The 2025 Kia Carnival’s Biggest Update Comes Under The Hood

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Set to debut at the 2024 Chicago Auto Show, Kia unveiled the latest iteration of the Carnival, a vehicle that aims to challenge the norms of family transportation. Merging the rugged looks of an SUV with the practicality of a minivan, the Carnival reflects the ongoing evolution of this segment. From post-war station wagons to fuel-efficient minivans of the 70s, family cars have adapted to changing trends. SUVs emerged, offering a blend of style and space, but lacked the fuel efficiency of minivans. The early 21st century saw the rise of “crossover SUVs,” attempting to bridge the gap.




Kia entered the minivan segment with the Sedona, but it faced tough competition from crossovers. Then the Carnival entered the scene, signifying a new approach. Its bold design and flexible interior resonated with consumers, blurring the lines between minivans and SUVs. The 2025 Carnival pushes boundaries further with a turbo-hybrid powertrain and cutting-edge technology, catering to modern families seeking both functionality and style. It stands as a testament to Kia’s ability to innovate and redefine the very concept of the family vehicle.

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In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from Kia and other reliable sources.


Striking A Balance Between Bold And Refined Design


The 2025 Kia Carnival embraces Kia’s “Opposites United” design language, resulting in a striking and multifaceted appearance that sets it apart from traditional MPVs. The front fascia adopts a bold and imposing stance with its grand, sculptural grille. This assertiveness is then balanced by intricate details in the cube-like headlamps, further accentuated by Kia’s signature amber-colored Star Map daytime running lights. This interplay of bold and intricate elements creates a visually distinctive first impression.


Moving to the rear, the Carnival presents a more refined aesthetic. Smooth surfaces and clean lines define the back, creating a sleek and polished look. The repositioned license plate housing on the lower tailgate further emphasizes this clean design. The Star Map taillights, with their crisp contours, add depth and dimension to the rear, while the available wide and contoured skid plate contrasts against the black cladding, completing the exterior redesign with a touch of sportiness.

Bold Geometry And Dark Style

Technical shapes come into play with the Carnival’s available alloy wheel options, ranging from 17 to 19 inches. These wheels showcase an array of geometric angles, adding a touch of modernity and dynamism to the overall design. For those seeking a bolder statement, the Carnival Dark Edition offers darkened exterior elements, including roof rails, skid plates, C-pillar garnish, and side door, tailgate, and side mirror covers. This option extends even to the front grille and wheels, creating a cohesive and stealthy look for a distinctive presence on the road.

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Modernity Meets Minivan Magic In The 2025 Carnival


The 2025 Kia Carnival boasts a completely redesigned interior focused on both functionality and style. Stepping inside reveals a futuristic space characterized by minimalist design and technology seamlessly integrated into the environment.

Modern Elegance:

  • The dashboard features simple shapes and an optional, full-width ambient lighting system for a personalized touch.
  • Horizontally aligned information and climate controls keep the center fascia uncluttered and intuitive.
  • A spacious center console provides ample storage and accommodates even large beverages.

Unmatched Versatility:

  • Spacious and flexible interior maintains its class-leading cargo capacity of 145.1 cubic feet behind the first row.
  • “Slide-Flex” seating in 8-passenger versions allows for various configurations, including easy access to a child in the second-row center seat.
  • Removable second-row seats and fold-in-floor third-row seats offer maximum cargo flexibility (except in the SX-Prestige trim).


Technological Hub:

  • A curved panoramic dual-display takes center stage, offering full digital instrumentation and an available 12.3-inch infotainment screen.
  • An optional head-up display projects essential information directly onto the windshield.
  • The available Full Display Mirror replaces the traditional mirror with a digital camera feed for improved rear visibility.
  • Seven USB-C ports, two power outlets, and two 115V inverters ensure all passengers stay connected and powered.

Voice-Activated Comfort:

  • Multi-zone voice recognition allows for hands-free control of various functions, including opening windows and adjusting climate control.
  • The optional VIP Lounge Seat package in the second row offers voice-activated relaxation mode with reclining seatback and leg extension.


