Sleeker and more spacious, the all-new Kia Carens is prepared to surprise and delightBy Jason Ang |Philippine Daily Inquirer
Columbian Autocar launched the all-new Carens MPV, soon after its European debut. The new-generation Carens is a compact MPV designed and engineered for the diverse needs of modern families. The minivan features sleek aerodynamic styling with cab-forward design.
Carens is powered by a diesel engine for maximum efficiency. The interior can seat up to seven, with new convenience and safety features.
“The all-new Carens takes Kia back into one of the most important and competitive sectors of the global market with a strong contender for class-honors. Very stylish and sporty looking, the Carens has a spacious and versatile interior with seven seats, a large cargo bay and storage compartments throughout the cabin,” said Thomas Oh, Kia’s executive vice president and chief operating officer of international business division. “This model will have great appeal to families with an active lifestyle who don’t want to compromise between style and practicality. It is destined to attract many new customers to our showrooms and introduce them to the benefits of Kia ownership.”
The Carens maintains a compact exterior footprint, measuring 4.5 meters long, while interior space has been expanded. Cabin space is larger thanks to an increased wheelbase (up by 50 millimeters, to 2750mm), skillful packaging and cab-forward design that places the base of the A-pillar above the front-wheel center line. To aid parking and maneuverability, the new Carens is 20mm shorter, 15mm narrower and 40mm lower. Its overall height (1,610mm) is the same as the Kia Soul and is one of the lowest in its class—giving the model an especially sporty appearance. The contemporary styling of new Carens is also highlighted by its standard LED positioning lights.
Kia chose a sleek and sculpted design that marks a dramatic shift away from the look of its predecessor. The look builds on the functionality and versatility of the original Carens, with a spacious 8-seater layout, a generously proportioned luggage bay, numerous storage spaces, and wraps this family-friendly adaptability in more purposeful sheet metal.
The new Carens features new comfort and technical features to enhance family journeys, both short and grand.
Adjustable driver seat
The driver, usually the least considered occupant of MPVs, receives a more comfortable position thanks to the tilt-and-telescopic adjustable steering wheel, height adjustable driver’s seat and the adoption of an organ-type accelerator pedal pivoting on the floor and moving in a way that matches the natural motion of the human foot.
The new Carens will be available in LX trim or as a higher-specification EX model—with seven seats—and a wide range of factory-fitted options. The Carens LX and EX models are equipped with standard LED front positioning lights, fully automatic air-conditioning (EX only), rear cooling air vents, power windows (front and rear), a total of six audio speakers and an antitheft alarm. Parents will appreciate the special “Clean-tex” easy-clean seat upholstery, fold-up front seatback and a forward folding front passenger seat—to accommodate long items of luggage. Exterior options include 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels, a chrome beltline molding, a three-part tilt-and-slide panoramic glass sunroof and puddle lights, plus front and rear parking sensors.
The range-topping Carens EX model comes with automatic climate control, cruise control, 10-way powered driver’s seat, a 4.3-inch TFT LCD screen audio system, a Supervision instrument cluster with a 4.2-inch TFT LCD screen and high-definition graphics.
The new Carens is powered by a U2 1.7-liter diesel engine which is also popular in a variety of Kia vehicles around the world. The new Carens produces a maximum power of 136 horsepower at 4,000 revolutions per minute and maximum torque of 33.7 Newton meter at 2,500 rpm when equipped with the manual transmission, or 32.6 Newton meter at 2,500 rpm with the automatic transmission.
The Carens will be fitted with a 6-speed transmission and every model will offer drivers a choice of manual or multimode automatic gearboxes.
The suspension and running gear of the new Carens have been comprehensively re-engineered and developed to deliver responsive handling, excellent straight-line stability, and exceptional ride quality and refinement on a wide variety of surfaces.
The new Carens is equipped with MacPherson strut front suspension mounted on a sub-frame to isolate the cabin from road shocks.
The rear suspension features the new CTBA (coupled torsion beam axle)—which replaces the previous multilink system. The system is engineered with reinforced trailing-arms and sub-axles. It is designed to reduce under and bump-steer while delivering a comfortable ride.
Kia’s new Flex Steer System is fitted as standard. The system can be switched to any of three different steering weights— normal, sport and comfort modes—while leaving the gears unchanged.
All-disc braking system
The new Carens features an all-disc braking system as standard on all models. The performance of the braking system is supported by ABS (antilock braking system).
Manufactured with 35.9 percent of high-strength steel, the new bodyshell is expected to achieve a 5-star rating in Euro NCAP crash safety tests and in other official national safety tests.
The Carens is engineered for stability, comfort and refinement. Its balanced combination of proportion, style and functionality makes the Carens distinct from other compact MPVs.
The Carens 1.7 EX A/T retails at P1.48 million with three colors to choose from: clear white, galaxy brown and ebony black. The available colors for the Carens 1.7 LX M/T and LX A/T (P1.14 million and P1.23 million respectively) are clear white, bright silver, camden beige and galaxy brown.