2022 Kia Carnival vs. 2022 Honda Odyssey: Battle of Minivans

The all-new 2022 Kia Carnival is coming into the minivan market hot and is taking on giants like the Honda Odyssey head to head. The Carnival is styled like an SUV but functions like a minivan. For those who hate minivans for the way they look, the Carnival might be a good option for you. Minivans like the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey have been around for a long time, and continue to live at the top of the rankings. What’s new for the 2022 Honda Odyssey, and is it still better than Kia’s new minivan offering?

2022 Kia Carnival features

2022 Kia Carnival MPV
2022 Kia Carnival MPV | Kia

There are a few different trim levels available for the Kia Carnival, each with its own unique features. Some of the most important ones stand out against other minivans like the Honda Odyssey. These include standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a smart key with push-button start, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic avoidance, and more. Some of these features coming standard on a vehicle starting at just North of $32,000 is quite significant. When equipped properly, the Carnival can seat up to 8 passengers.

It comes with only one engine, a 3.5-liter V6 and there is no hybrid option. Extra equipment appears as you climb each rung of the trim level ladder. This equipment includes convenience options like UVO link with navigation, navigation-based Smart Cruise Control, a smart power liftgate, rear entertainment system, dual power sunroofs, and heated and ventilated rear seats. All of this and more are available in the Kia Carnival with the most expensive SX Prestige package starting slightly over $46,000.

How does it compare to the 2022 Honda Odyssey?

A silver 2022 Honda Odyssey parked outside during the day
2022 Honda Odyssey | Honda

One of the most common features you can’t avoid reading about when researching the Honda Odyssey is the Magic Slide Seats. These second-row seats can be moved to the center of the vehicle making it much easier to navigate the rear seating. This is an excellent feature for those with a child, or especially multiple children, who are sitting in the backseat. These magic seats allow parents much easier access to move a child (or anyone else) in and out of the Odyssey.

The Honda Odyssey gets the Magic Slide seats, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and the blind-spot information system once it reaches the EX trim, which is one above the base LX. Touring and Elite top trims add the rear entertainment system, Cabin Watch, Cabin Talk, and heated and ventilated front seats. If unfamiliar, Cabin Watch is a ceiling-mounted camera for viewing the rear seats from the front without needing to turn around. Cabin Talk uses Bluetooth technology to use an in-car PA system for parents in the front to speak with children in the back. Especially those who are using headphones and just can’t hear.

Which is more spacious?

A blue 2022 Kia Carnival is parked on the side of a road
2022 Kia Carnival | KIA

Like the Carnival, the Odyssey can seat 8 passengers when properly equipped. Once the passengers are onboard these minivans, however, which vehicle will be more comfortable? The Honda Odyssey provides more space in its lower trims, as higher trims use the space for other features. Its most spacious option gives 40.9-inches of legroom in the second row, and 38.1-inches in the third. That leaves 32.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row and 144.9 cubic feet behind the first.

The Kia Carnival will provide passengers with 40.5-inches of legroom in the second row, and 35.6-inches in the third. The second-row space is very minimally less than the Odyssey, but the third row loses by quite a margin. The cargo space is 40.2 cubic feet behind the third row, and 145.1 cubic feet behind the first. For cargo space, the Carnival actually beats the Odyssey by a good amount, especially from behind the third row. When equipped properly, eight Carnival passengers may not be as comfortable as the same number of Odyssey passengers. However, there will be more storage space in the Kia Carnival.

2022 Kia Carnival vs. 2022 Honda Odyssey

Both of these two minivans have their advantages and disadvantages. Both of them start at nearly identical prices and cap out at almost the same as well. Each has features the other doesn’t, like the Carnival’s Smart Cruise Control and dual power sunroofs, or the Odyssey’s Magic Slide seats and Cabin Talk/Watch. If you like the SUV-styling and need to carry more cargo than passengers, the Kia Carnival is a great option over the 2022 Honda Odyssey.

The Honda Odyssey has been a staple in the minivan segment for a long time, but the Kia Carnival has only just entered. The 2022 model year didn’t change much for the Odyssey after its recent 2021 facelift. Everything about the Carnival from top-to-bottom is brand new and looks like a minivan of the future. We wouldn’t be surprised to see more minivans taking on a similar exterior design to appear more SUV-like.

RELATED: U.S. News Ranks 2022 Honda Odyssey #1 in New Minivans