Pickup trucks are big news in the East. From Singapore to Tokyo, decked out hyper-luxury vans offer the kind of options that would make an S-Class blush. And that makes sense – with the rest of the world flocking to premium SUVs for their perceived benefits, what more spacious and versatile than a van?
Kia certainly got the memo with the unveiling of its new Kia Carnival Hi-Limousine at the end of 2020. Undoubtedly intended to challenge the likes of the Toyota Alphard and, to a lesser extent, the Mercedes-Benz V-Class, Kia’s version of the minivan-based extravaganza went all out.
Read: The new 2021 Kia Carnival Hi limo isn’t your typical minivan
Still, the Koreans weren’t done yet and so for the 2022 model year they’re introducing an even more luxurious four-seat variant that does away with the three-row layout in favor of a two-row configuration with two “Premium” . “Relaxation” captain’s chairs aft, each upholstered in “three-dimensional” quilted Nappa leather. Said to mimic what you would normally find in a first class airline cabin, the two lucky passengers are given individual tray tables.
Naturally, the chairs have a range of power adjustments, all of which can be controlled either by a 7-inch touchscreen or via your phone. The screen can control other functions, including lighting, climate control and a 21.5-inch smart TV.
Had a tough day trading KOSPI? Then take off your shoes and enjoy a relaxing foot massage with the built-in automated massager. Don’t want your shoes rattling in the cabin? No problem, just store them in the rear shoe box.
Foot massage? To verify
The cubbies continue, with a hot or cold cabinet that can accommodate drinks, as well as cup holders that can be heated or cooled.
Lily: Can the Germans still hold their crown against the Genesis GV70 2022?
The price of this extravagance? Just under 87 million South Korean won. That translates to around US$75,500 – pricey for a pickup truck, okay. But if you consider that a Merc S-Class starts from $109,800, the Carnival Hi-Limousine starts to look like a bargain.
It seems unlikely that the Carnival Hi-Limousine will be offered in the US, but if it was, would you get one rather than a luxury sedan?