Indian Car of The Year (ICOTY) is one of the prestigious awards in the automotive industry and a panel consisting of 18 automobile journalists announced the winner today. Kia Carens MPV was awarded the Indian Car of The Year 2023. Kia launched the Carens MPV in the market early last year. The MPV is based on the same platform as their popular mid-size SUV Seltos. It however looks extremely different from it. Other contenders for this prestigious awards included cars like Skoda Slavia, Mahindra Scorpio N and Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara.
Kia Carens was launched in 2022 with an aim to attract buyers who are looking for an MPV that is comfortable, spacious and also offers premium features. The price was also a factor. Toyota Innova Crysta which then available in the market had created a space for itself but, it was getting expensive every year. On the other hand, we had MPVs like Ertiga and XL6 but, they were not offering many features like other manufacturers. Kia managed to find the sweet spot and offered customers comfort, features and a value for money product. This is one of the reason why it became a popular choice among buyers in a short span of time. Price for Kia Carens now starts at Rs 10.20 lakh, ex-showroom and goes up to Rs 18.45 lakh, ex-showroom.
Kia is offering premium features like leatherette upholstery, captain seats, automatic climate control, roof mounted AC vents, electric sunroof, digital instrument cluster, touchscreen infotainment screen, ventilated front seats, wireless phone charging, multi-drive modes, cruise control and so on. Kia is offering Carens with both petrol and diesel engine options. There is a 1.5 litre, naturally aspirated petrol engine that generates 115 Ps and 144 nm of peak torque. This engine is available with a 6-speed manual gearbox option. The 1.5 litre turbocharged diesel engine generates 115 Ps and 250 Nm of peak torque. This engine is available with a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Just like Seltos, Carens also comes with a 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol engine option. This engine generates 140 Ps and 242 Nm of peak torque. Kia offering this engine with a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed DCT gearbox option.
Kia Carens is available in total of 19 variants and just like the Seltos, this is a made in India product. Kia participated at the Auto Expo this year and the manufacturer had two unveils this year. Kia showcased the fourth-generation Kia Carnival which they now call as KA4 for some reason. The Carnival MPV sold in Indian market is actually a third generation car and the fourth-gen Carnival has been on sale internationally since last couple of years. Other than KA4, Kia also showcased EV9 concept at the Auto Expo 2023. This will be brands flagship electric SUV which is likely to go into production by the end of 2023.
Coming back Carens, Kia showcased two PBVs or Purpose Built Vehicles at the Auto Expo. Kia converted this popular MPV to suit the needs of emergency services like Police and an Ambulance. Unlike other cars, Kia would be officially manufacturing these so that people don’t go for aftermarket accessories and fitting to suit the purpose.