Hearse Week Capsule: Hyundai H1 – Van Hearsing.


For most of us, our last car ride will be in something we can’t choose. We’ll spend our last moments above ground in a moving vehicle of indeterminate make and model crawling along at ten miles an hour creating a traffic jam composed of our loved ones. Surprisingly, there is a way to make it even more depressing.


I do hope I can amass a modicum of wealth before my demise, at least enough to close the roads between the place where we’ll hold the wake and the burial grounds. The hearse will then be driven as fast as possible and the mourners will race between themselves to see who can get there first without overtaking it. Winner keeps my stuff. For that something like the very lovely Jaguar XK8 Hearse pictured above would be ideally suited.

Even the ordinary non-specialty hearses that are so very frequent on my neck of the woods would be adequately suited to the task. It helps that they are mostly GMT400 Suburbans. Sure the casket will have more space to roll and bounce about around the corners than in the Jag but It’ll still do. Suburbans are very popular as hearses around here. It already looks like a hearse, for one, and can carry even the most corpulent of the recently deceased. Problem is that the newest GMT400 Suburban is pushing 16 years now and new ones are hideously expensive so nobody buys them anymore. Long gone are the days when you could buy it in what GM calls the ‘WT’  trim. Instead they find similar vehicles that have the same functionality with lower operation costs, enter the Hyundai H1.


In many respects, it’s the ideal car for the job. It’s just as capable as the Suburban of hauling a pine box with a guy inside. With a 170HP 2.5L Turbodiesel engine it may even more adept at doing it than the big Chevy. Its smaller footprint means it’s better-suited for narrow city roads and you can easily cut fuel bills by half when compared with the venerable old 350, let alone the 454. Accounting-wise it’s a dream come true, there really is just one problem with it.

Look at it, it’s a van. Even if you’re not a car guy, you can at least agree that you don’t want your last ride to be the same as the one commonly used by DHL to deliver their packages around or as a microbus. Don’t get me wrong, the H1 is a very practical and sensible car. And Funeral homes are in the business of making money of the mourners and not the vehicle preferences of the mourned, but I don’t think I can find a more inappropriate vehicle to use as a hearse.

Prius hearse

Oh dear Lord.