2024 Kia Carnival vs. 2024 Honda Odyssey Comparison

If you’ve ever been to a restaurant and struggled to make a selection because there is just page after page of menu items, shopping for a minivan will be a piece of cake. There are just four options, and they’re all pretty good.

However, it hasn’t always been that way. Nowadays, there are no bad choices, only better ones, starting with the 2024 Kia Carnival and the 2024 Honda Odyssey. Kia fancies the Carnival as the SUV of minivans. Because of its styling and powertrain, it’s designed to look more like a crossover than a minivan.

Conversely, the Honda Odyssey is just really, really good year after year after year. Plus, its updated exterior styling two years ago gave it some visual punch. Again, no bad choices here.

Check out how well these minivans match up.

2024 Kia Carnival

When is a minivan not a minivan? When it’s a Kia Carnival. The company calls it an “MPV,” or multipurpose vehicle. Because of its SUV styling, Kia says the Carnival is “uniquely positioned to also compete against 3-row SUV crossover models.” That’s a bit of a stretch because, well, it looks more like a minivan than an SUV, and its ride height, dimensions, and three rows of seats suggest it’s, well, a minivan.

Fortunately for Kia, it’s a very, very good minivan. It is so good that it was named a semifinalist for the North American Utility of the Year in 2022 when it debuted its current looks. The Carnival offers everything an active family could want in a vehicle with a 290-horsepower V6 engine, class-leading cargo room, and a load of safety and convenience technology, making driving one around town or on a long trip an absolute pleasure. Pricing for the Carnival starts at $33,200.

Kia Carnival Highlights

Let’s go: There are plenty of features one wants when it comes to minivan ownership, and plenty under the hood is one of them. The Carnival is powered by a 290-hp V6 engine that ensures that getting onto the freeway or wending through city traffic isn’t a problem. It edges the Odyssey’s powertrain by 10 hp.

Safe space: The Carnival features a slew of advanced driver safety technology through its Drive Wise system, including Parking Collision Avoidance, Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist with Lane Following Assist, and more. The Honda Sensing suite is equally comprehensive, and the Odyssey gets a 5-Star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), which has not yet rated the Carnival.

Affordability: The Carnival has the lowest starting price in its class, with the Honda and the others starting in the upper $30K range. It starts at $33,200. The midrange EX trim starts at $38,700, the high-tech SX model begins at $41,900, and the luxurious SX Prestige trim starts at $46,300.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Carnival models for sale near you.

2024 Honda Odyssey

2024 Honda Odyssey in silver.

The Odyssey was long considered the gold standard among minivans. In fact, between it and the offerings from what used to be Chrysler and Dodge, many automakers just bailed out of the segment. That’s no longer the case with viable options from not only Kia but Toyota and, of course, Chrysler.

However, with outstanding exterior styling, room for eight, plenty of technology, and a responsive powertrain, the Honda Odyssey should still be at or near the top of the list for anyone considering a minivan. Pricing for the 2024 Honda Odyssey, a proven player, starts at $37,840.

Honda Odyssey Highlights

Family hauler: The Odyssey provides plenty of room for eight as well as an expansive amount of cargo space, especially with the third row folded flat. It offers the second-most cargo space of any vehicle in its class — behind the Carnival.

Family seating: A unique feature of the Odyssey is the Magic Slide second-row seats. With the second-row middle seat removed, the captain’s chairs can slide sideways. We’ve tested this system with real-life children in all three rows, and it’s the easiest and most convenient way to load up a car with kids, especially if you have rear-facing car seats in the second row. The Carnival’s second-row seats can slide forward and back in typical fashion but with a twist. Parents can move the middle seat forward independently to care for a young one from the front seat or fold it down to make a table for the second or third row.

Hey, good looking: It may be tough to get real excited about the exterior looks of a minivan, but for years, the Odyssey’s styling made beige look exotic. However, with its most recent update, the minivan got a significant makeover, resulting in a more athletic, stylish look than its competitors. Although, you could argue that last part about the Carnival too.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Odyssey models for sale near you.

Similarities

With just four minivans available for 2024, the differences are pretty slight, especially between the Kia Carnival and the Honda Odyssey. Fuel economy, powertrain performance, size, and so many more things are just very, very similar.

Conclusion

As is often the case, what drives anyone to choose one vehicle over another boils down to just a few simple things: how does it look, how does it drive, and how much does it cost?

Well, they look good, and they drive good (excuse the English); however, when it comes to writing the check (or signing off on the loan) at the dealership, the big divider jumps out at you.  

The Honda Odyssey is more expensive than the Kia Carnival, which is more than $4,500 cheaper at the low end and has much better basic and powertrain warranties. Done deal: time to party with the Carnival!

Specifications

2024 Kia Carnival 2024 Honda Odyssey
Starting Price $33,200 $37,840
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 3.5-liter 6-cylinder 3.5-liter 6-cylinder
Horsepower 290 hp @ 6,400 rpm 280 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 262 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm 262 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic 10-speed automatic
Fuel Economy 19 city/26 highway/22 combined mpg 19 city/28 highway/22 combined mpg
Also Available    
   
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 TBD 5 stars
Max Seating Capacity 8 8
Wheelbase 121.7 inches 118.1 inches
Overall Length 203.0 inches 205.2 inches
Width 78.5 inches 78.5 inches
Height 68.5 inches 69.6 inches
Turning Diameter 37.7 feet 36.7 feet
Headroom, Front/2nd Row 40.9 inches/39.5 inches 40.7 inches/39.5 inches
Headroom, 3rd Row 38.6 inches 38.3 inches
Legroom, Front/2nd Row 41.1 inches /40.5 inches 40.9 inches/40.9 inches
Legroom, 3rd Row 35.6 inches 38.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Front/2nd Row 64.2 inches/63.2 inches 63.1 inches/61.6 inches
Shoulder Room, 3rd Row 59.5 inches 60.0 inches
Cargo Volume, seats up/max capacity 40.2/145.1 cubic feet 32.8/144.9 cubic feet

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