We’re about to give you the greatest parenting hack of all time. Are you listening? Here it is: go to a Kia dealership right now (visit their website if you’re reading this during another bleary-eyed 3 AM feeding) and buy a 2022 Kia Carnival. Parenting without a Carnival is like deciding to run errands 30 minutes before nap time–unnecessarily challenging.
Parents are a harried bunch. We’re busy tending the flock, numbed by repetition (wake up, drink coffee, carpool, drink coffee, drink coffee…) and so desensitized to daily inconveniences that we forget there’s almost always a more elegant solution. Take car seats, for example. If you’ve ever broken a sweat trying to shoehorn Junior’s 35-lb NASA-engineered car seat into the back of a trendy compact SUV – I’m talking to you.
Why are you working so hard? There’s an easier way, and all you have to do is put on your practical hat, follow the logic, and opt-in on minivan life. We know, you swore on your baby bump that you’d never succumb, but your back hurts, and the kids keep throwing elbows over who gets stuck in the cramped middle seat. Something has to give. Lucky for you, the optimal solution requires zero compromises, even if you’re the cool mom.
The answer is a Kia Carnival.
Yes, Minivans Are Cool
Having kids means prioritizing practicality, and historically, practicality was synonymous with boring. We understand your quandary. You perceive that driving a minivan will make you less cool, but how cool will you be sitting in the waiting room of your chiropractor’s office? Contorting your body into an inverted “V” to retrieve young Einstein from the back of your sports sedan instantly renders your sports sedan – and you by association – uncool.
The 2022 Kia Carnival is the darling of automotive journalists and parents in the know because its SUV-like profile eliminates the stigma commonly associated with driving a minivan. On the inside, however, its expansive cabin, intelligent in-vehicle tech, and ample cargo space are unapologetically 100 percent minivan. Kia figured out that curb appeal still matters to minivan buyers, and because of that, the Carnival’s exterior lines reflect a more balanced, boxy design.
Special side note for speed demons: the Carnival’s standard 290 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine delivers best-in-class spirited acceleration and enough oomph to make everything from highway transitions to back road maneuvering a lot more fun. All that power doesn’t come at the expense of fuel economy either. The Carnival delivers a combined fuel economy rating of 22 MPG.
Unique to minivans is their low ground clearance, making it easier for parents to reach inside and allowing tinier passengers to step inside and out more independently. Let’s also not forget the minivan’s iconic sliding side doors, a feature not found on any SUV and one that is invaluable to families with young children. Throw in the Carnival’s available hands-free liftgate, and you’re running out of reasons to choose any other vehicle.
Interior Appointments and Technology
As much as you’ll love the Carnival’s exterior, it’s what’s happening inside that will win you over to minivan life. The Carnival offers seating for up to eight passengers, with folding, sliding, and removable 2nd-row seats (and fold-flat third-row seats) that allow for multiple seating and cargo configurations. Depending on the trim, you can choose from cloth or leather seating surfaces and even add footrests to the 2nd-row seats.
Even the youngest kiddos will love the available rear dual-screen entertainment system with its device mirroring, Apple and Android compatibility, and wireless connectivity features. The system can effortlessly stream episodes of PAW Patrol or movies for more peaceful carpools and road trips. There are even built-in games and apps to keep older kids equally entertained. The system is capable of operating on voice command, which is a great feature for preschoolers who haven’t mastered reading.
The in-dash 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, available on the EX, SX, and SX Prestige trims, incorporates a plethora of technology, including available navigation, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and connectivity with Kia’s UVO remote system – an app-based suite of connected services that features remote start, remote door lock/unlock, and access to vehicle diagnostic information. There’s also an additional massive 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster available on upper trims.
The SX Prestige includes a premium 12-speaker Bose audio system specially designed for the Carnival’s cabin, while the EX and SX models are equipped with an 8 speaker system, and the base LX has a simpler 6 speaker version. There’s an available wireless phone charger, as well as plentiful USB charging outlets scattered throughout the cabin so everyone can keep their devices charged simultaneously, eliminating countless potential sibling arguments over the charging cord. Cabin occupants will also love the available tri-zone automatic temperature control system.
Carnival Convenience Features Abound
The best part of owning a Kia Carnival is having access to countless convenience features that make parenting on the go less of a hassle. All Carnival models come standard with power-adjustable, heated outside mirrors with turn signal indicators built in. The available passenger view in-cabin camera and intercom system is a game-changer from both a safety and a convenience perspective. The system displays images of the cabin right on the touchscreen, letting drivers see even rear-facing babies without having to stop the vehicle or take their eyes off the road to look back.
The Passenger Talk feature is a mommy must. The system is connected to the vehicle’s audio system, allowing parents to broadcast stern talking to’s with the touch of a button. Nothing quiets down your bickering kids more than hearing “don’t make me stop this car” in HD stereo. Passenger Talk is designed to override rear entertainment audio, effective at disrupting even the most intense Peppa the Pig kiddie coma.
Other available comfort and convenience features include heated and ventilated front and 2nd-row seats, a heated steering wheel, a Surround View Monitor, which displays a bird’s eye 360-degree view of the around surrounding the vehicle on the infotainment touchscreen, and dual power tilt and sliding sunroofs, a pleasantly unexpected feature for rear-seat passengers.
As for safety, the Carnival is unmatched. The Carnivals’ standard suite of driver-assist safety technology includes a long list of systems, namely a Rear Occupant Alert with Ultrasonic Sensors, Blind Spot Assistance, and Forward Collision Avoidance. All Carnival trims include standard LED headlights and a Parking Distance Warning, a system that alerts the driver to obstacles when backing up.
One of our favorite safety features is the standard Safe Exist Assist (SEA), which monitors the area behind the vehicle and sends a warning when it senses the rear sliding door is opening. It’s an added measure that ensures your kids are safe at an especially vulnerable moment – when they are preparing to exit the vehicle. The system includes a power rear child safety door lock system to help prevent hasty vehicle exits.
The 2022 Kia Carnival Is Perfect for the Whole Family
The 2022 Kia Carnival is anything but a compromise, regardless of whether you’re considering aesthetics, utility, or the all-important cool factor. At 203 inches long, the Carnival supports young, busy families and their gear, and incorporates thoughtful comfort and convenience features that keep harried parents focused on the road.
Automotive and lifestyle journalists are heaping on the accolades for this newest Kia minivan entrant. Car and Driver gave the new 2022 Carnival a 9 out of 10, the editors of RoadShow by CNET said it has “more interior room than a shipping container,” and Forbes dubbed it “The Head of the Minivan Class.” That’s high praise from a variety of reviewers and further validation that the all-new Carnival deserves a prominent spot in your driveway.