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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I apologize in advance if this discussion or topic has been beat to death. I used the search function and didn't find an answer/discussion that satisfied me. I am a long time Honda owner ( my family and I have owned multiple Accords, Civics, and Pilots) and many of my friends and family friends have owned Odysseys over the years. I am in the market for a van right now, I just recently got married and now have a baby on the way in September. I was originally thinking about the Ford Expedition Max after I rented one for a 2K mile road trip last year and was blown away by how comfortable the ride was. We did an 18hr road trip and I didnt feel tired at all the whole day after driving or riding in it. But given the current gas prices I ruled it out and also I am inherently aware of the practicality of a van over an SUV. There is virtually no argument there. I looked at the competition and quickly ruled out the Sienna ( 4-cyl hybrid and non-removeable 2nd row did that for me) and I also ruled out the Pacifica ( very spacious but, flimsy 2nd row Stow and Go seats and hearing and witnessing first hand horrible Chrysler reliability from friends who owned them eliminated that for me).

That left the Odyssey and the Carnival on my list. I was skeptical of the Kia at first but I test drove a Carnival EX 8 passenger model and was very impressed. I wanted to ask specifically for those people that compared the Odyssey and bought the Kia over the Odyssey, what exactly tipped the scales towards driving you to buy the Kia? My hesitation right now (even though they are minor) are that there seems to be a lack of small cubbies and storage areas in the front of the Carnival compared to the odyssey and the 3rd row in the odyssey has slightly more legroom ( 2.5 inches more "on paper"). Those who have the Kia, how is the Carnival's 3rd row legroom for adults? I am also skeptical of Kia's reliability compared to the Odyssey's (specifically worried about mechanical reliability, not too concerned about the electronic gizmos and convenience features). I am new to the Hyundai/Kia product family. I bought a 2019 Genesis G70 3.3T early last year so I can't say yet how it holds up 9-10 years down the road. The main things that are turning me away from the Odyssey are the dated infotainment system (compared to kia's) and the fact that the floor isn't completely flat in the second row with seats removed since the Odyssey has the slider trays that carry and move the Magic 2nd row side to side. I know the Kia has a much larger trunk when the 3rd row is up which is a huge plus in my book.

I am currently looking at the 2021+ Odyssey Touring and Elite and the 2023 Kia Carnival SX and SX-Prestige. The VIP lounge chairs are nice but not enough to outweigh the ability to take out the 2nd row with the 8 seat version. I also wish the upgraded Bose audio system was available on the SX and just prestige trim.

I'm mainly looking for something with the maximum passenger and cargo space between these two cars. It will be the baby-mobile, local grocery getter, and road trip vehicle for our family fleet. I'm 75% sold on the Kia but concerns above are what's holding me back.

Thank you all in advance and would love your input on what made your decision to get the Carnival over the Odyssey.
 

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Hello All,

I apologize in advance if this discussion or topic has been beat to death. I used the search function and didn't find an answer/discussion that satisfied me. I am a long time Honda owner ( my family and I have owned multiple Accords, Civics, and Pilots) and many of my friends and family friends have owned Odysseys over the years. I am in the market for a van right now, I just recently got married and now have a baby on the way in September. I was originally thinking about the Ford Expedition Max after I rented one for a 2K mile road trip last year and was blown away by how comfortable the ride was. We did an 18hr road trip and I didnt feel tired at all the whole day after driving or riding in it. But given the current gas prices I ruled it out and also I am inherently aware of the practicality of a van over an SUV. There is virtually no argument there. I looked at the competition and quickly ruled out the Sienna ( 4-cyl hybrid and non-removeable 2nd row did that for me) and I also ruled out the Pacifica ( very spacious but, flimsy 2nd row Stow and Go seats and hearing and witnessing first hand horrible Chrysler reliability from friends who owned them eliminated that for me).

