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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m having a really hard time with my van purchase decision, particularly bouncing between the Sienna and Carnival.

Carnival pros: superior tech (safety, camera, entertainment)

Sienna pros: superior fuel savings, resale value and reliability.

So my question to those who own the carnival is why did you ultimately purchase it and how are you feeling now that you own it?

Also does the recent recall worth you ? I’ve found Kia has a far better reputation in other parts of the world (Australia for example) than it does in North America.
 

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I like the style. Sienna is not visually appealing nor does the powertrain appeal to me. I can live without the roughly 150 gallons of gas a year that 4 cylinder buzzbox would save me.

Same thoughts on the Sienna. We are trading in our 2015 Sienna AWD. We test drove a 2021 Sienna XLE (all they had on the lot we could drive). I hated it. The interior was truly garbage. Cheap! Not a single material had ANY business in a vehicle selling for north of $50k. The drivetrain was awful. I've never owned a hybrid - and I know Toyota is pretty experienced in this arena, but the CVT paired with the tiny 4 cyl was just an awful experience IMO.
 

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We spent 2 months dithering between a Sienna and the Carnival. We chose the Carnival SXP for it's 290HP V6, the VIP seats, the smooth ride, the easy shifting, and, even with the extra dollars, the better value for the money. The longer warranty quieted my fears about reliability. I liked the fact it is built in South Korea and 85% of the parts used to build the vehicle are made in Korea (not China). We took a 200 mile drive yesterday. Easy and comfortable with up to 30 MPG. Recalls are, unfortunately, all too common for all modern cars today.
 

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I think the drive experience would have to go with the Carnival as well. My test drives of the sienna were loud and unpleasant. I would not enjoy a road trip in that car (my wallet will though).
Totally, if you prioritize driving dynamics & tech gizmos, the latest and more refined safety features and do not plan to drive for more than 5 years or care less about fuel economy or AWD, then the Carnival is the way to go. On the other hand, if you want to maximize fuel economy, really want 800KM between fill-ups, want to drive it to the ground, while expecting at least some trade-in for the van at sale time, and prioritize AWD for inclement weather (although I think FWD with good snow tires will do unleas you drive mostly on highways and mountainous/off-road terrain during the winters), the Sienna is the way to go.

So, it's boils down to priorities, priorities, priorities.
 

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Totally, if you prioritize driving dynamics & tech gizmos, the latest and more refined safety features and do not plan to drive for more than 5 years or care less about fuel economy or AWD, then the Carnival is the way to go. On the other hand, if you want to maximize fuel economy, really want 800KM between fill-ups, want to drive it to the ground, while expecting at least some trade-in for the van at sale time, and prioritize AWD for inclement weather (although I think FWD with good snow tires will do unleas you drive mostly on highways and mountainous/off-road terrain during the winters), the Sienna is the way to go.

So, it's boils down to priorities, priorities, priorities.
Why do you believe the Carnival will only give you 5 years?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the replies, some really good insights.

Today is a Carnival day, the driving tech (blindspot, 360 camera, sensors) + passing ability is causing me to lean towards the Kia over Sienna's fuel savings and resale. Particularly becasue I live in a large city where the tech which provides me extra visibility is very important.

The other piece of information which is relevant is that this car will almost exclusively be used on weekends and vacation, my work is either from home or via public transport and therefore I am looking at 12,000 KM (8,000 miles) per year maximum, could be substantially less, and that includes a significant vacation road trip which is no certainty. This effectively means the Hybrid savings cost-wise is 1k a year and fewer annoying trips to fill up.
 

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I took several considerations while deciding for the Carnival, better tech, better driving experience, quite and pleasant ride compared to the Sienna. Toyota still has the old school concept of not upgrding its cars with better tech or materials, I have the SX Prestige and I'm very happy so far.
 

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If you worried about out-of-warranty repairs, yes, then sell after 5 years. Of course, if you don't care, you can drive it as long as you wish.
I bought an extended warranty that extend the original one 10 years on everything including paint and interior care. All that just for 4K, better to be ready if something happen, Kia offers a very good amount of time for its warranty but the Carnival has too much tech that is better to be prepared.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I took several considerations while deciding for the Carnival, better tech, better driving experience, quite and pleasant ride compared to the Sienna. Toyota still has the old school concept of not upgrding its cars with better tech or materials, I have the SX Prestige and I'm very happy so far.
I think it'll come down to the driving experience for me, I've driven a RAV4 a number of times and found them to be underpowered, I can just imagine how I'll feel driving the Sienna.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I bought an extended warranty that extend the original one 10 years on everything including paint and interior care. All that just for 4K, better to be ready if something happen, Kia offers a very good amount of time for its warranty but the Carnival has too much tech that is better to be prepared.
Did you negotiate on the extended warranty? If so, how much did you get them down?

It's an interesting move, 10 years of tech warranty for 4k, it's almost a certainty that the tech will fail in some form within 10 years, the question is whether it'll cost more than 4k.
 

