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There are not many minivans available anymore, but two models lighting the way for the segment are the Toyota Sienna and the Kia Carnival. While the Carnival has some strong points, the Sienna provides a crucial advantage. The 2023 Toyota Sienna has one big thing that the 2023 Kia Carnival doesn’t offer: a traction-enhancing all-wheel drive system.

Unlike the 2023 Kia Carnival, the 2023 Toyota Sienna offers an all-wheel drive system

Front angle view of green 2023 Toyota Sienna minivan
2023 Toyota Sienna | Toyota

With its available all-wheel drive system, the 2023 Toyota Sienna provides optimal traction in adverse weather conditions, such as snowy and icy roads. However, you can’t get all-wheel drive for the Carnival. Other than the Chrysler Pacifica, the Sienna is the only minivan to offer all-wheel drive. If you live in a climate with a harsh winter and heavy snow, then the Sienna is the way to go. 

Even if you don’t ever drive in snowy weather, the all-wheel drive system is beneficial in other ways. For one, it enables light off-road use. Also, the AWD helps with driving on low-quality roads, such as ones with cracks, broken concrete, and potholes. Plus, it improves cornering abilities.

2023 Sienna gets higher fuel economy than the 2023 Carnival

Front angle view of gray 2023 Kia Carnival minivan
2023 Kia Carnival | Kia

In addition to its available all-wheel drive system, another key advantage of the 2023 Toyota Sienna minivan over the 2023 Kia Carnival is higher fuel economy. This is due to its standard hybrid powertrain, which gets an estimated fuel economy of up to 36 city/36 highway mpg.

Conversely, all Carnival models are fully gas-powered. It doesn’t offer a hybrid. The Carnival only has an estimated fuel economy of up to 19 city/26 highway mpg. Compared to the Carnival, the Sienna gets 17 more mpg for city driving and 10 more mpg for the highway. Considering that gasoline is one of the biggest costs of vehicle ownership, an efficient minivan like the Sienna results in a great deal of savings at the gas pump.

Complimentary maintenance plan is another strength of the Toyota Sienna over the Kia Carnival

Furthermore, keeping the 2023 Sienna properly maintained is a more affordable endeavor compared to the 2023 Carnival. This is because, unlike the Carnival, the Sienna has a complimentary maintenance plan. The ToyotaCare free maintenance plan for the Sienna, which is good for two years or 25,000 miles, covers factory-scheduled maintenance. This includes oil changes, multipoint inspections, tire rotations, and topping off of the fluids.

Also, there are more Toyota dealerships than Kia dealerships. As a result, servicing a Sienna is more convenient than the Carnival for the majority of owners. 

However, the biggest advantage of the 2023 Toyota Sienna over the 2023 Kia Carnival is the available all-wheel drive system. It’s ideal to have a minivan with all-wheel drive, for it helps with driving in adverse weather conditions, traveling on rough roads, and cornering abilities.

If you desire an AWD-equipped minivan, then the Sienna is the better choice for you. You can have the confidence of optimal traction when you most need it during your excursions.


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