Kia Carens, A combination of the words “car” and “renaissance” gave rise to the moniker. As a recreational vehicle, it’s sold under the Kia brand. To suit the needs of the large Indian family, it has arrived.
The crucial term here is “derivative,” as the Kia Carens is essentially a three-row version of the Seltos. 225mm longer overall, 160mm longer in wheelbase, and 80mm taller, the Carens is an entirely different car in both size and appearance. In attributes, the Carens is more MPV than SUV, though Kia is keeping clear of typecasting it as either, hence the ‘RV’ name. Anyone who requires a vehicle with three rows of seats should check out the Carens.
It’s typical of Kia to have a wide variety of options. There are five engine-gearbox combinations, five trim levels, and two seating options.. There are three options for engines: a 115hp, 1.5-liter petrol; a 140hp, 1.4-liter turbo-petrol (with a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic), as well as a 112hp, 250 Nm diesel (with a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic) (offered with a 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic). It is only available in the lower trims, the 1.4 petrol-manual and 1.5 diesel-manual are the only versions available in all five trim levels, and the automatic options are available in fully-loaded form. A 6-passenger version of the Carens with captain’s chairs in the middle row is available on top-spec Luxury Plus trims, although it’s not standard equipment.
As we all have seen, the Hyundai Alcazar is a XXL-sized Creta but the Kia Carens doesn’t look like an extended version of Seltos. If you look closely, there are some cosmetic similarities between the two Kias, but they aren’t enough to lead you to believe that they are the same vehicle.
Big Interior Space
Despite its low-set bonnet and big interior space, the kia Carens seems like an MPV because of its cladding on the sides and around the wheel wells, which give it an SUV-like appearance. The stylish 16-inch rims that come standard on Carens trims are a nice touch. A more SUV-like stance might have been achieved with larger wheels, but this would have necessitated deeper wheel wells, which could have resulted in less inside room. To sum it all up, the Carens is a gorgeous car with a tonne of eye-catching features.
A knurled gloss-black strip spans the length of the front end to connect the split-headlamps on either side of the Carens. Lower down grille, with Kia’s distinctive ‘Tiger Nose’ indents shifted to the chrome ring for the air dam. The LED fog lights embed nicely into the bumper for a clean look. In addition, the top LED DRLs look like constellations and flash orange as turn signals, which is a nice touch.
Lengthy Wheelbase & Big Rear Doors
When viewed from the side, the Carens is clearly a large vehicle, measuring 4,540mm in length. Despite its lengthy wheelbase (2,780mm), big rear doors, and substantial rear overhang, Kia’s Carens looks stylish thanks to the work of the company’s design team. It features a sleek waistline that narrows at the front doors and widens out towards the back, and even the glasshouse has a style element with spread quarter windows. At the window line, door handles, and side cladding, Kia has employed chrome and brushed materials to great advantage. The roof rails, on the other hand, are purely ornamental and serve no practical purpose.
Triangular tail lamps that connect with the light bar gives a clean rear look. The rear bumper features a chrome garnish with knurled detailing as well.
YOpen the doors and step inside to feel the rich quality of interiors of kia carens.In terms of mass-market cars, everything from the dashboard gloss panel to the tiny buttons on the centre console seems upscale. The interior colour scheme of navy blue and cream, reminiscent of the Mercedes E 350d, is striking on its own.
The interior of the Carens is likewise a welcoming place to spend time. The seats and steering wheel are well-padded and adjustable, and all buttons and functions are within easy reach for the driver. Fortunately, the 10.25-inch touchscreen that is flush with the dashboard and slanted to reduce reflections is also simple to read on sunny days. As a result, most of us disliked the LCD display for speedometer and tachometer readings.
Smaller goods can be stored in the front of the room thanks to a well-thought-out layout. Additional features include cupholders with ventilation and a pop-out cup holder for the front passenger, along with a storage tray under the front seat for the driver’s belongings. A wireless phone charging pad is also located in the centre console.
