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2022 Toyota Sienna vs. 2022 Kia Carnival: Which Is Better?

The hybrid-powered 2022 Toyota Sienna takes on the brand-new 2022 Kia Carnival, with both offering a few different seating layouts and loads of standard and optional features. Which is better?

Quick Facts

  • Sienna earns 36 mpg combined.
  • Kia Carnival is all-new for 2022.
  • Toyota Sienna is one of only two minivans with optional all-wheel drive.

2022 Toyota Sienna

2002 Toyota Sienne LE in White
Pictured above is the 2022 Toyota Sienna LE in Super Pearl White.

Base price: $35,000 (est.) / Choose the right trim for your 2022 Toyota Sienna

What we like: Standard hybrid power; optional all-wheel drive; fuel economy.

What we would change: Can’t remove second-row seats; underpowered; single engine choice.

Overview: After a major redesign for 2021, the Toyota Sienna minivan returns for 2022 largely unchanged. With a single engine choice consisting of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and electric motors at both front and rear, the 2022 Sienna makes outstanding fuel economy of 36 mpg, considerably better than its V6-powered rivals. It’s a bit down on power and can get a little noisy, but it’s sufficient to get the Sienna where it needs to go, and an all-wheel-drive Sienna can tow up to 3,500 pounds. The steering feel is good, and the ride is comfortable, which is more important than outright performance in the minivan world.

The front layout is similar to an SUV, with a console between driver and passenger rather than the previous more open feel. The 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 are comprehensive, including a 9-inch touchscreen and Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, the company’s suite of safety features.

What’s new for 2022: After a comprehensive redesign for 2021, the 2022 Toyota Sienna is largely carryover, except the new Woodland Edition. The Woodland’s suspension is lifted 0.6 inches, and both all-wheel drive and a 3,500-pound capacity tow hitch are added. Also included in the Woodland Edition are a 1,500-watt power outlet, roof rails, a 12-speaker JBL audio system, and dark chrome exterior trim.

Features and technology: With a single hybrid engine choice of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and electric motors front and rear, the 2022 Toyota Sienna also offers the choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Standard equipment includes a 9-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and Amazon Alexa compatibility, 7 USB ports, Bluetooth, and a 6-speaker AM/FM sound system. Also standard are power sliding doors on both sides, 3-zone climate control, an 8-way-adjustable driver seat, and second-row sunshades. Also standard is Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, which includes pre-collision with pedestrian detection, lane-departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and road sign assist.

Options include a 12-speaker, 1,200-watt JBL audio system, navigation, a 360-degree camera system, and a power slide and tilt moonroof. Also optional are a rear-seat entertainment system, an onboard vacuum, and a refrigerator.

What does the future hold: With a major redesign in 2021, we don’t expect much in the way of changes for a few years, aside from perhaps a shuffling of options and more safety features as they are developed.

See 2022 Toyota Sienna models for sale

2022 Kia Carnival

2022 Kia Carnival Front Right Side in Astra Blue
The 2022 Kia Carnival is seen here in Astra Blue.

Base price: $33,275  Read our Kia Carnival Review

What we like: Lots of space; good power; standard safety systems.

What we would change: No all-wheel drive; no hybrid option; average fuel economy.

Overview: Brand-new for 2022 and replacing the Sedona in Kia’s lineup, the Carnival is an MPV (multi-purpose vehicle); Kia does not like the stigma associated with “minivan.” We’re impressed with the 8-passenger 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 seating for seven and others allowing removal of the second row for extra cargo storage. On that front, the Carnival shines, with 40.2 cubic feet of space behind the third row, which expands to a cavernous 141.5 cubic feet with all seats folded 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 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 styling of the Carnival, with more of an SUV look to it that gives it a bit of a rugged vibe. Standard features are numerous, and there are plenty of options to outfit it to your liking.

What’s new for 2022: Everything, as the Carnival is brand new for 2022, replacing the Sedona.

Features and technology: A 3.5-liter V6 uses an 8-speed automatic to send power to the front wheels. All-wheel drive is not available. As value for money is a Kia specialty, the Carnival comes well equipped, with even the base LX trim including keyless ignition, sliding and removable second-row seats, A/C front and rear, and powered sliding doors. Infotainment comes via an 8-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, six USB ports, and a 6-speaker audio system. Safety features include forward-collision avoidance, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assistance, driver attention monitoring, and rear parking sensors.

Upper trims include a rear passenger camera, a cabin intercom system, 8-passenger seating, heated front seats, and simulated leather upholstery. Other options include up to nine USB ports, wireless charging, a 12.3-inch navigation screen, a 12-speaker Bose audio system, and a 360-degree camera system.

What does the future hold: We don’t expect anything too radical since the Carnival is brand new just this year, although we would like to see a hybrid option and possibly the addition of all-wheel drive. See 2022 Kia Carnival models for sale

Sienna vs. Carnival: Strengths Comparison

Sienna Benefits: Fuel economy; optional all-wheel drive; resale value.

Carnival Benefits: Lower starting price; power; long warranty; cargo volume.

2022 Toyota Sienna vs. 2022 Kia Carnival: Which is better?

2022 Toyota Sienna vs 2022 Kia Carnival Interior
Top: The 2022 Toyota Sienna is shown here from the front row of the cabin.
Bottom: The 2022 Kia Carnival is shown here from the front row of the cabin.

A veteran of the minivan world, the 2022 Toyota Sienna offers a few different layouts and a hybrid powertrain, making it a great choice if you value fuel economy over power. Optional all-wheel drive makes it a great choice if all-weather stability is a concern, and Toyota has a well-deserved reputation for reliability.

If you don’t like the stigma associated with minivans, the 2022 Kia Carnival has a more chiseled SUV look to it, and its standard V6 makes great power. It’s also priced lower than the Sienna and comes with a class-leading 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty for added peace of mind.

See 2022 Toyota Sienna models for sale or See 2022 Kia Carnival models for sale

2022 Toyota Sienna 2022 Kia Carnival
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.5-liter I4 + electric motors 3.5-liter V6
Horsepower 245 hp @ 6,000 rpm 290 hp @ 6,400 rpm
Torque 176 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm 262 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
Transmission CVT 8-spd automatic
Fuel Economy 36 mpg (36 city/36 hwy) 22 mpg (19 city/26 hwy)
Also Available All-wheel drive n/a
Specs
Basic warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 10 years/100,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars n/a
Max Seating Capacity 8 8
Wheelbase 120.5 inches 121.7 inches
Overall Length 203.7 inches 203.0 inches
Width 78.5 inches 89.2 inches
Height 68.5 inches 68.5 inches
Turning Diameter 38.3 feet 37.7 feet
Headroom, Front 40.1 inches 40.9 inches
Headroom, Rear 38.1 inches 39.5 inches
Legroom, Front 40.3 inches 41.1 inches
Legroom, Rear 39.9 inches 40.5 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 62.4 inches 64.2 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 62.4 inches 63.2 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 162.5 cubic feet n/a
EPA Cargo Volume 33.5/101.5 cubic feet 40.2/141.5 cubic feet
Doug Lloyd
Doug Lloyd is an author specializing in comparison tests. A veteran of the automotive press world, Doug started at Sports Car International and Vintage Motorsport magazines and has worked at both Porsche Panorama magazine and Edmunds.com. Doug is also a jazz piano player and a composer for television.

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