Kia Carens: 1.4 Turbo Petrol & 1.5 Diesel Drive Review

Kia Carens made its world premiere back in December 2021 and is all set for launch this month. The New Kia car has amassed 7,738 bookings on day 1, which is more than Seltos & Sonet and in less than 2 months, the new RV has bagged 50,000 orders.

  • How’s the performance with 7 passengers + luggage?
  • Does the 3rd row offer adequate space?

& more questions will be answered in this detailed review.

Kia Carens is built on stretched version of advanced K2 platform (same forms the base in Seltos as well). Carens is a RV (Recreational Vehicle) and slots somewhere between Maruti XL6 and Hyundai Alcazar.

There are 3 engine options – 1.5 Petrol MPI, 1.4 Turbo Petrol and 1.5 Diesel, all coming from Seltos. Customers have choice of 6 & 7 seater trims. Variants are Premium, Prestige, Prestige Plus, Luxury & Luxury Plus. Here are the variant wise features:

Exterior Design

On the outside, Carens looks quite different from Sonet & Seltos. Surely, the MPV stance can’t be ignored at the same time. 

carens colours

Like the present day cars, Carens also adopts split type headlamp setup with LED lamps placed under the DRLs, the latter connects smoothly with the knurled gloss black panel. Kia Signature Tiger nose grille is positioned lower down.

Parking sensors are available in front as well as rear. Sharp cuts and creases runs across the bonnet and sides adding to the character. Wheel size is 16-inch and it could have been bigger. Chrome has been nicely utilised on door handles as well on the window beltline.

carens rear look

In the rear profile of Carens, you would surely find some resemblance to Sportage. Sleeker LED lamps are provided with quite detailing. Other prominent visual aspects here are smaller windscreen, silver skid plates and parking sensors.

Kia Carens Dimension comparison


Kia CarensMaruti ErtigaMahindra MarazzoHyundai AlcazarMG Hector Plus
Seating Capacity 6 & 776 & 76 & 76 & 7
Length4540 mm4395 mm4585 mm4500 mm4720 mm
Width1800 mm 1735 mm1866 mm1790 mm1835 mm
Height1708 mm 1690 mm1774 mm1675 mm1760 mm
Wheelbase2780 mm 2740 mm2760 mm2760 mm2750 mm
Turning radius5.2 m 5.25 m 6.05 m 
Ground clearance195 mm180 mm200 mm200 mm192 mm 
Boot space216 L209 L190 L180 L155 L
Boot space (3rd row folded)645 L550 L680 L579 L530 L 
Boot Space (2nd & 3rd row Folded)1164 L803 L1055 L

Fuel tank capacity45 L45 L45 L50 L60 L 
Tyre Size205 / 65 R16185 / 65 R15215 / 60 R17215 / 55 R18 215 / 55 R18
Kerb Weight1135 – 1170 kg1650 kg1435 kg1566 – 1712 kg
Gross vehicle weight1730 kg2235 – 2325 kg1885 – 2030 kg2160 – 2260 kg
carens boot space
Kia Carens boot space with 3rd row folded.

Interior

Like any other Kia car, you will be greeted by luxurious cabin with top notch quality of material on the inside. This top end Luxury Plus variant features Navy and Beige theme.

carens interior

Piano black and leather touches all around amps up the customer experience. Infotainment system is 10.25-inch and integrated in the dashboard. 64 colour ambient lighting lights up the cabin. Rear doors has spot lamps with logo projection. Instrument cluster is completely digital and even provides number of safety warnings as well.

Air con vents, LED cabin lamps and USB C-type chargers are available for all 3 rows. Roof mounted ac vents for 2nd and 3rd row means there is no panoramic sunroof in the RV.

carens rear ac

It offers umpteen small cubby holes and other storage areas. Even the door arrest has been carved out in such a way to liberate some space as well. More storage pockets are co driver under seat space, seat back table and big size armrest.

Not only, Kia has managed to provide areas to keep stuff but with 1st and 2nd row cup/can holders being cooled, it can be easily said that the Korean carmakers have left no stone unturned to provide best possible experience to the customer.

Air purifier offers virus and bacteria protection and has a proper separate console behind the driver seat from where you can play with its features.

Space & Comfort

The front seats offers good driving view. There is sufficient amount of legroom and under thigh area for the front two occupants. Driver seat has manual adjustment.

carens 1st row comfort

Like the front seats, space was pretty much adequate in the next row as well. 2nd row offers 20-30% recline angle more than Alcazar. To access the 3rd row seats, you have the option of one touch manual tumble for 2nd row seats and even Kia India is providing electric one touch tumble down for left side second row seat which makes it super convenient to enter in the last row. 

kia carens space and comfort

We were really impressed by the comfort in the third row albeit the space was suffice for tall passengers. While in other cars in same segment or big family cars of the higher price bracket, we have to sit up with slight knees up but this is not the case with all new Kia Carens where even the adult occupants would find themselves comfortable for long journeys.

