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2022 SX-Prestige in Astral Blue
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all,

So, a few weeks ago, my wife and I were looking at our garage and realized we didn't really have room to load a kid into each side of either my Ford Flex or her Mazda CX-5, and we've got #2 arriving in late Augsut. It's an absolute #FirstWorldProblems thing but our 3-car garage is really tight with 3 cars in it.

After some discussion & debate, we decided that sliding doors were the best solution and the Flex being the closest thing to a minivan without being one would no longer be enough. My wife was not a fan of the styling of the Sienna, Odyssey or Pacifica, and our friends across the street had just gotten a Carnival, so we checked it out and really liked it.

As I started trying to find one, I quickly found out the Carnival is one hard vehicle to find; all of the online listings are essentially fake as they're all vehicles on the way to dealers and already spoken for. After contacting lots of dealers, I finally got lucky and found a dealer that had two on the way from Korea that weren't spoken for yet and quickly snatched one up. The alternative was waiting 6-9 months locally, which had me concerned trade-in values on the Flex would drop a lot.

So, today, I got back from a 1,600 mile round trip drive over the last 72 hours, all the way to northeast Ohio and back to KC to trade in the Flex and buy a 2022 Kia Carnival SX Prestige. I've still got my Mustang for when I need to feel cool, but here's some thoughts after my first 850 miles:

Pros
  • Got 24-27 MPG on the first two tanks, driving between 71 and 77 MPH. Pretty happy with that for an engine that's not even broken in yet.
  • Transmission is really smooth and doesn't seem to hunt for gears at all, which can be an issue with that many speeds.
  • The styling - it's just really nicely done and about as cool as a minivan can get.
  • The entire safety suite/technology package. There are little things here & there I'd improve but, overall, it's really nicely done.
  • The amount of customization available.
  • The mobile app - pretty great!
  • The blind spot cameras showing in the gauge cluster. So cool.
  • Feels like a lot of value even at almost 50k.
Cons/Things It's Lacking
  • The factory hitch is really, really ugly and hangs so low. My Flex had a beautifully integrated one that was hidden completely behind the bumper except the receiver portion...this "factory" one was clearly an afterthought.
  • For almost 50k, I wish it had a digital rearview mirror so you can always see behind you no matter who/what is in the van.
  • I need a couple more trips to verify but my left leg got pretty sore driving today but might just have been that I'd driven 12+ hours the day before. I don't know why more car companies don't do thigh extenders like BMW has forever. It's so nice to have.
  • I wanted all of the SXP's tech but with the 2nd row bench seat. That bench seat's versatility is so great and so much better for car seats but, instead, I'll be basically wasting the VIP lounge seats on a 3 year old and a newborn for a few years here. It also seemed even harder to find a regular SX since all the dealers seem to be ordering SXP's with their limited allocations.
  • Kia not having a factory extended warranty like I bought from Ford and Mazda previously. Dealer wanted me to pay $1,800 for an Allstate one to extend the bumper-to-bumper warranty to 10 years/100k, which is way too much money. And the fact that Kia's bumper-to-bumper warranty (5 year/60k) does not include the whole infotainment system, which is only 3/36k. I do not like the thought of this high-tech vehicle out of warranty.
  • The rear-entertainment screens, though cool, need more app options and the hotspot challenges I keep reading about aren't great either. Already assuming we'll basically be hooking up an iPhone or the iPad to the screen and, at that point, I may as well just give the 3 year old the iPad to hold.
Looking forward to owning this thing for years and figuring out lots of good stuff with you all!
 

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Hey all,

So, a few weeks ago, my wife and I were looking at our garage and realized we didn't really have room to load a kid into each side of either my Ford Flex or her Mazda CX-5, and we've got #2 arriving in late Augsut. It's an absolute #FirstWorldProblems thing but our 3-car garage is really tight with 3 cars in it.

After some discussion & debate, we decided that sliding doors were the best solution and the Flex being the closest thing to a minivan without being one would no longer be enough. My wife was not a fan of the styling of the Sienna, Odyssey or Pacifica, and our friends across the street had just gotten a Carnival, so we checked it out and really liked it.

As I started trying to find one, I quickly found out the Carnival is one hard vehicle to find; all of the online listings are essentially fake as they're all vehicles on the way to dealers and already spoken for. After contacting lots of dealers, I finally got lucky and found a dealer that had two on the way from Korea that weren't spoken for yet and quickly snatched one up. The alternative was waiting 6-9 months locally, which had me concerned trade-in values on the Flex would drop a lot.

