2025 Kia Carnival First Look

New hybrid option broadens this stylish minivan's appeal.

A gray 2025 Kia CarnivalKia


With its toughened-up looks, the 2025 Kia Carnival can almost be mistaken for an SUV. Slide open its rear doors, however, and you'll find the spacious interior and family-friendly features of a minivan.

For 2025, the freshly updated Carnival has a newly optional trick up its sleeve: a gas-sipping hybrid powertrain.

Front seats and dashboard of a 2025 Kia CarnivalKia

More Style Outside, More Screens Inside for 2025 Carnival

The Carnival adopts a blunt front end with bright details in its huge grille. Tall headlights look almost as though they were plucked from Kia's recently revamped Sorento, and they nearly connect to each other via bright orange running lights on higher-end trims.

The look continues at the rear with a huge red light bar. Big fender flares and a chunky roof rack also give off a decidedly SUV-like vibe.

Changes inside are mostly oriented on tech. High-end models feature a pair of 12.3-inch displays integrated into a single panel. The left one serves as a configurable instrument cluster, while the right is a touchscreen for the infotainment system. Check all the options boxes and you'll even find a pair of 14.6-inch monitors for rear-seat passengers.

The Carnival's updated infotainment system now features over-the-air updates, a navigation system said to respond faster than before, and voice controls that can be activated by a simple, "Hey, Kia" command.

Otherwise, the Carnival carries over with standard three-row seating, including a choice between second-row captain's chairs — for a total of seven seats — or a middle bench, which ups the ante to eight seats. Available VIP Lounge Seats in the second row can recline and pop out an under-leg rest extension via the voice command system.

Interior of a 2025 Kia Carnival with second-row VIP Lounge SeatsKia

Carnival's New Hybrid Promises Better Fuel Economy

While the 2025 Carnival sticks with the outgoing model's standard 3.8-liter V6 making 292 horsepower, a newly available hybrid option promises a bump in fuel economy. The Carnival hybrid features a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor and battery pack that power the front wheels to the tune of 242 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque.

At the Carnival's 2024 Chicago Auto Show debut, Kia didn't release any fuel-economy estimates. The standard V6 for 2024 was estimated at just 19/26/22 mpg city/highway/combined, which is down 14 mpg on the combined cycle compared with the 2024 Toyota Sienna hybrid.

Unlike the Sienna — and the Chrysler Pacifica — the Carnival sticks with front-wheel drive. There is no all-wheel-drive option.

A gray 2025 Kia CarnivalKia

2025 Kia Carnival Goes on Sale in Summer 2024

Kia says the 2025 Carnival will arrive in dealerships sometime during summer 2024.

Pricing was not announced at the Chicago auto show. The outgoing model started at about $35,000.

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Andrew Ganz
Andrew Ganz has had cars in his blood ever since he gnawed the paint off of a diecast model as a toddler. After growing up in Dallas, Texas, he earned a journalism degree, worked in public relations for two manufacturers, and served as an editor for a luxury-lifestyle print publication and several well-known automotive websites. In his free time, Andrew loves exploring the Rocky Mountains' best back roads—when he’s not browsing ads for his next car purchase.