In the early 2000s during the height of the MPV craze the Korean-built Kia Carens had a tough task competing against models like the Renault Scenic, Opel Zafira, Toyota Corolla Verso, Citroën Xsara Picasso.
Honda FR-V, Seat Altea, Fiat Multipla and Daewoo Tacuma locally.Initially introduced here in 2001, the original Carens MPV (also known as the Rondo) was updated in 2003 before the second-generation model was launched in 2006, arriving in South Africa early in 2008. Sales declined rapidly from 2009 and the range was discontinued here in 2010, before the third-generation model debuted in 2012.Interestingly, the second-generation Carens was the only compact MPV with a V6 petrol engine (this derivative, with a 127 kW 2.7-litre V6, was never introduced here), making it the third most powerful MPV at the time, after the Opel Zafira OPC (with 147 kW initially, later 177 kW) and short-lived Seat Altea FR (147 kW, later 155 kW). Now, a decade later, the Carens has been repositioned as a three-row crossover styled “recreational vehicle” (RV) with Y-shaped LED Daytime Running Lamps, a split headlamp design and LED tail lamps at the rear.
Built in India, the Carens is to take on a growing list of people movers, including the three-row seat Mitsubishi Expander, Suzuki Ertiga and its Toyota badged Rumion equivalent, as well as the new VW Caddy and Opel Combo Life.At the world premiere in New Delhi Kia indicated the spacious new Carens has the longest wheelbase in its class and comes with a Hi-Secure Safety Package as standard, including six airbags and class-leading safety systems. Other highlights include the next-generation Kia Connect app, flexible seating options such as the Sliding Type Seat Under Tray and Retractable Seatback Table, and a rear door spot lamp.
Sharing its platform with the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta, the new Carens will be available with the Kappa II 1.4 T-GDi (103 kW) or 1.5 Smartstream MPi (85 kW) petrol engines paired with a 6-speed manual transmission or 7-speed DCT (with Sport/Eco/Normal driving modes), or a 1.5-litre turbodiesel unit (85 kW) coupled with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed torque-converter automatic transmission.Kia South Africa has confirmed the launch of its flagship Carnival MPV (as well as the new Kia Sorento and Sportage) locally early next year and adding the Indian-built Carens to the line-up will make sense. According to Kia its introduction is currently under consideration, but nothing has yet been confirmed.Kia Worldwide Kia South Africa Kia India Kia carens #Kia#KiaSA#KiaCarens#recreationalvehicle#rvlife#roadtrip#newcarens#crossover#MPV#comingtosa