By mid-2023, after a year-long test of the Kia Carnival, a few complaints had surfaced—most notably, the desire for better fuel economy. The 2025 Kia Carnival addresses this with not only an attractive refresh but also the introduction of a more fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain. Here’s a detailed look at the updates, features, and pricing for the new Carnival.

Pricing and Enhancements

The 2025 gas-powered Carnival sees a price increase ranging from $2,030 to $4,330 depending on the trim level. The base model, the LX, starts at $37,895, a $3,330 increase from the previous year. However, this price hike comes with significant upgrades, including a standard 4.2-inch TFT driver information display and a 12.3-inch touchscreen. Standard features now include wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, six USB-C ports, two 12-volt power outlets, and voice-activated window and climate control adjustments. The Carnival offers seating for eight, with an optional VIP Lounge Seat second row reducing capacity to seven. It also features wide-opening power-sliding side doors for easy access.

Introduction of the Hybrid Option

The 2025 Carnival introduces a hybrid option for all trims except the base LX. The hybrid powertrain, available for an additional $2,000, replaces the standard 3.5-liter V-6 engine with a turbocharged 1.6-liter I-4 paired with a 54-kW motor and a six-speed automatic transmission. While the hybrid setup produces less horsepower (242 hp) compared to the V-6, it offers more torque (272 lb-ft). Additionally, hybrid models come with aerodynamic features such as 17-inch aerodynamic wheels, active air flaps, and paddle-style regenerative braking controls.

Comparing the 2025 Kia Carnival to Competitors

Chrysler Pacifica

The entry-level Chrysler Pacifica Touring starts at $40,345, making it $2,450 more expensive than the base 2025 Carnival. Despite its age, the Pacifica remains competitive with a standard gas V-6 engine. The top-tier Pacifica Pinnacle exceeds $55,000, significantly higher than the Carnival SX Prestige. While the Pacifica Hybrid offers a plug-in powertrain with about 30 miles of EV-only range, it lacks the AWD option available in the gas version. The Pacifica Hybrid also starts at a higher price point than the Carnival Hybrid, which does not offer a plug-in option.

Toyota Sienna

The 2024 Toyota Sienna LE, with its fully hybrid powertrain and optional AWD, starts at $39,080, making it $1,185 more expensive than the Carnival LX. The Sienna boasts better fuel economy (35-36 mpg combined) but offers less passenger and cargo space compared to the Carnival. The Sienna Platinum FWD, starting at $54,540, comes with extensive features but remains more expensive than the top-of-the-line Carnival SX Prestige. The AWD option for the Sienna adds further to the cost.

Availability

The 2025 Kia Carnival, including the new hybrid models, is expected to hit dealer lots in the summer of 2024. While official fuel economy figures for the hybrid are still pending, they are anticipated to surpass the V-6 model’s ratings of 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. With these updates, the Carnival aims to deliver enhanced performance, better fuel efficiency, and more value to its customers.

2025 Kia Carnival MSRP
Carnival LX $37,895
Carnival LXS $39,895
Carnival LXS Hybrid $41,895
Carnival EX $42,095
Carnival EX Hybrid $44,095
Carnival SX $46,995
Carnival SX Hybrid $48,995
Carnival SX Prestige $51,995
Carnival SX Prestige Hybrid $53,995