Fourth generation Kia Carens will be the manufacturer’s fourth product for India
Kia India has revealed its fourth product for India- the Kia Carens. Carens, which the manufacturer prefers to call a ‘recreation vehicle’, is hoped to repeat the successes of popular nameplates like the Seltos, Sonet, and Carnival. The exterior design details and some basic specifications have now surfaced. Here’s a compilation of everything we know of it yet.
Story Behind The Name
Carens- What a weird name, huh? Well, it might sound so, but ain’t one. It derives from the words ‘Car’ and ‘Renaissance’! Though there is limited clarity on it yet, the name dates back to the late 90s and could have meant something like ‘the rebirth of car’ or could have implied the reformation Kia had been hoping to have with it.
Kia Carens is not a new name as such. It’s been in business globally since 1999. The first generation (RS) Carens had debuted in May 1999 as a compact MPV. Two more gens of the MPV (which is also sold under the name Kia Rondo in some markets) have been here till date ( UN and RP) and it is in fact, the fourth generation (KY) that’s premiered now.
Design Details | Exterior
2021 Kia Carens is based on the KY concept and has minimal design deviations from it in the production guise. It is based on Kia’s new-age design philosophy- ‘Opposites United’. These design ethos deviate sharply from those of previous Kia cars, like the Seltos or Sonet. Plus, the Carens is the first model using this design language to debut in India. Now you know why it doesn’t look like anything we’ve seen here before!
‘Opposites United’ blends visual disparities (or opposites) into an end product that is thoroughly beautiful. It reimagines almost all signature elements of Kia cars like the tiger-nose grille for instance. If you might remember, Opposites United is the philosophy that sculpts the recently unveiled Kia Niro 2021 as well. The Carens is handsome indeed. Kia calls it a Recreation vehicle (RV)- what a fancy name for an MPV! However, it has a high-standing stance and a silhouette that would mostly resemble that of a crossover.
The front end is the most adorable. The bonnet stands fairly high and A-pillar fairly pushed back. The Carens gets a different interpretation of grille. There is Chrome on the upper grille and frame-type Chrome patterns in the lower bumper. The headlamps look young and appealing. It gets a new design to the DRLs, ‘The Star Map’ as Kia calls it, is the latest lighting signature of the Korean brand. The fog lamps are magnificently integrated into the design and get the familiar ice-cube design.
The side profile reflects the sheer size of the vehicle. It could distantly resemble the Seltos in some areas of its design, but has more to stay unique. The 16-inch alloys look dynamic. The roofline is flat, and the windows decent sized. Though we don’t know the exact figures yet, the Carens seems to have decent ground clearance, when viewed in person. The roof rails are mere design elements and expect to give them no loads at all.
The rear too is good-looking. Notable elements here are the LED tail lamps with a similar Star Map design to its elements, fair amounts of Chrome on the bumpers ( we have mixed feelings for these though!), rear skid plate finished in Black, and an integrated spoiler.
Design Details | Interior
Kia supplied the media with limited access to the Carens’ cabin during the premiere. We did not get to get inside the car or feel what’s inside, this time. However, going by what we saw, the Carens does have a desirable living space. The color theme seems fine and hospitable. Kia has designed this based on their new-gen ‘Joy for Reason’ philosophy. The feeling inside is warm and welcoming. A high focus has been set on practicality as well.
Notable bits inside include the generous use of high-gloss Black on the dashboard, witty storage designs, aesthetically appealing door trims, stylish designs for the switches and controls, and seats that look plush! Carens could be offered in 6 and 7 seater layouts. The second row with its captain seats looks good and of decent space.
The third row could be a talking point. We have had very limited access to it, to cast a proper comment on the space on offer. From what we saw, the third row seems decently roomy. Kia claims the Carens to have the ‘longest wheelbase in its class’ and the same pushes our hopes higher. However, the segment in question here could be a bit confusing, which we will talk about in a while. Also to mention is that the third-row seats seem to have a slightly upright seating angle from outside. More authentic comments on this, only once we can actually be there, on them!
Features And Equipment
Kia has not revealed the entire list of equipment/ features that would be on offer on the Carens, but we know it to come with Hyundai’s new-gen 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 8 speaker BOSE audio, 64 color ambient lighting, wireless charger, rear door spot lamp with logo projection, rear sunshades, 5 USB ports (Type C). illuminated boarding assist handles, Kia Connect, air purification system, ventilated front seats, One touch electric tumble function for the second row, single-wing type air vents etc. The sunroof would not, however, be panoramic, since the roof has integrated air vents and is thus unable to accommodate a full-size glass roof.
To add to the practicality, the Carens offers retractable seatback tables, curated storage spaces to put gadgets and other stuff, cooling cup holders, sliding seat undertray etc.
Expected Engines And Other Mechanicals
Very few details of the powertrain and mechanicals have yet surfaced. The carmaker confirms that Carens will have both petrol and diesel engines and dual-clutch and torque converter automatic transmissions. We hope it to have similar mechanicals as the Seltos. A 6-speed manual, 7DCT, and 6AT would be offered with the T-GDI turbo petrol, Smartstream petrol, and diesel engines. There could also be CVT (iVT) and clutchless manual (iMT) variants as well. The automatic variants will come with paddle shifters and selectable drive modes, as well. The platform is hoped to be a slightly reworked version of the Alcazar’s.
High Focus On Safety
Kia India hopes to address the growing Indian concern on vehicle safety well with the Carens. The MPV is claimed to live up to the safety expectations as will be offered with a host of safety equipment like 6 airbags, ESC, downhill brake control, vehicle stability management, hill assist, brake assist, TPMS, front parking sensors, and 4 disc brakes.
Segment And Rivals
Going by the early impressions, the Carens could compete with MPVs like Maruti Suzuki XL6, and Mahindra Marazzo. It would also rival 3 row SUVs like Hyundai Alcazar upon launch. The market launch will commence in Q1, 2022. Expect the prices to be in the 15-21 lakh space (no clear clue on this yet though!).