Kia has announced its fourth new product for the Indian car market, the Carens MPV. Based on the platform of Kia Seltos which it shares with the Hyundai Alcazar, the new Kia Carens made its global debut with six and seven-seater layouts and three different engine options. The new Kia Carens will be positioned above the Seltos and will be officially launched in the first quarter of 2022
The new Kia Carens measures 4540mm long, 1800mm wide and 1700mm tall. These figures make it bigger than the Alcazar with which it shares its platform. For reference, the Alcazar measures 4500mm long, 1790mm wide and 1675 mm tall. The new Carens has a best-in-class wheelbase of 2780mm and a ground clearance of 192mm.
Contrary to what was believed, the new Kia Carens share nothing with the Seltos with which it shares its basic mechanicals. It wears a completely new design language with body cladding all around and roof rails, which gives it a stance of an SUV. It has a sleek front fascia with split all-LED headlamps and a blacked-out strip of grille running in between, which sources inspiration from other global Kia offerings like the Soul and the recently unveiled Niro. The ice-cube LED fog lamps are integrated on the side edges of the lower grille.
The long side profile of the Kia Carens is very much MPV-like, with it getting 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, chrome finish for the door handles and lower part of door panels, blacked-out pillars and floating roof treatment with a black stripe on the D-pillar. The rear profile of the Kia Carens has Y-themed wraparound LED tail lamps which are joined with an LED light bar. The rounded rear windscreen gets a large spoiler above it, while the aggressively styled rear bumper gets heavy satin chrome treatment around the reflectors and across their width.
Unlike the Alcazar which shares its cabin layout with the Creta, the Kia Carens has a completely different looking cabin in comparison to the Seltos. The wide and deep design for the dashboard makes the cabin look big and airy, which is something that we have seen in many MPVs in the past.
There is an all-new full-TFT instrument console and a large 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system housed in a large wraparound panel across the width of the dashboard, which also gets assisted with sleek looking AC vents. The lower centre console gets a touch-operated panel for automatic climate control with toggle-like switches. There is a small electric sunroof, and no panoramic sunroof on offer, as the Carens get roof-mounted rear AC vents.
Other prominent features of the cabin of the Kia Carens are 8-speaker audio system from BOSE, multi-functional steering wheel, optional captain seats for the second row, electrically foldable middle row seats, ventilated front seats, wireless charger, air purifier, powered driver’s seat, UVO Connect and 64-colour ambient lighting. The list of safety features for the Carens includes six airbags, ABS with EBD, electronic stability control, disc brakes all around, hill start assist, tyre pressure monitoring system, 360-degree camera and front and rear parking sensors.
Engine and Transmission options
The Kia Carens shares all of its engine and transmission options with the Seltos. There are two petrol engine options – a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine which makes 115 PS of power and 144 Nm of torque and a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine which produces 140 PS of power and 242 Nm of torque. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard in both variants, with the turbo-petrol engine also getting an option of a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
The Carens will also be available with a 1.5-litre diesel engine, which is offered with both 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic gearbox options and pumps out 115 PS of power and 250 Nm of torque. It is worth noting that the 2.0-litre petrol engine from Alcazar is not offered in the Carens.
The direct and most obvious competitor to the Kia Carens is the Hyundai Alcazar, with which it shares its platform and diesel engine. The Carens will also take on other three-row vehicles in this space, such as Maruti Suzuki XL6, Mahindra Marazzo and lower variants of Mahindra XUV700, MG Hector Plus and Tata Safari.