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If you’re on the lookout for a new minivan, the current pickings are slim due to the lack in the market. But the Toyota Sienna is one still managing to stand out. So how does it hold up against the new kid on the block, the Kia Carnival? It still manages to turn heads, and here are three reasons to pick the Sienna over the Carnival.

It’s all about the AWD

A silver Toyota Sienna in a dirt area with trees and a body of water in the background.
2022 Toyota Sienna | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Whether or not you live in an area with bad weather, AWD is a handy feature to have. It gives traction to all four wheels, which helps make traveling in tricky conditions and less than stellar terrain safer.

While the Toyota Sienna doesn’t offer it on the standard LE trim, higher trims such as the Woodland Edition and the XSE offer it. This raises the Sienna price from $35,285 for the LE to $45,500 for the Woodland Edition and $43,585 for the XSE. 

Kia doesn’t offer AWD on any of the Carnival trims. It comes with front-wheel drive only. While this isn’t a terrible thing, for $32,300, it would be nice to have more options.

Of course, you will be paying significantly more than this for the trims that offer AWD on the Sienna, so this may be less of a question of AWD versus front-wheel drive and more of how much you can afford. However, there are other reasons to choose the Sienna over the Carnival, and you may end up saving quite a bit just on one factor alone.

More passengers equal more fun 

The more, the merrier, right? Well, not always, especially if you’ve got a van full of kids fresh from a sweaty soccer practice. It’s always helpful to be able to slide in one more person before you head out.

According to Edmunds, the 2022 Kia Carnival LX sits up to seven passengers. If you’ve been cruising around in a two-seater, seven people may seem like an impossible dream. But what if you have more passengers who need a lift and only have one vehicle?

Edmunds reports that the 2022 Toyota Sienna can sit up to eight passengers. This gives you extra room to bring more friends and family along.  If you don’t have that many people come along, your passengers in the back can always stretch out for a long siesta.

Hybrids are in

Hybrids make sense, whether you’re a green warrior eager to save the planet or just someone whose wallet is begging for a reprieve from the rising gas prices. It’s not fully electric, so you don’t have to plan out your road trip to make sure you hit a charging station every few hundred miles, but you also don’t have to sweat running out of gas.

While the Kia Carnival has some very commendable features, such as comfortable front seats and plenty of safety features, the gas mileage leaves a little to be desired compared to the hybrid Sienna. 

According to Consumer Reports, the Carnival gets 13 mpg city, 32 highway, and 21 mpg overall. While the highway mileage is commendable, the 13 mpg is just cringeworthy.

According to Consumer Reports, on the flip side, the 2022 Toyota Sienna hybrid gets 28 mpg city, 43 mpg highway, and 36 mpg overall. That’s 15 more mpg city, 11 more highway, and 15 overall. Even though you pay $2,985 upfront for the Sienna hybrid, the gas savings will make up for that. 


2022 Toyota Sienna Review, Pricing, and Specs