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One of the most exciting entries in the minivan segment is the 2022 Kia Carnival. Aptly named a Multi-Purpose Vehicle by the automaker, the Carnival tries not to be a minivan. Although it resembles an SUV on the outside, it’s very much a minivan inside. Furthermore, it’s getting more popular, and with five trim levels available, it’s challenging to find the perfect choice. Critics usually disagree about many things, but experts agree on the best 2022 Kia Carnival trim, the Carnival EX.

What are the 2022 Kia Carnival trims?

2022 Kia Carnival - What is the best trim for the minivan?
2022 Kia Carnival | Kia

There are five different Carnival trim levels. They are LX, LXS, EX, SX, and SX Prestige. As a result, the lineup varies from around $33,000 to over $47,500. Whichever model you buy, you’ll get a surprising amount of value. For example, even the base model LX comes with the standard 3.5-liter V6 engine, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, LED headlights, power-sliding rear doors, seven USB ports, and more.

Going beyond the base model, the Carnival lineup gets more expensive but more well-equipped. Buying an LXS adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, simulated leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a second-row bench seat. Combined, these items boost the starting MSRP to $35,365 from the base price of $33,635.

2022 Kia Carnival trimsPrice
SX Prestige$47,635
Trims and prices are provided by Car and Driver.

What is the best 2022 Kia Carnival trim?

what version of the 2022 Kia Carnival minivan/MPV is the best?
2022 Kia Carnival | Kia

When you’re trying to find the best version of a vehicle, head to the experts. Two of the most valued opinions are from Car and Driver and Edmunds. Most of the time, critics like these disagree on many things. However, the choice for the best 2022 Kia Carnival trim is so apparent that even the experts agree. Both publications recommend that customers buy the Carnival EX, the mid-level trim for 2022.

With a starting price of $39,135, the EX model isn’t overly expensive. While it does exceed the LX and LXS by a healthy margin, it remains affordable compared to the SX and SX Prestige, which jump well into the $40,000 range. What makes the Carnival EX the best model to buy?

What are the Carnival EX standard features?

The EX trim level is clearly a step up from those below it. For example, it upgrades the standard wheels from 17-inches to 19-inches. Next, EX buyers are the first to get a hands-free power tailgate, a 12.3-inch touchscreen with navigation, a wireless smartphone charging station, and an eight-speaker stereo system. However, the amenities don’t stop there, as this Multi-Purpose Vehicle is built for more than one purpose.

Next, the Kia Carnival EX has three-zone automatic climate control, a rear cabin intercom system, a rear camera monitoring system, adaptive cruise control, and an upgraded forward collision mitigation system. Combining all of this exclusive equipment with those from previous models makes it a very well-equipped option. Especially the standard driver aids that come with every Carnival to ensure you and your family are safer.

Standard driver aids on the LX and up include:

  • Safe exit assis
  • Rear occupant alert
  • Blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Driver attention warning
  • Forward collision mitigation

Experts agree the 2022 Kia Carnival EX is the best trim

Edmunds says the EX is the best trim level because it comes with many standard features and adds more that make it feel like a luxury SUV. Most importantly, the added tech and safety features are perfect for a stylish minivan alternative. Next, Car and Driver recommend the same model because it is “the sweet spot between features and price.” With so much value included for an affordable price, it’s no wonder experts agree on the best 2022 Kia Carnival trim.


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