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November 9, 2023

Can The 2025 Kia Carnival's Turbo Hybrid Formula Make It A Better Alternative To The Toyota Alphard?

After revealing the first pics of its refresh a couple of weeks back, Kia has now revealed more details about the 2025 Carnival MPV, including its interior and powertrain.

The Carnival’s “SUV-like” styling has been infused with Kia’s refined Opposites United design philosophy. This results in the “Modern Boldness” look you see here. Up front, the 2025 Carnival has been totally redesigned with a new grille, lighting, and bumper. There’s greater emphasis on giving it visual heft and this could be seen in the new Star Map headlight design. The headlights are now stacked vertically, while the DRL extends into the center of the grille. The lower side intakes in the bumper are gone, but the main central opening in the lower bumper has been enlarged.

At the back, designers opted for something “Robust and Clean.” The new Star Map taillights have been made to extend downward and horizontally, almost meeting in the middle. The tailgate itself is also totally redesigned, removing the exposed tailgate handling. The bumper has been retrimmed too for a simplified look.

Overall, the design is closer to the EV9’s geometric design and thanks to available 18 or 19-inch wheels, it’s as sporty and aggressive as MPVs can get.

Inside, the horizontally-themed cabin gets a panoramic curved display that blends two 12.3-inch screens seamlessly and a 11-inch heads-up display. Kia’s next-generation operating system, ccNC has also been applied to the Carnival for the first time as are USB Type C inputs. The Carnival also gets new climate control switches which happen to share the same bank of physical controls as the infotainment (like the EV6). There’s also a new ambient lighting system on the crash pad and door garnish, available rear seat screens, and even a UV-C disinfection bin in the armrest.

The seats themselves have been revamped on the 2025 Carnival. The driver’s Ergo Motion seat contains a built-in massager for optimal comfort during long drives. The same goes for the Dynamic Body Care second-row Captain’s Seats with the same built-in massagers but stretch all the way to the calves.

Now for the most interesting bit. The 2025 Carnival retains its 3.5-liter gasoline direct injection (GDI) V6 which makes 294 horsepower and 355 Nm of torque as well as the 2.2-liter common rail direct injection (CRDI) 4-cylinder diesel with 194 horsepower and 441 Nm of torque. Both get an 8-speed automatic with a rotary-style shifter. This, however, is joined by a new turbo hybrid which makes a combined 180 horsepower (75 horsepower or 54 kW from the on-board electric motor) and 304 Nm of torque (265 Nm from the combustion engine). And unlike other hybrids which rely on CVTs, Kia has opted to pair it with a 6-speed automatic.

The Carnival Hybrid also has three “E” features: E-Ride which minimizes vehicle shaking by adjusting the drive motor’s torque when passing over bumps; E-Handling that improves steering response and stability by shifting the center of gravity by acceleration or deceleration control of the electric motor (think Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control), and finally E-Electrically Evasive Handling Assist that can control the load of the front and rear wheels during evasive maneuvers to avoid front collisions and stability after evasion.

The 2025 Kia Carnival is now available for preorders in its home market of Korea where it will go on sale first. After that, it’ll be offered to more global markets sometime mid to late 2024.


  1. I think the Alphard still looks and feels more luxurious inside out.

  2. Definitely will be buying the hybrid Carnival when it is available here in the Philippines. Toyota dealers here in the Philippines continue their unscrupulous practice of forcing you to buy P500K body kits and forcing you to finance in-house so you can have the honor of buying cars from them?! lol!


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