Kia refreshed the fourth generation of the Carnival and unveiled it at the 2024 Chicago Auto Show as a 2025 model year, and the changes were massive.
The Korean automaker introduced the fourth generation of the Carnival in 2021 for the 2022 model, and Kia named it an MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle). It didn't look like a minivan anymore but more like an SUV with sliding rear doors and a lower ground clearance. Kia updated the vehicle in all areas. Besides the new bolder look, the automaker also performed significant upgrades inside the cabin, so customers could enjoy more luxurious items than before in the Carnival. Last but not least, the drivetrain went through some changes and was available with a surprisingly new hybrid drivetrain that aimed for excellent fuel efficiency.
When the automaker decided to refresh the Carnival, the new model had to sport the brand's new signature design. As a result, the 2025 model year MPV featured a broad black grille at the front that covered almost the entire front fascia and was flanked by tall and slim LED headlights. Furthermore, a set of amber-colored daytime running lights extended to the sides and then angled down, following the car's front corners.
From its profile, there were no significant changes besides the wheels' new design. The car was available in five grades for the ICE-only version, while the HEV was offered in four, ditching the LX base trim level. Thanks to the generously sized sliding rear doors, the 2025 Carnival provided enough space for passengers to get in and out of the vehicle. A body-colored C-pillar and darkened D-posts behind them created the image of a more upscale vehicle. Finally, out back, the automaker boasted a refined aspect thanks to its smooth lines. A skid plate that contrasted with the black cladding was also available, giving the car an SUV stance.
Customers found a surprisingly luxurious cabin in the 2025 Carnival. The most significant change was for the dashboard, where Kia installed a curved panoramic dual-display consisting of a 12.3-inch instrument panel and a 12.3-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. This setup was available as an option, while a set containing a 4.2-inch TFT plus an eight-inch touchscreen was fitted as standard. Furthermore, the automaker offered an option for a color head-up display that projected an image onto the windshield. Kia knew that when all the seats would be occupied, the interior rearview mirror could be pointless. That's why it offered it as a dual system: either as a regular mirror or, at the flick of a switch, displayed the image from behind the car taken from a dedicated camera.
Up to eight passengers could sit on the three-row vehicle. Still, the automaker also offered the car with either six or seven chairs.
Under the hood, the 2025 Carnival came with either a 3.5-liter V6 or a hybrid drivetrain. The latter consisted of a 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline unit and an electric motor for a total output of 242 hp (245 PS) paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
ENGINE SPECS - 3.5L V6 8AT (290 HP)
|214 KW @ 6400 RPM
291 HP @ 6400 RPM
287 BHP @ 6400 RPM
|260 lb-ft @ 5000 RPM
353 Nm @ 5000 RPM
|Gasoline Direct Injection and Multi Port Injection
|19 gallons (71.9 L)
|203 in (5156 mm)
|89.2 in (2266 mm)
|68.5 in (1740 mm)
|68.9/68.9 in (1,750/1,750 mm)
|121.7 in (3091 mm)
|6.8 in (173 mm)
|40.2 cuFT (1138 L)