(WHTM) — Some people don’t like the stigma of driving a mini-van, but you can’t beat them for space, and a particularly cool mini-van comes from KIA.
The KIA Carnival SX-Prestige is the top trim level, and KIA calls it an MPV, for multi-purpose vehicle. But it’s a mini-van.
All versions of the Carnival are front-drive only.
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The KIA stylists were clever about disguising the vehicle as a mini-van. A smaller window on the back and a silver trim piece make it look like an SUV.
Kids will enjoy the second row’s captain’s chairs, and the seats can move forward, backward, and also side-to-side to open up a center lane for accessing the third row, which easily collapses into the floor.
In traditional mini-van fashion, a deep well can hold cargo with the third row in use.
Adults in the front will be pampered in this SX Prestige version of the Carnival.
Leather is standard, the touch-screen interface is larger, and there are plenty of places to charge devices. The seat heaters are strong enough to warm-up your lunch.
The automatic transmission is an 8-speed.
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The only engine choice is a 3.5 liter V6 that makes 290 horsepower.
Acceleration is brisk and the handling is very good. Auto braking, lane keep assist, and cross-traffic alert are all standard on all trim levels.
So for the 2023 KIA Carnival SX Prestige, thumbs up to clever styling, excellent cargo space, and comfortable seats. Thumbs down to no available all-wheel-drive.
The Carnival averaged about 25 miles per gallon. The as-reviewed sticker price is $48,690.