Carnival is growing in all the right areas
Originally known in some regions as the Sedona, this is a minivan that has been on KIA’s sales lot since 1998. Now, it solely goes by the nametag Carnival and comes with all the amenities most families are looking for.
The first generation had an awkward hood scoop on the bonnet, and design-wise, lacked creativity and flair. It was not until 2014, in its third generation, that it took on a whole new design language, one that saw the vehicle become modernised, with sleeker character lines that give it an edgy and bold look.
Fast-forward to 2020, and the company continued with the same trend for the mid-size marvel, only this time, stretching the length by 1.6 inches and wheelbase by 1.2 inches. KIA seems to be on a roll lately, with the successful launch of the well-received Sorento and the Telluride, both of which made way for the family-friendly Carnival.
With defined angular edges, the 2022 model looks bigger than the previous generation and has a bolder design with garnished doors and chrome coating. This gives it an overall appearance of dominance and confidence on the road as it is a huge and sexy vehicle.
The size is what every driver must keep in mind when manoeuvring this vehicle in tight spots. I had to use the cameras and mirrors, and keep in mind, the vehicle is 203.0 inches long, which is comparable to many pickups. Also to assist with this are features such as blind-spot monitoring and parking guidelines in the centre-console screen.
There is an electric sliding door on each side, which gives access to the nine rear seats. The two end seats in the second row of seats are lounge oriented, with armrests and the ability to recline, and provide optimum comfort. In the roof are circular a/c vents for these passengers, and in arms’ reach are the control buttons to regulate the temperature. There is also a rear sunroof and retractable window shades for added creature comforts.
The third row of seats are also comfortable, with easy access to cupholders and designated a/c vents to ensure that the passengers are okay. The fourth row is better suited for kids as the space can be a bit restrictive. The seats fold out of the floor and can easily be placed back in this position to create extra space for luggage. Being in this position will feel a little tight or claustrophobic for some persons as there are no movable windows. My solution is to retract the sunroof to let the natural light in, and this should do the trick.
The Carnival comes equipped with a tried-and-true 2.2-litre diesel engine that has been used by KIA for years across several models. The turbo kicks in very smoothly, giving it the power to overtake easily or carry persons on a steep incline. The only thing I wasn’t fully sold on is the fact that it is a front-wheel-drive vehicle as I would have preferred rear- or all-wheel drive. Nonetheless, from a power standpoint, it did not disappoint.
Where the suspensions were concerned, they did a respectable job as the vehicle was driven on the rugged roads of St Thomas without any complaints from the passengers. It was also easy to manoeuvre despite having a curb weight of 4,376 lbs, which is in keeping with most vehicles in this category. What impressed me was how well it consumed gas, or should I say, sipped gas. I barely moved the needle even though I made a round trip from Kingston to Seaforth, St Thomas.
The Carnival has too many features to talk about. It’s like that extra-large Swiss army knife that has a flashlight and magnifying glass. For anyone who is looking for a minivan and test drives this vehicle, it’s going to be hard not to fall in love with it .
Cost of high-spec model test driven: $8,795,000
Starting price: $7,395,000
Engine: 2.2-litre turbo diesel
Transmission: FWD, 8-speed automatic
Fuel tank: 19 gallons/ 87 litres
Body Type: Minivan
Competition: Honda Odyssey, Toyota Alphard
Vehicle courtesy of ATL Tiger Motors. For more information, persons can call 888-ATL-AUTO (285-2886)