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First of all I don't like how it looks. It has all the same safety features that we have on the Sienna. I like the "bridge" we have in the Sienna - I don't like the way the infotainment system looks in the Carnival. I know this is old school but I don't like the shifter - I prefer a normal stick shifter like the Sienna has. Also, the gas mileage alone is enough to make me shudder - 19 mpg in the city? No thanks. I'll stick to the 38 mpg I'm getting in the Sienna.
To be fair, the sienna has inferior safety features and the infotainment system in the carnival is newer and bigger.

There is however a two big counters to the above , the Sienna MPG and resale advantages. Plus arguably the reliability advantage.
 

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Consumer Reports' Kia Carnival pre-review writeup (subscriber-only link), following the video segment from a couple of weeks back

Pros: powertrain, most controls including PRNDL shifter, front seat comfort & driving position, fit & finish, interior versaility, visibility
Cons: a do-nothing infotainment home screen, sliding door/seat heater/touchscreen positioning, lack of front-seat storage space especially when compared to Sienna, awkward 2nd & 3rd row seat adjustments
What they're watching: engine noise, brake pedal feel, ride quality, handling & steering

Figure a month or two for the final review.
 

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2021 XSE AWD Technology Pkg
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The stellar mileage of the Sienna, I agree, is hard to ignore. But the other differences make the Sienna better, come on? Sounds kinda subjective to me.
I personally really dig the infotainment system and the dash screens with blind spot cameras in the Carnival. Sucks that the Sienna's infotainment screen is small and looks dated right out of the gate.

I am looking for a good fuel economy and AWD in my minivan. Unfortunately, that makes the Carnival a no go.
 

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A 2017 shouldnt have any issues IMO, but you said nary, so what issues have you had. Projected long term ratings mean less to most people and myself, than to real actual long term ratings, so Kia and Hyundai have still a few years to go before you can consider them high quality. I do however think they have gotten better in the past several years although not content with the power output- had the same santa fe nonturbo as a 2month rental, was absolutely gutless. Also one may consider that they've also gotten better partly based on the perspective that almost every other brand has been on the slide.
I have both Toyotas and Hyundais and they are equally reliable. However, the Hyundai has a better factory warranty.

When Hyundai first were introduced in America, they were unreliable. Ever since the mid-2000s, they got on the ball. One Hyundai I have is a 2012 Elantra and it never had anything repaired that wasn’t standard maintenance.
 

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To be fair, the sienna has inferior safety features and the infotainment system in the carnival is newer and bigger.

There is however a two big counters to the above , the Sienna MPG and resale advantages. Plus arguably the reliability advantage.

Don't forget driving dynamics for the Kia Carnival. Car and Driver rates the Carnival ahead of Odyssey and Sienna, only behind the Chrysler Pacifica.

 

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What in that video (i watched it) convinced you that buying a Sienna was better than the Carnival?
I was thinking the same thing. I love how the_car_mom quickly covered the exact things I can't stand on the outside as well. And her comments about the worst car name ever! Though without a test drive, I would still pick the 2022 Carnival versus the 2021 Sienna.
 

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I spent a couple of months on my minivan search, reading through forums and test driving. Based on everything I saw and read, we were really interested in the Carnival. I have owned Kias and Toyotas and have no issue with reliability or quality of either. The first Carnival finally arrived a couple of weeks ago in Oklahoma and I just happened to call the dealership the day it came in. We were the first to test drive it, an LX with Seat package, dark gray, very nice exterior. I am not here to bash on the Carnival but there were three things that we didn't like and several things we did like.

We liked the exterior look and the overall interior size, the power was very nice.
Dislikes:
Wind noise on the highway.
The interior, especially the dash area was very minimalistic, it was actually a huge let down after just having driven a PHEV Pacifica with the optional black interior (best interior by far of the minivans).

