Cool Car: 2021 Kia Carnival S-X Prestige

Cool Car Auto Reviews

It looks like a high-end SUV but the new Kia Carnival is really a mini-van. The review Carnival is the S-X Prestige the top trim level. Kia calls it an MPV for multi-purpose-vehicle. All versions are front-drive only.

A key to hiding the mini-van identity is how dual power sliding doors are blended into the design. Kids will really enjoy the row two captain’s chairs with power leg rests. Track mounted, the seats can move forward and backward and side-to-side to open up a center lane for accessing row three.

In traditional mini-van fashion, a deep well can hold cargo with row three in use. Row three seats tumble into the floor when not in use. Adults upfront will certainly be pampered in this S-X Prestige version of the Carnival.

Leather is standard and the touch-screen interface is larger. Quilted metal has become Kia’s trim of choice. The automatic is an eight-speed. Keeping track of the angels in the back is touch screen easy. It’s called passenger view.

The only engine is a 3.5 liter V6 with 290 horsepower. Acceleration is brisk and handling is very good. Auto braking, lane keep assist, and cross-traffic alert are standard on all trims.

So for the 2022 Kia Carnival S-X Prestige, thumbs up to clever styling, excellent cargo space, and comfortable seats. Thumbs down to no available all-wheel-drive. Dennis averaged about 23 miles per gallon in the Carnival. The as-reviewed sticker price just under $48,000.

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