Who’d have guessed minivans would lead the 2022 new-vehicle parade? With the 2022 Honda Odyssey already on sale—now joined by the Sedona-replacing 2022 Kia Carnival—the early jump on the new model year brings more features, great value, and strong safety for both.
Still, one outpoints the other on the TCC Rating scale. It’s not the one built in North America, either.2022 Honda Odyssey
With a TCC Rating of 7.2 out of 10, the 2022 Carnival wins this heat, thanks to excellent scores in utility and features. The Odyssey? It’s exceedingly close, and we prefer its low driving position and quick steering, but it falls short with a tiny base touchscreen and a middling warranty. It’s a 6.5 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The Odyssey also is a runner-up in styling. Some Honda designs lack a cohesive look, and the Odyssey’s one of them. Some sculpted abs here, some rakish lines there, a floating-roof effect in back—it’s not the neatly plucked and trimmed SUV-alike that Kia offers up with the Carnival. It’s not as plush in maxed-out interior trim, either, though the Carnival’s SX Prestige version might be too nice for actual human children to occupy, with their sticky little hands and their appetite for destruction. (Shrink back in horror if you must while the parents still reading are nodding their heads in agreement.)On a finer scale the Odyssey would take the honors for performance. Kia’s strapping 290-hp V-6 and its 8-speed automatic power it ahead in interstate passes while it absorbs pavement seams with aplomb, but the Odyssey’s steering and ride quality go next-level. It’s blessed with a lower driver seat but even better outward vision; its 10-speed automatic has more gears but an identical 22 mpg combined with the Carnival.
The minivan’s ultimate flex is flexibility, and both the 2022 Kia Carnival and 2022 Honda Odyssey can lay claim to limber limbs and double joints. Honda makes slightly better use of space in the Odyssey, with bins in the doors, consoles, side panels, seat backs, and under the floor. Its second-row seats can be removed like those in the Carnival, but neither operation’s a one-person job. Kia’s available airline-style lounge seats are a long-distance treat for medium-size adults, but we’d rather have the slide-and-tumble functionality of the Odyssey’s bench (or the Carnival’s available bench)—if we can’t have the fold-away seats of the Chrysler Pacifica.
Both the Carnival and the Odyssey have standard automatic emergency braking, but the Carnival also gets standard blind-spot monitors and active lane control, as well as options for a surround-view camera system and blind-spot cameras, neither of which appear on the Honda options list.
Honda outfits every Odyssey from the LX on up with power features, sliding side doors, and keyless entry, but the base 5.0-inch infotainment screen’s a letdown. The Carnival LX trumps it with power-sliding doors, wireless smartphone charging, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, not to mention a class-leading 5-year/60,000-mile warranty. Both minivans can be topped off with a power sunroof, heated front seats, and a power tailgate, but Kia leads again here with twin 12.3-inch digital displays, leather upholstery, 12-speaker Bose audio, and a twin-pane sunroof.
The 2022 Carnival’s clear win here comes mainly in styling and in features; the latter’s simple to upgrade, the other’s more challenging to overcome. We’d still rather drive the Odyssey, but we’d rather live with the Carnival
6.5The 2022 Honda Odyssey retains its roominess and good standard safety feature, but its base model and limited powertrain pales to the competition.
7.2The 2022 Kia Carnival loads up on luxury, though it cedes Olympic-grade flexibility to other minivans.
5.0If smart is sexy, then the 2022 Odyssey is a swell looker
7.0The handsome Carnival wears some SUV drag.
6.0Built for comfort, the 2022 Honda Odyssey gets the job done.
6.0The Carnival’s no joy ride, but it’s perfectly suited to the minivan task.
9.0The 2022 Honda Odyssey offers the kind of roominess only a minivan can provide
9.0The Carnival’s a universal carry-all.
8.0Stellar crash-test ratings and standard safety tech help protect the 2022 Honda Odyssey.
No crash-test data is available for the Carnival.
7.0Skip the tiny screen on the base LX for the EX model.
10The Carnival has something for everyone, in every seat.
4.0For efficiency, the 2022 Honda Odyssey can’t compete with hybrid rivals
4.0The Carnival’s tagged with so-so fuel economy.