A Fully Loaded 2023 Kia Carnival Offers Plenty for the Price, but Do You Really Need It?

The 2023 Kia Carnival is one of the best minivans on the market. And though it starts at an affordable $33,000, some car shoppers want more than the base model. That’s why Kia offers several trims and plenty of options to build the perfect family hauler. Here’s how much a fully loaded 2023 Kia Carnival costs, what it provides, and whether it’s worth the price.

A quick overview of Kia’s minivan and its 5 trims

2023 Kia Carnival fully loaded
2023 Kia Carnival | Kia

The standard 2023 Kia Carnival offers plenty of value for $33,000. All models pack the same 3.5-liter V6 engine, making 290 hp and getting 22 mpg combined. The standard Carnival also has a long list of advanced driver assistance systems. They include forward collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert, rear occupant alert, and more. 

In addition, the standard Carnival comes with a 4.2-inch instrument display and an 8.0-inch touchscreen. And although it has three rows of seating, the standard LX trim seats only seven. To get eight seats, buyers must upgrade to the LX Seat Package trim, which costs $35,000. This trim also provides other benefits, such as heated front seats

Kia offers three other trims, each with more luxurious features and a heftier price tag than the last. After the LX Seat Package trim, there’s the EX, starting at just over $38,000. Then there’s the SX, which starts at about $42,000. Finally, there’s the range-topping SX Prestige, which starts at around $46,000.

How much does a fully loaded 2023 Kia Carnival cost?

fully loaded 2023 Kia Carnival
2023 Kia Carnival second-row VIP lounge seats | Kia

The SX Prestige comes with many convenient and luxurious features, including some exclusive to the trim. For example, only the SX and SX Prestige come with fog lights, but the SX Prestige also gets dual sunroofs. Like the SX, the SX Prestige boasts a 12.3-inch instrument display and a 12.3-inch touchscreen.

This top-of-the-line trim also has a video intercom system that allows parents sitting in the front to see and speak with their children in the back. As for seating, the SX Prestige provides exclusive features such as genuine leather upholstery and second-row VIP lounge seats. Because of the numerous amenities that come standard on the SX Prestige, this trim doesn’t offer many available extras.

fully loaded 2023 Kia Carnival
2023 Kia Carnival | Kia

For example, Kia charges $495 for specific exterior paint options. Then there’s a $1,000 rear-seat entertainment package that equips the Carnival with two extra screens. Folks looking to pull a trailer up to 3,500 pounds can add a tow hitch for $575. Kia also offers an interior light kit for $450.

With every available option added, a fully loaded 2023 Kia Carnival costs about $51,500. 

Is a fully loaded 2023 Kia Carnival worth over $50,000?

Though a fully loaded 2023 Kia Carnival will be supremely comfortable, it doesn’t necessarily give you the best bang for your buck. Two respected automotive review sites agree that one trim offers the most value. Both Car and Driver and Autotrader recommend the mid-tier EX trim. The main reason: It gives buyers plenty of family-friendly features without forcing them to spend too much on luxury.

For instance, the EX trim has that video intercom system many families will find convenient. It also adds advanced driver assists and an upgraded infotainment system. In particular, it has Kia’s Highway Driving Assist, which should make highway driving a safer and easier experience.

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