The Kia Carnival minivan consistently surprises us. It’s up against tough competition in the minivan class. But it impresses with rugged good looks, responsive handling for such a big vehicle, and a warranty that can protect the important parts until 2034.

But it’s long been lacking one thing the Toyota Sienna and Chrysler Pacifica offer — a hybrid powertrain. That’s about to change.

The interior of the 2025 Kia Carnival

Kia revealed a refreshed 2025 Carnival this week, and the headline is hybrid power. Kia won’t make every minivan it builds that year a hybrid like Toyota and Chrysler do. But it will offer a fuel-sipping hybrid version — an important consideration for most families big enough to need a minivan.

The standard engine remains a 3.5-liter V6, making 290 horsepower. The hybrid setup gets 242 horses from the combination of a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor. Both send power only to the front wheels — there’s no all-wheel drive (AWD) option on any Carnival.

The second-row seats of the 2025 Kia Carnival

Kia hasn’t revealed MPG figures. Or pricing, for that matter. The 2024 Carnival starts at $34,995 (including the mandatory $1,395 destination fee).

The Carnival retains its unique slammed SUV look but gets a new grille and more complex lighting with Kia’s new signature amber-colored “star map” linear look. New, more geometric wheel designs will be offered, too.

The 2025 Kia Carnival seen from a rear quarter angle

Inside, changes are subtle. An optional package puts the 12.3-inch driver’s instrument screen and matching 12.3-inch infotainment screen together in one curved housing for a high-tech look. An optional head-up display projects navigation directions and other driving info directly in the driver’s vision.

A brilliant hidden gem — seatbelt buckles include built-in lights, making them easier to fasten in the dark. Why hasn’t anyone thought of that before?

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