Next-Gen Entertainment:

Rear Passenger Oasis:

  • The available Connected Car Rear Cockpit (ccRC) Rear Entertainment System features dual 14.6-inch high-resolution monitors for streaming content from popular platforms.
  • You can connect to Bluetooth headsets and mirror external devices via HDMI for personalized entertainment options.

Advanced Convenience:

  • Available Digital Key 2 allows compatible smartphones or NFC-enabled smart cards to be used for locking, unlocking, and even starting the vehicle.
  • Digital keys can be shared with others conveniently via “text messages.”

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Expanding Capabilities With Efficient Power

2025 Kia Carnival
Kia


For 2025, the Kia Carnival further strengthens its claim as a truly multipurpose vehicle with the introduction of a new hybrid powertrain. This exciting addition expands the Carnival’s appeal to even more drivers seeking both versatility and environmental consciousness.


The Carnival Hybrid boasts a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine paired with a 54kW electric motor, delivering a combined 242 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. This system provides ample power for daily commutes and family adventures, while also prioritizing fuel efficiency. Unique hybrid performance enhancements further elevate the driving experience.

2025 Kia Carnival Powertrain Specs

Engine

Horsepower

Torque

Transmission

Drivetrain

3.5L V6 GDI

287 hp

260 Ib.-ft. of torque

8-speed automatic

Front-wheel drive

1.6L Turbo-Hybrid

242 hp

271 Ib.-ft. of torque

6-speed automatic

Front-wheel drive


(Specs sourced from Kia)

The Carnival HEV Delivers Performance And Control

2025 Kia Carnival
Kia


Aerodynamically designed 17-inch wheels grace the Carnival HEV, contributing to its optimized fuel economy. Drivers can leverage Electrification-Vehicle Motion Control (E-VMC) for tailored regenerative braking control, adjusting the level of coasting and deceleration seamlessly through three selectable modes. Eco/Smart mode prioritizes fuel efficiency, while Normal mode offers a balance between performance and economy. Sport mode empowers a more dynamic driving experience.


Additional hybrid-specific features like E-Handling enhance vehicle responsiveness for improved cornering agility. E-Ride utilizes specially tuned shock absorbers to smooth out uneven roads, ensuring a comfortable ride for all passengers. Finally, E-Evasive Handling Assist provides an extra layer of security by aiding in maintaining vehicle control during emergency steering maneuvers.


The introduction of the hybrid powertrain broadens the horizons of the Kia Carnival, solidifying its position as a versatile and adaptable choice for families and individuals seeking a vehicle that seamlessly integrates performance, efficiency, and innovative technology. This expansion caters to an ever-growing market segment conscious of both environmental impact and practical transportation needs.

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Advanced Driver Assistance Upgrades For Enhanced Safety And Convenience

2025 Kia Carnival
Kia


The 2025 Kia Carnival boasts significant advancements in its suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), enhancing safety and convenience for drivers and passengers alike. Standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) remains the cornerstone of the Carnival’s ADAS package. This system alerts drivers to potential frontal collisions and can automatically assist with braking under certain conditions. New additions to FCA’s capabilities include:


  • Junction Crossing (FCA-JC): Helps prevent collisions with oncoming vehicles while turning at intersections.
  • Lane-change Oncoming (FCA-LO): Alerts drivers to approaching vehicles in the next lane during lane changes.
  • Lane-change Side (FCA-LS): Warns of vehicles in the blind spot during lane changes.
  • Evasive Steering Assist (FCA-ESA): Assists with steering maneuvers to avoid collisions when braking alone is insufficient.

Carnival Elevates Highway Safety


Kia’s Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2), first introduced on the EV6, is now available on the Carnival. This system offers various features.


  • Adaptive Cruise Control: Maintains a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.
  • Lane Keeping Assist: Keeps the vehicle centered within detected lane markings on compatible highways.
  • Lane Change Assist: Assists with lane changes under specific conditions, providing visual and audible alerts and haptic feedback.

Additional ADAS Features

  • Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control (N-SCC): Adjusts cruise control speed based on upcoming curves and speed limits for a more comfortable and fuel-efficient drive.
  • Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA): Displays and can automatically adjust cruise control speed to match posted speed limits.

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