2022 Kia Carnival First Look: It’s a “Multi-Purpose Vehicle,” Not a Minivan

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 02/23/2021 - 19:00

A couple of weeks ago we speculated that the new version of Kia’s Sedona minivan would get a new name, and now it’s official—Kia’s new-for-2022 minivan will wear the Carnival badge used in other markets, including South Korea. Oh, and it’s not a minivan, it’s a multi-purpose vehicle. And to judge from its slick new appearance, primary among those multiple purposes is not to get mistaken for a minivan.

Picking up where the Sedona left off, the 2022 Kia Carnival further blurs the line between minivan and SUV. The Carnival’s elongated nose and bumper-to-dash-to-wheel ratio are distinctly SUV-like, as is the heavy chrome C-pillar treatment. The sliding-door tracks have been neatly integrated into the bodywork, and the whole concoction carries a cool Dodge Durango/Ford Explorer-ish vibe. Kia is to be congratulated: Few minivans—sorry, MPVs—carry off the pseudo-SUV look this well.

Is the Carnival an MPV, or a Minivan? Yes.

That said, it’s still essentially a minivan—a good thing when it comes to interior packaging. Up front, and like the Sedona that preceded it, the 2022 Kia Carnival has a broad center console housing the transmission shifter and cupholders, just as you’d find in an SUV, but behind the front seats, it has minivan-style seven- and eight-seat layouts and a low step-in height. The seven-seater features removable buckets, or optional VIP seats that recline  private-jet style. Eight-seat Carnivals offer a three-place second row with seats that can be individually removed. The center seat can be folded down to form a table or slid far forward enough that front-seat passengers can attend to babies strapped into car seats. In the way-back, the three-place split rear bench can be made to disappear into a deep well in the floor, just as in any self-respecting minivan. With all second- and third-row seats removed (which can’t be done with VIP seating), the Carnival will hold a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood.

Let’s go back up front to check out the new dash, which features two 12.3-inch LCD panels, one for instruments and one for infotainment, integrated into a single handsome stand-up unit. The center stack is angled towards the driver (and surely whoever is relegated to the passenger seat isn’t going to like that much), and the controls are arranged in the same sensible layout we’ve come to know and love in other Kia models.

It Sure Has Minivan-Like Features …

The list of family-friendly features in the 2022 Carnival is long, so take a deep breath: There are USB ports in every row, up to nine total, and twin 110-volt power outlets. There’s an optional low-light camera with zoom capability for monitoring the second and third rows and an intercom system facilitating conversation between front and rear rows. Second-row occupants get their own microphones and activation button for the UVO infotainment system’s voice-recognition system, and the available twin rear-screen entertainment system has wireless Android and Apple screen-mirroring capability.

Kia will sell the Carnival in LX, EX, SX, and SX Prestige trim levels, and all will feature dual hands-free power-sliding rear doors. An innovative Safe Exit Assist system warns rear-seat passengers against opening their doors when the car detects oncoming traffic, and when integrated with power child locks, the system will prevent the doors from opening. Also available is a rear occupant alert system. We’ve seen several of these gadgets that simply flash an easy-to-ignore reminder to check the rear seats every time you shut the vehicle off. But it’ll be harder to ignore the Carnival’s new system, which uses ultrasonic sensors to detect moving children or pets in the back seat. If you lock a living thing in the Sedona, it will flash the hazards, honk the horn, and send an alert to your mobile phone’s UVO app.

All of this family-totin’ goodness rides on the new N3 platform, which also underpins Kia’s Sorento SUV and K5 sedan. The 2022 Carnival offers a single powertrain consisting of a 290-hp, 262 lb-ft 3.5 liter V-6 driving the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. (That’s right, unlike the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica and the new Toyota Sienna, and in spite of its SUV-ish looks, the Kia doesn’t offer all-wheel-drive.) Towing capacity, if you’re into that sort of thing, is 3,500 lbs.

As we expect nowadays, the 2022 Kia Carnival has a host of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) features as standard, including forward, rearward, and blind-spot collision avoidance, rear parking sensors, lane-keeping assistance, automatic high beams, and drowsy-driver detection. Optional upgrades include a blind-spot camera for lane changes (displayed in the instrument cluster), cyclist detection for the forward-collision system, adaptive cruise control that adjusts to speed limits and upcoming curves, and a 360-degree parking camera.

Ready to get MPV-ing? The 2022 Kia Carnival will arrive in dealerships in the second quarter of 2021 looking good but less weird than the extroverted Toyota Sienna, and blockier than the elegant (for a minivan) Chrysler Pacifica.

The post 2022 Kia Carnival First Look: It’s a “Multi-Purpose Vehicle,” Not a Minivan appeared first on MotorTrend.

