The Chrysler Pacifica has won more awards than any other minivan over the last five years. However, the new kid on the block, Kia’s Carnival MPV (that’s a multi-purpose vehicle), enters the fray with some interesting takes on what a minivan should look and drive like. Yet, does it beat out the Pacifica? Let’s take a closer look at these two family-friendly heavyweights and see which one comes out the winner.
Image via Flickr by Zytonits
Both vehicles bring big size to the ring. However, the Pacifica retains more of the minivan styling with its angular nose and sloping rear roofline. Kia admits that the Carnival takes its cue from the SUV, and it shows with a boxy body style. If you didn’t know any better, you’d mistake the Carnival for a three-row SUV.
On the other hand, the Pacifica has a sleek, sculpted look that gives it a sportier style. You also can add the S Appearance Package to the Pacifica, which adds bold black accent trim, a signature front fascia, and black badging all around.
The Pacifica comes standard with 17-, 18-, or 20-inch alloy wheels, depending on the model. Carnival comes with either 17- or 19-inch alloy wheels in various styles. Both have power sliding side doors and a hands-free power liftgate that make loading and unloading easier. In addition, Chrysler offers a dual-pane power sliding moonroof on every trim as an option, while the Carnival offers this feature only with its top trim, the SX Prestige.
Interior Comfort and Convenience
Only Pacifica’s base model Touring trim comes standard with premium cloth upholstery. From there, you have your choice of McKinley or Nappa Black leather seats on the Touring L and Limited trims or quilted Nappa leather in Caramel or Black on the Pinnacle model.
Chrysler’s patented Stow ‘N Go seats slide, tilt, fold, and stow below the floor with the push of a button. In addition, the seat storage areas below the floor offer additional space for gear with the seats in the upright position. With the second and third-row folded flat, you have 140.5 cubic feet of storage. You also get the Stow ‘N Vac system powered by RIGID. This vacuum conveniently stores the hose within the sidewall and offers easy cleanup.
The Carnival MPV uses cloth on its base model. From there, Kia has its SynTex faux leather seating material on the middle trims. Only the top SX Prestige trim comes with leather upholstery. Kia’s seats slide and tilt, but only the third-row folds flat.
You can get more room by removing the second-row seats, but you have to leave the seats behind. With the third row folded and the second row removed, you have 145.2 cubic feet of storage space. The second-row seats offer lounging positions that fully recline, complete with headrests and leg extensions for additional comfort.
In the Pacifica, your in-vehicle tech runs through the 10.1-inch touchscreen. Chrysler added Amazon Alexa and Fire TV built-in, enabling you to ask Alexa to access your favorite apps, stream your favorite movies, and so much more. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability unlock the power of your smartphones for hands-free operation. You can make calls, answer texts, and get navigation information by using voice commands.
In addition, you get a free trial subscription to SiriusXM with 360L satellite radio and access to over 200 stations broadcasting all the latest music, sports, and news. An available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot allows up to eight devices to connect wirelessly within a range of 50 feet.
Chrysler also has the FamCam available as an option. FamCam projects a live video of the rear seats to your infotainment screen so you can see what the little ones are up to. This system offers day and night modes, a split-screen function, and an angle to see children in a rear-facing car seat. You’ll also get a 19-speaker Bose premium audio system in the Pinnacle trim, or you can add it as an option on the lower trims.
The Kia Carnival MPV has an 8-inch touchscreen on the lower trims and a 12.3-inch touchscreen on the upper models. Only the top trims have SiriusXM capability, but they all feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Carnival MPV also features a dual-screen rear entertainment system.
The bottom two trims have a six-speaker audio system, while the middle two trims offer an eight-speaker system. The top two trims come with a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system.
Chrysler uses a 3.6-liter V-6 engine paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission in every Pacifica model. As a result, the Pacifica produces 290 horsepower, generates 262 pound-feet of torque, and tows up to 3,600 pounds when properly equipped. You also have the option of a hybrid powertrain for additional fuel economy.
The Pacifica comes with a capable front-wheel-drive system. However, you can add an all-wheel-drive system capable of transferring 100% of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels or the wheels with the most traction.
Every model of the Carnival MPV has a 3.5-liter V-6 engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain puts out 290 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The Carnival MPV tows less, coming in with a 3,500-pound towing capacity. In addition, the Carnival gets two mpg less on the highway than the Pacifica and doesn’t have a hybrid powertrain option. The Carnival comes in a front-wheel-drive platform with no opportunity for all-wheel drive.
2022 Chrysler Pacific Wins
After careful examination of both vehicles, the Pacifica comes out on top. The Pacifica’s sleek exterior style and a broader range of exterior options outpace the Carnival MPV’s box-like SUV approach. Inside, you have more comfort and convenience features in the Pacifica, such as the Stow ‘N Go seats and onboard vacuum cleaner, which the Carnival MPV doesn’t have.
Both vehicles offer a similar package in the technology department, with only a slight edge going to the Carnival MPV for its larger touchscreen and rear entertainment system. However, the clear choice for performance goes to the Pacifica. Both vehicles have nearly the same powertrain, yet the Pacifica out-performs the Carnival MPV, particularly with the all-wheel-drive option.
If you’re ready to upgrade your Plano commute with a stylish and capable family vehicle, Huffines CDJR Plano has your Pacifica minivan ready to go. We have an expansive inventory of Pacifica models loaded with features the whole family will love and at prices to fit any budget. We invite you to explore our inventory online or stop by for a personal demonstration.