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2025 Kia Carnival Hybrid Version Presented at Chicago Auto Show

The 2025 Kia Carnival HEV
Photo: Kia
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Daniel Rufiange
The hybrid minivan gets the same engine as the Sportage and Sorento hybrid SUVs

Kia is updating its Carnival minivan for 2025, and this week at the Chicago Auto Show the automaker announced a hybrid variant will join the lineup.

The model has obvious direct rivals in the Toyota Sienna (only available in hybrid configuration) and the Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid.

We contacted Kia Canada to confirm that the version will indeed be offered here. Susan Bernardo, head of communications, had this to say: “We're in the process of finalizing the information, and details will be available early next week.”

We can deduce from that that the answer is yes, because if the model wasn't coming, we would have been told on the spot.

We'll update this when we receive the information.

The 2025 Kia Carnival HEV, three-quarters rear
The 2025 Kia Carnival HEV, three-quarters rear
Photo: Kia

The hybrid powertrain of the 2025 Kia Carnival

This hybrid powertrain had already been announced elsewhere in the world, and we know it well. It's the 1.6L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine also found in the Sportage Hybrid and Sorento Hybrid models. The combined power of this block and the electrics that support it is 242 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission provides the link to the front wheels.

The 3.5L V6 version offers 290 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque, plus an 8-speed automatic transmission. Fuel consumption figures have not been announced, but they should be similar to the Sorento Hybrid's 6.7L/100 km in the city and 7.1L/100 km on the highway.

As for the changes to the model for 2025, we already know they won’t be radical. The minivan is getting slightly redesigned headlights and lights, plus a reworked grille and bumpers. New wheel designs will also be introduced.

The 2025 Kia Carnival HEV, interior
The 2025 Kia Carnival HEV, interior
Photo: Kia

Inside, the touchscreen has been redesigned to match those of the brand's other recent updated models. The standard layout features a more traditional instrument cluster, with a 4.2-inch information screen for the driver. In the centre is a 12.3-inch touchscreen. It will be possible to opt for two 12.3-inch units. At the rear, an entertainment system will offer two 14.6-inch high-definition surfaces. Seven USB-C ports will be arranged throughout the cabin, and it will be possible to use one's phone as a vehicle access key.

For the rest, we'll wait to learn more about the model and get behind the wheel.

What's certain is that the arrival of a hybrid version could only help - sales of the model have been stagnant in Canada.

The 2025 Kia Carnival HEV, in profile
The 2025 Kia Carnival HEV, in profile
Photo: Kia
The 2025 Kia Carnival HEV, seating
The 2025 Kia Carnival HEV, seating
Photo: Kia
Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists