2021 Kia Carens unveiled
In India, the new Kia Carens made its global debut today. The Carens is the Korean automaker’s fourth product in the United States, with a market introduction planned for early next year. While Kia does not refer to the Carens as an SUV or MPV, it is effectively a three-row vehicle with SUV and MPV characteristics.
The Kia Carens have a wheelbase of 2780mm and measure 4540mm in length, 1800mm in width, and 1700mm in height (the longest in the segment). The Alcazar, which is also built on a stretched version of the Creta/Seltos platform, measures 4,500mm in length, 1,790mm in width, 1,675mm in height, and has a wheelbase of 2,760mm, indicating a large cabin. When compared to the Toyota Innova, the Carens has a 30mm larger wheelbase, despite the Toyota having a longer total length.
2021 Kia Carens are aimed at family-oriented clients who desire a feature-rich car with a big three-row cabin and SUV-like styling. The Carens may have MPV proportions, but it has an SUV-like appearance thanks to massive front and rear bumpers and a tall and upright stance.
A flat bonnet and an upright nose that is clearly separated into two segments characterize the face from the front. A narrow grille and a split headlight setup are placed together within a contrasting black trim on the upper part.
With the main headlight cluster positioned below, the Carens get Y-shaped LED daytime running lamp characteristics. Kia’s iconic ‘Tiger nose’ aesthetic element is now made softly with the chrome trim below the grille, rather than on the grille itself.
The 2021 Kia Carens share some similarities with the Seltos in terms of profile, albeit the latter’s rear door is longer. There’s also a strong character line that runs from the headlamps to the doors, then returns to meet the tail lamps at the back. The Carens also gets body cladding along the length of the doors and across the wheel arches.
The Carens’ rear end features a pair of wraparound LED tail lamps joined by a thin LED strip. The rear windscreen has a small rake and a spoiler incorporated into it. The tailgate is upright, and an aggressively sculpted bumper with silver inlays completes the image, just like the front.
The 2021 Kia Carens cabin is crammed with features, as is characteristic of Kia. Thanks to a modest cab-forward design common in MPVs, the dashboard is quite deep, stretching well towards the front windshield. In higher variants, a 10.25-inch infotainment screen takes center stage on the dash (lower variants have an 8.0-inch screen), with the AC vents perfectly integrated along with the breadth of the interior.
A new touch-based panel with toggle switches for operating the climatic controls is also included. The Carens get roof-mounted AC vents to help with rear-seat cooling, but this eliminates the possibility of a huge panoramic sunroof.
A fully digital instrument cluster, an 8-speaker Bose sound system, and a multi-function steering wheel with buttons for audio controls, voice commands, and phone, similar to the Seltos and Sonet, are all standard on the Kia Carens. In terms of seating, the Carens will be available in six- and seven-seater configurations, with captain seats in the second row in the case of the former.
It also has an electrically driven, one-touch tumble down feature for the second row (which is a first in the segment) enabling simple access to the third row of seats. There are also a number of utilitarian features around the cabin, such as the spacious door pockets that can hold up to three water bottles.
The 2021 Kia Carens have Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Kia’s UVO connect, 64-color ambient lighting, ventilated front seats, seat-back tables with cup holders, and an air purifier as standard amenities. On the safety front, the Carens come standard with 6 airbags, ABS, ESC, hill-start assist, disc brakes on all four wheels, TPMS, and rear parking sensors.
The 2021 Kia Carens will be powered by a pair of petrol engines and a diesel engine option. A 1.5-liter, four-cylinder, normally aspirated engine with 115hp and 144Nm will be available, as well as a 1.4-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine with 140hp and 242Nm. In the meanwhile, the diesel engine will be a 1.5-liter four-cylinder unit with 115hp and 250Nm of torque.
A 6-speed manual and a 7-speed DCT automatic gearbox are available with the petrol engine (for the 1.4-liter turbo-petrol only). Meanwhile, a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission will be available with the diesel engine. These engine-gearbox pairings are identical to those found in the Seltos.
The 2021 Kia Carens are projected to make its official market debut and pricing announcement before the end of the current fiscal year, which means February or March of the following year. The 2021 Kia Carens will compete with the Maruti Suzuki XL6, which is also getting a redesign next year. The Hyundai Alcazar and other similarly priced three-row vehicles in this segment will also compete with it.