2025 Kia Carnival Debuts With Efficient New Hybrid Powertrain

For 2025, the Kia Carnival will get more efficient and comes with a fresh face. A new hybrid variant arrives for four of the Carnival’s five available trim levels: the LXS, ES, SX, and SX-Prestige will all see the optional powertrain. The new hybrid powertrain pairs a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with a 72-horsepower electric motor for a combined 242 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels. Unfortunately, EPA fuel economy estimates aren’t in yet. The Carnival’s standard 3.5-liter V6 is still part of the equation and will be the only powertrain option on the entry-level LX trim. Speaking of the V6, it produces 287 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, down 3 hp and 2 lb-ft from last year.

Hybrid models also get their own set of changes for 2025. These include a set of 17-inch wheels, three levels of braking regeneration, and Kia E-Handling and E-Ride systems. The former is software that will supposedly improve handling via acceleration or deceleration of the electric motor. Meanwhile, the E-Ride system “helps smooth out the action of going over bumps with specially tuned shocks.”

All models for 2025 will sport a new design. This includes a new grille with larger inlets, as well as revised front and rear bumpers. There are also new L-shaped lighting arrangements, and a new Dark Edition offers black roof rails, skid plates, c-pillar, a grille, and wheels. Kia will complete the look with a series of 17-19-inch wheel designs.

Kia has added larger screens to the Carnival’s interior, and the design shifts somewhat as a result of the newly standard 12-inch screen. The climate controls now sit separate from the rest of the console, and a rotary gear selector is now present instead of the old lever. Kia also offers a color head-up display and digital rearview mirror as options. Tech and connectivity stretch further into the cabin, with a new voice recognition system, too. It will recognize where in the cabin a voice is coming from and can open the corresponding window or adjust the climate based on this.

A new digital key system allows drivers to use their phones as a key, which can be shared over text, and a new operating system called the “Connected Car Navigation Cockpit” promises to be quicker and more user-friendly. Speaking of friendliness to users, safety systems have seen a refresh too, with Highway Driving Assist 2. The revised system will, on certain pieces of highway, keep the Carnival a set distance behind the car ahead and centered in the lane. Kia says the system can also perform lane changes under some conditions. For now, pricing is a mystery, and the new model will hit dealers sometime this summer.

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Chase Bierenkoven
Chase Bierenkoven

Chase is an automotive journalist with years of experience in the industry. He writes for outlets like Edmunds and AutoGuide, among many others. When not writing, Chase is in front of the camera over at The Overrun, his YouTube channel run alongside his friend and co-host Jobe Teehan. If he's not writing reviews of the latest in cars or producing industry coverage, Chase is at home in the driver's seat of his own (usually German) sports cars.

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