Second generation of Kia Carens arrives in more stylish wardrobe and premium kit
THE country’s distributor of Kia vehicles, Columbian Autocar Corp.(CAC), last week launched the newest addition to its roster—the all-new Kia Carens.

Leading the unveiling was CAC President Ginia Domingo, who said that Kia has collaborated with DreamWorks’ animated film, The Croods, to “introduce the newest member of the family in a fun, different and thematic way.”

The latest Carens is the second-generation model of Kia’s compact MPV bet, and follows the pioneer model that was introduced in 2007. The new Carens arrives in the Philippines already armed with four Red Dot awards—considered one of the most prestigious design awards in the world.

Domingo said the Carens will appeal to a new group of consumers, citing that “Kia has always come up with innovative ways for the public to get closer to the brand.”

“The launch of the all-new Carens marks a dramatic shift forward for our MPV contender and brings the model in line with Kia’s distinctive current design direction,” Domingo added.

Choices, choices
The latest Carens is available in three variants; the LX with a manual transmission, the LX with an automatic, and the higher-spec EX with an automatic, and which has a wide array of factory-fitted options. All variants are equipped with standard LED lights in front, easy-clean “Clean-Tex” seat upholstery, fold-up front seatbacks, and a forward-folding front passenger seat that has been designed to accommodate long items of luggage.

The EX model has full automatic climate control, cruise control, 10-way adjustable power driver’s seat, an audio system with a 4.3-inch touch-screen LCD panel, a Supervision instrument cluster with high-definition graphics and 17-inch alloys (the LX variants have 16-inch wheels). Other features include a chrome beltline molding, a three-part tilt-and-slide panoramic glass sunroof, puddle lights, and front and rear parking sensors.

Features aplenty
Under its hood, the new Carens packs a four-cylinder, 16-valve, 1.7-liter diesel engine that’s fed by common rail direct injection and which has been fitted with a variable-geometry turbo-charger with an intercooler. It produces 134 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 331 Newton-meter of torque when it’s combined with the six-speed manual transmission and 320 Newton-meter when it’s bolted to the automatic—also a six-speed. In both cases, torque arrives at a low 2,500rpm.

Despite being 20 millimeters shorter, 15 millimeters narrower and 40 millimeters lower than the previous model, the new Carens still boasts a spacious cabin, thanks to a wheelbase that has been stretched 50 millimeters more. This means the new car’s cabin is actually larger compared to the old Carens.

The seven-seat compact MPV shares its height of 1,610 millimeters with its Kia Soul sibling.

To lessen understeer and bump-steer, and enhance ride comfort, Kia said the new Carens has its MacPherson strut front suspension placed on an all-new sub-frame that isolates the cabin from road shocks. At the car’s rear is a torsion beam axle that has reinforced trailing arms, replacing the previous model’s multilink system.

Carens’ competitors
Kia Motors Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Thomas Oh expressed confidence on the competitiveness of the latest Carens in the compact MPV segment.

“The all-new Carens takes to one of the most important and competitive sectors of the global market. It has great appeal to families with an active lifestyle who do not want to compromise on style and practicality.”

CAC Brand Specialist Precious Casao said the Carens has limited competition in its segment, noting that Hyundai has also yet to come out with a vehicle that’s based on the same platform as the new Carens.

According to Casao, the latest Caren’s direct competitors in the local market are the Nissan Grand Livina and Chevrolet Orlando. Casao clarified that the Toyota Innova is not a direct competitor.

The Carens LX M/T is priced at P1.140 million while the Carens LX A/T sells for P1.230 million. Both are offered in Clear White, Bright Silver, Camden Beige and Galaxy Brown colors. The top-spec Carens EX A/T costs P1.480 million and can be ordered in Clear White, Galaxy Brown or Ebony Black.


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