First Look - KIA Carens
Kia, a relatively new brand in the Indian market. Yet they have seen a substantial amount of success with their products like the Seltos and Sonet. Both have got a lot of love from the Indian consumers. Now they have unveiled their fourth product for the Indian market and it is the new Kia Carens, which is a three-row car, but Kia is not calling it an MPV. And when you do look at it, it is a nice blend between an MPV and an SUV. It has a good amount of ground clearance and a really long wheelbase, which Kia claim is the longest in the class. So, it should be a roomy car on the inside. Since it was an unveiling we were not allowed to go inside but the videos show that it has ample space.
If it is a South Korean car, the first thing that comes to our mind is the host of features. Carens also comes with a host of features. But first, let’s dive right in and take a look at the car and how it is from the outside. The front fascia debuts Kia’s new ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy which lets go of the traditional tiger-nose grille and brings in a split headlamp setup for the very first time. At the front, it’s a very clean looking design, but of course, there are a lot of Kia elements, which always jazz it up, like the 3D effect on the piano black that runs right across the top.
There’s chrome garnish right through the front followed by distinctive DRLs, which Kia claims are from the constellation of the stars as well. You have a three cube headlamp underneath, and the triple-layer follows through with the fog lamps. The bottom looks much like the Kia Seltos, where we see the chrome with the 3D design effect as well. There’s a lot of chrome around this car, which is something that Indian consumers love and Kia know that!
On the side, the lamps do wrap around the side. The side profile is quite flat and there is a long wheelbase and a good amount of ground clearance. There’s a blacked-out portion and once again, a chrome garnish that runs right across the bottom. The side profile is more attractive with the new set of five-spoke alloy wheels, which is fitted with 16-inch tyres. The roofline is flat and ensures enough space is opened up at the rear for the third row of seats. Like in the Seltos there is no panoramic sunroof but in Carens, there are roof-mounted air-con vents which means that the sunroof cannot extend all the way to the rear.
The rear of the car too is clear apart from that chrome garnish that runs across the bottom again with the 3D elements. And there’s a very interesting set of tail lamps, which kind of wraps itself around the sides. It’s connected by a light bar in the middle, but it has an interesting graphic. From the tail lamp, there is a sharp line that runs over to the rear door handle and from the front headlamps to the front door handle.
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As I said in the beginning, we were not allowed to step inside the car this time but Kia has revealed the features that we can expect in the Carens. It will be getting a 10.25-inch touch screen, fully digital instrument display and lots of practical storage areas and foldable tables for the rear passengers, and you get 64 colour ambient lighting as well on the inside. The second-row seats get a one-touch tumble down function for an easy ingress/ egress to the third row that again has a 50:50 split-fold option. Carens also comes with ventilated front seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel, an eight-speaker Bose stereo system, an air purifier, five USB Type-C ports, and a wireless charger.
The new Carens will be powered by the same set of engines and transmission units that we currently see in the Seltos. We expect some difference in the engine mapping. On the safety front, you get vehicle stability management, ESC, ABS, six airbags and all-wheel disc brakes. So yes, they are offering quite a bit on safety. There are other features too, with the class-leading space that Kia promises, the Carens should be a roomy car and it will come in the six and seven-seater versions.
So when will Kia Carens be launched? It is said that Carens will be launched in the first quarter of next year and we expect it to be priced at around Rs 15 lakh - Rs 19 lakh and expect it to take on the likes of the Mahindra XUV700, MG Hector Plus, Tata Safari and its cousin, the Hyundai Alcazar.