So, today, I got back from a 1,600 mile round trip drive over the last 72 hours, all the way to northeast Ohio and back to KC to trade in the Flex and buy a 2022 Kia Carnival SX Prestige. I've still got my Mustang for when I need to feel cool, but here's some thoughts after my first 850 miles:

Pros
  • Got 24-27 MPG on the first two tanks, driving between 71 and 77 MPH. Pretty happy with that for an engine that's not even broken in yet.
  • Transmission is really smooth and doesn't seem to hunt for gears at all, which can be an issue with that many speeds.
  • The styling - it's just really nicely done and about as cool as a minivan can get.
  • The entire safety suite/technology package. There are little things here & there I'd improve but, overall, it's really nicely done.
  • The amount of customization available.
  • The mobile app - pretty great!
  • The blind spot cameras showing in the gauge cluster. So cool.
  • Feels like a lot of value even at almost 50k.
Cons/Things It's Lacking
  • The factory hitch is really, really ugly and hangs so low. My Flex had a beautifully integrated one that was hidden completely behind the bumper except the receiver portion...this "factory" one was clearly an afterthought.
  • For almost 50k, I wish it had a digital rearview mirror so you can always see behind you no matter who/what is in the van.
  • I need a couple more trips to verify but my left leg got pretty sore driving today but might just have been that I'd driven 12+ hours the day before. I don't know why more car companies don't do thigh extenders like BMW has forever. It's so nice to have.
  • I wanted all of the SXP's tech but with the 2nd row bench seat. That bench seat's versatility is so great and so much better for car seats but, instead, I'll be basically wasting the VIP lounge seats on a 3 year old and a newborn for a few years here. It also seemed even harder to find a regular SX since all the dealers seem to be ordering SXP's with their limited allocations.
  • Kia not having a factory extended warranty like I bought from Ford and Mazda previously. Dealer wanted me to pay $1,800 to extend the bumper-to-bumper warranty to 10 years/100k, which is way too much money. And the fact that Kia's bumper-to-bumper warranty (5 year/60k) does not include the whole infotainment system, which is only 3/36k. I do not like the thought of this high-tech vehicle out of warranty.
  • The rear-entertainment screens, though cool, need more app options and the hotspot challenges I keep reading about aren't great either. Already assuming we'll basically be hooking up an iPhone or the iPad to the screen at, at that point, I may as well just give the 3 year old the iPad to hold.
Looking forward to owning this thing for years and figuring out lots of good stuff with you all!
Thank so much for you post. I’ve been thinking about it for a while and I don’t understand why minivans (king of road trip vehicles) don’t have features such as the thigh extender or massaging/anti fatigue front seats.

Your list of pros are all things that I noticed and part of why I like it so much.

Don’t be shy and post some pics please!

Are you planning on adding any accessories?

cheers and congrats!!
 

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2022 SX-Prestige in Astral Blue
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29 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank so much for you post. I’ve been thinking about it for a while and I don’t understand why minivans (king of road trip vehicles) don’t have features such as the thigh extender or massaging/anti fatigue front seats.

Your list of pros are all things that I noticed and part of why I like it so much.

Don’t be shy and post some pics please!

Are you planning on adding any accessories?

cheers and congrats!!
Thanks! Accessory-wise, I'll probably end up getting the roof crossrails so I can carry a bike up there when I'm using the hitch for something else. Bought a custom-fit Covercraft sunshade and WeatherTech mats (since my favorite brand, Husky Liners, isn't making mats for Carnivals yet. Not sure what other accessories I need at this point!
 

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Nice Write-up. One thought on the hitch receiver. I had the same thought when installing a hitch on my Sedona.

The answer is: the rear storage area has to be deep enough to hold the folded seats, which means any hitch has to be installed underneath that space. SUVs don't have seat-folding space that deep, so the hitch mounts higher up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice Write-up. One thought on the hitch receiver. I had the same thought when installing a hitch on my Sedona.

The answer is: the rear storage area has to be deep enough to hold the folded seats, which means any hitch has to be installed underneath that space. SUVs don't have seat-folding space that deep, so the hitch mounts higher up.
Ehh good thought but my Flex had seats folding flat into the floor, even lower than the Carnival's do, so there's gotta be a way. Oh well!
 

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Ehh good thought but my Flex had seats folding flat into the floor, even lower than the Carnival's do, so there's gotta be a way. Oh well!
Hmm, I haven't looked closely at a Flex, so I don't know for sure. But my Sedona's floor in the rear storage area was quite low to the ground. The Flex, being an SUV, has to be higher.
 

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Thanks! Accessory-wise, I'll probably end up getting the roof crossrails so I can carry a bike up there when I'm using the hitch for something else. Bought a custom-fit Covercraft sunshade and WeatherTech mats (since my favorite brand, Husky Liners, isn't making mats for Carnivals yet. Not sure what other accessories I need at this point!
yes I like the cross rails as well and I’m planning on getting the tux mat floor liners. Hope your you’re still loving your new ride!!
 
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