Can A Kia Carnival Tow A Boat? (Revealed!)

Kia is one of the automakers whose vehicles have improved significantly. The Kia Carnival is a replacement of the Sedona, which the automaker produced for the last time in 2021. The Carnival is a minivan designed to offer sufficient room for families.

If you need to take a trip as a family, the Carnival offers more features and more space than the Sedona. But can the Carnival tow a boat?

Can A Kia Carnival Tow A Boat?

Yes, the Carnival can tow a boat. This all-new model has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, which is enough to tow a small boat.

Most of the boats above weigh less than 3,500 pounds, which means that you can tow them with your Kia Carnival. You will have to fit it with all the needed towing gear, including the trailer brakes, but the car performs excellent when you need to tow boats.

What Kind of Boats Can the Kia Carnival Tow?

You can use the Kia Carnival to tow boats such as aluminum fishing boats, bow riders, small cuddy cabins, small deck boats, small pontoon boats, sailboats less than 20 feet long, fiberglass fishing boats, and skiffs.

Aluminum Fishing Boats

Aluminum fishing boats stretch for about 16 feet and weigh between 300 and 500 pounds. These are the lightest boats that you can tow with your Carnival. These boats have a simple hull and come with benches and chairs, and a simple center console.

Bowrider Boats

Bowrider boats weigh between 3,000 and 3,500 pounds. They are ideal when you need to make short cruises. The boats have an inboard motor and most of them are about 21 feet in length. Although they are made of fiberglass, which is heavier than aluminum, your Kia Carnival can still tow them.

Small Cuddy Cabins

Cuddy cabins weight between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds. If you have the cuddy cabin weighing 3,000 pounds, you can tow it with your Kia Carnival without any challenges. These boats allow you to cruise, same as a bowrider, but they offer a larger sleeping space.

Your Carnival can tow the smaller cuddy cabin that is about 20 feet long. If you love sleeping in the waters in your boat, a cuddy cabin can be a great choice.

Deck Boats

Deck boats weigh between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds with a length of between 20 and 30 feet. Your Kia Carnival can, therefore, tow the smaller 20-foot boat that weighs not more than 3,500 pounds. These boats offers so much space on the deck for family fun, and they also offer enough space for you to move around with ease.

Fiberglass Fishing Boats

The Kia Carnival can also tow fiberglass fishing boats, which weigh between 1,500 and 2,500 pounds without their motor. If you go for the smallest fiberglass fishing boats, you will not have any problem towing the boat. These boats cost more, they wear out slower than aluminum, and they also weigh more and most of them are between 16 and 20 feet in length.

Pontoon Boats

Most pontoon boats weigh about 2,200 pounds, which is within what the Kia Carnival can handle. Some pontoon boats weigh as much as 5,000 pounds, but if you have the smaller model boats, you can pull them with your Carnival. Pontoon boats are not as aerodynamic as V-hull boats, but they offer enough space for you to walk around with ease.

Can A Kia Carnival Tow A Boat?

Sailboats Less than 20 Feet

A day sailboat is between 14 and 20 feet in length. These boats weigh between 400 and 800 pounds, thanks to the fact that they do not have engines and gas. You can use these sailboats in protected waters, rivers, and lakes.

A sailboat can have wood or fiberglass materials and their light weight make them the best to tow with small cars. Your Carnival will tow this with so much ease.


Skiffs are designed for use in shallow waters, and they are typically less than 20 feet long. Most of these boats weigh less than 1,000 pounds, which makes them easy to tow with your minivan. They are ideal for fishermen who need to get in and out of tight fishing spots.

Your boat may have a small motor, which adds to its weight, or you may have to move it with a long pole. Those that do not have a motor are very light, so you can steer them with ease.

Wake Boats

Wake boats are about 20 feet long, and they weight between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds. Your Kia Carnival can tow a small wake boat with great ease once you have the necessary towing gear. These boats are engineered to create wakes for wakeboarders and wakesurfers.

Boats from different manufacturers and even different models from the same manufacturer have different specifications. As such, you need to check the specs of your boat before you connect it to your Carnival for towing. For instance, one pontoon boat may be 2,200 pounds while another is 3,700 pounds.

Check the weight of your boat and then check whether it falls within the towing capacity of your Kia Carnival. This way, you will not overload the Carnival, and you will have full control of the car.

What Features Does the Kia Carnival Offer?

Under the hood of the Carnival is a 3.5L V6 engine that generates 290 horses and 262 pound feet of torque. This engine pairs to an eight-speed automatic transmission and is only available as a front-wheel drive. The car offers a lot of power whether you are towing or just driving it around.

The Carnival has a fuel economy of the 26 mpg on the highway and 19 in the city with a combined economy of 22 mpg. The Carnival is so good at damping out the rough roads and its 19-inch all-season tires allow you to handle light off-roading.

It offers the same handling as an SUV, allowing you to steer it with ease at low and high speeds. The suspension is advanced, so bumps and off-road ruggedness do not affect your comfort inside the minivan.

Inside, the Carnival offers comfortable seating with supportive cushion padding in the first and second seating rows. This way, you can drive it for long distances without fatigue. You can go for the eight-passenger bench seat or the VIP-seat configuration that accommodates seven passengers.

The interior also looks impressive. The interior has a suite of digital and analog equipment. There is a central touchscreen joined to a digital instrument panel to form one frame. Further, the climate controls are all physical.

You can fold down the second and third row seats to carry plywood and other longer items. With the two rows of seats folded down, the minivan offers up to 145.1 cubic feet of cargo space.

How to Get Your Kia Carnival Ready to Tow a Boat

When towing a boat, you need to consider the weight of the boat and that of its trailer. The combined weight of your boat, the trailer, and any gear that you have in the boat should not exceed 3,500 pounds. To be on the safe side, you need to tow 3,000 pounds and not 3,500.

The lighter you tow, the more the control you will have of your vehicle. A trailer that carries an 18-foot boat will be about 420 pounds heavy. Such a trailer can handle a boat of up to 1,800 pounds. If your boat is longer and heavier, you can go for a bigger trailer.

A trailer that will carry boats of up to 22 feet will weigh about 980 pounds. Such a trailer can handle up to 4,800 pounds. Ensure that the weight of your trailer and that of your boat fall within the towing capacity of your Kia Carnival.

Before you tow, you need to inspect the trailer and ensure that it is ready to tow. The tongue weight of the trailer should be between 10 and 15 percent of the total weight of the boat and the trailer.

If you have many passengers in the Carnival, or you have so much cargo behind the rear seat, you have to consider that when calculating the towing capacity. You should not exceed the gross weight of your vehicle as this can put you at risk if the performance of your car deteriorates.

Closing Thoughts

A Kia Carnival is an appealing family car. It drives and feels like an SUV, it has enough cargo and passenger space so that you feel comfortable and bring the gear you need for the trip. Unlike the Kia Soul, which was not designed to tow, the Carnival offers great towing features.

The Carnival is in competition with the Chrysler Pacifica and the Honda Odyssey. The Pacifica offers 10 more horses in power while the Odyssey offers three less horses. These two minivans also have a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.

With the right equipment, and if you follow the right towing rules, you will find it easy to tow any small boat with your Carnival. If you used the Kia Sedona, you will love the Carnival – the Sedona also has a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.