Two years apart, the 2022 and 2024 Kia Carnival do have some differences. Find out which is the better buy in our new vs used Kia Carnival comparison. 

Relatively New Versus Brand New 

kia.com | kiamedia.com

kia.com | kiamedia.com |  Shop Kia Carnival on Carsforsale.com

The Kia Carnival has been offered in a few forms over the years. The Kia minivan was first manufactured in 1998, known as the Kia Sedona for most of that time. However, Kia gave the Sedona new life as a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) starting with the 2022 Kia Carnival. What is a MPV, you ask? Basically, it’s a minivan. A very styled, sophisticated, well-equipped minivan, but a minivan, nonetheless. With the new badging, the 2022 Kia Carnival is technically a first-generation vehicle.

We can’t really argue with the decision to rename and refresh the Sedona. This SUV lookalike impressed us in our 2022 Kia Carnival vs Toyota Sienna head-to-head comparison. Our review of the 2023 Kia Carnival praised the powertrain performance, comfy cabin, and long list of safety features. Then, in our detailed 2024 Kia Carnival review, we gave it a 9/10 in our overall scoring.

Well, today, we’re putting the Kia Carnival up against itself! The 2022 Carnival obviously isn’t much older than the 2024 Carnival, but there are some differences. The question is: are those differences big enough to make you spring for the new model? How good are the updated features and warranties? We’re about to answer those questions!

Specs 

2024 Kia Carnival 3.5L V6 - kiamedia.com
2024 Kia Carnival 3.5L V6 - kiamedia.com

Every 2022 Kia Carnival was given a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 290 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque with the help of an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive (FWD) was the only option on the 2022 Carnival. It rides on 17-inch or 19-inch wheels. This minivan, or MPV, earned an estimated 19 miles per gallon (MPG) in city driving and 26 MPG out on the highway. When equipped properly, the 2022 Carnival can tow up to 3,500 lbs. To give you an idea of how that compares to competitors, the 2022 Honda Odyssey and 2022 Toyota Sienna both have a 3,500 lb. tow capacity, too.

Were there any changes made to the 2024 Kia Carnival? No, at least not to the powertrain. A brand-new 2024 Kia Carnival comes with the same 3.5-liter V6, the same eight-speed automatic, the same 290 horsepower, and the same 262 lb-ft of torque as the 2022 model. FWD is still the only available configuration, too. The 2024 Carnival also gets the same fuel efficiency numbers with 19 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway.

Driving and Performance 

2022 Kia Carnival - kiamedia.com new
2022 Kia Carnival - kiamedia.com new

There wasn’t much to complain about when it came to how a new 2022 Kia Carnival handled. Unless it was severely misused, there shouldn’t be many issues with a used version either. It can be a little slow to respond, but compared to other minivans, the 2022 Carnival shifts smoothly and accelerates well. There’s some engine noise when it really gets going, but it’s nothing that intrudes on the ride quality or quiet atmosphere of the cabin. The Carnival doesn’t lose composure around corners, either. Suspension is well-tuned enough to accommodate a van full of passengers.

2024 Kia Carnival - kiamedia.com
2024 Kia Carnival - kiamedia.com

Without any engine upgrades or tweaks, we can say the same for the 2024 Kia Carnival as we did about the 2022 Carnival. The naturally aspirated V6 gets good acceleration in the 2024 model, even when the cabin is filled with passengers. Agile, yet sturdy, steering and confident braking are two qualities that the Carnival does well with. Neither the 2022 or 2024 models can avoid feeling some of the bigger bumps, but it’s nothing that makes passengers grimace.

Comfort and Interior 

2022 Kia Carnival - kiamedia.com
2022 Kia Carnival - kiamedia.com

The interior is one of the standout traits of the Carnival, regardless of the model year. The very comfortable seats are given an extra layer of comfort on some trims with simulated leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, and ventilated front seats. 2022 Carnival cabin configurations include seven-passenger seating and second-row captain’s chairs or eight-passenger bench seating. The second-row captain’s chairs have the option of being heated, ventilated, and even lounging back with extendable leg rests. Front-row passengers have 41.1 inches of legroom to stretch out in, second-row passengers get 40.5 inches, and third-row passengers are given a very acceptable 35.6 inches of legroom. That still leaves 40.2 cu. ft. of cargo space. The space expands to 86.9 cu. ft. When even more space is needed, the 2022 Carnival provides 145.1 cu. ft. of total cargo capacity.

2024 Kia Carnival - kiamedia.com
2024 Kia Carnival - kiamedia.com

OK, so far, it’s been a lot of the same when comparing the 2022 Carnival to the 2024 Carnival, but here’s where you start to see some differences. The spacing in the 2024 Carnival remains unchanged with 41.1 inches, 40.5 inches, and 35.6 inches of legroom in the first, second, and third rows, but there are some new comforts available. The interior trim has been upgraded across the board, rear passengers get side window shades, and third-row passengers are now treated to reclining third-row seats. Another advantage the 2024 model has is a quiet mode, which turns off rear speakers if passengers want some peace and quiet. Both interiors are spacious. The upgrades Kia made on the 2024 cabin are nice, though. As you’re about to find out, the 2024 Kia Carnival trims have a few extras, too.

