- Pope Francis has ridden his fair share of Popemobiles in 2019, including a Kia Soul and a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen.
- His Holiness was gifted a Dacia Duster by the automaker in November.
- Take a look at all of the cars the Pope has used as his Popemobile this year.
- Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.
From a flashy Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen to a humbler Kia Soul, His Holiness Pope Francis has had his ridden in his fair share of Popemobiles this year.
The term “Popemobile” — coined in the 1970s — is used to describe cars used to transport His Holiness, according to the New York Times. Some of its earliest iterations include a 1929 Fiat 525 and a Graham-Paige 837 of the same year, according to the Washington Post. Before that, the preferred popemobiles were portable thrones carried by footmen and velvet horse-drawn carriages.
Now, the papal passage is aided by the likes of a Kia, Mercedes-Benz, and Romanian brand Dacia, the later of which gifted the Pope an SUV in November. Automakers sometimes make a custom car for the Pope during his visits to the country in which they are based, like Toyota during his visit to Japan and Dacia during a trip to Romania.
Take a look at this year’s preferred form of papal transports:
A Ford Ranger XLT was the Popemobile of choice during His Holiness’s January visit to Panama, according to Zenit.
Pope Francis rode the iconic open-top Mercedes Benz G-Wagen during his historic visit to Abu Dhabi in February, according to The National.
Source: The National
The Pope rode in an Isuzu during his May visit to Bulgaria. An Isuzu D-Max pickup truck has been used as the Popemobile during past trips, according to Top Gear.
Source: Top Gear
He was also in a Kia Soul during parts of the Abu Dhabi and Bulgaria trip.
Source: The Drive, Getty Images
A custom Dacia Duster was designed specifically for the Pope’s June visit to Romania, according to Romania Journal.
Source: Romania Journal
Groupe Renault also gifted a Dacia Duster four-by-four to Pope Francis in late November.
Madagascar automaker Karenjy made a custom Mazana II for the Pope’s September Madagascar visit, according to France24.
The Pope also rode in a carbon-neutral, hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai around Japan during his visit in November, according to the Associated Press.
During his Thailand trip, the Pope was in a locally-produced Nissan pickup truck, according to UCA News. A “Papal Golf Cart” was also used for the November trip, according to The Thaiger.