The 2022 Kia Carnival is a handsome minivan, but it needs a hybrid option

I’m not shy about my affection for minivans. And so, regardless of having no youngsters and nonetheless being in the midst of a pandemic that makes it harmful to spend time with different folks in small enclosed areas, when Kia requested if I needed to spend a while with its new $32,100 Carnival minivan I stated sure. Because, as already famous, minivans are wonderful.

They’re handsome, too, at the very least once we’re speaking in regards to the Carnival. Kia’s designers went with a two-box form and embraced the boxiness. To my eye the proportions are spot-on, significantly in profile the place its form falls halfway between hatchback and station wagon, but scaled up by 20 %.

Distinguishing options embody the model’s large “tiger nose” grille up entrance and, since our take a look at automobile was the Carnival SX (MSRP: $41,100), a textured chrome panel on the C pillar that provides you one thing fascinating to have a look at up shut. My photographs fail to do justice to the non-obligatory ($495) ceramic silver paint, which sparkled with pink and gold flecks within the daylight. Together with the SX’s black alloy wheels and the silver accents, it all works quite effectively.

The inside is voluminous in the way in which you need a folks provider to be, and it’s even accessible in both an eight-seat format (as was the case for our take a look at Carnival) with a center row that slides and could be eliminated or as a seven-seater with a pair of reclining, heated, and ventilated captain’s chairs for the center row. In each circumstances, the third row can fold flat into the ground to extend cargo room from 40.

2 cubic ft (1,138 L) to 86.9 cubic ft (2,460 L). The third row is additionally solely actually a three-seat row for young children.

As I’ve written earlier than, Kia’s UVO infotainment system is really fairly respectable, with a UI that at instances jogs my memory of the outdated days of pre-OS X Macintoshes. Being an SX trim, our take a look at Carnival additionally had screens constructed into the seatbacks of each entrance seats. These have a youngsters mode, and the screens can even mirror a telephone through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Each row has its personal USB-A ports, but telephone casting additionally works wirelessly, and there is a wi-fi charging pad constructed into the middle console.

Beyond that, there’s a good suite of superior driver help methods as customary, together with computerized emergency braking, blind spot screens, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane conserving (adaptive cruise management with stop-and-go is customary on EX and SX trims), and headlights that routinely dip for oncoming visitors.

It’s a nice minivan, but I’ve obtained one grievance

Behind the tiger’s nostril (or underneath the hood in case you favor), there’s a 3.5 L V6, which generates 290 hp (216 kW) and 262 lb-ft (355 Nm), sending energy to the entrance wheels through Kia’s in-house eight velocity computerized transmission. It’s rated at a mixed 22 mpg (10.69 L/100 km), which implies it’s time for my one large grievance in regards to the Carnival: Why did not Kia at the very least make it a hybrid?

It’s not like Kia (and company sibling Hyundai) would not know how you can electrify a car; its hybrids are a number of the finest within the trade, and its most likely the mainstream OEM that is closest to Tesla when it comes to electrical powertrain effectivity. But for some cause, similar to the extremely standard Telluride and Pallisade SUVs, you haven’t any different right here but pure fossil energy. To make issues worse, the Carnival shares a platform with the Kia Sorento SUV, and that is an efficient hybrid!

The Carnival is level-pegged with the Honda Odyssey when it comes to effectivity, but it’s blown away by the 35 mpg (6.72 L/100 km) hybrid Toyota Sienna and plug-in hybrid Chrysler Pacifica (which will do about 28 miles on a full battery earlier than you even must trouble the engine and 30 mpg, 7.84 L/100 km, even when the battery is empty ).

Enlarge / While I favored the Carnival, it could be improved considerably if it had an electrified powertrain.

Jonathan Gitlin

An electrical motor would additionally enhance the driving expertise. Not that it’s missing—the decrease middle of gravity in a minivan in comparison with a three-row SUV offers the minivan an inherent benefit when it comes to dealing with, and the trip was easy and absorbed street imperfections effectively. Kia says that the Carnival is stiffer than the outdated Sedona it replaces, because of extra high-strength metal within the chassis. It’s additionally obtained extra sound deadening and insulation to maintain the within calm and serene at freeway cruising speeds.

But as anybody who’s hung out in an electrified automobile is aware of, the moment torque of an electrical motor is arduous to beat, significantly with greater, heavier automobiles. The automotive rumor mill does recommend that a hybrid and finally even a full battery electrical Carnival might seem as soon as Kia wraps up the Stinger manufacturing line, but I need to stress that Kia itself has stated nothing to that impact.

Listing picture by Jonathan Gitlin

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