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2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid: Features, Performance, and Competitors

It’s been a while since my last review, and today I’m excited to dive into the latest from Kia: the 2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid.

Kia has found a way to mask the fact that the Carnival is a minivan by introducing two refreshed versions. The 2025 KIA Carnival, which they call a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), features sliding doors, making it more of a people mover minivan. But there’s a significant difference between the two versions.

One version features the internal combustion engine (ICE), while the other is a hybrid. We are focusing on the hybrid model in this video. We will compare it directly to its competitor, the Toyota Sienna, a well-selling hybrid minivan.

The Carnival Hybrid hasn’t announced its fuel economy figures yet, but Kia is targeting up to 32 MPG. We’ll let you know how it stacks up against the Sienna once we get the details. Now, let’s take a walk around the Carnival Hybrid, starting under the hood.


Performance & Engine

2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid - Performance & Engine
2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid – Performance & Engine

The 2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid is equipped with a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine. This engine is part of Kia’s Smartstream family, known for its efficiency and performance. The turbocharged engine is paired with an electric motor, creating a hybrid system that delivers a combined output of 242 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque.

Hybrid Powertrain:

The integration of the electric motor with the turbocharged engine provides several benefits:

  • Enhanced Fuel Efficiency: While official EPA ratings are not yet available, Kia targets an impressive 32 MPG, which is competitive within the hybrid MPV market.
  • Power Delivery: The hybrid system ensures smooth power delivery and instant torque from the electric motor, enhancing acceleration and overall driving dynamics.
  • Transmission: Unlike many hybrids that use a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the Carnival Hybrid employs a six-speed automatic transmission. This choice is aimed at providing a more traditional driving experience with distinct gear shifts, potentially making it more engaging for drivers​ (Kia)​.


The combined power of 242 horsepower and substantial torque output translates to a robust and responsive driving experience.

The Carnival Hybrid’s performance is designed to handle various driving conditions, whether it’s city commuting or highway cruising.

The electric motor assists in low-speed driving, reducing fuel consumption and emissions, while the turbocharged engine kicks in for higher-speed and more demanding driving scenarios.

Driving Experience:

  • Smooth Ride: The electric motor contributes to a quiet and smooth ride, especially at lower speeds. This is complemented by the use of acoustic glass and advanced insulation materials within the cabin.
  • Handling and Stability: The hybrid system’s design ensures a low center of gravity, improving handling and stability. The Carnival Hybrid also benefits from Kia’s advanced suspension setup, which is tuned to provide a comfortable yet controlled ride.
  • Regenerative Braking: The vehicle features regenerative braking, which helps to recharge the battery during braking and deceleration, enhancing overall efficiency and reducing wear on the traditional braking system​

Design and Exterior

2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid - Design and Exterior
2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid – Design and Exterior

The 2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid maintains the familiar look of its predecessor with some notable updates. Visually, it aligns with Kia’s modern design language, featuring sleek lines and integrated LED lights that blend seamlessly with its front grille.

Compared to the Staria, another hybrid model from Kia, both vehicles share similarities in design cues, although the Carnival emphasizes a slightly different aesthetic approach.

2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid Specifications

Feature2025 Kia Carnival HybridStaria Hybrid
Engine1.6L Single Turbo + Electric MotorSimilar Configuration
Horsepower245 HP245 HP
Torque37.4 kg-m37.4 kg-m
WeightLighter than StariaHeavier by 150 kg
Seating CapacityUp to 9 passengersUp to 8 passengers
2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid Specifications

Interior Comfort and Space

Stepping inside, the Carnival Hybrid offers a spacious and comfortable cabin, typical of a minivan. The interior is well-appointed with quality materials, including recycled elements, highlighting Kia’s commitment to sustainability.

However, compared to some competitors, the Carnival could benefit from additional storage options and organizational features, especially for those looking to maximize interior space.

Practicality and Convenience

One standout feature is the versatile seating arrangement, accommodating up to nine passengers. The third-row seats are foldable, although they require a bit of effort due to their weight and spring mechanism.

This setup provides ample cargo space when needed, though there are minor design considerations such as a slight bump in the trunk area that may impact practicality for hauling larger items.

Driving Experience and Technology

Behind the wheel, the Carnival Hybrid offers a pleasant driving experience with a smooth ride quality, enhanced by passenger tires that prioritize comfort.

Kia’s driver-focused technology includes a driver-only HVAC function, optimizing energy use when driving solo, and a user-friendly dashboard layout that integrates a wide-screen display. Visibility is good, thanks to thoughtful design proportions that avoid obstructing the driver’s line of sight.

Competitors to consider

When considering the 2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid, it’s essential to evaluate its competitors in the hybrid minivan and multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) market. One notable competitor is the Toyota Sienna Hybrid, renowned for its reliability and efficiency.

The Sienna features a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor, producing around 245 horsepower. It excels in fuel efficiency, achieving approximately 35-36 MPG, and offers an all-wheel-drive option for added traction and stability. The interior is spacious and equipped with advanced technology, including Toyota’s Safety Sense suite, although it uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which may not appeal to everyone​.

Another strong contender is the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which incorporates plug-in hybrid technology. It has a 3.6-liter V6 engine coupled with an electric motor, delivering around 260 horsepower.

The Pacifica Hybrid stands out with its electric-only range of about 32 miles and an overall efficient fuel economy when using both gas and electric power. The interior is luxurious, featuring Stow ‘n Go seating, the Uconnect infotainment system, and various family-friendly amenities.

The plug-in capability allows for flexible driving options, making it suitable for both short electric-only trips and longer hybrid journeys​.

The Honda Odyssey, although not available as a hybrid, remains a popular choice due to its versatility and features. It comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces around 280 horsepower, averaging about 22 MPG combined.

The Odyssey is known for its innovative Magic Slide second-row seats, advanced rear entertainment system, and spacious interior. Additionally, it includes the Honda Sensing safety suite and user-friendly infotainment options, making it a practical choice for families​ (Kia Media)​​ (Kia)​.

For those on a budget, the Chrysler Voyager offers a more economical option. Essentially a lower-trim version of the Pacifica, it does not come in a hybrid variant but provides reliable performance with a 3.6-liter V6 engine producing around 287 horsepower.

It shares a similar fuel efficiency to the Pacifica at about 22 MPG combined and offers key features like a straightforward infotainment system and practical storage solutions​

2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid Price

2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid Price
2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid Price

The pricing for the 2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid is expected to start in the mid-$30,000 range, with higher trims potentially reaching the low to mid-$40,000 range. This positions it competitively within the hybrid minivan market, offering a blend of efficiency, performance, and advanced features​.

Final pricing details will be announced closer to its summer 2024 release, allowing buyers to explore different configurations and options to suit their needs​

2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid Release Date

The 2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid is expected to be available for purchase in the U.S. by summer 2024. This new hybrid model aims to build on the success of previous Carnival versions, offering enhanced fuel efficiency and advanced features to attract a broad range of buyers.

The hybrid variant will be available in several trims, including LXS, EX, SX, and SX Prestige, providing a variety of options for different preferences and budgets

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