2022 Kia Carnival prices undercut Toyota Sienna, Chrysler Pacifica

Keep in mind that the Sienna is a hybrid these days, and the Pacifica is pretty swanky.

This is a seriously good-looking minivan.

Last week, Kia officially said goodbye to the Sedona minivan, and hello to the 2022 Carnival for the US. On Monday, we learned just how much it'll cost to put a Carnival in your driveway. Well, a Carnival minivan. A real carnival would be... you know what? Never mind.

A base Carnival LX comes in at $33,275 after a $1,175 destination charge. The price puts it right in the middle of the minivan class; it costs just a hair more than a Honda Odyssey at $33,265, but the Kia is over $2,000 cheaper than a Toyota Sienna, which costs $35,635. It's also far more affordable than a Chrysler Pacifica, which starts at $36,690. It's easy to forget, but Chrysler also sells the Voyager, which is essentially the pre-face-lifted Pacifica, as its budget minivan as well. It keeps its title with a $28,390 starting price, effectively courting Dodge Caravan buyers since it's no longer in production. All of the rival prices include manufacturer's destination charge, too. 

While each minivan aims to move kids and other humans of various ages and sizes adequately, there are lots of little differences among them these days. Chrysler's Pacifica shows more of a luxurious approach, while Toyota's new Sienna features a standard hybrid powertrain. Honda's Odyssey remains a seriously solid option, too, with a lot of praise from Reviews Editor Craig Cole. The Kia Carnival is making an effort to straddle all of this with more upright, SUV-esque looks and a luxurious cabin, if buyers want it. The South Korean brand also claims best-in-class passenger room and cargo room behind the first row. And since minivan owners often seek out flexible vehicles, the Carnival has a Slide-Flex seating system: The second row features a sliding middle seat for easier access, and there's room for eight passengers total. The sliding seat can also turn into a table, in a nifty bout of engineering. The creative seating package does cost more, though -- $2,000 more to be exact. It's not Chrysler's famed Stow-n-Go seating, but it's likely a boon nonetheless.

From there, Kia will better equip the trims with more comforts starting with the EX ($38,775), SX ($42,275) and the SX Prestige ($47,275). Each trim comes standard with a 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. There won't be all-wheel drive, either, unlike the Sienna and Pacifica. It's something else to consider in the tight and highly contested segment. There are also 12 standard driver-assist and active safety system onboard, including blind-spot monitors.

Kia's getting ready to ship the new vans to dealers in the second quarter of this year where you can kick the tires on the people mover yourself. If you nab one, you'll also have one of the first Kias in the US that wears the brand's newly redesigned corporate logo.

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