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Updated 2025 Kia Carnival minivan offers new hybrid drivetrain

2024 Chicago Auto Show

Kia is amping up its Carnival minivan for 2025, adding a fuel-sipping hybrid powertrain to the lineup. The South Korean automaker unveiled this refreshed family hauler on Thursday at the 2024 Chicago Auto Show.

The new electrified drivetrain is by no means earth-shattering, but it should still help motorists save a lot of fuel. This system is built around a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. That may seem a bit overmatched in a vehicle of this size, but the engine is bolstered by a 54-kilowatt electric motor while a six-speed automatic transmission handles shifting responsibilities.

Altogether, this new powertrain is good for 242 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque, figures that should deliver good, if not stellar performance. Unfortunately, no fuel economy estimates have been released at this time.

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This is the star of the show, a new hybrid powertrain. Photo credit: EV Pulse / Craig Cole

For drivers that, for some reason, don’t want an electrified powertrain (or they are unwilling to pay extra), the 2025 Carnival comes standard with a traditional 3.5-liter V6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. This combination is good for 280 hp and 260 lb-ft of twist.

Visually, not much has changed with this minivan for the latest model year. The grille looks slightly different, the headlights have been elongated, so they better fit in with the rest of the Kia lineup, and that’s about it.

Inside, the Carnival does offer some fresh features. Optionally, you can get two 12.3-inch displays mounted in a single curved housing, a visually impressive assembly. The infotainment system is also supposedly quicker and now supports over-the-air updates. If you don’t spend extra, you get a 4.2-inch screen as well as a 12-inch center display.

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The styling changes made to the Carnival for 2025 are minimal, and that’s OK. Photo credit: EV Pulse / Craig Cole

Passengers in the second-row seat haven’t been forgotten, either. Optionally, the updated Carnival can now be had with a pair of 14.6-inch HD displays, so riders can stream their favorite shows from popular platforms. Aside from all that, the cabin is available with 7 or 8 seats and there’s a cavernous amount of cargo space, more than 145 cubic feet behind the first row of seats.

In keeping with the times, the 2025 Carnival offers a range of standard and available advanced driver assistance technologies. Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist is standard across the range. There’s also Junction Crossing Assist, Evasive Steering Assist and much more.

The Carnival also offers Highway Driving Assist 2. Adaptive cruise control with steering assist, this technology makes long-distance trips much easier and more convenient. Intelligent Speed Limit Assist is also on the menu.

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Kia has added more screens to the Carnival minivan for 2025. Photo credit: EV Pulse / Craig Cole

As with most new vehicles, pricing for the 2025 Kia Carnival minivan has not been announced. Models fitted with the gasoline-electric powertrain will, however, be available in four different trim levels. Look for this updated family-hauler at dealerships in the summer.

Watch our video first look

Written by Craig Cole

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