The don’t-call-it-a-minivan 2022 Kia Carnival has rugged looks and plenty of space for passengers and cargo, but is it enough to take down the multiple-award-winning 2022 Honda Odyssey? Let’s compare them.
2022 Kia Carnival
Above Average: Plenty of space; standard V6 power; standard safety systems.
Below Average: No all-wheel drive; no hybrid option; indeterminate resale value.
Consensus: With seating for seven or eight and a powerful engine, the 2022 Kia Carnival is a stylish minivan with plenty of space for passengers and cargo.
2022 Honda Odyssey
Above Average: Well built and reliable; standard V6 power; top safety scores; strong resale values.
Below Average: No hybrid; no all-wheel-drive option; bare-bones base trim; expensive upper trims.
Consensus: A consistent KBB award winner, the 2022 Honda Odyssey consistently ranked as one of the kings of minivans, getting better every year. Some of its competitors have all-wheel-drive and hybrid powertrains, however, and a fully loaded Odyssey can be expensive.
Carnival vs. Odyssey: Family Style
Brand-new for 2022 and replacing the Sedona in Kia’s lineup, the Carnival is an MPV (multi-purpose vehicle); Kia eschews the word “minivan.” We’re impressed with the 8-passenger 2022 Kia Carnival, which makes excellent use of space and offers seating for 6-footers in all three rows.
Passenger count varies, with some trims only offering seating for seven and others allowing removal of the second row for extra cargo storage. Speaking of that, there are 40.2 cubic feet of space behind the third row, which expands to a cavernous 141.5 cubic feet with all seats folded and the second row removed.
Power comes from a 3.5-liter V6, and it’s plenty to get the Carnival going, even with a full complement of passengers. Steering is reassured and the brakes are strong but well-modulated. The Carnival is front-wheel drive only, however, with no option for all-wheel drive. The ride is quiet and smooth, with some trims offering extra acoustic insulation for improved interior solace.
We like the exterior look of the Carnival, which has more of a rugged SUV vibe than most vans, and inside are plenty of options including heated and ventilated second-row seats, different color options, and special headrests.
Standard equipment includes keyless ignition, sliding, and removable second-row seats, front and rear A/C, and an 8-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 6-speaker stereo system. Standard safety systems include forward-collision avoidance, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance, rear parking sensors, and automatic high beams.
We’re huge fans of the Honda Odyssey, having awarded it numerous awards including Best Minivan, Best Family Car, Best By, and class winner in the 5-Year Cost-to-Own rankings. It’s well-built, reliable, comfortable, and spacious. On top of that, it earns top safety scores and has strong resale value.
The 2022 Honda Odyssey is part of the generation from 2018, although it received a major update last year. A 3.5-liter V6 sends power via a 10-speed automatic to the front wheels, and if we have any fault with the Odyssey, it’s that neither all-wheel drive nor a hybrid option is offered.
Driving manners are about what one can expect from a minivan: pleasant and comfortable. Inside, there is seating for either seven or eight depending on trim, with a rather mind-blowing 15 cupholders. The cabin is versatile, with seats that can be removed, slid, and folded, and cargo space ranges from 32.8 to 158 cubic feet.
The LX is the most spartan, with a 5-inch infotainment screen that doesn’t even have smartphone integration, 7-speaker audio system, and two USB ports. Standard safety features include forward-collision avoidance with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.
The next up EX adds Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, 8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, heated front seats, and tri-zone climate control. Higher trims add such things as heated-and-ventilated front seats, rear-seat entertainment system, leather seats, Wi-Fi, wireless charging, and 11-speaker audio system, but the top Elite trim starts just under $50,000 without options.
Staring price; V6 power; fuel economy; 3,500-pound max tow rating; NHTSA 5-star safety.
2022 Kia Carnival Advantages
Fresher exterior styling; long warranty; less expensive for top trims; better standard equipment.
2021 Honda Odyssey Advantages
Standard 10-speed automatic; resale value; reputation for quality; very well built.
Which One is Right For Me?
A minivan without the stigma, the 2022 Kia Carnival is an impressive effort, with a powerful engine, good standard equipment, and excellent space for passengers and cargo.
Perhaps a bit more conservative is the 2022 Honda Odyssey, which maintains the classic minivan look. It has a great reputation, top safety scores, and high resale value.
Ready to buy a Kia Carnival or Honda Odyssey? Shop for one on sale now near you.
|2022 Kia Carnival||2022 Honda Odyssey|
|Engine||3.5-liter V6||3.5-liter V6|
|Horsepower||290 hp @ 6,400 rpm||280 hp @ 6,000 rpm|
|Torque||262 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm||262 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm|
|Transmission||8-spd automatic||10-spd automatic|
|Fuel Economy||22 mpg (19 city/26 hwy)||22 mpg (19 city/28 hwy)|
|Basic warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||10 years/100,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety Rating||5 stars||5 stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||8||8|
|Wheelbase||121.7 inches||118.1 inches|
|Overall Length||203.0 inches||205.2 inches|
|Width||89.2 inches||78.5 inches|
|Height||68.5 inches||68.3 inches|
|Turning Diameter||37.7 feet||39.6 feet|
|Headroom, Front||40.9 inches||40.7 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||39.5 inches||39.5 inches|
|Legroom, Front||41.1 inches||40.9 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||40.5 inches||40.9 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||64.2 inches||63.1 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||63.2 inches||61.6 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||n/a||163.6 cubic feet|
|EPA Cargo Volume||40.2/141.5 cubic feet||32.8/144.9 cubic feet|
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