Top Features

Kia Carens is loaded with all the bells & whistles. Some of the top equipments on offer are:

  • 6 airbags
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • 64 colour ambient lighting
  • Electric sunroof 
  • Front ventilated seats
  • Auto wipers
  • Rear door sunshade
  • 10.25” touchscreen infotainment system with android auto, apple CarPlay, navigation, UVO Connect
  • 8 speaker BOSE Sound System
  • Auto AC
  • Smart air purifier with virus and bacteria protection
Kia Carens sunroof

Talking about missing features, Carens could have had driver powered seat and panoramic sunroof but everything boils down to the pricing.

Top highlight is availability of robust 10 standard safety features which includes 6 airbags, all 4 disc brakes, ESP, vehicle stability control, brake assist system, downhill brake control, hill start assist, Highline TPMS, rear parking sensors and ABS.

Kia Carens – Performance & NVH

PETROLKia CarensMaruti ErtigaMahindra MarazzoHyundai AlcazarMG Hector Plus
Engine1.5 L MPI / 1.4 L Turbo Petrol1.5 L K15B Smart Hybrid Petrol2.0 L Nu Petrol1.5 L Turbo / 1.5 L Turbo Mild Hybrid
DrivetrainFWDFWDFWD
Power113 BHP / 138 BHP103 BHP157 BHP141 BHP
Torque144 NM / 242 NM138 NM191 NM250 NM
Transmission6 Speed MT / 6 Speed MT, 7 Speed DCT5 Speed MT / 4 Speed AT6 Speed MT, AT6 Speed MT, CVT / 6 Speed MT
Fuel efficiency 19.01 kmpl / 17.99 kmpl14.5 kmpl, 14.2 kmplN.A , 11.67 kmpl / 14.03 kmpl 
DIESELKia CarensMaruti ErtigaMahindra MarazzoHyundai AlcazarMG Hector Plus
Engine1.5 L U2 CRDi1.5 L Diesel 1.5 L U2 CRDi2.0 L Diesel
DrivetrainFWDFWDFWDFWD
Power113 BHP121 BHP113 BHP168 BHP
Torque250 NM300 NM250 NM350 NM
Transmission6 Speed MT, AT6 speed MT6 Speed MT, AT6 Speed MT
Fuel efficiency 17.6 kmpl20.4 kmpl, 18.1 kmpl16.56 kmpl

Kia Carens plonks in same set of powertrain options as of Seltos. But for 1.5 petrol engine, sole gearbox here is 6 speed manual. We drove 1.5 L diesel with 6 Speed AT and 1.4-litre turbo petrol variant with 7 Speed DCT.

1.5 litre Diesel engine has got decent NVH levels. This engine offers linear power delivery and has a strong mid range. There are drive modes which alters the performance and if you want to extract most out this powertrain, you can shift to Sport mode while for city usage, eco & normal mode does the job. Steering wheel has slight heft even at idle and it continue to carry weight as the speed increases.

carens kia

Next we drove 1.4 litre turbo petrol unit coupled with 7 Speed DCT Automatic gearbox. Refinement levels are superior. It is so silent that you won’t feel whether the engine is turned on or not. The engine feel more responsive as compared to diesel unit. Real power comes at around 1,500 rpm. Steering unit feels lighter. Gear shifts are smooth. Like the Diesel engine, this variant too gets driving modes.

Kia Carens drive

Kia Carens – Ride & Handling  

Carens suspension has an underlying firmness but its not too firm like Sonet & Seltos. The long wheelbase helps to deal better with the bad roads, potholes. Lob it in corners, it gives confidence and body roll is well under control. Thanks to slightly firm suspension, it stays glued to the road and has great high speed stability. Braking power is quite decent as well.

carens drive view

Kia Carens – Should you Buy?

Kia Carens is definitely an all rounder. It has best in class 3rd row comfort, n number of storage spaces, variety of engine options and is loaded upto the brim. The pricing has already been introduced. Surely the lower trims are a cracker of a deal while if you wish to relish all the bells and whistles, definitely you can consider the top spec variants.

Price – Ex Showroom


1.5 Petrol MT1.4 Turbo Petrol MT / DCT1.5 Diesel MT / AT
PremiumRs 9 LRs 11 LRs 11 L
PrestigeRs 10 LRs 12 LRs 12 L
Prestige PlusRs 13.5 L / Rs 14.6 LRs 13.5 L
LuxuryRs 15 LRs 15 L
Luxury PlusRs 16.2 L / Rs 17 LRs 16.2 L / Rs 17 L

*This is special introductory price

Also Read: Kia Seltos 1.5 Petrol MT Drive Review

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