Kia has given its flagship minivan a complete revamp this year and the result was a Grand Utility Vehicle – basically a minivan with SUV styling. While the exterior design is among its most lauded traits, the 2021 Carnival, also known as the Kia Sedona in the U.S., has an interior that's equally emphatic.
But the Korean automaker isn't done with giving the Carnival a more upmarket theme in the cabin. In its home country, the new Carnival gets a Hi Limousine trim that elevates the already high-end minivan to another level.
Gallery: 2021 Kia Carnival / Sedona Hi Limousine
On the outside, the deviations from a normal Carnival are obvious, starting with the higher roof with auxiliary brake light. Step boards are added to the side to allow easy ingress and egress, while Hi Limousine badges can be seen to mark the trim.
Inside, the Carnival Hi Limousine seats seven (including the driver and front passenger), with the second row having two captain seats. Kia said that the cabin is highly customizable, but standard features include a massive 21.5-inch monitor for onboard entertainment. The cabin also benefits from high headroom, a built-in air purifier, and a host of LED reading lights.
Most importantly, the Hi Limousine comes with pleated curtains for privacy just like a typical limo. Kind of old school for a modern-looking vehicle, but we think it's adorable.
New to the minivan is advanced driver assistance systems that feature lane-keeping assist, blind-spot detection, and forward collision-avoidance assist with car, cyclist, and pedestrian detection. It also comes with a semi-autonomous Level 2 driving system, along with Safe Exit Assist that prevents the doors from opening if the car detected an oncoming vehicle.
The 2021 Kia Carnival Hi Limousine is now sold in Korea. Whether or not it will reach the U.S. is still unconfirmed at this point. After all, it might take a while before North America gets the totally revamped minivan since Kia's U.S. website lists the old Sedona for the 2021 model year.