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Couple weeks ago I pre-ordered a base 2022 Sienna LE. $36,419 after I added a couple small options. Paying MSRP. Wait time is (supposedly) 4-6 months. Last week I wandered in to a Kia dealer and they happened to have a comparable 2022 Carnival LXS that came available for delivery in December 2021, in just a few weeks, also MSRP ($35,475). I went ahead and put a deposit on that too, so I have deposits down on both vans for now.

Coming from a 2007 Sienna, the 2022 Sienna has a few annoyances: no removable 2nd row, seemingly narrower 3rd row, no rear bumper, eliminated useful storage cubbies from the 2007, tiny 3rd row windows, tiny back window, ugly tail-lights. The Carnival fixes most of these.

But: the Sienna has one HUGE upside and that is the fuel economy due to the hybrid engine. 35mpg for Toyota vs 22mpg for the Kia. For my driving this represents about $800 annually, or $8,000 over my expected ownership of the vehicle. Add on to the fact that the Sienna resale value will likely be higher, which puts the total cost of Kia ownership to be around $10,000 more over the life of the vehicle. That is not an insignificant amount for me. Reliability may be a toss-up, but I'm leaning towards the Toyota being slightly more reliable. My 2007 Sienna has been extremely reliable.

If I was purchasing a higher trim the decision would be more straight forward--a higher-end Carnival would be significantly cheaper up-front to offset the increased fuel costs. But base-model prices are more similar between the two brands.

So....any help from this crowd on why you selected the Carnival over the Sienna? Any other factors I'm neglecting to consider?
 

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It appears that you have made a good pro and con chart for yourself. It is a personal choice. My opinion pros on the KIA are its looks and power. The Sienna definitely wins on fuel economy. If the funds are an issue for you, then the Sienna wins. It surely has a good track record and resale value. Good luck on your choice!
 

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For my money, I'd go with the Carnival, but then I already sprung for a Sedona back in '16. My '16 Sedona SX has been pretty bulletproof. I bought it new as a "manager's special" (meaning somebody at the dealer drove it for 4800 miles). I now have 105,000 miles, so I've personally (well, the wife and I) have put over 100,000 miles on it, and I have no complaints.

Right around 60K, the right-side sliding door motor started binding - replaced under warranty - no cost.
Just before 100K, A/C compressor started leaking from high side to low side - it would lose pressure at idle, then start cooling again when I started moving - replaced under my 100K bumper-to-bumper upgraded warranty - no cost.
Turn signal stalk had minor issues signaling left - fixed under extended warranty - no cost.

So, all three repairs were at no cost to me. I couldn't be happier. Everything else was: fill it with gas, occasionally change the oil, a couple of tranny fluid changes, a couple sets of tires, and that's about it.

For me, MPG is not a big issue, but mine can get above rated if I baby it. I rarely baby it but it still does decently.

I bought it for looks and features, and have been very happy. If you buy based on MPG and some of the features (or lack thereof) bugs you, it'll bug you for the next 10 years. MPG is low on my list, because I know I'll have to live with my trim/feature choice for a long while. I'd rather get the features I want and suffer a little in MPG.
 

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For my money, I'd go with the Carnival, but then I already sprung for a Sedona back in '16. My '16 Sedona SX has been pretty bulletproof. I bought it new as a "manager's special" (meaning somebody at the dealer drove it for 4800 miles). I now have 105,000 miles, so I've personally (well, the wife and I) have put over 100,000 miles on it, and I have no complaints.

Right around 60K, the right-side sliding door motor started binding - replaced under warranty - no cost.
Just before 100K, A/C compressor started leaking from high side to low side - it would lose pressure at idle, then start cooling again when I started moving - replaced under my 100K bumper-to-bumper upgraded warranty - no cost.
Turn signal stalk had minor issues signaling left - fixed under extended warranty - no cost.

So, all three repairs were at no cost to me. I couldn't be happier. Everything else was: fill it with gas, occasionally change the oil, a couple of tranny fluid changes, a couple sets of tires, and that's about it.

For me, MPG is not a big issue, but mine can get above rated if I baby it. I rarely baby it but it still does decently.

I bought it for looks and features, and have been very happy. If you buy based on MPG and some of the features (or lack thereof) bugs you, it'll bug you for the next 10 years. MPG is low on my list, because I know I'll have to live with my trim/feature choice for a long while. I'd rather get the features I want and suffer a little in MPG.
great review! Thank you sir!
 

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From a Motor Trend review:
"There are very few outright flaws in the Sienna," Loh said, "and it has considerable engineering and efficiency advantages." Still, the hybrid powertrain and smartly designed cabin weren't enough to slot it above the other three vans. Its numb brake feel, loud powertrain, and dated technology sealed its fate.

