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, despite having no kids and still being in the middle of a pandemic that makes it dangerous to spend time with other people in small enclosed spaces, when Kia asked if I wanted to spend some time with its new $32,100 Carnival minivan I said yes. Because, as already noted, minivans are wonderful.

They’re handsome, too, at least when we’re talking about the Carnival. Kia’s designers went with a two-box shape and embraced the boxiness. To my eye the proportions are spot-on, particularly in profile where its shape falls midway between hatchback and station wagon, but scaled up by 20 percent.

Distinguishing features include the brand’s big “tiger nose” grille up front and, since our text car was the Carnival SX (MSRP: $41,100), a textured chrome panel on the C pillar that gives you something interesting to look at up close. My photos fail to do justice to the optional ($495) ceramic silver paint, which sparkled with pink and gold flecks in the sunlight. Together with the SX’s black alloy wheels and the silver accents, it all works rather well.

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