3 Reasons the 2022 Kia Carnival is Better Than the 2022 Toyota Sienna

The 2022 Kia Carnival has a lot going for it, but can it take on one of the best minivans in the industry? Kia calls the Carnival a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) as opposed to a minivan. It functions more closely to a minivan but looks like an SUV. Could the 2022 Kia Carnival actually be better than the 2022 Toyota Sienna?

The 2022 Kia Carnival is cheaper than the 2022 Toyota Sienna

A blue 2022 Kia Carnival is parked on the side of a road. Could it be better than the 2022 Toyota Sienna?
2022 Kia Carnival | KIA

The two of these vehicles are both on the more cost-effective side of minivans and smaller SUVs. Minivans in general are a real bargain compared to SUVs with similar space. The stigma against owning a minivan plays a big part in that but helps vehicles like these to maintain a good price.

The 2022 Kia Carnival starts at $32,100, compared to Sienna’s starting price of $34,560. The highest trim for each vehicle is the Carnival SX Prestige and the Sienna Platinum AWD. The SX Prestige starts at $46,100, but the average price paid is $49,809 according to U.S. News & World Report. The Platinum Sienna starts at $50,760, but the average price paid is much lower at $37,062.

How do the critic’s ratings compare?

Critics have yet to rate the 2022 model year of Toyota Sienna, so we’ll sub in the 2021 version. Luckily, not much has changed from the 2021 to 2022 Sienna. The Kia Carnival has a 9.8/10 safety rating, and a critic’s overall rating of 8.9/10. The 2021 Sienna has a 10/10 safety rating, and overall of just 7.8/10. The Sienna loses most of its average overall score with its performance and interior, which both received lower ratings than the Carnival.

U.S. News loves the Carnival’s spacious cabin, comfortable seats, and loads of features. It also notes that the second-row lounge seats make interior utilities quite limited. The Sienna’s rear seats limit cargo space a lot more, but it has great fuel economy and a similarly luxurious interior to the Carnival. Overall, critics’ scores make it clear the 2022 Kia Carnival is better.

The Kia Carnival has standard equipment the Toyota Sienna doesn’t

A blue 2022 Kia Carnival MPV parked with a mountainous background. Is it better than the 2022 Toyota Sienna?
2022 Kia Carnival MPV | Kia

As far as standard equipment goes, the 2022 Kia Carnival is better. Comparing both vehicles’ base models, we get a few things the Sienna doesn’t come with. These include remote engine start, rear parking aid, auxiliary audio input, smart device integration, auto-leveling headlights, and of course the V6 engine. The Toyota Sienna comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, as opposed to the Carnival’s 3.5-liter V6.

Of course, the engine and drivetrain differences affect the gas mileage heavily. The Carnival maintains 19 city and 26 highway mpg throughout its entire lineup. The Sienna varies based on trim level, but the base gets 36 city and 36 highway. The Sienna has a hybrid-only powertrain, so the gas mileage advantage is one you’d expect over the standard gas-only Kia Carnival.

The 2022 Kia Carnival is a worthy opponent for the 2022 Toyota Sienna. As one of the most popular minivan models in the world, the Sienna is really tough to beat. The Carnival is offered at a lower price with a more powerful engine, which is a huge positive. The Sienna’s fuel economy is far better, and the top trim levels are more well-equipped than the Carnival. We recommend going with Kia’s MPV over the Sienna if you want a more powerful engine, better base model equipment, and a more spacious interior.

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