Getting into the second row of the Carens is a cinch thanks to the vehicle’s low seating position and spacious rear doors. Once you’ve settled down, the sense of security you feel rises even more. Comfortable captain’s chairs, adjustable armrests, and the ability to alter the backrest angle make the 6-seat version’s captain’s chairs ideal for long journeys. Even with the seats in the middle position, there’s still plenty of room for your legs, but you’ll get the best results by sliding them all the way back.
60/40 Split Seats
A 60/40 split-bench seat in the middle row for 7-seaters provides plenty of room for passengers. Three average-sized persons can comfortably sit in the middle seat, thanks to the near-flat floor.
With retractable sunshades and large windows, you get a great view of the outdoors from the Carens. You also get good frontal visibility from the back. The Carens lack a panoramic sunroof and must make do with a single-pane option. Before you ask, no. Full-length sunroofs are out of the question because of the roof-mounted air-conditioning vents. To be fair, the vents do a good job of moving air to the rear, and the blower may be controlled separately. The air purifier in the Carens is located strangely behind the backrest of the driver’s seat. Because of this, it’s not ideal for those who operate in an office environment.
USB Type C chargers, cup holders and huge bottle compartments are all included in the centre console for middle-seat passengers. There is also enough space between the captain seats to conceal ladies handbags.
The Carens’ third-row comfort sets it apart from the competition. The kerbside seat has a one-touch electric-assisted mechanism, while the other two middle-row seats have tumble and fold. It folds out of the way when you press a button on the seat shoulder. A big opening is created, making it easy to reach the final row. The third-row seats aren’t as knees-up as we’ve come to expect, but they’re still comfy. The backrest angle may be adjusted as well, and the amount of storage capacity is very astounding. With a little help from the second row passengers, even six-footers will be able to sit comfortably in the back of the vehicle. Third-row passengers don’t feel confined thanks to the huge rear windows, superb vision, and roof-mounted vents in the back.
To make the third row more comfortable for extended rides, cupholders on both sides and USB Type C charging capabilities have been added to the vehicle.
Some Class Leading Features
The Carens acquire a lot of things, and the list is vast. LED lights, ventilated front seats, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, Bose sound system, connected technology, 64-color ambient lighting, LCD instruments, a sunroof, auto climate control, onboard air purifier, cruise control, and electric seat tumble are all included in the Luxury Plus version’s options.
In terms of characteristics, however, it must be noted that the Hyundai Alcazar will surely be in the same consideration set for buyers. The Alcazar has features like power front seats, a 360-degree camera, blind spot cameras, and a panoramic sunroof, but the Carens does not. Until further notice, at least.
The Carens comes well-equipped with safety features like six airbags, ESC, front and rear disc brakes, ISOFIX child-seat mounts, and a tyre pressure monitoring system as standard. This makes it an excellent choice for families. A rear-view camera and parking sensors are standard on the most expensive models. Crash regulations in India have just been updated, but the Carens is still awaiting a test from the Global NCAP organisation.
216 litres of luggage space is provided by the Carens with all seats raised, which is sufficient for carry-ons or soft bags. A total of 645 litres of cargo space is made available by the rearmost seats, which split 50-50 and fold flat for easy access. You may also lower the second-row seats to enhance storage capacity to 1,164 litres for house-moving trips.
However, the Carens’ boot lip is wide, and the floor is a little higher than normal. Underneath the hood is a spare wheel.
Alcazar’s cousin, the Carens, has proven that a 115hp, 1.5-liter diesel engine is more than adequate for a vehicle that has to carry as many as seven occupants… for the most part. When you need a quick overtake, you’ll appreciate the 6-speed gearbox’s smooth shifts and ability to keep you from being left in the dust. You won’t feel any lack of power in city driving. In sixth gear, the Carens diesel reaches 100 kph at an indicated 1,900 rpm, making it a very pleasant cruiser.
