Think luxury minivan, and immediately you might think of such models like the Toyota Alphard or its more lavish cousin, the Lexus LM. With its sleek exterior, leather-lined cabin, an abundance of standard amenities, and the option of having it as a four-seater minivan, the LM is the epitome of a luxury lounge on wheels.
But it looks like Kia wants to challenge the Lexus LM in its own game. Say hello to the 2022 Kia Carnival Hi-Limousine, the most opulent version of the Korean minivan. While the exterior may look the same as the standard Hi-Limousine, it features major changes on the inside.
Beginning with the most obvious, this particular Hi-Limousine only comes as a four-seater. It gets ottoman seats with massage function, pleated curtains, a massive 21.5-inch display mounted on the ceiling, heated/cooled cupholders, and a center touchscreen that manages most of the onboard features.
Need to store some extra items inside the Carnival? In front of the seats are storage bins allowing occupants to keep their shoes, gadgets, and other belongings away from prying eyes. There's even a mini-fridge that can keep your drinks cool while on the go. Those that need to recharge their phones can do so via wireless charging. As an added touch, Kia also installed an air purifier to ensure air quality is clean at all times.
Under the hood, the Hi-Limousine comes with two engine options. First is the 2.2-liter turbo-diesel inline-four that makes 199 PS with 441 Nm of torque. The other motor is the gasoline-fed 3.5-liter V6 which puts out 290 PS and 355 Nm of torque. Both engines are connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Thinking of getting one? For now, only the Korean market gets the Carnival Hi-Limousine 4-seater, which has a sticker price of KRW 88,260,000 or around PHP 3,873,048. It's not bad for a fully-loaded 4-seat minivan. However, expect prices to skyrocket, assuming it becomes available in the Philippines in the future whether it's from an official import by Kia Philippines or gray market dealerships.
Should you have the choice, which one would you pick? The Lexus LM or the Kia Carnival Hi-Limousine? Let us know in the comments.