Kia has seen quite a bit of success in India even as one of the newer entrants. One of their first cars – the Seltos SUV – is seen in massive numbers on the streets. In fact, it has consistently been ranked among the top 15 cars in India. Although the vehicle has recently seen a decline in sales numbers.
Their third car, the Sonet compact SUV has also seen its fair share of popularity. Given that it is available with an extremely wide range of engine and transmission options as well as trim levels, the starting price of the Sonet isn’t so bad either.
Now, Kia is all set to launch the Carens, an MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) slotted right between the Seltos and the Carnival. With bookings all set to begin on January 15, the South Korean carmaker has already announced the various engine options as well as trim levels that the Carens will be available with.
The Kia Carens, in essence is a three row multi-purpose vehicle, marketed by Kia as a recreational vehicle. There are two seating options, a 7-seater and a 6-seater option. The 6-seater is, sadly, available only on the top-line Luxury Plus variant and we’ll get into that.
In all, the Carens comes with three engine options. The entry level is a 1.5-litre petrol that will be available only on the entry-level trim. This naturally aspirated engine produces 115PS of power and 144Nm of peak torque. This powertrain, however, will only be available mated to a single 6-speed gearbox option.
The next is a 1.5-litre diesel engine capable of producing again, 115PS of maximum power and a peak torque figure of 250Nm. Mated to this is an option between a 6-speed manual transmission and 6-speed automatic gearbox.
And finally, the Kia Carens gets a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine capable of churning out 140PS of maximum power and 242Nm of peak torque. Transmission options on this include a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed DCT gearbox.
The Kia Carens will be available in a total of five variants – Premium, Prestige, Prestige Plus and Luxury Plus. As we mentioned, the 1.5-litre N/A engine will only be available on the base Premium trim. While the turbo-petrol and diesel MT variants will be available across the board, the Plus versions will receive the petrol-DCT automatic combination option while diesel-automatic combo will be available only on the Luxury Plus variant.
Even as the base variant, the Premium is kitted out fairly well, the highlight of which is the 10-Hi Safety Package. This includes safety tech such as ABS, BAS (brake force assist system), ESC, hill-start assist, vehicle stability management, downhill brake control, airbags all around, parking sensors and ISOFIX child seat anchors. Other features include a 7.5-inch digital instrument cluster insert, semi-leatherette seats, second-row one-touch electric tumble, 16-inch steel rims with rim caps and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
The Prestige forms the second trim level for the Kia Carens. Including all the features mentioned above, the Prestige adds in a little extra. An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. The instrument cluster is a whole 12.5-inch digital display, there are six speakers, voice-recognition, steering mounted audio controls, a rear parking camera and front parking sensors.
Of course, features from the Prestige are available here as well. This trim, however, is the first trim level where an automatic transmission is available. Additional features include 16-inch alloys instead of the steel rims, star map LED DRLs and tail lamps, keyless entry and go, three drive modes, auto climate control and auto cruise control with a speed limiting function.
The Luxury variant of the Carens gets all-LED lighting as standard. The infotainment system is swapped out for a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen which also gets Kia’s Connect UI connected car tech. This is also capable of OTA updates as and when the company rolls them out. Other additional features include ambient lighting, telescopic steering wheel adjustment, air purifier, leatherette seats, leather-wrapped D-Cut Steering Wheel and cup and can holders which feature a cooling function.
The Luxury Plus is available in all manual, 6-speed automatic and 7-speed DCT option, both of which also get paddle shifters for convenience. Further, it is also the only variant available in a six-seater configuration. Additionally, th Luxury Plus also gets an 8-speaker Bose sound system, wireless charging pad, ventilated front seats, rain sensing wipers, a sunroof, room lamp for the second and third row of seats and puddle lamps on the rear doors with the Kia Logo projection.
The Kia Carens is all set for its market launch early next month and while prices have yet to be announced, expect a starting price of somewhere around the Rs 12 lakh mark. When launched the Carens will go up against the likes of the recently launched Mahindra XUV700, Hyundai Alcazar, Tata Safari and even the MG Hector Plus