Improved Minivan Takes Market by Storm
The Chicago Auto Show welcomed the 2025 Kia Carnival as it made its highly anticipated debut in America, offering a glimpse into the future for interested buyers of the beloved minivan.
Disregarding the traditional look of its predecessor, the fresh arrival takes inspirations from Kia’s ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy, previously evident on the updated Sorento. However, it’s not just the daring aesthetics that await us. The new addition includes a turbocharged hybrid motor, offering buyers a capable substitute to the ever-present 3.5-liter V6. Additionally, there are advanced safety and technological features, further enhancing the appeal of the Carnival.
In 2025, the Carnival will consist of five variants (LX, LXS, EX, SX, and SX Prestige), with an additional four trims for the hybrid model: LXS, EX, SX, and SX Prestige.
Kia has introduced a new addition to its familiar lineup: a 1.6-liter turbo-hybrid powertrain, which now joins the well-established 3.5-liter V6 engine. This electrified version is equipped with a 54 kW motor and boasts impressive combined outputs of 242 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque. In fact, these numbers are not far behind the larger V6 (which is still an option), producing 287 hp and 260 lb-ft.
The Carnival Hybrid line boasts exclusive features including Electrification-Vehicle Motion Control that permits the operator to customize the regenerative braking, as well as E-Handling that enhances cornering abilities. E-Ride utilizes specially-designed shock absorbers for a more seamless experience on the road, while E-Evasive Handling Assist provides support in maintaining stability during abrupt movements.
All vehicles come equipped with standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist and other driver assistance technologies, while additional features such as lane-changing aids and junction crossing systems are also offered. Drivers can choose to upgrade to Highway Driving Assist 2 or opt for navigation-based Smart Cruise Control.
While some patrons may favor the traditional appearance of the previous edition of Carnival, the 2025 version has been gaining popularity among customers ever since its debut last year. The car’s striking front fascia is characterized by a spacious radiator grille and intricately crafted headlights. With a significantly more imposing presence, the Carnival now boasts amber Star Map DRLs, a feature also found on the Telluride and Sorento models.
At the rear, the placement of the license plate holder has been shifted towards the bottom of the tailgate, while the Kia emblem is now prominently showcased above it. The major alteration can be seen in the upgraded taillights, gracefully curving downwards and extending along the sides of the car. The wheels vary in size from 17 to 19 inches, with the Hybrid variant sporting a distinctive 17-inch design.
The Dark Edition stands out with its sleek design characterized by darkened roof rails, wheels, and exterior trims.
The interior remains highly functional, providing ample room for either seven or eight individuals depending on how the seats are arranged. However, enhancements have been made to the Carnival’s internal components, resulting in a greater array of standard features, elegant instrument displays, and advanced technology compared to its previous model.
The standard features of this vehicle include a 12-inch touchscreen and 4.2-inch TFT driver’s display. However, consumers have the option to upgrade to a curved panoramic display that combines a 12.3-inch infotainment and digital instrument display into one sleek glass panel. The dashboard has undergone a higher-end transformation, with revamped climate controls, classier finishes, and a gear selector that rotates, creating additional room on the center console.
The “Hey Kia!” voice assistant has been enhanced to possess greater intelligence and is now capable of distinguishing between instructions given from the front and second row. Additionally, it has the ability to activate the seat relaxation mode in cars that come equipped with the VIP Lounge Seat package.
Alternative features encompass a windshield display and an electronic rearview mirror.
Regarding convenience, the 2025 Carnival boasts a total of seven USB-C ports spread throughout the interior, as well as two 115V inverters and two power outlets. A particularly clever feature is the illuminated seat belt buckles, which will surely come in handy when loading the little ones into the backseat on a gloomy winter day.
Kia has yet to disclose the cost of the Carnival or Carnival Hybrid, however they have stated that the hybrid model will be available at dealerships in the later months of summer.