Kia has unveiled the Carens, a name which is a combination of Car and Renaissance, and means the rebirth of the car, as per the Korean carmaker.
With SUVs being the flavour of the passenger vehicle market globally, Kia is pitching the Carens as a recreational vehicle, and not simply calling it an MPV. The Carens will be a premium alternative to SUVs and MPVs available in the sub-Rs 20 lakh segment in India.
The Carens is based on the same platform as the Seltos mid-size SUV, but gets a longer wheelbase. On the outside, Carens' styling elements include distinctive LED DRLs, a flat bonnet and slim grille. The front bumper is pronounced with a scuff plate and use of subtle chrome highlights to embellish the design. The tail lamps are sleek units as well and extend into the rear quarter panels.
The cabin is based on the design philosophy - 'Joy for reason' - and features a multi-function steering wheel, a fully-digital instrument cluster and a large 10.25-inch HD touchscreen infotainment system with new-age connected features. There is 64-colour ambient lighting and indigo-and-beige colour theme for the upholstery.
The dashboard gets a wraparound design that extends into the door pads. The front seats also get cooling function while the middle rows will get AC vents placed into the headliner.
Uniquely, the Kia Carens will get six airbags, ESC, all-wheel disc brakes, and TPMS as standard.
The three row Carens will also get 6- as well as 7-seat configurations. It will come powered by Kia's 1.4-litre turbo-petrol, and 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines with options of manual and automatic transmissions.
The model will go on sale in India in the first quarter of 2022.
According to Ho-Sung Song, CEO, Kia, "We thoroughly studied the requirements of Indian families and with the Carens, we aim to spark a new product in the segment. Our plan is to give the discerning Indian customer a truly world-class product never seen before. The Carens will set industry benchmarks in its segment."
As per Tae-Jin Park, MD and CEO, Kia India, "Kia India is set to cross the 400,000 sales mark very soon and SUVs today contribute 37 percent to total PV sales - a 13 percent jump over 2019 levels. The Carens will redefine family mobility in India and we are confident of having a breakthrough product.
According to Harpreet Singh Brar, VP and Head, Marketing and Sales, Kia India, "With strong product interventions at regular intervals, we want to strengthen our position in the Indian market."