When there are only four people in the car, the engine feels fine, but when there are six or seven, it’s out of its comfort zone. While driving, you’ll notice a rumbling from the engine bay, as well as a downshift in the transmission as the engine works harder to meet your demands. A big load on an uphill climb or inclination only serves to emphasise this. Even though paddle shifters are convenient for speedy gear changes, you won’t be reaching for them very often with this engine. It helps a little to have the sport drive mode selected.
Manual Diesel Engine With 6 Speed Gearbox
On the diesel-manual, it’s the same story. This car’s 6-speed gearbox and well-weighted clutch are easy to handle, and it has enough power for most city driving. However, the Seltos with the same engine and gearbox are faster. When you’re hauling a heavyweight, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to your gear. The engine isn’t as potent as one found in a vehicle with a larger engine, such as an Innova Crysta.
The Carens diesel-automated managed a 0-100kph time of 12.55 seconds, which is on par with the Alcazar diesel. Alternatively, the Carens diesel’s selling point will be its affordability rather than its performance.
Turbo Petrol Engine With 140hp
Customers opting for a more spirited version of the Carens will enjoy the 1.4 turbo-petrol model. There is no harshness to the 140hp and 242Nm motor, and it has a lovely power curve right out of the gate. At 1,600 rpm, the engine starts to show its sportier side, and it’s enjoyable to give it a little wind. Despite this, the Carens’ 7-speed dual-clutch reaction seems sluggish in comparison to the Seltos, which has the identical engine-gearbox combination. A brief halt occurs when the accelerator is stomped forcefully, resulting in a gear change. There’s some benefit to Sport mode, but it’s not as quick as on the Seltos.
Taking a more laid-back approach to driving is a good fit for the Carens experience.
The Carens petrol-auto managed the 0-100kph dash in 10.18sec, compared to 9.72sec for the Seltos DCT in our preliminary performance tests. However, in terms of kickdown acceleration, the two Kias were extremely close.
There is no doubt that the turbo-petrol engine is more pleasurable to drive in the 6-speed manual gearbox than in the automatic. Another thing you’ll notice is how flexible this engine feels when shifting gears. From 1,200 to 1,600 rpm, it’s ready to perform at its peak, so you get a wide powerband to work with. 0-100kmph in 9.71 seconds will put smile on car enthusiasts
Driving the Carens is a breeze. It has a well-balanced steering wheel that doesn’t necessitate any extra effort to turn. Even on crowded city streets, you don’t feel like you’re driving a large vehicle because of the Kia’s length, which is a nice thing. The excellent all-around visibility, the front parking sensors, and the sharp rear-view camera all contribute to this.
The suspension does an adequate job of smoothing out low-speed surface irregularities for a comfortable ride. Diesels, on the other hand, have a stronger suspension and hence seem more connected to the road at slower speeds. You and your backseat passengers will appreciate the Carens’ good stability and well-controlled body movements at greater speeds. It isn’t fazed by poor road conditions either. In addition to giving drivers a sense of control, the car’s neat handling also boosts their sense of self-assurance.
Although we haven’t yet tested the car’s braking capabilities, a day of driving gave us a good impression of its stopping power. Ground clearance of the Carens is 195 millimetres, which should make it easier to traverse difficult terrain.
Kia appears to have another winner on its hands based on first observations. The Carens is a well-designed, well-equipped vehicle that’s a pleasure to drive and even better to ride around in. There are a variety of engine-gearbox combinations to choose from, so there’s a solution for every driver. Even so, the third row of the Carens may be its most appealing feature. Third-row seating in the Kia Carens is not only spacious and comfortable, but it also makes the vehicle stand out among other three-row SUVs and MPVs.
As of right now, the standard 1.5 litre petrol-manual Carens costs Rs 8.99 lakh (ex-showroom), while the fully-loaded diesel and turbo-petrol automatics cost an additional Rs 16.99 lakh (ex-showroom).
MPVs in the market like Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and Maruti XL6 will get tough competition from carens, which could also entice customers away from SUVs.
To sum up, the Carens is the best value for the money if you’re seeking for three-row flexibility.