The 2021 Kia Carnival brings a new look and name to the minivan scene. It takes on the established 2021 Honda Odyssey. Here’s how they stack up.
2022 Kia Carnival
2022 Kia Carnival Starting Price: $33,275 | Price yours or View listings near you
Above Average: Plenty of space; good power; standard safety systems.
Below Average: No all-wheel drive; no hybrid option.
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. All Carnivals are front-wheel drive, however.
2021 Honda Odyssey
2021 Honda Odyssey
Starting Price: $32,910 | Price yours or View listings near you
Above Average: Five-star safety ratings; easy to drive; comfortable cabin.
Below Average: No hybrid; some features not available on base trim; all-wheel drive not available; top trims are expensive.
Consensus: A consistent KBB award winner, the 2021 Honda Odyssey is practical, comfortable, and full of great features for families. There’s no all-wheel drive option, however, and the top Elite trim is expensive.
Carnival vs. Odyssey: Spacious and Comfortable
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 room for 7 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 there 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.
Now in its fifth generation, the Honda Odyssey has been in production since all the way back in 1994. It’s a consistent best-seller, with 1.1 million sold in the U.S. There’s a reason the Odyssey won our Minivan Best Buy award three years running.
Not surprisingly, the 2021 Honda Odyssey adds nothing but improvements, with new exterior styling and an upgraded interior. With seating for seven or eight, the Odyssey is functional, comfortable, and loaded with safety features.
A 3.5-liter V6 powers the front wheels via a 10-speed automatic. There is neither a hybrid option nor all-wheel drive. The ride is smooth and comfortable, and the engine makes good power and respectable fuel economy, earning 28 mpg highway. The inside is quiet and comfortable and a change for 2021 includes fold-flat second-row seats. Fit and finish are excellent, with Honda’s impressive build quality.
Standard features include push-button ignition, power-adjustable front seats, automatic climate control, and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It’s worth noting that Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are not available on the base LX trim but standard from the EX up. Standard safety features include the Honda Sensing system that includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation with automatic braking, and lane-keeping assistance. Resale values remain consistently high.
Up to 8-passenger seating; no all-wheel drive; base power; mpg; starting price; 3,500-pound max tow rating; NHTSA 5-star safety ratings.
2022 Kia Carnival Advantages
Fresher exterior styling; long warranty; less expensive top trims; better standard equipment.
2021 Honda Odyssey Advantages
Resale value; reputation for quality; built-in vacuum on top trim.
Which One is Right for Me?
Impressive right from the start, the 2022 Kia Carnival offers a new approach to the minivan world, with a less stodgy look, loads of good standard features, and comfortable full-size seating in all three rows.
A tried-and-true favorite, the 2021 Honda Odyssey is a consistent award winner for its build quality, safety rating, and constant improvement. Honda has found a winning formula and continues to fine-tune and freshen it.
Ready to buy a Kia Carnival or Honda Odyssey? Shop for one on sale now near you.
|2022 Kia Carnival||2021 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||7|
|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|