We’re here to bring the 2023 Kia Carnival and the Honda Odyssey onto Aussie turf for a battle of the wheels. Both contenders are trusted names in family transport, boasting roomy interiors, seamless tech, and solid road performance. But which one are you taking home to park in your driveway?

Whether you’re planning a long road trip across the sunny country or doing a daily run in the city, we’ll help you figure out which is the better buy between the Kia Carnival and the Honda Odyssey.

The Basics

Kia Carnival

Price: $43,010 - $71,280

Drive train: 3.5L V6, Petrol, FWD, 8-speed Automatic

Body type: MVP (Multi-purpose vehicle)

Dimensions: 5115x1995x1755 mm

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Honda Odyssey

Price: $44,250 - $56,000

Drive train: 3.5L V6, Petrol, FWD, 10-speed Automatic 

Body type: Minivan

Dimensions: 4855x1829x1710 mm

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At first glance, the Kia Carnival offers a wider price range starting at $43,010 and going up to $71,280, compared to the Honda Odyssey, which starts at $44,250 and caps out at $56,000. 

The 2023 Kia comes with a reliable 3.5L V6 engine for a smooth and comfortable ride. Given its spacious and practical design, it’s an ideal choice for families who prioritise ample seating and cargo capacity. 

On the other hand, the Honda Odyssey is much loved as a reliable and functional family minivan. But it certainly doesn’t skimp on performance, given its efficient 3.5L V6 petrol engine and smooth 10-speed automatic transmission. It embodies the spaciousness that’s vital in a family car, just like the Kia.


So, how about a tour of the interior? 

The Kia Carnival provides more than just seating – it supplies an inviting atmosphere with a homey feel. With three roomy rows, it can comfortably accommodate eight passengers with generous legroom and headroom, even in the third row. The seats are plush and supportive, with optional leather trims on higher-end models. 

When it comes to the overall cabin layout, it’s well-thought-out, with a clean and modern aesthetic complemented by high-quality materials. You’ll also enjoy ample storage cubbies, cup holders, and USD charging ports that dot the cabin.

Slide into the Honda Odyssey, and you’ll be greeted with a spacious, comfortable, and functionally-designed interior. But when you contrast the interior with the 2023 Kia Carnival, the Odyssey seems to be playing catch-up. The cabin in the Carnival feels more like a luxury SUV with its upscale materials and innovative features like VIP Lounge Seats.


Now let’s take a walk around the exterior.

The Honda Odyssey, to match its interior, embraces a more classic and less adventurous exterior aesthetic. It’s all about the elegant, streamlined silhouette that comes with a traditional van but with sculpted lines that slink along the body for a little more distinction.

The Kia Carnival competes against its MPV rivals with a bold and dynamic aesthetic. Instead of traditional van-like styling, it has a more SUV-like design, with sharp lines and distinct headlines and a stylish grille up front. Its length is accentuated by a strong character line that sweeps from front to back, and it stands confident on sleek alloy wheels.


Kia Carnival

Engine: 3.5L V6 Gasoline/Diesel

Transmission: 8 sp automatic FWD

Power: 216 kW / 355 Nm (Gasoline variant), 147 Kw / 440 Nm (Diesel variant)

Power-to-weight ratio: 78.73 kW/t

Honda Odyssey

Engine: 3.5L V6 Gasoline

Transmission: 10 sp automatic FWD

Power: 212 kW / 355 Nm 

Power-to-weight ratio: 76.6 kW/t

Both cars ensure there aren’t any slouches on the road. Looking under the bonnet, the Kia Carnival is fuelled by a muscular 3.5L V6 engine with an output of 216 kW and torque of 355 Nm. Paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission that sends drive smoothly to the front wheels, the vehicle brings impressive hauling capabilities and swift acceleration.

Switching gears to the Honda Odyssey, we find a matching 3.5L V6 base, providing 212 kW power and 355 Nm of torque. A distinguishing point is its 10-speed automatic transmission, giving two more gears to play with compared to the Carnival. That means the Odyssey can squeeze out maximum efficiency and performance from its engine.

Tech & Safety

Turning our focus to the tech, the 2023 Kia Carnival is truly a step up from the competition. It boasts an all-new 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system paired with a premium Bose sound system. The Carnival even uses UVO link telematics to offer features like remote start and automatic climate control right from your smartphone. 

And for safety, the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) includes Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with pedestrian detection, Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), helping you avoid potential hazards on the road.

The Honda Odyssey doesn’t disappoint with its tech features either – it has a robust infotainment system with a 160-watt audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the unique CabinTalk System, and the built-in HondaVAC vacuum cleaner. 

Being one of the safest cars on the market, the Odyssey comes with Honda Sensing safety technologies, including Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), and a Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) system. As a minivan, it fully takes into account the many variables and distractions that come with family transport.


Kia Carnival

  • Futuristic infotainment system with large 12.3-inch touchscreen
  • Dual sunroofs for an expansive view and to add more natural light and airiness inside the cabin.
  • Slide-Flex seating for the second-row centre seat to slide forward so that a child seat can be within the driver's reach.

Honda Odyssey

  • Hands-Free Access Power Tailgate to open and close the tailgate by simply waving your foot under the rear bumper.
  • Rear entertainment system featuring compatibility with Blu-ray, DVDs, or HDMI-enabled devices.
  • Noise-cancelling cabin with Active Noise Cancellation to minimise road noise.

Who Should Buy the Kia Carnival?

If your definition of the perfect family vehicle brings together elegant design with impressive tech and comfort features, the 2023 Kia Carnival is the top pick. With a luxurious interior that echoes a high-end SUV and connectivity features that keep you linked to your digital world, this one's for families with an appetite for style and practicality. 

Who Should Buy the Honda Odyssey?

The Honda Odyssey 2022 is your faithful companion if your priorities lean towards innovative versatility, quiet rides, and renowned safety features. Its Magic Slide® 2nd-row seats, Active Noise Cancellation™, and comprehensive Honda Sensing® suite make it a great pick for families who want peace of mind and functional adaptability in their everyday ride.

Final Verdict

The daringly-designed 2023 Kia Carnival is a fantastic blend of luxury, practicality, and technology. Its commanding build and high-end interior space squash the typical minivan stereotype. Meanwhile, the Honda Odyssey sticks to its roots. It’s focused on delivering a smooth, versatile driving experience that many families appreciate. With forward-thinking safety technologies and handy features, the Odyssey still keeps pace with tough competition.

For a great deal on financing your new purchase, contact Australia's best reviewed finance broker on 1300 Credit (1300 273 348) today or visit CreditOne.com.au

Jordan Ballard

Jordan Ballard

Automotive Content Editor

Jordan is a car finance and automotive industry specialist at Only Cars. With over 20 years of experience with frontline and management roles in sales, finance and other areas, Jordan has an incredible understanding of the automotive industry. As Automotive Content Editor, Jordan loves sharing his passion for cars with the Only Cars audience.