The design-led revolution that has completely transformed Kia’s image and driven the company towards year-after-year of record sales comes full circle with the arrival of the all-new, third-generation Carens seven-seat Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV).
MPVs exist to meet the varied needs of families rather than turn heads. The new Carens has been designed to do both. In customer clinics conducted in Europe, the new Carens came out ahead of its major European competitors for its all-round appearance.
The new Carens is a car people will want to own rather than one bought out of necessity.
The new Carens is 20mm shorter, 15mm narrower and 45mm lower than the model it replaces, which means that in size it sits somewhere between the five-seat and seven-seat models from competitors. Yet thanks to a 50mm increase in wheelbase and lower seat positions it more than matches them for space, with abundant head, leg and shoulder room in all three rows of seats, while delivering the additional benefits of increased luggage space and a lower loading lip.
The increased space within the cabin and boot is reflected in the improved and more intelligent storage and usability features of the new Carens. The standard glove box is supplemented by second-row under-floor storage, a centre console box, front and rear door pockets large enough to hold drink bottles and front seat-back pockets. The front seat backs also have fold-up tables with cup-holders in most versions, and there are cup-holders in the second and third rows. The middle-row centre seat folds to create a table.
The new Carens is available with a choice of two direct-injection engines – one petrol and one turbodiesel – which share the common characteristics of strong performance, outstanding fuel efficiency and excellent driveability and refinement.
The petrol engine is the 1.6-litre Gamma GDi direct-injection unit that, with 133bhp and 165Nm of torque, ensures relaxed motorway performance and easy-to-drive, flexible responses in stop-start driving. Combined fuel economy is 44.1mpg, with comfortably more than 53mpg possible when cruising, while CO2 emissions are an impressively low 149g/km. But this is not at the expense of brisk performance. The petrol Carens can accelerate from 0-60mph in 10.9 seconds and has a top speed of 115mph.
The new Carens is also available in a 1.7-litre CRDi manual transmission turbodiesel engine, developing 134bhp and 330Nm. These high torque figures are maintained over a wide rev range, giving the Carens supreme driveability even with a full complement of passengers on board. The 1.7-litre CRDi engine develops its 330Nm between 2,000 and 2,500rpm, which allows 0-60mph to be completed in 10.0 seconds and a top speed of 119mph. The 1.7 CRDi version with the automatic transmission delivers 134bhp and 320Nm of torque between 1,750 – 2,500rpm, that allows a 0-60mph to be completed in 11.6 seconds and a top speed of 116mph.
All engines are extremely clean and fuel-efficient. Official combined cycle fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are 6.4l/100km and 149g/km (CO2) for the 1.6 GDI Petrol and 5.0l/100km and 132g/km for the CRDi diesel, both in manual transmission. A diesel particulate filter is fitted as a standard on all diesel variants.
Safety is paramount at Kia, especially in a model designed with family use in mind. With the arrival of the new model, several features previously unavailable in the Carens have been introduced, and as with every Kia, they are standard across the range.
The new Carens has an immensely strong body shell created using the latest computer-aided design techniques. Collision energy is dispersed along deliberate channels to protect occupants in frontal, side or rear impacts. The body features extensive use of high-tensile hot-formed steel in the three frontal collision load paths and the side pillars and sills. Considerable effort has gone into the body framework and joints to improve rigidity. The new Carens proudly carries the 5-Star EuroNCAP rating, one of two of its kind (MPV) with such an award in the European market.
The new Carens is available with three trim and equipment packages, badged ‘LX’, ‘EX’ and ‘EX+’. Standard features include projection headlights with cornering lamps, LED daytime running lamps, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors, driver’s seat height adjustment and tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshift, a centre console armrest, air conditioning, rear air ventilation, steering wheel-mounted controls, front and rear power windows, cruise control with a speed limiter, remote central locking, a six-speaker RDS radio/CD player with MP3 compatibility.
Mid-range ‘EX’ models have in addition 17-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, chrome window trim, fog lights, automatic headlight control, rain-sensing front wipers, electrically folding door mirrors with LED indicators and kerbside lamps, dual-zone climate control, a luggage net, front and rear parking sensors with rear view camera and Bluetooth hands-free with voice recognition.
The top-grade ‘EX+’ versions are distinguished by the panoramic glass sunroof and leather upholstery, together with chrome door handles, and side repeaters in door mirrors.
All versions are protected by a seven-year, 150,000km transferable warranty, Kia’s industry-leading demonstration of faith in the quality and reliability of its cars. All work is undertaken by trained technicians using genuine Kia parts and approved lubricants.