Kia Carnival Sails to the U.S. this Summer


The Kia Carnival will arrive on our shores sometime this summer as a 2022 model, according to a story this morning from Autoblog. As we posted back in June, Kia is positioning it as a grand utility vehicle (GUV), lest you think it’s merely another minivan.


How or why a stigma is attached to minivans is as odd as the soccer mom designation, both turned somewhat derogatory over time. Perhaps it implies domestication, and neither automakers nor domestic partners care for that portrayal unless they happen to be on the Hallmark Channel.

Regardless, the Carnival is being compared to the Toyota Sienna, although the drivetrain in the Kia is much more conventional than what is available on the Sienna. Compare the 3.5-liter V6 rated at 294 horsepower and 261 lb-ft of torque, with front-wheel-drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission on the Kia, with the hybrid system of two electric motors working with the 2.5-liter DOHC four-banger to deliver a whopping 245 HP that’s baked into all the Siennas.

Complexity at its finest, the Sienna does have that bullet-train styling going for it, and is the greenest of the current minivan crop, having been selected for the 2021 Green Car of the Year Award. Without stealing the base-to-base thunder of my colleague, let’s just say you can get either GUV starting around $32K, although with the various packages and amenities, it can ring up the register fairly quickly. Hitting the average vehicle price of above $40K, it seems buyers in the U.S. are okay with larger down payments, so selling prices doesn’t seem to be an issue. Whether it’s the family people mover or you need a plush pooch mobile, the Kia Carnival is worth waiting for.

[Images: Kia, Toyota]

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