Crossover & Midsize

It’s Not a Minivan: Kia Dubs the 2022 Carnival an ‘MPV’

Will Kia’s all-new multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) be its MVP? That’s what the South Korean company is betting on after revealing the 2022 Kia Carnival.

The Carnival replaces the Sedona minivan in Kia’s lineup. However, this model aims to be something more than yet another ‘soccer mom’ vehicle.

Will this new MPV meet – or improve upon – the demands of traditional minivan shoppers? Let’s take an in-depth look at the all-new 2022 Kia Carnival.

The 2022 Kia Carnival brings excitement to the party

A turquoise 2022 Kia Carnival driving down a city road
The 2022 Kia Carnival in action | Kia

Did you wisely skip over the 2021 Sedona until seeing the reveal of the Carnival? If so, you might have been taken aback.

The Carnival bucks tradition with its SUV-like appearance. However, Kia still designed it with minivan dimensions and amenities in mind.

Its profile displays more of a boxy design, making it look more like an extended-wheelbase SUV. 

The 2022 Kia Carnival still features sliding doors, but you might not realize it at first glance. They seamlessly blend into the rest of the vehicle’s design, helping the Carnival maintain its sophisticated appearance.

Kia also carried over the “tiger nose” it implants on many of its other models. This helps give the Carnival a somewhat aggressive – at least compared to its minivan competitors.

According to a Kia press release, the 2022 Carnival is also the first model in the U.S. that’ll display the brand’s new logo on its hood.

Is Kia’s MPV actually different from a minivan?

A look at the interior of the 2022 Kia Carnival, which has available leather seats and a dual-screen rear seat entertainment system
The interior of the 2022 Kia Carnival | Kia

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The differences between these categories aren’t too noteworthy. An MPV functions very similar to a minivan, and the main difference is the vehicle’s styling.

The MPV is more of an evolution of the minivan rather than an entirely different type of vehicle. Kia didn’t create the MPV concept, but the Carnival is perhaps the most significant nameplate to be branded as such.

Like most minivans, the 2022 Kia Carnival features a front-wheel-drive system and a V6 engine. Meanwhile, it shares its underpinnings with the K5 midsize sedan and Sorento three-row SUV.

Inside, you’ll find very familiar features like a standard eight-inch touchscreen compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

Meanwhile, the kids in the back will be able to link their mobile devices as well – and keep them charged with any one of the Carnival’s nine USB ports. They can do so via the MPV’s available dual-screen rear entertainment system, which utilizes wireless smartphone mirroring technology. 

Buyers can add available features such as a hands-free power liftgate, a cabin intercom system, and a rear passenger-view camera.

How does the 2022 Kia Carnival stack up against the competition?

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The 2022 Kia Carnival enters an ever-evolving segment. It’ll go toe-to-toe with class leaders like the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Pacifica. Plus, it’ll have to attempt to out-value the redesigned Toyota Sienna hybrid minivan.

So while the Carnival doesn’t bring about earth-shattering changes, it does offer its advantages. Kia’s press release claims that its MPV has best-in-class passenger room and max cargo space.

Plus, some models offer second-row seats that can be individually removed, allowing for more versatile configurations.

The 2022 Kia Carnival isn’t the far-and-away best vehicle in its class – like its sibling, the acclaimed Kia Telluride. However, its arrival proves that Honda and Chrysler are no longer the only viable minivan – or MPV – options for families.