That left the Odyssey and the Carnival on my list. I was skeptical of the Kia at first but I test drove a Carnival EX 8 passenger model and was very impressed. I wanted to ask specifically for those people that compared the Odyssey and bought the Kia over the Odyssey, what exactly tipped the scales towards driving you to buy the Kia? My hesitation right now (even though they are minor) are that there seems to be a lack of small cubbies and storage areas in the front of the Carnival compared to the odyssey and the 3rd row in the odyssey has slightly more legroom ( 2.5 inches more "on paper"). Those who have the Kia, how is the Carnival's 3rd row legroom for adults? I am also skeptical of Kia's reliability compared to the Odyssey's (specifically worried about mechanical reliability, not too concerned about the electronic gizmos and convenience features). I am new to the Hyundai/Kia product family. I bought a 2019 Genesis G70 3.3T early last year so I can't say yet how it holds up 9-10 years down the road. The main things that are turning me away from the Odyssey are the dated infotainment system (compared to kia's) and the fact that the floor isn't completely flat in the second row with seats removed since the Odyssey has the slider trays that carry and move the Magic 2nd row side to side. I know the Kia has a much larger trunk when the 3rd row is up which is a huge plus in my book.

I am currently looking at the 2021+ Odyssey Touring and Elite and the 2023 Kia Carnival SX and SX-Prestige. The VIP lounge chairs are nice but not enough to outweigh the ability to take out the 2nd row with the 8 seat version. I also wish the upgraded Bose audio system was available on the SX and just prestige trim.

I'm mainly looking for something with the maximum passenger and cargo space between these two cars. It will be the baby-mobile, local grocery getter, and road trip vehicle for our family fleet. I'm 75% sold on the Kia but concerns above are what's holding me back.

Thank you all in advance and would love your input on what made your decision to get the Carnival over the Odyssey.
Hello,

I’m pretty sure the 8 seater 2023 SXP comes with the bose speakers. Sorry I can’t comment regarding the odyssey. I’m currently driving a 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan.
 

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5+ years ago, I had a CR-V, and went to buy a Pilot, but they didn't have all the options I wanted available immediately (remember, we were so spoiled 5 years ago ;) ), after a lot of hesitation, purchased my first Korean-made vehicle - Hyundai Santa Fe - 3 rows, with much more bells and whistles than Pilot, for less $$ - and it did great all 5 years; traded it in for Carnival. Odyssey, Sienna, Pacifica where on my initial list with test-drive too. Odyssey seems to be a solid choice, but Carni has a better tech, including Birds Eye View/360 View camera on SX/SXP - not an option on Odyssey - and it is really great for parking. Sienna can save some $$ on gas in theory, but considering price difference for similarly equipped - you have about 30k free miles on Carnival to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello,

I’m pretty sure the 8 seater 2023 SXP comes with the bose speakers. Sorry I can’t comment regarding the odyssey. I’m currently driving a 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan.
I was not aware SX-P was 8 passengers for 2023. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
5+ years ago, I had a CR-V, and went to buy a Pilot, but they didn't have all the options I wanted available immediately (remember, we were so spoiled 5 years ago ;) ), after a lot of hesitation, purchased my first Korean-made vehicle - Hyundai Santa Fe - 3 rows, with much more bells and whistles than Pilot, for less $$ - and it did great all 5 years; traded it in for Carnival. Odyssey, Sienna, Pacifica where on my initial list with test-drive too. Odyssey seems to be a solid choice, but Carni has a better tech, including Birds Eye View/360 View camera on SX/SXP - not an option on Odyssey - and it is really great for parking. Sienna can save some $$ on gas in theory, but considering price difference for similarly equipped - you have about 30k free miles on Carnival to begin with.
Agreed, Carnival has much better tech features than the Ody. How has your experience been with the 3rd row legroom for adults in the Carnival?
 

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We have never had a complaint about legroom with people in the back row. There is plenty of space, even with the seats all the way rearward (on the SXP with the bigger lazy boy chair seats).
 

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Agreed, Carnival has much better tech features than the Ody. How has your experience been with the 3rd row legroom for adults in the Carnival?
Except the SXP with (optional for 2023) VIP seats - 3rd row legroom for adults in the Carnival should not be a problem. I have kids on the 3rd row, and when the 2nd row moved all the way back - 3rd row has a plenty of room, and you can have more by moving the 2nd row forward - it has plenty of room too. VIP seats are changing the picture - while you actually use them to recline - 3rd row becoming pretty unusable. One more thing to pay attention - if you have rear facing child seat on the 2nd row - rear entertainment screens becoming an issue (optional for SX/SXP in 2023). I personally went with no-VIP, no-screens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Except the SXP with (optional for 2023) VIP seats - 3rd row legroom for adults in the Carnival should not be a problem. I have kids on the 3rd row, and when the 2nd row moved all the way back - 3rd row has a plenty of room, and you can have more by moving the 2nd row forward - it has plenty of room too. VIP seats are changing the picture - while you actually use them to recline - 3rd row becoming pretty unusable. One more thing to pay attention - if you have rear facing child seat on the 2nd row - rear entertainment screens becoming an issue (optional for SX/SXP in 2023). I personally went with no-VIP, no-screens.
Glad to hear. Yes I would want to order it the same way, no screens and no VIP seats. iPads would be a more cost and space efficient entertainment option if needed.
 

