Van life has exploded stateside in the past year. And though some people might want a cool-looking ride, not everyone wants an eerie-looking one. But one fancy minivan in the Korean market resembles something akin to a hearse. Here’s a look at the Kia Carnival Hi Limousine and its connection to the Kia Sedona.
The Kia Carnival Hi Limousine
Kia has a new ultra-luxury minivan to sell in Korea, according to Car and Driver. This new version of the Kia Carnival — the Carnival Hi Limousine — provides passengers with posh accommodations. The van seats seven, Motor1.com reports.
Car and Driver says this minivan boasts a “lounge-like interior” featuring “recliner-style second-row seats, privacy curtains for the rear windows, an air purifier, entertainment screens, and even an LED lamp on the ceiling that’s meant to mimic a skylight.” One is the “Smart Monitor,” a 21.5-inch LCD screen with HDMI and USB ports. In addition to the LED skylight, there’s hidden mood lighting and adjustable reading lights that emerge from the ceiling. And passengers in the second-row seats can use heated or cooled cupholders.
Its raised roof offers plenty of headroom, although there still isn’t extensive legroom in the third row. But not everything has seen upgrades, and some hard plastics cover areas such as lower doors and pillars.
The Kia Carnival Hi Limousine’s exterior features a high-top roof and extra chrome trim. Running boards line both sides, according to Autoblog. The Carnival Hi Limousine offers a choice of two engines: a 3.5-liter V6 harnessing 294 hp and 261 lb-ft of torque and a 2.2-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder producing 202 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Both engines pair with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The van also offers advanced safety features. They include forward and rear collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring, MotorTrend reports.
The Kia Carnival Hi Limousine is popular with politicians and celebrities in South Korea. It retails there for the equivalent of about $56,000. Car and Driver points out the Carnival Hi Limousine isn’t the only luxury minivan, joining the Lexus LM in China.
The eerie resemblance
The Kia Carnival Hi Limousine is definitely an upscale minivan. But with its extended roof and hanging curtains, it also looks like a hearse.
According to Laurel Hill Cemetery, hearses take different forms in different parts of the world. In the United States, brands such as Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, and Lincoln often manufacture hearses. The rear of the vehicle usually has no windows, dark tinted windows, or curtained windows.
In Europe, hearses feature extra glass to display the casket. In Japan, the rear of the vehicle is sometimes decorated to resemble a Buddhist temple.
The 2022 Kia Sedona/Carnival
This bougie Kia minivan is expected to arrive in the U.S. market next year as the 2022 Sedona. However, it won’t be a limo. The Carnival is sold as the Sedona in the North American market, although rumors are swirling that the Carnival name will replace “Sedona” on the 2022 U.S. model.
The recently redesigned Carnival is said to become the next generation of the Sedona for 2022. While the fanciest features probably won’t travel to the States, the reclining lounge seat might. Pre-2019 Sedona models had similar captain’s seats on the highest trim level.
The 2022 Sedona/Carnival also will adopt the Kia Telluride‘s rugged styling and look more like a three-row SUV. It will feature a boxier shape and a more defined hood and front end. The new exterior design will depart from traditional minivan style to include an updated front and grille with daytime running lights. Kia has also decided to rebrand the Sedona as a “grand utility vehicle” rather than a minivan.
Car and Driver muses that the 2022 Sedona will probably have a 290-hp, 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. There’s a chance it’ll have all-wheel drive to compete with the Toyota Sienna and the Chrysler Pacifica, but Car and Driver doesn’t think that will happen. There probably won’t be a hybrid option either.
The publication also guesses that not too many Americans would want to buy a Kia Sedona with the Hi Limousine package. But it’s amusing “to see a van that’s nicer than your living room,” Car and Driver says.