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I think it'll come down to the driving experience for me, I've driven a RAV4 a number of times and found them to be underpowered, I can just imagine how I'll feel driving the Sienna.

I really like the fuel economy and AWD proposition that the Sienna brings to the table, and like you, I am torn between both. I do not drive much (about 6000-8000KM per year so will only save about $200-300 per year for fuel) and I use snow tires in winters, so I can live with a decision to go with the Carnival, if I choose that route, whose safety features (The Sienna lacks the latest TSS 2.5 that would have brought its safety features closer to the Carnival), luxurious interior and silky smooth V6 engine performace is unmatched. That said, it's still a tough choice (I have owned the same 2004 Sienna for 17 years so I am familiar with its reliability plus the overal 245 horsepower of the 2021 Sienna still beats that of my 2004 V6 at 230 horses).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I really like the fuel economy and AWD proposition that the Sienna brings to the table, and like you, I am torn between both. I do not drive much (about 6000-8000KM per year so will only save about $200-300 per year for fuel) and I use snow tires in winters, so I can live with a decision to go with the Carnival, if I choose that route, whose safety features (The Sienna lacks the latest TSS 2.5 that would have brought its safety features closer to the Carnival), luxurious interior and silky smooth V6 engine performace is unmatched. That said, it's still a tough choice (I have owned the same 2004 Sienna for 17 years so I am familiar with its reliability plus the overal 245 horsepower of the 2021 Sienna still beats that of my 2004 V6 at 230 horses).
Exact same situation to me, right down to my realistic usage, I've assumed 10,000KM a year to be conservative but it's purely a weekend vehicle for city and some suburban visits. The fuel savings of the Sienna based on my current usage and cost per litre is small.

If Sienna had TSS 2.5 (which is a decent set-up) and parking sensors on the mid-range models, then it's a decision between resale/reliability and V6 power. I can't believe there are no parking sensors on the mid-range Sienna's and how poor the backup camera is (without direction lines).
 

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Did you negotiate on the extended warranty? If so, how much did you get them down?

It's an interesting move, 10 years of tech warranty for 4k, it's almost a certainty that the tech will fail in some form within 10 years, the question is whether it'll cost more than 4k.
The warranty was not negotiable, they have several levels, I choose the mid-one, which extend all the factory warranty up to 10 years and only paying 100 deductible. In my case, I have the SX Prestige Trim which has the dual big screen, plus all the tech in the exterior mirrors, cameras, entertainment system, etc. I think it's worthy, plus is has the ziebart complete care which covers paint care, wheel care, interior care, I have access 1 in a year to get everything from anticorrosion treatment to interior repairs and others.
 

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Honestly, the look sold me. I hate the “minivan” look and was against a minivan having had a Nissan Quest and Chevy Uplander before that. All in all, our family had a van for at least 15 years. I wanted something sporty and loved the Telluride, but we need room with three kids and we travel often. So, the carnival has all the luxury of a minivan without the look.
 

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I’m having a really hard time with my van purchase decision, particularly bouncing between the Sienna and Carnival.

Carnival pros: superior tech (safety, camera, entertainment)

Sienna pros: superior fuel savings, resale value and reliability.

So my question to those who own the carnival is why did you ultimately purchase it and how are you feeling now that you own it?

Also does the recent recall worth you ? I’ve found Kia has a far better reputation in other parts of the world (Australia for example) than it does in North America.
I purchased my carnival SX prestige in April 2021, 2 days AFTER I take the vehicle off the lot, I get a call about a recall. So my husband takes it back to where we purchased it, only to find out the part is on back order, and they wouldn’t allow me to drive the car until it was fixed. So they gave me a rental (2020 Kia Sorento base mode) I was NOT happy.. I’m paying over $800.00 for a brand new carnival prestige that I’m not allowed to drive!! Well the dealership told me since the part was on back order; I didn’t get my carnival back until a month later!! So to answer your question, other than the bull crap recall that was done to get my carnival fixed, o purchased the SX-P because of the safety features and because it has a lot of leg room, and easy to get granddaughters in and out of with the sliding doors.
 

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I purchased my carnival SX prestige in April 2021, 2 days AFTER I take the vehicle off the lot, I get a call about a recall. So my husband takes it back to where we purchased it, only to find out the part is on back order, and they wouldn’t allow me to drive the car until it was fixed. So they gave me a rental (2020 Kia Sorento base mode) I was NOT happy.. I’m paying over $800.00 for a brand new carnival prestige that I’m not allowed to drive!! Well the dealership told me since the part was on back order; I didn’t get my carnival back until a month later!! So to answer your question, other than the bull crap recall that was done to get my carnival fixed, o purchased the SX-P because of the safety features and because it has a lot of leg room, and easy to get granddaughters in and out of with the sliding doors.
I had a similar experience during the purchase process, but the part arrived just 2 weeks after I bought my SXP. What I liked about the process is that Kia and the dealer were very transparent about the recall and kept me inform about the part and solution. They even offered another Carnival that passed the inspection but the interior color was not the same. Overall, satisfied with the process and the vehicle so far.
 
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