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2022 Kia Carnival preview

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 02/23/2021 - 19:00
What kind of vehicle is the 2022 Kia Carnival? What does it compare to? The 2022 Kia Carnival is a minivan formerly known as the Kia Sedona. Twenty years after its U.S. launch, Kia applies the Carnival name used in its South Korean home and most other markets. Seating up to eight passengers, the 2022 Kia Carnival competes with the Toyota Sienna...
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2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class preview

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 02/23/2021 - 17:51
What kind of vehicle is the 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class? What does it compare to? The 2022 Mercedes C-Class is a four-door luxury stalwart that anchors the classic Benz lineup of rear-drive sedans. New this year, the revamped 2022 C-Class gets a stunning new cabin and even more safety technology—but loses its 6- and 8-cylinder options. Its...
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Edinburgh’s 39 George Street secures two lettings

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 02/23/2021 - 17:50
Edinburgh city centre has secured two new office occupiers on 39 George Street.
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This Mid-Engined, Turbocharged Sports Car Was a … Plymouth?

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 02/23/2021 - 17:30

Have you thought about Plymouth recently? Unless you’ve got one in your garage, we’d reckon you probably haven’t. Looking over the bygone marque’s closing portfolio, that’s hardly a surprise; toward the end, there really wasn’t much to talk about when the subject of Chrysler’s budget brand hit the table. Prior to the brand’s closure in 2001, all existing Plymouths were shifted to Chrysler, leaving just the Plymouth Neon to close out the Plymouth brand.

At the time of its demise, the Plymouth brand carried the baggage of a dusty, low-rent alternative to the already cheap Dodge, but that wasn’t for a lack of trying. Chrysler was on a bit of a stylistic bender in the late 1990s and early 2000s; aside from continued existence of the Dodge Viper and the Plymouth Prowler, a series of late-1990s concepts previewed a hip, younger Plymouth brand with future products like the PT Cruiser, small Pronto compact, and the very chic 1998 Pronto Spyder.

Conceptually, it’s best to think of the stillborn Pronto Spyder as DaimlerChrysler’s interpretation of the contemporary Toyota MR2 Spyder and later Opel Speedster. Like  those roadsters, the Pronto Spyder concept carried its engine amidships, in this case being the 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that later powered the Neon and PT Cruiser SRT-4 variants, rated to a stout 225 horsepower in the Pronto. A five-speed manual transmission shifts the power to the rear wheels, giving the 2,700-pound sports car a punchy 0-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds.

Also notable were the materials chosen for the body; in place of traditional steel, fiberglass, or aluminum, the concept wore an angular body shaped from polyethylene terephthalate—or PET—that is better known as the type of recyclable plastic used for disposable drink bottles and packaging.

Inside, a retro-themed cockpit wore a rich red hue, though don’t inspect it too closely—much of the colored surfaces wore sprayed-on paint. Elsewhere, a turned metal dash, large classic gauges, and a plastic tortoiseshell steering wheel lent the Spyder a classic vibe.

Unfortunately, a lack of structural rigidity, crashworthiness, and other packaging issues stymied any production plans for the Pronto Spyder—Plymouth or otherwise—and consigned the handsome (if not dated) roadster to the dark halls of the now-defunct Chrysler Museum outside of Detroit.

The post This Mid-Engined, Turbocharged Sports Car Was a … Plymouth? appeared first on MotorTrend.

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Compact sedans compared, Lexus resurrects IS F V-8, 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 debuts: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 02/23/2021 - 16:29
2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid vs. 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid: Compare Cars Two economy sedans with four doors and superior fuel economy duke it out. Can Toyota's longtime best-selling Corolla eke out a win over Hyundai's brash new Elantra? 2021 Nissan Rogue fares poorly in NHTSA passenger-side crash tests New crossover SUV gets a rare two-star...
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2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid vs. 2021 Toyota Corolla Hybrid: Compare Cars

The Car Connection News Feed - Tue, 02/23/2021 - 15:43
It’s a tussle between the 2021 Toyota Corolla and the 2021 Hyundai Elantra for big fuel-economy ratings—but which compact sedan wins over drivers once they’ve left the gas station? We have a verdict, but it goes without saying: your mileage may vary. The Corolla has low-key appeal, with some interesting fillips and details and a...
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2021 Hyundai Elantra Trim Level Comparison: How Much Elantra Is Enough?

Motortrend News Feed - Tue, 02/23/2021 - 15:15

Manufacturers generally send automotive outlets “a rich mix” of their swankiest cars—that is to say a selection of highly optioned vehicles—hoping to make a favorable first impression. So we were pleasantly surprised to find a mid-level 2021 Hyundai Elantra SEL in the Detroit press fleet. These days, the current Elantra wears no trim level identification badges to alert the public of your penury or profligacy, so you’re totally free to choose the version you prefer. Which should that be?

