Despite customers increasingly turning to SUVs and crossovers, the 2022 Kia Carnival and 2022 Toyota Sienna vans still exist for those with large families. Here’s how they compare.
2022 Kia Carnival
2022 Kia Carnival Starting Price: $32,100 | Price yours or View listings near you
Above Average: Plenty of space; good power; standard safety systems; handsome styling.
Below Average: No all-wheel drive; no hybrid option.
Consensus: With seating for seven or eight and a powerful engine, the 2022 Kia Carnival is a stylish minivan with plenty of space for passengers and cargo.
2022 Toyota Sienna
Starting Price: $35,000 (est.) | Price yours or View listings near you
Above Average: Standard hybrid power; optional all-wheel drive; fuel economy.
Below Average: Can’t remove second-row seats; one engine choice; can drone.
Consensus: Comfortable, well equipped, and with space for seven or eight passengers, the 2022 Toyota Sienna is a strong contender in the minivan segment. A hybrid powertrain means outstanding fuel economy, although the powertrain can drone a bit.
Carnival vs. Sienna: What’s in a Name?
Brand-new for 2022 and replacing the Sedona in Kia’s lineup, the Carnival is an MPV (multipurpose vehicle); Kia eschews the word “minivan.” We’re impressed with the 8-passenger 2022 Kia Carnival, which makes excellent use of space and offers seating for 6-footers in all three rows.
Passenger count varies, with some trims only offering seven seats thanks to a pair of captain’s seats in the second row. Other models allow removal of the second row for extra cargo storage. Speaking of that, there is 40.2 cubic feet of space behind the third row, which expands to a cavernous 141.5 cubic feet with all seats dropped and the second row removed.
Power comes from a 3.5-liter V6, and it’s plenty to get the Carnival going, even with a full complement of passengers. The steering feel is responsive and Carnival’s brakes are strong and easily modulated. The Carnival is front-wheel drive only, however, with no option for all-wheel drive. The ride is quiet and smooth, with some trims offering extra acoustic insulation for improved interior solace.
We like the exterior look of the Carnival, which has more of a rugged SUV vibe than most vans, and inside there are plenty of options including heated and ventilated second-row seats, different color choices, and special headrests.
Standard equipment includes keyless ignition, sliding and removable second-row seats, front and rear A/C, and an 8-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. The Carnival also boasts Bluetooth connectivity and a 6-speaker audio system.
Standard safety systems include forward collision avoidance, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance, rear parking sensors, and automatic high beams.
After a major redesign for 2021, the Toyota Sienna minivan returns for 2022 largely unchanged. The sole powertrain is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with electric motors at both front and rear. This standard hybrid setup allows the 2022 Sienna to make outstanding fuel economy of up 36 mpg combined for front-wheel-drive models, considerably better than its V6-powered rivals. All-wheel-drive variants are nearly as efficient, returning an estimated 35 mpg combined.
The hybrid can get a little noisy with some engine droning. Power is sufficient to get the Sienna where it needs to go. The steering feel is good and the ride is comfortable, which in the minivan world is more important than outright performance.
The redesign gave the front more of an SUV layout, with a console between driver and passenger rather than the previous more open feel. Second-row captain’s chairs slide for easy access to the third row, and there’s a stowable center seat for the maximum 8-passenger capability.
Standard features include dual power-sliding doors, 3-zone climate control, fabric upholstery, and an 8-way adjustable driver seat. Infotainment comes via a 9-inch touchscreen, six-speaker AM/FM sound system, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto/Amazon Alexa compatibility, seven USB ports, and voice command.
Every Sienna trim includes Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, the company’s suite of safety features. These include pre-collision warning, lane-departure alert with steering assist, lane-trace assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and road sign assist, helping the Sienna earn a 5-Star NHTSA rating.
Options include a 12-speaker/1,200-watt JBL premium audio system, a 360-degree camera, an 11.6-inch rear-seat entertainment system, an onboard vacuum, and even a refrigerator. New for 2022 is the Woodland Edition, with standard all-wheel drive, 18-inch wheels, a 1,500-watt power outlet, and a tow hitch.
Single powertrain choice; 7- or 8-passenger seating; standard safety features; max 3,500-pound tow ratings.
Lower starting price; long warranty; cargo volume; power.
Fuel economy; optional all-wheel drive; resale value.
Which One is Right for Me?
Powerful, smooth, and with great standard features, the 2022 Kia Carnival is an impressive addition in the family hauler category. A low price, stylish looks, and great driving manners make it enjoyable for everyone.
The 2022 Toyota Sienna leads the class with its outstanding 36 mpg fuel economy, and its optional all-wheel drive (standard on the top trim) makes it a sure-footed companion when the weather turns.
Ready to buy a Kia Carnival or Toyota Sienna? Shop for one on sale now near you.
|2022 Kia Carnival||2022 Toyota Sienna|
|Engine||3.5-liter V6||2.5-liter I4 hybrid|
|Horsepower||290 hp @ 6,400 rpm||245 hp @ 6,000 rpm|
|Torque||262 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm||176 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm|
|Fuel Economy||22 mpg (19 city/26 hwy)||36 mpg (36 city/36 hwy)|
|Basic warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||10 years/100,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety Rating||n/a||5 Stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||8||8|
|Wheelbase||121.7 inches||120.5 inches|
|Overall Length||203.0 inches||203.7 inches|
|Width||89.2 inches||78.5 inches|
|Height||68.5 inches||68.5 inches|
|Turning Diameter||37.7 feet||38.3 feet|
|Headroom, Front||40.9 inches||40.1 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||39.5 inches||38.1 inches|
|Legroom, Front||41.1 inches||40.3 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||40.5 inches||39.9 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||64.2 inches||62.4 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||63.2 inches||62.4 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||n/a||162.5 cubic feet|
|EPA Cargo Volume||40.2/141.5 cubic feet||33.5/101.5 cubic feet|