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HomeClassic Car2025 Kia Carnival: 2024 Chicago Auto Show | The Daily Drive

2025 Kia Carnival: 2024 Chicago Auto Show | The Daily Drive

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Kia’s minivan gets revised styling, more features and a new hybrid drivetrain.

2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid
2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid

Kia is freshening its Carnival minivan for the 2025 model year, and the South Korean automaker showed it for the first time at the 2024 Chicago Auto Show. Along with exterior and interior design updates, buyers will also be able to purchase a gas/electric hybrid version.

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2025 Kia Carnival

You won’t find the word “minivan” anywhere on the brand’s media or consumer websites. Instead. the automaker adopts the “Multi-Purpose Vehicle” (MPV) moniker to describe the Carnival. The current generation has been available in global markets since 2020, though it didn’t arrive in North America until the 2022 model year. While not as popular as the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, or Toyota Sienna, Kia managed to sell nearly 44,000 units in calendar 2023. Company executives say Carnival attracts the youngest buyers in the segment, with 75 percent coming from other brands.

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2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid
2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid

Exterior styling changes for 2025 include a larger front grille with vertically oriented headlights and amber-colored daytime running lights. The rear is new with a light bar spanning the liftgate and a lower-mounted license plate.

The cabin is available with fully digital instrumentation, including a digital gauge cluster and infotainment screen each measuring 12.3 inches. A driver head-up display is a newly optional feature, along with an available camera display integrated into the rearview mirror. Seven USB-C power points are available across all three seating rows, and one of the more thoughtful touches are illuminated seatbelt buckles, which will make them easier to find in the dark.

Voice control gets expanded to include control over many of the vehicle’s comfort and entertainment systems. The driver, front passenger, and second-row occupants can use the trigger phrase “Hey Kia” and do things like adjust the climate control, roll down the windows, or activate the massaging seats that are available as part of the optional VIP Lounge Seat Package. Over-the-air software updates can add features and fix glitches without needing to visit a dealer, and Carnival will offer Kia’s Digital Key 2.0 that replaces the keyfob with an app on the owner’s smartphone.

Conventional gas models retain a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 287 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque and an 8-speed automatic transmission. The new hybrid variant pairs a 54-kW electric motor with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Total output is 242 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque, with the transmission being a 6-speed automatic. Other hybrid-specific features include “E-Handling” that is supposed to improve responsiveness when cornering and “E-Evasive Handling Assist” that is supposed to control vehicle movement during emergency maneuvers.

Available trim levels for the gas and hybrid Carnival will include LXS, EX, SX, and SX Prestige. There will also be a base LX version for the gas-only model. Pricing will be announced closer to the 2025 Carnival’s summer 2024 on-sale date.

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CG Says:

Carnival makes a compelling case as a minivan with a broad range of appeal, from those want a basic people hauler to those craving luxury-class amenities. Those fundamentals don’t change for 2025, and the addition of a more frugal hybrid version should help it become even more popular.

More Kia news and reviews

2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid
2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid

2025 Kia Carnival Gallery

(Click below for enlarged images)

Test Drive: 2023 Kia Carnival SX Prestige

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