Trims and Features 

2022 Kia Carnival SX Prestige - carsforsale.com
2022 Kia Carnival SX Prestige - carsforsale.com

The lineup for the 2022 Carnival is as follows: the base LX trim, the EX, the SX, and the top-level SX Prestige. Standard features on the base include LED headlights, proximity entry, a push-button start, and power-sliding rear doors. Interior technology kicks off with an eight-inch touchscreen, wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, seven USB ports distributed between the three rows, and a six-speaker stereo. Safety features aren’t lacking either. A blind-spot monitor with a rear cross-traffic alert, a lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, forward collision mitigation, and a driver attention warning all come with the 2022 LX. A driver attention warning, a rear occupant alert, and safe exit assist are also part of the deal.

The EX has upgrades like 19-inch wheels, a hands-free power liftgate, adaptive cruise control, and an enhanced forward collision mitigation system. There’s also an in-cabin rear-camera monitor system. A 12.3-inch touchscreen, wireless smartphone charging, an eight-speaker stereo, navigation, and three-zone automatic climate control are some of the other EX cabin features.

The 2022 Kia Carnival SX adds roof rails, paints the 19-inch wheels black, and includes power-folding side mirrors. The luxury level of the cabin is boosted with ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, and a rear-seat entertainment system. Kia makes even more safety features available at this level, too. A surround-view monitor with a 360-degree view, LED fog lights, and parking collision avoidance (with brake sensors) are welcome additions.

The SX Prestige caps it all off with a heated steering wheel, a larger 12.3-inch digital driver display, and LED interior lighting. The audio system increases to 12 speakers and the upholstery is made of genuine. For those who like a good view, dual sunroofs are incorporated into the 2022 Kia Carnival SX Prestige. Finally, a blind-spot monitor finishes up the already-packed safety suite.

2024 Kia Carnival LX -carsforsale.com
2024 Kia Carnival LX -carsforsale.com

Kia didn’t make any lineup changes on the 2024 Carnival. Models start with the LX, move up to the EX, then go on to the SX, and finish up with the SX Prestige. Some elements on the 2024 Carnival LX that weren’t part of the 2022 LX are the heated exterior mirrors, sliding and removable captain’s chairs, front and rear air conditioning, and wireless Apple and Android connectivity. Outside of that, the 2024 EX is very similar to the 2022 LX trim.

When compared to the 2022 Carnival, the 2024 EX trim may have the most differences. The aforementioned quiet mode, rear window shades, and upgraded interior trim all come into play here. Plus, the EX increases safety with front parking sensors and pedestrian and cyclist detection. Lane-keeping assist, which was on the 2022 base LX trim, is now standard on the 2024 EX trim.

There isn’t too much feature shifting on the 2024 SX trim. Roof rails, power-folding side mirrors, and LED fog lights are all added to the 2024 SX trim, just like they are on the 2022 SX trim. The 2024 Carnival SX does include the blind-spot monitor earlier than the 2022 lineup did. Also, rear automatic brakes have been introduced on the 2024 Kia Carnival SX.

A side-by-side comparison of the 2022 Kia Carnival SX Prestige and the 2024 Kia Carnival SX Prestige won’t show many changes. The heated steering wheel, 12-speaker Bose audio system, authentic leather upholstery, dual-powered sunroofs, and auto-dimming rearview mirror are all still part of the 2024 SX Prestige.

The Verdict 

2022 Kia Carnival - kiamedia.com

2022 Kia Carnival – kiamedia.com |  Shop Kia Carnival on Carsforsale.com

There are numerous similarities between the 2022 and 2024 Kia Carnival so it may seem like this choice is six of one, half a dozen of the other, as my uncle always says when it comes to important decisions. Even the exterior and interior colors are the same for these two model years. The choice is clear, though. If you’re not wowed by the handful of new amenities on the 2024 Kia and, maybe more importantly, if you want to save a little money, you should be able to find a used 2022 Carnival that suits your budget and your needs.

Let’s talk pricing. What is the difference? The base-level 2024 Kia Carnival LX sells at a starting price of $33,600. It goes up to $46,700. Meanwhile, the highest-priced 2022 Kia Carnival I’ve seen is a SX Prestige set at $44,995. At the very least, it’s possible to save around $2,000 by going with a used 2022 Carnival. Of course, you can find 2022 models for much less than that. They’ve got some miles on them, but there’s always the piece of mind in knowing that used 2022 Carnivals come with free Vehicle History Reports.

One more factor to consider is the warranty. Kia offers a 10-year/100,000-mile power warranty on a new 2024 Kia Carnival. It also includes a five-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty, a five-year/100,000-mile limited anti-perforation warranty, and a five-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan. The 2022 Carnival rolled off the lot with those exact same warranties. That’s good news for buying used, but it’s important to find out if those warranties are still active. A CPO warranty is one term you’ll want to make note of. Some only buy new, but if you’re not one of those people, why not grab your must-have used car checklist and save a few thousand dollars with a used 2022 Carnival that’s already been specified the way you want it?

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Jesse Batson

Jesse Batson earned his journalism degree from South Dakota State University. No stranger to newsgathering and reporting, Jesse spent 13 years in TV news. 10 of those years were spent working in Charlotte, NC, home of NASCAR. A highlight of his time there was being able to take a lap around the Charlotte Motor Speedway. His interest in vehicles, starting with Matchbox cars, a Big Wheel, and the Transformers, evolved into taking photos of motocross events. Now, he puts his research skills to use on car culture, reviews, and comparisons.

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