2025 Kia Carnival MPV redefined — Hybrid power now available

(February 12, 2024) CHICAGO — The refreshed 2025 Kia Carnival multi-purpose vehicle has reaffirmed itself as a trailblazer in the minivan segment, bringing a distinct edge in the space between SUV and family hauler. Commanding attention with a grand SUV-like design while offering up exceptional passenger and cargo space more akin to a van, the Carnival expands its versatility with an available turbo-hybrid powertrain.

Brimming with Kia’s next-generation of connected car technology, the Carnival steps into the digital age with connectivity and convenience at its core.

“The Carnival has been a standout since its introduction, effortlessly blending SUV aesthetics with the utilitarian functionality of a family vehicle,” said Steve Center, COO and EVP. “As a brand that refuses to settle for the status quo, we’ve made impactful updates across styling, performance and technology, further allowing the Carnival to challenge stereotypes that family vehicles are uninspiring.” 

Performance in the Carnival still comes from an available 3.5-liter V6 GDI engine that produces 287 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels. Strengthening its position as a multi-purpose vehicle, the Carnival Hybrid is newly available for 2025 with a 1.6-liter turbo-hybrid engine paired with a 54kW motor and a 6-speed automatic transmission, with a combined output of 242 horsepower, 271 lb.-ft. of torque. The hybrid's gas mileage rating has not yet been set.

Unique hybrid performance upgrades further aim to improve performance and fuel economy, while also working towards an overall comfortable ride. Aerodynamic 17” wheels are exclusive to the Carnival HEV. In Eco/Smart mode, Electrification-Vehicle Motion Control (E-VMC) kicks in with the flick of the paddle shift lever to adjust the amount of regenerative braking with a three-level deceleration control.

Other features specific to the Carnival HEV include E-Handling, which is designed to help improve vehicle responsiveness when entering and exiting a corner; E-Ride that can help smooth out the action of going over bumps with specially tuned shocks, and E-Evasive Handling Assist that is designed to help control the vehicle movement during emergency steering

Embracing the distinctive “Opposites United” design language, the Carnival confidently embodies a modern and bold appearance befitting of an SUV. Characterized by a grand and sculptural grille, the front fascia boasts a chiseled and assertive design, juxtaposed by intricate and high-tech details in cube-like headlamps that are accentuated by Kia’s signature amber-colored Star Map daytime running lights.

Around back, the Carnival looks more refined with smooth surfaces and clean lines. The license plate housing was repositioned to the lower part of the tailgate for a polished appearance, while the crisp contours of the Star Map taillights add depth to the rear. An available wide and contoured skid plate contrasts against the black cladding on the lower rear fascia completes the exterior redesign.

Technical shapes extend to the Carnival’s available alloy wheel options ranging from 17- to 19-inches, which showcase an array of geometric angles. For those who are more keen on design, the Carnival Dark Edition gets darkened exterior elements, including the roof rails, skid plates, C-Pillar garnish, side door garnish, tailgate garnish, exterior side mirror covers, front grille and wheels.

Open the doors to the Carnival to find a futuristic space designed with simple shapes and three-dimensional effects achieved through available ambient lighting spanning the width of the dashboard. The horizontally aligned information and climate controls on the center fascia are minimalist by design, as is the spacious center console with large capacity dual cupholders that can accommodate a large beverage.

At the forefront, a curved panoramic dual-display features full digital instrumentation with an available 12.3-inch cluster and 12.3-inch infotainment display elegantly integrated into one single panel for an ultramodern appeal (wide panel with 4.2-inch TFT and 12-inch screen is standard). An optional, full-color head-up display projects information from the cluster and navigation onto the windshield directly in the driver’s line of sight.

The available Full Display Mirror replaces the traditional rear-view mirror with a camera view by simply adjusting the lower tab. Built-in lights within the seat belt buckle illuminate, making them easier to locate in the dark. Seven standard USB-C ports conveniently located throughout the cabin can help mobile devices stay charged for passengers in all three rows, while two power outlets, and two 115V inverters serve as additional power sources.

Say “Hey Kia!” and a multi-zone voice recognition feature distinguishes between speakers in the front row and second-row, recognizing key activations such as opening the windows or adjusting the climate control. For Carnivals equipped with the optional VIP Lounge Seat package, second-row passengers can activate their seat’s relaxation mode, reclining the seatback and deploying the leg extension with a single voice command.

Unchanged is the Carnival’s cavernous and flexible interior space for 7- or 8- passengers, maintaining its best-in-class 145.1 cubic feet of cargo room behind the first row. “Slide-Flex” seating for 8-passenger versions continues to allow multiple configurations with a sliding second row center seat that permit the front passenger easy access to a baby or child riding in it. Removable second-row seats and fold-in-floor third-row seats continue to be a Carnival staple (second row seats not removable in SX-Prestige).