Kia Isn't Fooling Anyone With the 2022 Carnival...and That's Alright
Lisa Steuer McArdle
Oct 14, 2021 · 3 min read
While the 2022 Kia Carnival is really more like a minivan, it is being marketed as an SUV-minivan mashup—basically so people won’t know they are actually buying a minivan, according to Consumer Reports.
In fact, the automaker even goes so far as to take styling cues from its family of SUVs to disguise the minivan further. By doing so, Kia seems to go along with the misconception that people don’t want to be seen in minivans.
But minivans still have their place in the market, so there’s really no need for the 2022 Kia Carnival to pretend to be something it’s not. In fact, the new car has all the basics you’d expect from a minivan, including two big sliding doors, flexible seating for seven or eight passengers, luggage room behind the third-row seat, and good visibility.
What is the 2022 Kia Carnival?
In its review, Consumer Reports said that no matter what the 2022 Kia Carnival calls itself, it is practical, versatile and comfortable. It’s powerful, roomy, and has user-friendly controls with advanced safety features.
In fact, the Carnival’s interior versatility is one reason why it should be categorized as a minivan. Minivans tend to have features or solutions for every need, and this is true of the Carnival.
Not only is the vehicle configured to sit eight people, it also has second-row seats that can adjust in three sections.
Individual legroom can be adjusted by sliding the outboard seats, and the center position seatback can fold down to provide an armrest, and can be moved closer to the front seats.
Ride quality and safety of the 2022 Kia Carnival
Consumer Reports noted that the 2022 Kia Carnival has good ride comfort and quality, as well as responsive handling and steering. The review points out that the vehicle’s "girth and heft" are noticeable while driving, though.
One area where the Carnival differentiates itself from other minivans is in its standard advanced driver assistance systems. With standard features like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot warning, the Carnival has more of these features than most minivans, which is good for a family vehicle.
2022 Kia Carnival SUV comparison
One attribute that the 2022 Kia Carnival has in common with an SUV is the driving position. The driver sits up high in the Carnival, and there is also plenty of headroom, which means the driver’s seat has room for adjustment.
The seating position is also very symmetrical, meaning the pedals and the steering wheel are square to the driver—which Consumer Reports listed as a positive feature. And with the dead pedal/footrest being wide and nicely angled, the driver reportedly can be comfortable without any intrusion from the center console into the driver’s right leg.
But unlike most SUVs, the Carnival does not have second-row seats that fold flat down to or into the floor. To carry certain items, they can slide forward and lock into place, but need to be removed to carry longer items.
More testing results coming soon
While 2022 Kia Carnival does have some similarities to an SUV, it clearly has more in common with minivans. We think the vehicle should just embrace its status as a minivan instead of pretending to be something it’s not.
Consumer Reports is currently in the process of testing the vehicle, so more information about its overall ratings should be available soon.