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I was originally thinking about the Ford Expedition Max after I rented one for a 2K mile road trip last year and was blown away by how comfortable the ride was. We did an 18hr road trip and I didnt feel tired at all the whole day after driving or riding in it. But given the current gas prices I ruled it out and also I am inherently aware of the practicality of a van over an SUV.
FWIW, I drove an Expedition Max about 1000 miles in May in a mix of city and curvy mountain road driving and averaged about 20. I average about 22 in my Carnival in similar conditions.
 

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We purchased and owned a new 2018 Odyssey Elite for 2 years and bought it for the brand reliability mostly (it was my first Honda). The van had recurring issues with the infotainment that no Honda dealers/technicians could fix so we lemon-lawed it and Honda bought it back from us. It was a frustrating experience, but we couldn't be more happy with being first time Kia owners so far. The Honda definitely had more cubby spaces though.
 

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I cannot comment on the Odyssey. We traded in our 2012 Kia Sedona minivan for the 2022 Kia Carnival. Our Sedona was a fantastic car, had no major issues, and we found service to be exceptional. Have had the Carnival for almost a year and have had no issues. From that standpoint, I would recommend the Kia family.

Regarding space in the 3rd row, my 15 year old who is an adult sized person says its great. Much more space than in our old minivan. The Carnival doesn't feel big and bulky, yet is larger and that extra space has been awesome for our family of 6. We can put a pop up tent straight across the trunk and our 6 soccer chairs barely make a dent in the trunk space. We've recently vacationed with the Carnival twice and commented both times how much more space there was in the Carnival than we had in the Sedona - no more putting things up front with the kids and packing them in like sardines with all our bags and what not. The trunk space is amazing!
 

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People often cite, "Kia lacks cubby holes and storage for small stuff". You know what I tell them? When you have cubby storage, you end up throwing a lot of "Stuff" into those area and then leaving it there. Now the car becomes cluttered. People use those for permanent storage, rather than temporary storage. I don't want my cars cluttered with 'Stuff'. The Kia has more room in the right area. The ride on both are similar. Reliability? I think it's a wash. So it comes down to subjective items. The Kia looks a hell lot better IMO. The Tech (which you don't care about) is night and day. The Honda doesn't even try and its very dated. To me, that was the deal breaker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We purchased and owned a new 2018 Odyssey Elite for 2 years and bought it for the brand reliability mostly (it was my first Honda). The van had recurring issues with the infotainment that no Honda dealers/technicians could fix so we lemon-lawed it and Honda bought it back from us. It was a frustrating experience, but we couldn't be more happy with being first time Kia owners so far. The Honda definitely had more cubby spaces though.
I've heard similar horror stories on the Odyssey forums as well. Glad it worked out for you in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I cannot comment on the Odyssey. We traded in our 2012 Kia Sedona minivan for the 2022 Kia Carnival. Our Sedona was a fantastic car, had no major issues, and we found service to be exceptional. Have had the Carnival for almost a year and have had no issues. From that standpoint, I would recommend the Kia family.

Regarding space in the 3rd row, my 15 year old who is an adult sized person says its great. Much more space than in our old minivan. The Carnival doesn't feel big and bulky, yet is larger and that extra space has been awesome for our family of 6. We can put a pop up tent straight across the trunk and our 6 soccer chairs barely make a dent in the trunk space. We've recently vacationed with the Carnival twice and commented both times how much more space there was in the Carnival than we had in the Sedona - no more putting things up front with the kids and packing them in like sardines with all our bags and what not. The trunk space is amazing!
Thank you for the insight on the 3rd row leg room, that definitely helps! Yes the trunk space is one of the most attractive specs to me for sure.
 
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