After unveiling the brand-new 2022 Carnival virtually last June, Kia’s newest MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) is now a GUV (Grand Utility Vehicle), and it’s coming very soon. In a recent announcement, the all-new Kia Carnival is officially debuting on February 23, 2021. Formerly referred to as the Sedona, the Carnival is the first new Kia vehicle in North America to wear Kia’s brand-spanking new logo.
We’re genuinely excited for the Carnival’s debut, and the reasons are aplenty. Not only will it offer more space and better creature comforts for up to eight passengers, but the new Carnival inherits the styling genes of Kia’s Telluride and Sorento. We’re not disguising that Carnival is a minivan to the core (because it is), but its bold, new styling is a deviation from minivans of yore.
“The fourth-generation Carnival is a significant new vehicle for us as it demonstrates every strength that makes Kia so popular around the world,” said Thomas Schemera, Head of Product Division at Hyundai Motor Group, in a press release last year. “The Carnival has been well-regarded by buyers for a long time and has become Kia’s flagship family-friendly vehicle,” added Schemera, a bold claim in our opinion, given the Telluride is currently sweeping awards wherever it goes.
And we like the fact that Kia is pushing its minivan offering in the middle of an SUV onslaught. Sure, you can’t go off-roading in a minivan. But if you drive over smooth, paved highways 90 to 98-percent of the time, the Carnival makes a ton of sense.
The new Kia Carnival is 40 mm longer and has a 30 mm longer rear overhang than the previous model. It also has a 30 mm longer wheelbase and is 10 mm wider. With up to three or four rows of seating, it has enough space to accommodate seven to 11 adults, although U.S.-bound Carnivals will have three rows of seats for seven to eight adults.
Powering the Carnival is a new 3.5-liter V6 GDI engine producing 290 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, sending power to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Kia will not offer an AWD model for the new Carnival (unlike the 2021 Toyota Sienna with optional AWD), nor will it arrive with a hybrid powertrain (again, like the Sienna and Chrysler Pacifica), at least not yet.
We’ll know more as the 2022 Kia Carnival officially debuts on February 23, 2021, at 11:00 AM PST/2:00 PM EST. You can watch the live event here.