Kia’s New 2022 Carnival Spot Tries To Convince Us That It Isn’t A Minivan

Making bold new strides in the world of trying to pretend that one type of vehicle is another, Kia continues to adamantly call the Carnival an MPV.

While it’s hard to debate the use of the term MPV (just ask a Brit or any European, for that matter), I think it’s interesting to see Kia’s dogged determination not to use the words mini or van anywhere near its new minivan. It’s also interesting that Kia says that this vehicle belongs to a “new” segment.

“The Carnival MPV defines a new vehicle segment – the multi-purpose vehicle: versatile, capable and comfortable, and provides owners what they need, when they need it,” said Russell Wager, VP marketing, Kia Motors America. “From daily commuting and long-haul road trips to camping adventures, family vacations, and moving duty, the Carnival MPV easily transforms from a stylish and sophisticated adventurer to a cavernous cargo hauler. And everything in between.”

Read More: New 2022 Kia Carnival Undercuts The Chrysler Pacifica By Almost $3,000

The new ad campaign also follows this theming. The tagline “What Elsa Ya Got?” indicates that the Carnival can do anything you might need it to and more (kind of like a minivan). But it shows its new “MPV” towing boats and running next to dirtbikes hinting at a more crossover-like spirit.

All of which, frankly, makes sense. The minivan is a very practical and useful thing, if not a popular one. Crossovers, meanwhile, are less practical but more popular, so trying to cash in on that popularity is smart.

The design, with its upright grille and its boxy proportions, pulls the same trick that other minivans have resorted to in borrowing SUV design cues to imply that this isn’t some ’90s minivan. I would hazard to say, though, that this among the more successful minivans to pull that look off.

Replacing the Sedona, the Kia Carnival was unveiled in February and comes exclusively with a 3.5-liter V6 engine making 290 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. It can tow 3,500 lbs, which is good though not unheard of, for a minivan. Sales are expected to start this quarter.

Updated: April 8, 2021 — 6:00 pm

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