, though it doesn’t have the brightest headlights.

2. The Carnival has a better warranty

According to Edmunds, the Chrysler Pacifica only has a basic powertrain warranty of three years or 36,000 miles. Every Kia Carnival comes with a standard warranty of five years or 60,000 miles.

Additionally, the Kia Carnival has a better reliability rating from Consumer Reports. It gets an average score due to its two reported recalls, though neither involves costly replacement parts. In fact, CR praised the Carnival’s powertrain for its seamless power delivery, so it’s unlikely to cause many problems.

In contrast, Consumer Reports gave the Chrysler Pacifica the lowest reliability rating possible. Previous surveys warn drivers to be on the lookout for powertrain problems, drive system malfunctions, and issues related to interior technology.

3. The Kia Carnival offers slightly more horsepower

The Kia Carnival’s engine is a 3.5-liter V6, capable of 290 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. That’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and FWD. While it’s definitely not sporty, CR says the engine delivers a peppiness that is sorely lacking in the minivan segment.

The Chrysler Pacifica is also powered by a V6 engine, producing 287 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. This engine comes paired with FWD and a nine-speed transmission. They both get the same mileage of 22 mpg combined city/highway.

4. More maximum cargo capacity inside the 2022 Carnival

With every seat in use, the Kia Carnival’s cargo area is just over 40 cubic feet. With the third-row seats stowed away, you get nearly 87 cubic feet of storage. Its maximum cargo capacity is 145 cubic feet, not counting all the convenient storage cubbies throughout the rest of the interior. 

Edmunds says that the Chrysler Pacifica has less than 141 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity. Behind the rear seats, the luggage area is about eight cubic feet smaller compared to the Carnival’s. The Pacifica may have a slightly higher towing capacity, but that’s not enough to recommend it over the Carnival.


2022 Kia Carnival vs. 2022 Toyota Sienna: Minivan Showdown