2022 Kia Carnival vs. 2022 Honda Odyssey: Compare Minivans

Who’d have guessed minivans would lead the 2022 new-vehicle parade? With the 2022 Honda Odyssey already on sale—now joined by the Sedona-replacing 2022 Kia Carnival—the early jump on the new model year brings more features, great value, and strong safety for both.

Still, one outpoints the other on the TCC Rating scale. It’s not the one built in North America, either.

2022 Honda Odyssey

2022 Honda Odyssey

With a TCC Rating of 7.2 out of 10, the 2022 Carnival wins this heat, thanks to excellent scores in utility and features. The Odyssey? It’s exceedingly close, and we prefer its low driving position and quick steering, but it falls short with a tiny base touchscreen and a middling warranty. It’s a 6.5 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The Odyssey also is a runner-up in styling. Some Honda designs lack a cohesive look, and the Odyssey’s one of them. Some sculpted abs here, some rakish lines there, a floating-roof effect in back—it’s not the neatly plucked and trimmed SUV-alike that Kia offers up with the Carnival. It’s not as plush in maxed-out interior trim, either, though the Carnival’s SX Prestige version might be too nice for actual human children to occupy, with their sticky little hands and their appetite for destruction. (Shrink back in horror if you must while the parents still reading are nodding their heads in agreement.)

On a finer scale the Odyssey would take the honors for performance. Kia’s strapping 290-hp V-6 and its 8-speed automatic power it ahead in interstate passes while it absorbs pavement seams with aplomb, but the Odyssey’s steering and ride quality go next-level. It’s blessed with a lower driver seat but even better outward vision; its 10-speed automatic has more gears but an identical 22 mpg combined with the Carnival.

2022 Kia Carnival

2022 Kia Carnival

2022 Kia Carnival

2022 Kia Carnival

2022 Kia Carnival

2022 Kia Carnival

2022 Kia Carnival

2022 Kia Carnival

The minivan’s ultimate flex is flexibility, and both the 2022 Kia Carnival and 2022 Honda Odyssey can lay claim to limber limbs and double joints. Honda makes slightly better use of space in the Odyssey, with bins in the doors, consoles, side panels, seat backs, and under the floor. Its second-row seats can be removed like those in the Carnival, but neither operation’s a one-person job. Kia’s available airline-style lounge seats are a long-distance treat for medium-size adults, but we’d rather have the slide-and-tumble functionality of the Odyssey’s bench (or the Carnival’s available bench)—if we can’t have the fold-away seats of the Chrysler Pacifica.

Both the Carnival and the Odyssey have standard automatic emergency braking, but the Carnival also gets standard blind-spot monitors and active lane control, as well as options for a surround-view camera system and blind-spot cameras, neither of which appear on the Honda options list.

2022 Honda Odyssey

2022 Honda Odyssey

2022 Honda Odyssey

2022 Honda Odyssey

2022 Honda Odyssey

2022 Honda Odyssey

2022 Honda Odyssey

2022 Honda Odyssey

Honda outfits every Odyssey from the LX on up with power features, sliding side doors, and keyless entry, but the base 5.0-inch infotainment screen’s a letdown. The Carnival LX trumps it with power-sliding doors, wireless smartphone charging, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, not to mention a class-leading 5-year/60,000-mile warranty. Both minivans can be topped off with a power sunroof, heated front seats, and a power tailgate, but Kia leads again here with twin 12.3-inch digital displays, leather upholstery, 12-speaker Bose audio, and a twin-pane sunroof.

The 2022 Carnival’s clear win here comes mainly in styling and in features; the latter’s simple to upgrade, the other’s more challenging to overcome. We’d still rather drive the Odyssey, but we’d rather live with the Carnival.

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