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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2023 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

Car Guide Winner: 1st Place Minivan

2022 Kia Carnival SX

Vehicle Type: Minivan Gasoline
 overall score
Category Ranking: 1

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $41,100
Price as Tested: $42,770

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Regular
Fuel Capacity (gal): 19
EPA City mpg19
EPA Highway mpg26
EPA Combined mpg22
with specific headlights built after March 2021

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [S]
  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [S]
  • Driver Monitoring [S]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [S]
  • Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking [O]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional

Overall Observations

In 2022, Kia replaced its venerable Sedona minivan with a new model, the Carnival. With handsome SUV-like styling, a roomy, minivan-esque interior, and a pair of sliding side doors for easy access, the Carnival does a nice job of straddling the line between the 2 divergent body styles. The Carnival’s comfortable cabin seats up to 8 passengers and can haul nearly 87 cubic feet of cargo behind the second row. As with all Kia models, there’s a long list of standard features and available niceties, including, on our test vehicle, 3-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, and a rear-seat entertainment system. Under the hood, the Carnival gets a strong V6 engine (versus the trend toward turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engines by many automakers). Fuel-economy numbers are just so-so, and there’s a bit of throttle lag, but this powertrain has the muscle to tow trailers up to 3,500 pounds. On the road, the Carnival’s ride quality is a bit bumpy over bad pavement, and steering feedback and braking effort feel less than responsive. Nonetheless, a suite of standard advanced safety features and a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty make the Carnival a strong value proposition.

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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • • Attractive exterior and interior styling
  • • Good value
  • • Plenty of room for passengers and cargo
  • • LED headlights with auto high beams

Weak Points

  • • Cheap interior fit and finish
  • • Subpar fuel economy
  • • Rough ride quality
  • • Infotainment system touch controls are hard to use

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2022
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/6
Curb weight (lbs): 4680.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 203.0 / 78.5 / 69.9
Wheelbase (in): 121.7
Number of air bags: 8
Warranty (months/miles): 60/60,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Continental CrossContact RX
Front and rear tire size: 235/55 R19
Max towing capacity (lbs): 3,500
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Auto 8-speed
Drivetrain type: Front wheel
Engine/motor: 3.5L V6 GDI
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,400

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:


Fuel Efficiency:


EPA Emissions Score:





Handling: 6.32
Quality and Drivability: 6.66

Ride Quality:


Interior Size:


Easy of Entry and Exit:




Interior Noise:


Cargo Capacity:

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