The Kia Carens is an MPV manufactured by Kia since 1999, spanning over four generations. The initial three generations had a compact MPV body style and were marketed worldwide. The fourth-generation model took a different approach in terms of design and targeted markets, as it has been developed as a ‘strategic model’ for the Indian market. Let us take a look at the Kia Carens’ variants, and find out which of these offers the most value for money.
Kia Carens: Top Competitors
The top competitors of the Kia Carens include the Hyundai Alcazar, Maruti Suzuki XL6, Mahindra Marazzo, Toyota Innova Crysta, and the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga.
Kia Carens Variants
The Kia Carens has 19 variants, which are listed below along with their prices (ex-showroom, Delhi):
|Carens Premium||Rs 10.45 lakhs|
|Carens Prestige||Rs 11.65 lakhs|
|Carens Premium Diesel iMT||Rs 12.65 lakhs|
|Carens Premium iMT||Rs 13.25 lakhs|
|Carens Prestige iMT||Rs 13.25 lakhs|
|Carens Prestige Diesel iMT||Rs 13.85 lakhs|
|Carens Prestige Plus iMT||Rs 14.75 lakhs|
|Carens Prestige Plus Diesel iMT||Rs 15.35 lakhs|
|Carens Prestige Plus DCT||Rs 15.75 lakhs|
|Carens Luxury iMT||Rs 16.20 lakhs|
|Carens Luxury Diesel iMT||Rs 16.80 lakhs|
|Carens Luxury Plus iMT||Rs 17.55 lakhs|
|Carens Luxury Plus Diesel iMT||Rs 18.00 lakhs|
|Carens Luxury Plus Diesel iMT 6 STR||Rs 18.00 lakhs|
|Carens Luxury Plus iMT 6 STR||Rs 18.00 lakhs|
|Carens Luxury Plus DCT 6 STR||Rs 18.40 lakhs|
|Carens Luxury Plus DCT||Rs 18.45 lakhs|
|Carens Luxury Plus Diesel AT 6 STR||Rs 18.90 lakhs|
|Carens Luxury Plus Diesel AT||Rs 18.95 lakhs|
Kia Carens: Quick Review
Design and features: The Kia Carens is a handsome-looking MPV with a low-set bonnet, and a front grille that is placed lower down, with the Kia’s traditional ‘Tiger Nose’ indents now on the chrome outlining the now-larger air dam. There’s a glossy black panel that runs across the front end, connecting the split headlamps.
The Carens has plastic cladding on the sides and roof-rails (which are only for show and not functional). The styling is neat in the rear, with the tail lights being joined together by a plastic bar.
In terms of features, the higher variants of the Kia Carens get features such as LED lights, ventilated front seats, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, Bose audio system, ambient lighting, LCD instruments, a sunroof, automatic climate control, cruise control, air purifier, and electric seat tumble.
Engine and performance: The Kia Carens comes with the option of two petrol engines and a diesel engine. The first is a 1.5-litre petrol engine, which produces 113.42 BHP of power and 144 Nm of torque. It comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The second is the 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which produces 157.81 BHP of power and 253 Nm of torque. It is mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DCT gearbox.
The 1.5-litre CRDi diesel engine produces 114.41 BHP of power and 250 Nm of torque. It comes mated to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox.
Both the petrol engines perform adequately well in the city as well as on the highway, while the diesel engine might seem a little inadequate when the car has full occupancy. However, the diesel engine’s performance is good enough for average city drives, and the engine feels smooth and responsive.
Ride and handling: The Kia Carens’ steering is well weighted. The Carens is confident at high speeds and body movements are controlled.
Ride comfort is good and the suspension easily smooths out low-speed surface imperfections. However, the diesel version is set up on the firmer side.
Rear disc brakes are standard across all variants. They work well in normal as well as emergency conditions.
Comfort and space: The Kia Carens is a 7-seater, which also comes with the 6-seater option. The Carens’ interior feels premium, with ample space inside the cabin. There is enough legroom and headroom for all passengers. The seats are well-cushioned throughout.
Besides, there is a good amount of storage space in the cabin of the car. The Carens has a boot capacity of 216 litres. The rear seats can be folded down to make room for extra luggage space.
Safety: The Kia Carens comes with a range of safety features, which include six airbags, ABS, ESC, hill-start assist, TPMS, and rear parking sensors.
Mileage: The overall mileage in the Kia Carens ranges from 16 km/l to 21 km/l, depending upon the variant.
Concluding remarks: The Kia Carens is an impressive MPV, which is not only well designed, but is also loaded with features. Its performance is good, and it offers a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience.
Kia Carens: Most Value for Money Variants
We have identified two most value for money (VFM) variants – one for petrol, and one for diesel. The most VFM (petrol) variant is the Carens Prestige, which is priced at Rs 11.65 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi), and the most VFM (diesel) variant is the Carens Prestige Diesel iMT, priced at Rs 13.85 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Most VFM (Petrol) Variant in Comparison with Base Variant
The base variant of the Kia Carens is the Carens Premium, which is priced at Rs 10.45 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). In terms of extra features, the most VFM (petrol) variant has rear parking camera, steering mounted controls, and automatic ORVMs (the base variant has manual) for driver assistance.
Among extra convenience features, the most VFM (petrol) variant gets USB ports, and keyless entry.
In gadgets, the most VFM (petrol) variant has an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation support, voice activated controls, and Bluetooth connectivity (Android Auto, Apple CarPlay), as well as an OEM audio system with 4 speakers.
Most VFM (Diesel) Variant in Comparison with Base Variant
The most VFM (diesel) variant has all the same extra features over the base as the most VFM (petrol) variant has. The only difference is that the diesel variant gets 16-inch steel wheels, while the base and the VFM (petrol) variants have 15-inch steel wheels.
Most VFM (Petrol/Diesel) Variants in Comparison with Top-end Variant
The top-end variant of the Kia Carens is the Carens Luxury Plus Diesel AT, which is priced at Rs 18.95 lakhs. The top-end variant has some extra features over the most VFM (petrol, diesel) variants. These include tilt and telescopic steering column, cruise control, LED headlights (halogen in the VFM variants), and DRLs among driver assistance features.
In terms of convenience, the top-end variant has climate control, panoramic sunroof, push-button start, ventilated seats, and rain sensing wipers.
The top-end variant has 16-inch alloy wheels, and synthetic leather upholstery (cloth upholstery in the VFM variants).
In gadgets, the top-end variant has a 10.25 touchscreen infotainment system, and Bose audio system with 8 speakers.
Key Take-outs from the Comparative Analysis of the Base, VFM, and Top-end Variants Above
The base variant lacks a few key features present in the most VFM variants (petrol, diesel). The top-end variant has some features not present in the most VFM variants. However, the price difference between them is high.
To conclude, if you are looking for the most value for money (petrol) variant, go for Kia Carens Prestige. Those looking for the most value for money diesel variant should consider the Carens Prestige Diesel iMT.