Kia Carens: Safari, Alcazar and XUV700 rival unveiled
Competition among the people-movers is all set to heat up with the unveil of another challenger, the Kia Carens. With the name being derived from the words ‘car’ and ‘renaissance’, the Kia Carens is dubbed as the combination of an MPV and SUV, with the term recreational vehicle being added into the mix as well. In essence, the Carens is a stretched version of the Kia Seltos, and while it sports distinctive styling, it is mechanically identical to Kia’s very popular SUV.
Kia Carens exterior
Take a look at the Kia Carens and it bears a resemblance to the sportier Kia’s on sale globally. The front grille for instance, is reminiscent of Kia’s ‘Tiger Nose’ on the Stinger, but apart from that, the design is decidedly MPV. There is a generous helping of chrome up front, and the Carens continues to follow the trend of placing the LED DRLs up top and the main headlamp beam lower down, with the DRLs sporting Kia’s new Star Lamp design. Also sitting proudly on the hood is the updated Kia logo. While styling continues to be a matter of personal preference, there’s no doubt that a Carens in one of the darker shades will command good road presence.
The MPV side profile is evident due to the Caren’s nature of being offered as a six/seven-seater, but the styling has been done well, with a sharp shoulder line that culminates into the tail lamps. Even the LED tail lamps get the Star Lamp design. The Carens sits on 16-inch dual-tone crystal-cut alloy wheels, which does make the MPV look a bit under-tyred, but we suspect this has been done to improve the ride quality of the MPV.
Kia Carens interior
On the inside, the Carens exudes plushness with its dual-tone beige and ivory interiors. The steering wheel is flat-bottomed with paddle shifters, and behind it sits a fully-digital instrument cluster which looks really cool. You have a 10.25-inch touchscreen for infotainment in the centre, flanked by the physical buttons below it, which will actually be more intuitive to operate when on the move. The Carens also gets Kia’s UVO system with Kia Connect, which now gets OTA updates along with providing 60+ connected car features. The front seats of the Carens are ventilated, and it will be offered in both six seat and seven seat configurations, and it also features an electric tumble function for the second row. One must also note that there are a variety of cubby holes present in the Carens for all manner of storage, making it a very practical interior design. Kia also claims that the Carens has the longest wheelbase in its class. There’s also a regular sunroof on offer, not a panoramic one, but the Carens also gets ambient lighting which also changes as per the drive mode selected – normal, sport and eco. Also on offer is a smart air purifier. In terms of safety, the Carens gets 6-airbags as standard along with a host of additional safety features. Like Kia’s other offerings, there is no dearth of equipment on the Carens, with enough and more features to satiate most buyers.
Kia Carens engine
The Carens will likely be powered by the same engines as its sibling, the Kia Seltos, meaning that it will be offered with a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol and a 1.5- turbo diesel engine, mated to a seven-speed DCT and a six-speed automatic gearbox respectively. It is unclear whether these engines will be carried forward in the same state of tune, and more details will be revealed when the Carens is launched next year. The Carens will also get all-wheel disc brakes.
Kia Carens rivals and pricing
Kia will be launching the Carens next year and given its positioning, you can expect it to rival the likes of seven-seaters ranging from the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, the Mahindra XUV700, the Tata Safari, its cousin, the Hyundai Alcazar and also the Toyota Innova Crysta. Is the seven-seater segment hotting up with fierce competition? We think so!