Kia is one of the fastest-growing automobile brands in the country with successful product launches such as the Kia Seltos, and Kia Sonet. The Kia Carens is the 4th model from the South Korean automaker and the MUV rapidly gained traction in the Indian market with its spacious and tech-laden interior, attractive design, punchy yet fuel-efficient powertrain options and an aggressive price tag.
That being said, let us analyse what makes the Kia Carens a MUV that suits almost every car buyer’s requirement.
Starting with the design, though the overall design of the Kia Carens looks very MUV-like, it is a very well-executed design and does not look ‘utilitarian’ in anyways like most other MUVs available in the market.
In fact, the Kia Carens MUV looks very stylish and upmarket with its sleek split LED headlamps and Y-shaped DRLs. Moreover, the overall silhouette looks very proportionate as well. In addition to this, the diamond-cut alloy wheels and chrome elements on the sides make the MUV look contemporary. However, it is the rear that looks the most stylish with its full-width LED taillamps.
Step into the Kia Carens, you will be immediately blown away by the way designers at Kia have executed the overall design of the interior with its multi-layered dashboard, positioning of the infotainment unit, colour combination, and other things like three spoked leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Apart from that, Kia Carens MUV comes loaded with features that can even put cars twice its price into shame. Standout features of the Kia Carens MUV include a large 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment unit with Apple Car Play and Android Auto, Kia’s UVO connected car tech, ambient lighting, 8-speaker BOSE sound system, cooled glove box, an electric sunroof, ventilated seats at the front, wireless charger, roof-mounted AC for 2nd and 3rd-row passengers, cooled cup holders, air purifier, full-digital driver’s display, and a lot more.
However, Kia has not made any compromises on the safety front and the MUV has scored a decent 3-Star rating at the Global-NCAP crash test for adult occupant protection. It is also worth mentioning that the Kia Carens also scored a very respectable 3-Star rating for child occupant protection.
Diving into the details of the crash test, the variant used for the Global-NCAP crash test was the base variant. However, using a higher variant in the crash test is unlikely to affect the final scores as the safety features on the Kia Carens MUV is standard across all variants – Something many manufacturers are yet to adopt.
Speaking about the safety features, the Kia Carens MUV comes equipped with top-tier safety systems such as 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, electronic stability program (ESP), vehicle stability control (VSC), brake assist systems (BAS), Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), ISOFIX Mounts, hill-hold assistance, all-wheel disc brakes and a few more.
Coming to the powertrain options, the Kia Carens offers its customers with 3 engine options and 3 gearbox options. The base engine is a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine with 113bhp of peak power and 144Nm of peak torque. This engine comes mated to a 6-speed manual transmission as standard.
The next petrol engine option is a 1.4-litre turbocharged unit with 138bhp of peak power and 242Nm of peak torque. This engine can either be specified with a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed DCT gearbox.
Finally, the third engine option is a 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel engine with 114bhp of peak power and 250Nm of peak torque. This powertrain like the turbo-petrol unit comes with two gearbox options. However, the automatic gearbox is a 6-speed torque convertor transmission.
Moreover, Kia Motors also seems to be developing a CNG variant of the Carens MUV for the Indian automobile market. A strategic move from the South Korean automaker to capitalise on the rising demand for CNG-powered vehicles in India.
Also, the CNG version of the Kia Carens has been spotted testing in India and interestingly the spy shots of the CNG test mule of the MUV sport the more powerful 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine. So, if Kia proceeds to launch the CNG iteration of the Kia Carens model, the MUV will be India’s first turbocharged CNG vehicle. However, like other CNG vehicles in India, the CNG-powered iteration of the Kia Carens MUV is most likely to be available only with manual transmission.
Prices for the Kia Carens MUV start from Rs 9.59 lakh (ex-showroom, India) for the base ‘Premium’ variant equipped with the naturally-aspirated petrol engine. However, the top-spec ‘Luxury Plus 7’ variant is priced from Rs 16.59 lakh (ex-showroom, India).
The Kia Carens directly rivals the likes of Maruti Suzuki XL6, Mahindra Marazzo, and Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. However, the model also competes with vehicles such as Hyundai Alcazar, MG Hector Plus, Tata Safari, Mahindra Scorpio N and Mahindra XUV700.
Thanks to a combination of aggressive pricing, spacious and tech-laden interior, attractive design, and punchy yet fuel-efficient powertrain options, the demand for Kia Carens is high in the Indian automobile market.
Moreover, the company is en route to increasing the annual capacity of its manufacturing plant in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh. To do this, Kia is planning to do 3 shifts in its Anantapur facility to reach the maximum production capacity of 3 lakh units per year.
Thoughts About Kia Carens
The Kia Carens is positioned in such a way that it can appeal to a variety of buyers in the Indian automobile market. Also, the introduction of Kia Carens MUV has further strengthened the South Korean automaker’s product portfolio in the country.
Moreover, the strong demand for the Kia Carens is a testament to the success of the MPV in India and it is safe to say that the Kia Carens has penetrated deep into the Indian automobile market in a short span.
Keyword: Kia Carens - The Modern MUV That Suits Almost Everyone>