The layout is an impressive combination of digital and analog. The digital instrument panel and central touchscreen are joined in a single large frame, not unlike what you’d find in a high-end Mercedes. At the same time, the climate controls are all physical, ensuring you can easily modify settings without taking your eyes off the wheel.

Being a minivan, passengers in the second and third rows are given just as much attention as those in the front. This is especially evident in models with the VIP Lounge Seating option — a layout with second-row captain’s chairs outfitted with heating, ventilation and legrests. Even if you stick with standard eight-passenger seating, a flexible new middle seat can slide forward, so watchful parents can keep tabs on their most precious cargo. The seat also converts into a functional table when unoccupied.

Of course, you can fold and remove all seats behind the front row if you need to pick up plywood while the kids are at school. Fold down both rows and the Carnival impresses with 145.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity, which is right in line with the current class leader, the Honda Odyssey. We don’t know how much gear the Carnival can hold with all seats up, but considering that the third row folds flat into the floor, the deep well behind those seats should be able to hold quite a few suitcases, soccer balls, and anything else an active family might need.


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