CHICAGO – Kia Motors is adding a hybrid model to its Fiesta minivan to meet growing consumer demand for the technology and to help meet stricter federal fuel economy standards.

Hybrids are a growing choice for automakers as they strive to make vehicles more efficient and avoid costly federal fuel economy and emissions standards. They’re also cheaper and require less adjustment for consumers who want something greener but aren’t ready for a fully electric vehicle.

The U.S. auto industry’s electric vehicle sales fell short of expectations.

Hybrid vehicles typically include a traditional internal combustion engine combined with EV technology such as electric motors and small batteries. They function like conventional vehicles and do not need to be plugged into a power source like electric cars or plug-in hybrid electric cars.

Announced at the Chicago Auto Show, the Fiesta Hybrid is expected to go on sale in the summer alongside an updated version of the conventional minivan. Both models feature updated styling and interior technology compared to the current model, which made a splash in the family hauler segment with its SUV-style design when it was launched in 2021.

2025 Kia Carnival interior

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Kia did not announce pricing or fuel economy expectations for the new model. The current Fiesta starts at about $33,000 to $47,000.Equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine to achieve 20.6 miles per gallon combined City/highway, total mileage is 418 miles.

That V6 will continue to be offered alongside a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo hybrid engine that produces 242 hp and 271 ft-lbs of torque, according to Kia.

Kia said it expects hybrid models to account for half of Fiesta sales.

This will be Kia’s fourth hybrid. The automaker also offers three plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

In addition to the hybrid option, the updated minivan includes a redesigned front and rear, including new lights and a larger, more open grille at the front of the vehicle. The updated interior includes Kia’s new infotainment system and other new technology. It continues to offer “VIP Lounge Seats” with power controls and leg extensions, just like traditional recliners.

The 2025 Kia Carnival “VIP Lounge Seats” feature power controls and leg extensions, much like a traditional recliner.

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Although the U.S. minivan market is far from its peak of about 1.5 million vehicles in the mid-1990s, some car companies such as Hyundai and Chrysler still fall into the category.

Kia parent Hyundai Motor Co. sold fewer than 44,000 Fiesta vehicles last year but captured 14% of the U.S. minivan market of about 305,500 units last year, according to automotive data firm Motor Intelligence.

Chrysler was the segment leader last year, with sales of more than 120,550 Pacifica minivans (including plug-in hybrid electric versions) and about 40% of the market.


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