How Basic Is the 2021 Hyundai Elantra SE?

Starting at $20,655, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra SE offers virtually no factory options beyond the choice of six exterior colors plus gray or black for the fabric interior. It rides on rental-fleet-ready 6.0 x 15-inch steelies wearing plastic caps and poverty-grade 195/65 rubber. You must start it by twisting a key, gauge your road and engine speeds by looking at analog gauges, adjust your temperature and fan manually, and flop the rear seat and its three non-adjustable headrests down in one piece. The SE gets a bright, sharp 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the sound gets rendered by a measly four unbranded stereo speakers.

What Does the Elantra SEL Trim Buy You?

Paying just $1,250 more for an Elantra SEL ($21,905) upgrades the wheels to 6.5 x 16-inch aluminum pieces sporting meatier 205/55 tires. It also buys snazzier premium cloth seating material that looks and feels kind of like wetsuit fabric and features a bright, almost reflective-looking white accent stripe up the seat back centers that in some ways makes them look cooler than the monochromatic leather in the Limited. You also get a proximity key with pushbutton start and smart trunk release, dual automatic climate control, Blue Link connectivity, an upgrade to six audio speakers, SiriusXM satellite radio, lighted vanity mirrors, an auto-up driver’s-side power window, and dual automatic climate controls. It’s also worth noting that adding all this content drops EPA fuel economy by 2 mpg each in city/highway/combined from the SE’s 33/43/37 mpg to 31/41/35 for the SEL and Limited.

How Much Elantra Limited Stuff Can You Get on an SEL?

If you deem the base SEL to be insufficiently swanky but you’re reluctant to make the $4,550 jump to the Elantra Limited trim grade ($26,455), you’re in luck. The SEL offers two option packages that incrementally narrow this opulence gap. A $950 Convenience package gets you adaptive cruise control with forward collision avoidance assist, a fully digital 10.3-inch instrument cluster display, heated front seats and mirrors, an e-parking brake, wireless device charger, and leather wraps for the steering wheel and gearshift lever. Or go for broke and add $3,050 to get all of the above plus a sunroof, power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment, an eight-speaker Bose premium audio system, 7.0 x 17 aluminum wheels and 225/45 tires, rear LED lighting, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat with adjustable head restraints, and Hyundai’s new digital key feature that allows certain phones to serve as the car’s key.

What Does the Limited Have Over a Loaded Elantra SEL?

If you only option up your SEL, the Joneses may notice your lack of LED low- and high-beam headlights as you come and go at night. If you double-date with them, they may judge your lack of leather seating and cupholders molded into the rear of the center console. The Limited also gets a bigger 10.3-inch infotainment screen with built-in navigation and SiriusXM data services like NavTraffic, NavWeather, plus sports and stock info. (But then, are you really going to subscribe to keep that info coming after the three-month free trial?) Oh, and in the SEL, your insurance company may notice if you crash into something in reverse that might otherwise have been prevented with the Limited’s reverse and parking collision-avoidance assist. Finally, only an Elantra Limited model can be painted orange.

What About the Other Trims?

For boy-racers there’s also an N Line ($26,205), which swaps out the Elantra’s 2.0-liter 147-horse/132-lb-ft engine for a 1.6-liter 201-hp/195-lb-ft turbo I-4, plus even bigger (18-inch) rolling stock and racy cues like blacked-out trim and a trunk-lip spoiler. The Elantra N-Line shares most Limited features except the 10.3-inch screen and Bose speakers. A full-on Nürburgring-tuned Elantra N model is coming for 2022, boasting 275 hp and 260 lb-ft. We loved our drive of a prototype. And on the other extreme end of the spectrum lies the Elantra Hybrid, starting at $24,545 in its stripper Blue trim and $29,095 as a Limited.

Which Elantra Is Best?

When considering the three mainstream variants, we’re with Goldilocks—2 extra mpg and a $1,250 savings wouldn’t lure us down into the entry model any more than an orange paint option, LED lights, or 2.3 inches more touchscreen would entice us up into the Limited. Everyone in our Detroit office who drove the charming Elantra SEL found it to be great looking, reasonably fun to drive, and a stupendous value for just $25,110.

The post 2021 Hyundai Elantra Trim Level Comparison: How Much Elantra Is Enough? appeared first on MotorTrend.

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Everton stadium gets council approval

Property Week News Feed - Tue, 02/23/2021 - 14:56
Everton’s 53,000-capacity stadium gets council backing to relocate to Liverpool heritage site.
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