But the deal breaker was the second row seating. Prior to the test drive, I was sitting in the third row and my wife was in the second row attempting to adjust the seating position to assess the balance of legroom between the rows. She couldn't find the lever to slide the middle row seat so she stepped out of the van, leaned in and pulled the wrong lever. The seat back slammed forward similar to springing a mousetrap. The hard plastic piece on the headrest caught her just above her eye. She stumbled backwards and just about fell over. A huge knot about the size of a plum appeared and her eye began to swell shut. At that point, I knew we would never be owning a Carnival. I am not trying to be over-dramatic, but we determined this was a big safety concern for us and our three small grandchildren, the reason for getting back into minivan life (this will be our fifth minivan after a brief respite). Two weeks later, she still has a small bump and bruise. We bought the Sienna the next day.

Maybe this was a one in a million situation, but for those of you considering the Carnival, check out the aggressive spring of the middle row seat back at a safe distance.
 

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2021 Sienna XLE AWD, Sunset Bronze Mica / Graphite Interior, purchased 3/28/21
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No all wheel drive option and far less gas mileage than my 2021 SIenna makes it a no go for me. GAS mileage on the upcoming Carnival is the same old mileage that V6 vans have had for the last 10 plus years. My 2021 Sieena gets more than double the gas mileage in town that my 2014 Sieena got. 35 vs 16. Over the next 5 years At the current gas price , based on my driving, I will save nearly $7k in gas alone vs the Kia van.

I wasn't as concerned with gas mileage, but no AWD was a deal breaker. To be honest I may have gone with an Odyssey if they had finally adopted AWD, since we were coming from a 2009 - though due to certain engine issues we experienced in that car, I was a little soured on the brand. I don't understand why Kia would make this big statement with a different-looking minivan and not include AWD as an option.
 

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2021 Sienna XLE AWD, Sunset Bronze Mica / Graphite Interior, purchased 3/28/21
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I spent a couple of months on my minivan search, reading through forums and test driving. Based on everything I saw and read, we were really interested in the Carnival. I have owned Kias and Toyotas and have no issue with reliability or quality of either. The first Carnival finally arrived a couple of weeks ago in Oklahoma and I just happened to call the dealership the day it came in. We were the first to test drive it, an LX with Seat package, dark gray, very nice exterior. I am not here to bash on the Carnival but there were three things that we didn't like and several things we did like.

We liked the exterior look and the overall interior size, the power was very nice.
Dislikes:
Wind noise on the highway.
The interior, especially the dash area was very minimalistic, it was actually a huge let down after just having driven a PHEV Pacifica with the optional black interior (best interior by far of the minivans).

But the deal breaker was the second row seating. Prior to the test drive, I was sitting in the third row and my wife was in the second row attempting to adjust the seating position to assess the balance of legroom between the rows. She couldn't find the lever to slide the middle row seat so she stepped out of the van, leaned in and pulled the wrong lever. The seat back slammed forward similar to springing a mousetrap. The hard plastic piece on the headrest caught her just above her eye. She stumbled backwards and just about fell over. A huge knot about the size of a plum appeared and her eye began to swell shut. At that point, I knew we would never be owning a Carnival. I am not trying to be over-dramatic, but we determined this was a big safety concern for us and our three small grandchildren, the reason for getting back into minivan life (this will be our fifth minivan after a brief respite). Two weeks later, she still has a small bump and bruise. We bought the Sienna the next day.

Maybe this was a one in a million situation, but for those of you considering the Carnival, check out the aggressive spring of the middle row seat back at a safe distance.
Wow. That would absolutely keep me from buying the car even if I knew deep down it was a one in a million situation. Hope your wife is okay!
 

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She is pretty tough and doing fine, but it is something she will never forget. Thanks.
I believe the concept of putting such a robust spring in the seat is to create momentum to help slide the entire seat forward to make room for access to the rear seat. That is my theory anyway.
 