That puts the new Kia Carnival in the winner's circle. Yes, the Carnival has its flaws, but it's simply too good in too many areas to deny. It has most of the features you and passengers of all ages could want at a highly attractive price. Even after a couple weeks of schlepping around after this comparison test, the Kia was the van we—and most important, our family members—most wanted to be in.

 

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Couple weeks ago I pre-ordered a base 2022 Sienna LE. $36,419 after I added a couple small options. Paying MSRP. Wait time is (supposedly) 4-6 months. Last week I wandered in to a Kia dealer and they happened to have a comparable 2022 Carnival LXS that came available for delivery in December 2021, in just a few weeks, also MSRP ($35,475). I went ahead and put a deposit on that too, so I have deposits down on both vans for now.

Coming from a 2007 Sienna, the 2022 Sienna has a few annoyances: no removable 2nd row, seemingly narrower 3rd row, no rear bumper, eliminated useful storage cubbies from the 2007, tiny 3rd row windows, tiny back window, ugly tail-lights. The Carnival fixes most of these.

But: the Sienna has one HUGE upside and that is the fuel economy due to the hybrid engine. 35mpg for Toyota vs 22mpg for the Kia. For my driving this represents about $800 annually, or $8,000 over my expected ownership of the vehicle. Add on to the fact that the Sienna resale value will likely be higher, which puts the total cost of Kia ownership to be around $10,000 more over the life of the vehicle. That is not an insignificant amount for me. Reliability may be a toss-up, but I'm leaning towards the Toyota being slightly more reliable. My 2007 Sienna has been extremely reliable.

If I was purchasing a higher trim the decision would be more straight forward--a higher-end Carnival would be significantly cheaper up-front to offset the increased fuel costs. But base-model prices are more similar between the two brands.

So....any help from this crowd on why you selected the Carnival over the Sienna? Any other factors I'm neglecting to consider?

If fuel economy is important to you, one thing to consider is how many city vs highway miles you'll be putting on the car. Highway MPG, for us, was higher than EPA. We were consistently able to get in the 27MPG range. That brings it closer to the Sienna but definitely not next to the Sienna. Another option to consider is the Pacifica Plug in Hybrid.
 

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I tested drove both cars. My wife wanted the Sienna since we bought one for her mom 10 years prior. But here are straight facts. The Carnival drives better. When you step on the gas, it goes. It doesn't roar and jerks like the Sienna. I am willing to sacrifice this for gas mileage. Mileage and gas is not going to kill me. I can live with it. What I can't live with is the sluggish acceleration and how loud the Sienna was. And the Tech? I am a tech person. Maybe you don't care about it. But to have like an 8 inch screen compared to a 12.3" there's no comparison. Looking at the Sienna, I felt like I was buying a 2019 not a 2022. The Carnival SXP? It's a winner.
 

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I went on a deep dive on this issue three months ago, watched all the reviews and lurched on all the forums.
We ended up i with Carnival because our vehicle is only used on weekends for leisure activities. The carnival has a significant tech advantage (safety / cameras) and driver confidence advantage (break feel and sustained acceleration).
If I was putting significant miles on the vehicle and the inevitable rising fuel prices would hurt, it would be a more difficult decision. However , our car is a leisure device where a rise in fuel costs won’t really affect us, therefore I chose the driving advantage of the Carnival.
 

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If fuel economy is important to you, one thing to consider is how many city vs highway miles you'll be putting on the car. Highway MPG, for us, was higher than EPA. We were consistently able to get in the 27MPG range. That brings it closer to the Sienna but definitely not next to the Sienna. Another option to consider is the Pacifica Plug in Hybrid.
Pacifica Plug in hybrid doesn't allow for a tow hitch. Some will tell you it is ok but it is not -you void the warranty! For us it was a deal breaker so never test drove it.
This is not the case with their gas only version, but then you are definitely better off with the Carnival.
 

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So....any help from this crowd on why you selected the Carnival over the Sienna? Any other factors I'm neglecting to consider?
I agree with all those who elected the Carnival. Solution is simple, view the Youtube videos and reviews between the two. The pro reviews all agree the Kia is much better -- especially comparing quality, performance records (Sedona predecessor), warranty, safety. bang-for-the-buck, and longevity, etc.
 

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I test drove a the 2022 Sienna, and noticed that lane changes felt like the car was driving through sludge. I think there is something funky with Sienna's lane keep assist system.

Meanwhile, Kia's lane keep assist feature worked great with no impact on manual steering. (I own a Sorento rather than a Carnival, but am minivan shopping now.)

If you do long highway, highway traffic-jam, or long rural two-lane road drives, get a Kia. Their HDA features will save you a TON of effort and stress. (The car practically drives itself in traffic jams.)
 
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