If you’re looking for a new family-friendly vehicle, chances are the 2023 Honda Odyssey near Rio Rancho, NM is on your list. And even though SUVs are currently all the rage, they really can’t beat a minivan if you want lots of space, a comfortable ride, decent fuel economy, and a great deal of features. But before you lay down your hard-earned money for the Odyssey, the 2023 Kia Carnival is well worth a look and may even change your mind about your purchase.
Since you’re on the market for a people-carrier, the interior needs to accommodate as many passengers as possible, and both the Odyssey and the Carnival can seat up to eight. The third rows on both vans will fold flat into the floor, but the second rows are where they show their differences. In the Honda, you’ll get a bench that seats three, with a removable middle seat. When it’s taken out, the remaining seats can slide side-to-side or fore and aft, or can be completely removed. The second row of the Kia Carnival comes with removable captain’s chairs as standard, or you can opt for a removable three-seat configuration with a middle seat that slides forward or back. And if you choose the top-tier Carnival SX-Prestige, you’ll have the option for heated and ventilated “VIP Lounge” reclining seats and raised power footrests.
Despite the Odyssey being a bit longer and taller than the Carnival, the latter comes out ahead in interior space, if only by a bit. The 2023 Honda Odyssey near Rio Rancho, NM has 164 cubic feet of passenger space and 33 cubes of cargo capacity behind the third row, whereas the Carnival provides 167 cubes for people and 40 cubes for cargo.
Kia has made tech a priority across the lineup, and it shows. The entry-level Carnival LX has an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, while the remainder of the trims come standard with a 12.3-inch display. With the Odyssey, you’ll also get smartphone integration, but you’ll have to settle for wired Apple CarPlay/Android and only 8-inch touchscreens in all trims.
No doubt you’ve got children if you’re minivan shopping, and both of these offer rear-seat entertainment systems. The Kia has two screens, each mounted on the backs of the front seats, and the Honda provides one screen that drops down from the ceiling. Although both vehicles offer a subscription Wi-Fi hotspot, it’s only standard on the Kia; the Odyssey only gives you the option on the top two trims. Along the same lines, both models offer an intercom system to help the driver communicate with the rear passengers and a camera view of the way back. Once again, however, they’re only offered on the two highest Odyssey trims, while they’re available on more models of the Carnival.
All trims of both models come with a standard back-up camera, but Kia puts a 360-degree monitor in the top two Carnival trims, giving you a bird’s-eye view of the van to help with parking. You won’t find this in any version of the Odyssey.
When it comes to pricing, the Kia Carnival outshines the Honda, with the entry-level LX starting at $33,100, while the Odyssey’s base model starts at $37,490. That’s nearly $4400 for budget-minded buyers, and it’s not as if the most affordable Carnival comes devoid of desirable features. It comes very well-equipped. The savings continue as you climb the trim ladder, with each Carnival trim being less than the comparable trim of the Odyssey.
The Kia Carnival also comes with the best warranty in the industry, while the Honda’s warranty lasts for a much shorter period.
In many ways, these two minivans are quite similar, but there are still more aspects of the Carnival that outdo the Odyssey. Come check out the 2023 Kia Carnival in person at Fiesta Kia, 7400 Lomas Blvd NE in Albuquerque, NM 87120.