2022 Kia Carnival minivan earns IIHS Top Safety Pick honor

August 13, 2021

The 2022 Kia Carnival minivan withstands crashes as well as it avoids them, based on crash-test results released by the IIHS Thursday. The non-profit safety agency funded by the insurance industry bestowed a Top Safety Pick award on the Carnival.

Redesigned for 2022, the minivan formerly known as the Kia Sedona earned top "Good" ratings in six crash tests conducted by the IIHS. Additionally, its two automatic emergency braking systems earned top "Superior" ratings in avoiding crashes with other cars and with pedestrians. The optional system available on EX, SX, and SX Prestige trims avoided collisions with cars and pedestrians at speeds up to 25 mph; the standard system significantly reduced speeds before impact with pedestrian dummies. 

The 2022 Carnival comes with a healthy set of standard safety equipment, including low-speed automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, a driver-attention monitor, and reverse parking sensors.

The Carnival fell short of a Top Safety Pick+ award, considered to be the most rigorous safety recognition in the industry, due to poor performance of its standard headlights. The IIHS found that LED reflector lights and automatic high beams on LX, EX, and SX trims had inadequate visibility in curves. The LED projector lights on the SX Prestige trim earned a "Good" rating. 

It's not uncommon for automakers to upgrade standard headlights mid-year on vehicles to appease IIHS's testing and earn a TSP+ award. Recently, the 2021 Nissan Sentra and 2022 Kia Stinger received such an upgrade. Starting in 2020, the IIHS put the spotlight on headlight testing because it claims more than half of all fatal crashes happen at night. 

A growing number of models meet the IIHS's more stringent requirements in 2021. The 2021 Honda Odyssey and 2021 Toyota Sienna both earned TSP+ awards from the IIHS; the 2021 Pacifica awaits IIHS testing. 

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