2022 Kia Carnival vs 2022 Honda Odyssey Comparison
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2022 Kia Carnival vs 2022 Honda Odyssey Comparison

To remain competitive, minivan manufacturers have had no choice but to more or less reinvent the “magic wagon.” SUVs continue to threaten the segment’s very survival which is why some automakers have opted to beef up their minivan’s looks. Others have decided to inject more of their inherent DNA and spice up the driving experience.

We are, of course, referring to the new 2022 Kia Carnival and the 2022 Honda Odyssey. Both of these minivans might be fighting for a very small piece of the Canadian annual sales pie, but this does not mean that these automakers have not put their best foot forward. 

In Kia’s case, they’ve gone all out. In typical Kia fashion, they’ve upped the ante with design, content, value, and refinement without sacrificing utility. In fact, they went a few steps further with luxury the likes of which is rarely seen in any vehicle short of premium SUVs. 

As for Honda, they continue to build a capable and charismatic minivan that also happens to be entertaining enough for parents who still enjoy driving. 

While both are very different in many ways, they are assembled here in this comparison test mostly based on the facts that they are only available with V6 power that is sent exclusively to the front wheels. The Toyota Sienna and Chrysler Pacifica, the sole other contenders in the segment, were matched in a previous write-up. 

If you’re shopping for a used van, also read our resource: ​​Best Used Minivans [2009 to 2021]: Our 5 Top Choices.

Styling: best designed family van

  • Our Pick: Kia Carnival
  • Why we like it: It’s got flare and loads of presence  

2022 Carnival | Photo: Kia 

The Carnival is also more SUV in its styling than the Honda Odyssey. The Kia is broad, wide-shouldered, and muscular. Truth be told, the lower trims do not present as well as the tested SX with its bigger wheels and extra brightwork and accessories. Despite that, the Carnival is a serious looker. 

Of the four segment members, the Odyssey is the most conventionally-styled of the lot. The main giveaway is the sharply-raked front end and the overall smoother body lines. What doesn’t help is the fact that it also is the oldest running model amongst its counterparts. 

Kia’s design team has penned an impressively attractive minivan, no doubt. We will however give the Honda some thumbs up for its standard LED fog- and headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, and so on. To be completely transparent though, it must be said that the base Odyssey is roughly $10,000 more expensive than the entry-level Carnival. 

Interior: top cabin features and tech

  • Our Pick: Kia Carnival
  • Why we like it: Attention to detail, features, technology

Photos: Kia, Honda 

Once more, the Kia takes the honours. And once again, the Honda’s relative age impacts its standing. 

Honda Odyssey interior wins in the storage & cargo department

The Odyssey’s dashboard is loaded with physical buttons which can be an added bonus for many parents. Suffice it to say that Honda offers all the basics required in a new vehicle in 2022 including an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and so on. 

The Honda crushes it when it comes to storage. The center console is deep, open, includes drawers, and plenty of other options for all family necessities, from tissues, to wipes, and sippy cups. 

Kia Carnival interior is more premium & offers better seating configurations

Kia’s goal, when they conceived the Carnival’s dashboard and cabin, was to impress. The base trim features an 8-inch display and plenty of features but moving up a few trims brings Mercedes-Benz-like levels of kit. Available is a twin 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and touchscreen mixed in with premium materials, surfaces, and details. Storage-wise, it’ll manage, but no more. 

Another advantage to the Carnival is the multiple rear seating configurations. Depending on trims, the 2nd row can include heated, cooled, power-operated captain seats. As well, this same row can provide an immense amount of rear legroom thanks to the available long-travel seats. The Odyssey is only offered with seating for eight. However, the 2nd row can be configured in a few ways as long as the middle seat is physically removed. 

Both minivans provide an immense amount of trunk space no matter if the third row is up or stowed. No comparable midsize SUV really comes close in this department. 

Performance: best minivan 2022 model on the road

  • Our Pick: Honda Odyssey
  • Why we like it: It has always been the driver’s minivan 

2022 Odyssey | Photo: Honda 

Fuel efficiency and reducing emissions are crucial going forward however V6 engines will be missed for their smoothness and power. For true efficiency in a minivan, look no further than the Toyota Sienna, offered only with a hybrid powertrain. But when it comes to a V6, very few can match Honda’s 3.5-litre’s creaminess. 

2022 Honda Odyssey’s V6 is smooth, making 260 horsepower

Putting down 280 horsepower, this V6 effortlessly gets the Odyssey up to speed. The accompanying 10-speed automatic transmission is all but completely invisible, and it gets better, and this is for the few remaining fans of engine noises: The V6 sounds extremely healthy. 

On a slightly more serious note, the Odyssey’s major advantage in this section of the comparison test is that it feels light on its feet. Despite its size, it’s agile, easy to drive, and unexpectedly responsive. On a road trip with the family in tow, the driver may opt for the longer, more sinuous way to get to the destination.

2022 Kia Carnival boasts 290 horsepower but feels heavier on the road

The Kia Carnival can be summarized by one word: Refined. The 290-horsepower 3.5-litre V6 is also very docile as is the 8-speed automatic transmission. The driving experience is on par with the Carnival’s image which is that of a luxury SUV alternative. 

Although fine in every respect, the Kia feels heavier and slightly more burdened by its girth. Even so, the Carnival is comfortable, downy, however not quite as quiet as it probably should be at speeds above 80 km/h. 

Verdict & specs: which is the best minivan?

Both these minivans deliver the goods for families. The Kia Carnival offers a superior level of features and technologies, and a lower price point for which the Honda has no counter argument. 

Reliability in both cases will be about average for the first few years of ownership. The final decision comes down to better interior storage and a more involving drive for the Honda against just about everything else in favour of the Kia. 

Shop our used, certified minivans here.

Specs: 2022 Honda Odyssey vs 2022 Kia Carnival


Honda Odyssey

Kia Carnival

Base Price




3.5L V6

3.5L V6


10-speed automatic

8-speed automatic




Maximum Horsepower



Maximum Torque



Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined L/100km)

12.2 /8.5/10.6


Seating Capacity 

Up to 8

Up to 8

Cargo Space Behind 3rd Row / Behind 2nd Row

929L / 2,452L

1,139L / 2,461L

Towing capacity 

1,587 kg

1,587.5 kg

Basic Warranty

3 years or 60,000 km

5 years or 100,000 km


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