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I was sitting in the third row and my wife was in the second row attempting to adjust the seating position to assess the balance of legroom between the rows. She couldn't find the lever to slide the middle row seat so she stepped out of the van, leaned in and pulled the wrong lever. The seat back slammed forward similar to springing a mousetrap. The hard plastic piece on the headrest caught her just above her eye.
I hope she is doing Okay. Not the kind of experience one hopes for in a car test drive, for sure.

Maybe it's not too surprising the force of the spring thrust, I won't be surprised if this is the same mechanism in the backs of other Kia, Hyundai, Honda and Nissan vehicles that have 2nd row seats (in 3 row SUVs) that hydraulically tumble or slide forward via a button or lever.

Problem with Kia in this case is with levers on the side of the seatbottoms not easy to read or differentiate in terms of function, so I can see how mistakes can be made in pullling the wrong lever (make sure to tuck your face away from inside the vehicle while doing this).
 

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I spent a couple of months on my minivan search, reading through forums and test driving. Based on everything I saw and read, we were really interested in the Carnival. I have owned Kias and Toyotas and have no issue with reliability or quality of either. The first Carnival finally arrived a couple of weeks ago in Oklahoma and I just happened to call the dealership the day it came in. We were the first to test drive it, an LX with Seat package, dark gray, very nice exterior. I am not here to bash on the Carnival but there were three things that we didn't like and several things we did like.

We liked the exterior look and the overall interior size, the power was very nice.
Dislikes:
Wind noise on the highway.
The interior, especially the dash area was very minimalistic, it was actually a huge let down after just having driven a PHEV Pacifica with the optional black interior (best interior by far of the minivans).

But the deal breaker was the second row seating. Prior to the test drive, I was sitting in the third row and my wife was in the second row attempting to adjust the seating position to assess the balance of legroom between the rows. She couldn't find the lever to slide the middle row seat so she stepped out of the van, leaned in and pulled the wrong lever. The seat back slammed forward similar to springing a mousetrap. The hard plastic piece on the headrest caught her just above her eye. She stumbled backwards and just about fell over. A huge knot about the size of a plum appeared and her eye began to swell shut. At that point, I knew we would never be owning a Carnival. I am not trying to be over-dramatic, but we determined this was a big safety concern for us and our three small grandchildren, the reason for getting back into minivan life (this will be our fifth minivan after a brief respite). Two weeks later, she still has a small bump and bruise. We bought the Sienna the next day.

Maybe this was a one in a million situation, but for those of you considering the Carnival, check out the aggressive spring of the middle row seat back at a safe distance.
The 2nd Gen Sienna was like this... you flip the lever and boom... it sprung forward with quick force. My son got knocked on the head from it the first time.
 

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I wasn't as concerned with gas mileage, but no AWD was a deal breaker. To be honest I may have gone with an Odyssey if they had finally adopted AWD, since we were coming from a 2009 - though due to certain engine issues we experienced in that car, I was a little soured on the brand. I don't understand why Kia would make this big statement with a different-looking minivan and not include AWD as an option.
Never again on Honda for me... feel like they're terrible with their electronic components and this goes the same with their expensive sister brand.
 

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The easiest way to compare KIA and Toyota:
  • Kia door closing sound at 6:38
  • Toyota door closing sound at 8:16
If you watched the video again, the Kia's passenger door was shut when the reviewer closed its driver door; while the Toyota's passenger door was OPEN when he closed the driver door. So of course, you would get a more solid sound when closing the driver door if all the other doors were shut.
 

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If you only keep your vehicles for a lease or turn them over every 3 or 4 years with less than 80,000 miles on them, get what you want. You shouldn't have issues with most vehicles in the short term.

For me I ask before paying our crazy prices for new vehicles, would I buy this used 10 years from now with 150,000 miles on it? To me the answer is no for anything but toyota or honda in cars and minivans. For Trucks, again Toyota makes it but Ford and GM do too. Same for full sized SUVs.

This will let you know how easy it will be to sell your used vehicle.

If you just trade in for the next lease, again get what you want.
 
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