Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

In hindsight, I genuinely wish Kia’s 2022 Carnival MPV or Multi-Purpose Vehicle was cruising the block when my teen kids were too young to make their own decisions. Instead, we toted a Nissan Quest, which rattled apart on us in just five years, ultimately leaving a foul minivan taste in our mouths. However, today, some top-notch choices include the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, and Kia Sedona’s replacement. But should we dare call the MPV a Minivan?

Dripped out, the Carnival is impressive in static form and in-route. It’s firm and authentic with a premium feel and impressive get-up from the new platform, 3.5-liter V6, and 8-speed automatic transmission pairing. Expect 22 combined MPG from the FWD unit that produces 290-horsepower and provides owners with 3,500 lbs of towing. Although, I would be much happier on the East Coast with an AWD model for when distressing weather hits. Kia says customers can look towards the Sorento for that.

Ranging from $32,100 to $46,100, the Carnival is built in four unique forms and configurations (LX, LX with Seating Package, EX, SX, and SX Prestige). My SX loaner arrived donning a Ceramic Silver hue and came packaged with 19” Black alloy spins supported by athletic wheel arches, Kia’s aggressive Tiger-face grille, chrome trimmings in the right places, Katana-like roof rails, strong character lines, and a stunning Tuscan Umber interior design. Sadly, I didn’t have the Dual power tilting and sliding sunroof, which I hear is an “icing on the cake” feature.

The Carnival name is utilized globally, so Kia intended to brand it here in the US with their newfangled logo. Though, I would have gone another route because the term Carnival does not resonate with the vehicle’s authoritative traits, in my opinion. Nevertheless, the brand is uber excited regarding the MPV’s opportunities to create a fresh narrative of what a 7-passenger or 8-passenger people mover can accomplish. “The Kia Carnival is here to disrupt a staid segment and proves once again what is possible when conventions are shattered,” said Sean Yoon, president & CEO, Kia Motors North America, Kia Motors America. “With its SUV-like character, our new multi-purpose vehicle delivers a combination of premium design, intelligent packaging, and an abundance of innovation in safety and technology.”

The interior is plush and infused with omnipresent technology from the rear-seat entertainment system that mirrors content from your phone to the Drive Mode Select with Smart mode settings that studies your driving techniques and shifts gears accordingly. Surround View Monitor and Blind-Spot View Monitor add safety expertise to keep occupants at peace. The high-gloss black center fascia and door panels add context and additional usability comes in the form of 9 USB ports, a wireless phone charger, and a 12.3” touchscreen with knobs for volume and seek (thank you). For el jefe, 2nd-row power “VIP” lounge seats with one-touch relaxation mode and heat/ventilation are available for ultimate comfort and ego empowerment.

Upon arriving at the intended destination, your “boss babies” can open the hands-free power sliding doors and enjoy the scenery without the need for stretching. The Carnival MPV’s passenger room suits each family member or friend just fine, allowing for enjoyable and relaxing long drives. In the end, everyone wins!