All-new Kia Carens delivers style, space and practicality
- Lower, sleeker compact MPV with choice of five or seven seats
- Longer wheelbase delivers impressive interior space and versatility
- Major advances in active safety and a stronger bodyshell
Kia's all-new third-generation Carens compact MPV makes its world debut at the Paris Motor Show. With a longer wheelbase within more compact overall dimensions, major advances in active safety, sleeker aerodynamics and a choice of four engines promising improved fuel economy, it is set to offer families greater comfort, refinement and protection with lower running costs.
The new Carens exhibits all the packaging skills of the Kia Design and Engineering teams to create more space in a car with a smaller footprint. It is 20 mm shorter, 15 mm narrower and 40 mm lower than the previous model, but a 50 mm longer wheelbase allied to a more cab-forward design which means the base of the A-pillar is now directly above the front-wheel centre line ensures greater space for all occupants. The overall height of 1610 mm is one of the lowest in class and identical to that of the Kia Soul.
Up to seven seats with great versatility
The new Carens will be available with either five or seven seats, both delivering generous room for all occupants.
To ensure maximum versatility, the front passenger seat backrest can fold forwards, the second row features three identically sized individual sliding and folding seats and the third row seats (where fitted) are split 50/50 and fold flat into the boot floor when not required.
Air conditioning or automatic climate control will be standard, depending on model, and there are rear air vents and optional side window blinds to help keep the cabin cool and comfortable. A special wide-angle mirror in the overhead console allows parents to safely monitor children travelling in the two rear rows while on the move.
There are storage compartments conveniently located throughout the cabin, with under-seat drawers, under-floor storage boxes, a deep centre console cubby hole and large door pockets.
The new Carens will be available with optional heated front and second row seats, while top-specification models will also offer ventilated front seats with powered cushion extensions and powered lumbar support. Buyers can also choose a heated steering wheel and a supervision instrument cluster with a 4.2-inch TFT LCD screen that displays high-definition graphics.
A leap forward in active safety
Kia's impressive record for high levels of active and passive safety technology takes another major leap forward with the features being offered in the new Carens Safety begins with the robust new bodyshell, engineered using the latest computer-aided design (CAD) techniques plus structural lessons learned during the development of other recent new Kias. With a high percentage of high-strength steel that ensures rigidity with the lowest possible weight, the new Carens is expected to earn a five-star rating Euro NCAP crash safety rating.
Innovative active safety features include Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and a Parallel Park Assist System (PPAS). LDWS uses a forward-facing video camera to monitor the car's position in relation to lane markings and triggers a warning in case of unintended lane changes at speeds above 37 mph. PPAS automatically measures parking gaps and then, if they are large enough, steers the car into them control using ultrasonic sensors and an on-board computer while the driver remains in control of the accelerator and brake.
There is also an optional rear-view safety camera, while night-time visibility can be enhanced with HID Xenon headlamps.
The contemporary styling of new Carens is highlighted by standard LED daylight running lights and optional LED rear combination lamps.
Economical, efficient and enjoyable to drive
The four-engine line-up includes two turbodiesels and two petrol units offering a broader power spread than with the previous model - ranging from 113 to 174 bhp, with competitive fuel economy of CO2 emissions starting from only 118 g/km to 167 g/km for manual models..
There are two versions of Kia's acclaimed 1.7-litre U2 diesel engine generating 113 bhp with maximum torque of 260 Nm maximum torque, or 134 bhp and 330 Nm of torque. Modifications have resulted in lower CO2 emissions for both - down to as little as 118 g/km, a 19 per cent improvement over the previous Carens, with Kia's ISG intelligent stop/start system.
Both petrol engines are 1.6-litre direct-injection units ensuring strong performance, even with a full complement of passengers or luggage, with the minimum of fuel consumption. The 1.6-litre Gamma GDI engine, introduced in the Kia Sportage and subsequently fitted to new cee'd, generates 133 bhp, while the 2.0-litre Nu unit delivers 174 bhp and 211 Nm of torque.
Six-speed gearboxes are standard across the range; even on models equipped with automatic transmission. Low ratios for first first-and second gear ensure sprightly acceleration in stop-start town traffic while a high top (sixth) ratio ensures relaxed, refined, economical cruising at highway speeds.
The compact six-speed automatic available with the higher-powered diesel and petrol engines was engineered and is manufactured in-house by Kia. It has a manual sport mode with optional paddle-shifters on the steering wheel.
The chassis of the new Carens delivers responsive handling, excellent straight-line stability, and exceptional ride quality and refinement.
Kia's MDPS electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering features a combined torque/angle sensor to protect against side wind gusts. The steering wheel is adjustable for both height and reach. Kia's new FlexSteerTM system, offering three levels of weight and assistance to match customer preference - Normal, Sport and Comfort - is standard.
The MacPherson strut front suspension is subframe-mounted to isolate road shocks, while at the rear a coupled torsion beam axle engineered with a strong connection between the trailing-arms and the stub-axles assists crisp, precise cornering while ensuring a comfortable, compliant ride.
An all-disc braking system -ventilated at the front and solid at the rear - is standard. The performance of the braking system is supported by ABS anti-lock, Electronic Brake Force Distribution and emergency Brake Assist.
Steel or alloy wheels of 16, 17 or 18 inches in diameter are fitted, depending on model.
Multiple choice of high-tech features
The new Carens will offer buyers a wide range of innovative and high-tech comfort and convenience features. Cruise control with a speed limiter will be standard on all models. Optional features will include an electric parking brake, smart key with engine start/stop button, a six-speaker audio system with optional amplifier and sub-woofer, puddle lights in the exterior front door handles and a large powered panoramic glass sunroof.
Benny Oeyen, Vice-President Marketing and Product Planning, Kia Motors Europe, says: "The all-new Carens takes Kia back into one of the most important and competitive sectors of the European market with a strong contender for class-honours. Very stylish and sporty looking, new Carens has a spacious and versatile interior with five or seven seats and large storage compartments throughout the cabin. This model will have great appeal to families with an active lifestyle who don't want to compromise between style and practicality. New Carens is a key step in Kia's strategy to become a top 10 car manufacturer in Europe.
"With its low CO2 emissions, competitive pricing and total cost of ownership, unique Kia seven-year warranty, higher residual values and added appeal to fleet customers, we expect new Carens to bring a new group of consumers to Kia showrooms across Europe."