Honda Odyssey Misses Consumer Reports Top Ranking by 1 Point

The 2022 Honda Odyssey missed the top by one point in Consumer Reports ranking of midsized minivans. The Kia Carnival and Toyota Sienna both ended up with a top score of 79. The Odyssey, however, came in second with a score of 78.

Where did the Honda Odyssey miss the one point?

Silver 2022 Honda Odyssey, the U.S. News best minivan to buy for families in 2022, driving by a forest
2022 Honda Odyssey | Honda

The Odyssey earns high marks across the board from Consumer Reports. It ranks high for its ride, its noise, its front seat comfort, its acceleration and transmission, and even its cargo area. While it can be optioned-out to nearly $50,000, a Honda Odyssey starts at about $35,000.

But if you have to sit in the back, that’s where the Odyssey really shines. It earned a five of five in rear seat comfort. Consumer Reports the comfort of the rear for two people to sit across.

It missed the top mark for only scoring average for predicted owner satisfaction. But it acquitted itself well in every other category, and out-scored the Sienna by a substantial five points on the road test score.

Trust us: minivans are great (even if they’re not cool)

2022 Kia Carnival MPV and 2022 Toyota Sienna Minivan
2022 Kia Carnival MPV (top) and 2022 Toyota Sienna Minivan (bottom)| Kia/Toyota

It’s no secret that the minivan segment is competitive. Many families find that a minivan is a better choice than an SUV or sedan because they’re big inside. Minivans get better gas mileage than many SUVs. Minivans can seat seven or eight people in ease. Minivans hold more stuff than most SUVs, and most can even tow a reasonable amount. Ask most car fans, too, and they’ll tell you that a minivan handles better on the road than high-profile SUV because they have a lower center of gravity.

Minivans today come with more safety features, more driver aids, and tons of rear-seat entertainment options because manufacturers know that buyers are often hauling kids, pets, and tons of stuff.

Chrysler invited the minivan, but now has some catching up to do

The 2022 Chrysler Pacifica on the road
2022 Chrysler Pacifica | Chrysler

It’s no secret that the minivan segment is competitive. Many families find that a minivan is a better choice than an SUV or sedan because they’re big inside. Minivans get better gas mileage than many SUVs. Minivans can seat seven or eight people in ease. Minivans hold more stuff than most SUVs, and most can even tow a reasonable amount. Ask most car fans, too, and they’ll tell you that a minivan handles better on the road than high-profile SUV because they have a lower center of gravity.

Minivans today come with more safety features, more driver aids, and tons of rear-seat entertainment options because manufacturers know that buyers are often hauling kids, pets, and tons of stuff.

Chrysler may be famous for inventing the minivan idea in the 1980s with the original Caravan, but the company is now playing catchup to Kia, Honda and Toyota as far as Consumer Reports is concerned.

The Pacifica earns a score of 57 from Consumer Reports. The van is generally let down by its “worse” predicted reliability. But its owner satisfaction, ride, and noise levels are all better than average. However, it only earns average marks for handling. That doesn’t seem to matter, however, as it’s still one of the best selling minivans.

Of course with the Hellcat version of the Pacifica coming soon, it may trump other vans.

The Toyota Sienna shares the top spot

A blue 2022 Toyota Sienna parked next to a river.
2022 Toyota Sienna | Toyota

The Toyota Sienna shares the top spot with the Kia Carnival. Each earned a score of 79 from Consumer Reports. It can be ordered as an 8-passenger or seven-passenger van. All versions of the Sienna are hybrid-powered and come with a CVT.

The Sienna has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is mated to two electric motors that make a combined 245 horsepower routed to the front wheels. But the Toyota comes in an all-wheel-drive version where ethe rear wheels are powered by a third electric motor on demand.

Kia says its Carnival isn’t a minivan like the Honda Odyssey .. but it is

A blue 2022 Kia Carnival minivan driving on a road, it's been recalled
2022 Kia Carnival | Kia

While Kia prefers to call its Carnival an MPV, or multi-purpose vehicle, it slots in with features and capabilities that make it more minivan than SUV. No matter what Kia calls it, Consumer Reports rates the Carnival as a mid-sized minivan, and it ties with the Toyota for the top spot. It also competes well against the Odyssey.

While it has the stout nose of an truck-like SUV, it has the large sliding doors of a minivan. The Carnival, like the Pacifica, has seats that can fold into the floor and boost cargo space. It may only earn middle-of-the-road scores from Consumer Reports for predicted reliability and handling, its ride and nose levels are above average. However, the Kia scored the highest in Consumer Reports’ road test.

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