Kia’s Carnival SX Prestige brings prestige and value

In a world where it is easy to get jaded, it’s nice once in a while to have a shock to your system — a pleasant shock, that is. And, that’s exactly what happened when we stepped into the driver’s seat of the 2022 Kia Carnival SX Prestige.
Why a surprise? Well, for starters, we don’t like to think of ourselves as SUV drivers. Even in our soccer mom phase, we didn’t drive an SUV. Plus, they look big and bulky and usually the ride is a slow, uneven one that doesn’t handle well on the highway nor maneuvers around pot holes easily.
   Wrong! Carnival SX Prestige is divine! First off, the styling is a knockout. In fact, at first glance it looked more like an SUV than a minivan with a stylized new front and trim body. This vehicle as an edge that borders on being cool.
   The inside was a dream — all three rows. The front seats were large, comfortable and even opulent with bucket seats in the front and back with beautiful leather interior and cool chrome trim with diamond designs worthy of a New York City loft.
    The SX Prestige feels  and looks upscale. The seats are large and the 12.3-inch screen gives you all the information you need — and more. We were thrilled with the second row that featured powered captain’s chairs with arm rests and two large televisions. For sleepy kids, the relaxation mode puts the seats in full recline mode and the power foot rests raise up to make the nap even more comfortable.
    The family drama of long car rides is made easier and more reassuring to parents by two cool features. The passenger view with night vision allows parent to check on passengers in the two and third rows with ease, even in the night, and the two-way intercom systems allows the front row to communicate with passengers in the other two rows clearly and without distraction, amplifying voices through the speaker system.
    The Slide-Flex seating for eight passengers can be refigured in multiple ways, including a sliding second row center seat that, when in the forward most position, lets the front passenger easy access to those in the back. It also turns into a table, perfect for eating. The third row seats fold into the floor, allowing for lots of cargo room. In some models (not the SX Prestige) the second row seats fold down as well.
   The 3.5 liter gas direct injection V6 Engine with 8-speed automatic transmission handled the road like a pro. We felt at home the second we started the engine and thoroughly enjoyed every ride. It maneuver easily around curves, had quick highway acceleration and we didn’t worry once backing out of parking spaces.
    The SX Prestige gets 22 miles per gallon combined. The MSP was $46,100 and the one we drove was an additional $495, bring it up to $47,770. Honestly, this SUV is loaded with standard equipment found in the most luxurious cars and it’s worth every cent — and more.

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