Kia has started test drives for its latest MPV in the Indian market, Carens. However, they have still not yet announced the prices of the Carens. It will be competing against the Mahindra XUV700, Tata Safari and MG Hector Plus. However, the main rivals of the Carens will be the Toyota Innova Crysta and the Hyundai Alcazar. Today, we compare all three of them.
Earlier, it was expected that Hyundai Alcazar and Kia Carens will share a lot of underpinnings. However, that is not the case. Surprisingly, the Alcazar has the longest wheelbase in the segment. It measures 2,780 mm which is 20 mm longer than the Alcazar and 30 mm longer than the Innova Crysta.
Also read: Toyota Innova Crysta base variant modified to look & feel like a higher variant (Video)
The ground clearance of Carens is 195 mm. When compared, the Innova Crysta has a ground clearance is 167 mm and the Alcazar has a ground clearance of 200 mm. The Carens measure 4,540 mm in length, 1,800 mm in width, 1,700 mm in height.
When compared, the Carens is 40 mm longer than Alcazar and is shorter by 195 mm than Innova Crysta. The Carens are 10 mm wider than Alcazar but the Innova Crysta is 30 mm wider than Carens. In terms of height, Innova Crysta leads by having a height of 1,795 mm. So, the Carens is 95 mm shorter and Alcazar is 25 mm shorter than Carens.
Kia has tried hard to ensure that the Carens looks like a SUV instead of a MPV. However, there are still some angles from where the Carens still looks like a MPV. But the design does look refreshing and unlike Alcazar which looks like a stretched version of Creta, the Carens is entirely different from the Seltos. It is the Innova Crysta that looks the most dated because it is the oldest among the three.
The Carens and Alcazar are more modern looking because they come with LED Daytime Running Lamps, LED headlamps and LED tail lamps. We can see hints of Hyundai Palisade’s design in Alcazar whereas the Carens are all-new from the ground up. It is based on Kia’s new design philosophy. Toyota did give a facelift to the Innova Crysta but it was not a major one because of which it still resembles the old one.
When it comes to the cabin, it is the Carens that is the most modern looking. Alcazar’s interior is same as the Creta but it gets a dual-tone theme whereas the Carens cabin layout is entirely new and is not shared with the Seltos. Then we come to the interior of the Innova Crysta which has again been using the same dashboard layout since it was first launched.
The Innova Crysta is offered as a 7-seater or an 8-seater. According to Toyota, the third-row is supposed to be used by three occupants which can be a bit cumbersome. Alcazar and Carens is offered as a 6-seater or a 7-seater. Having said that, Carens offers captain chairs only in the top-end trim whereas that is not the case with the Alcazar.
Hyundai and Kia are known to equip their vehicles with a lot of features. The Alcazar and Carens are very close in terms of features. With the facelift, Toyota did add some features to the Innova Crysta but it still lacks behind the rivals.
The Alcazar comes with a panoramic sunroof as standard whereas the Carens get a regular electric sunroof that too is restricted only for the top-end variants. The Carens come with a digital instrument cluster just like we have seen on the Hyundai i20 and the Creta whereas the Alcazar comes with a TFT digital instrument cluster which is better. The Alcazar also comes with blind-spot monitoring, rear wireless charger and 360-degree parking camera whereas the Carens come with roof-mounted AC vents and 6 airbags as standard.
When it comes to powertrain, it is the Innova Crysta that is powered by the largest engines and is also the most powerful. Moreover, Toyota is known for its reliability and low cost of maintenance. Innova Crysta is offered with a 2.7-litre petrol engine that produces 166 PS and 245 Nm whereas the 2.4-litre diesel engine produces 150 PS and 360 Nm. Both engines are offered with a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission.
The Alcazar is offered with a 2.0-litre petrol engine that produces 159 PS and 192 Nm. There is also a 1.5-litre diesel engine that produces 115 PS and 250 Nm. Both the engines are offered with a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission.
Then there is the Cares which is being ordered in three engines. There is a 1.5-litre petrol engine that produces 115 PS and 144 Nm, then there is the 1.5-litre diesel engine shared with the Alcazar, it produces the same 115 PS and 250 Nm. Finally, there is the 1.4 turbo petrol engine that produces 140 PS and 242 Nm. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard on all engines. The turbo petrol gets a 7-speed DCT whereas the diesel engine gets a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission.
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