Paris Motor Show: Kia introduces the All-New Carens

by Oct 12, 2012All News, Kia4 comments

The all-new Kia Carens is a compact MPV designed and engineered from a clean sheet to meet the needs of modern families. With sleek aerodynamics, a cab-forward design, choice of four powertrains, low CO2 emissions (from 118 g/km), up to seven seats and a broad range of convenience and safety features, the new third-generation Carens is set to attract even more customers to the Kia brand.

“The all-new Carens takes Kia back into one of the most important and competitive sectors of the European market with a strong contender for class-honours. Very stylish and sporty looking, new Carens has a spacious and versatile interior with five or seven seats and large storage compartments throughout the cabin. This model will have great appeal to families with an active lifestyle who don‘t want to compromise between style and practicality. New Carens is a key step in Kia’s strategy to become a Top 10 car manufacturer in Europe,” commented Benny Oeyen, Vice President Marketing and Product Planning, Kia Motors Europe. 

Measuring 4.5-metre long, the new Kia Carens is 20 mm shorter, 15 mm narrower and 40 mm lower than the previous generation model. Its overall height (1610 mm) is the same as the Kia Soul and is one of the lowest in class – giving the model a more sporty appearance. Cabin space is generous thanks to the new model’s increased wheelbase (up by 50 mm) and cab-forward design which places the base of the A-pillar above the front-wheel centre line. 

The contemporary styling of new Carens is highlighted by its standard LED daylight running lights and optional LED rear combination lamps. 

“With its low CO2 emissions, competitive pricing and total cost of ownership, unique Kia 7-Year warranty, higher residual values and added appeal to fleet customers, we expect new Carens to bring a new group of consumers to Kia showrooms across Europe and introduce many of them to the benefits of Kia ownership,” adds Oeyen. 

Depending on individual market preferences, the new Kia Carens will be available in a choice of up to seven exterior colours – Clear White (solid), Bright Silver, Titanium Silver (metallic) and Black Cherry (pearl), plus three new metallic colours: Powder Newport Blue, Celestial Silver and Galaxy Brown. 

Up to seven seats with great versatility

For the new Carens, the long wheelbase and the latest packaging technologies have resulted in a spacious cabin with generous room for up to seven occupants. To deliver the maximum carrying versatility expected by MPV customers, the front passenger seat backrest can fold forwards, the second row features three individual sliding/folding seats split 33/33/33 and the third row seats (where fitted) split 50/50 and fold flat into the trunk floor when not required. 

A comfortable environment for the driver and passengers is assured by the standard air-conditioning (manual or automatic, depending on model), rear air vents and optional side window blinds. A special wide-angle mirror in the overhead console allows parents to safely monitor their children while on the move. Storage compartments are conveniently located throughout the new Carens with under-seat drawers, under-floor storage boxes, a deep centre console cubby hole and large door pockets. 

All models will be available with optional heated front and second row seats, while top-specification models will also offer ventilated front seats with powered cushion extension and powered lumbar support as an option. Buyers can also choose a heated steering wheel and a supervision instrument cluster with a 4.2-inch TFT LCD screen that displays high-definition graphics. 

There will be a choice of black or black/beige interior colour schemes for the seats and cabin trim, in regular cloth, woven cloth or leather – depending on model. 

Multiple choice of high-tech features

The new Carens will offer buyers a wide range of innovative and high-tech comfort and convenience features. Cruise control with a speed limiter will be standard on all models. Available features will include an electric parking brake, smart key with engine start/stop button, a six-speaker audio system with optional amplifier and sub-woofer, puddle lights in the exterior front door handles, and an optional large powered panoramic glass sunroof. 

Power spread from 115-to-177 ps

Customers in Europe will have a choice of four engines. Two diesel and two gasoline power units offer a broader power spread than for the previous model – ranging from 115 ps to 177 ps with competitive fuel economy and CO2 emissions from 118 to 167 g/km for manual models.

The 1.7-litre diesel CRDi engine is already popular in a variety of Kia vehicles around the world and in new Carens it will be available in two versions. The low power version generates 115 ps maximum power and 260 Nm maximum torque. The high power unit produces 136 ps and 330 Nm. Modifications to these engines have resulted in lower CO2 emissions for both versions – down to as little as 118 g/km for the ISG stop/start equipped low power variant, a 19% improvement over its predecessor.

Both gasoline engines feature gasoline direct injection to boost power output without increasing fuel consumption. The 1.6-litre GDI engine, introduced in the Kia Sportage and subsequently fitted to new cee’d, generates a maximum of 135 ps and 165 Nm. The 2.0-litre unit delivers 177 ps and 211 Nm maximum torque. The fastest accelerating new Carens, the 2.0-litre model, reaches 100 kph in 9.7 seconds and top speeds range from 181 to 203 kph.

Six-speed transmissions for all

To help optimise the balance between performance and economy, every new Carens will be fitted with a six-speed transmission. Low first and second gear ratios boost low-speed acceleration, while high top (sixth) gear ratios allow low engine revs during high-speed cruising – reducing cabin noise, enhancing refinement and lowering fuel consumption.

The highest power diesel and gasoline engines will be offered with an optional automatic transmission engineered and manufactured in-house by Kia. This six-speed unit has a manual sport mode with optional paddle-shift on the steering wheel, and is an unusually compact design ideal for front-wheel drive vehicles.

Extensively engineered running gear

The suspension and running gear of new Carens has been comprehensively developed to deliver responsive handling, excellent straight-line stability, and exceptional ride quality and refinement. The MDPS electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering features a combined torque/angle sensor to protect against side wind gusts. It is geared for 2.7 turns lock-to-

lock, and the steering wheel is adjustable for both height and reach. Kia’s new FlexSteer system is fitted as standard. This offers three different steering weights to match customer preference with Normal, Sport and Comfort modes.

Mounted on a sub-frame to isolate road shocks, new Carens boasts MacPherson strut front suspension, while at the rear, the CTBA (coupled torsion beam axle) is engineered with a strong connection between the trailing-arms and the stub-axles, and designed to reduce under-steer and bump-steer, while delivering a comfortably compliant ride.

In Europe, an all-disc braking system – with 300 mm ventilated front, and 284 mm solid rear discs – is standard on all models. The performance of the braking system is supported by ABS anti-lock, electronic brake force distribution and emergency ‘brake assist’ systems. Braking from 100 kph takes 40.8 metres.

The standard wheel and tyre package is a 16-inch steel wheel with 205/55 R16 low rolling resistance tyres, or similar size alloy wheels – depending on model. To suit customer preference, new 17-inch silver and 18-inch dark grey alloy wheels with lower-profile tyres will be available as options.

Active safety systems make a big step forward

Kia has a strong record for producing vehicles that offer customers high levels of active and passive safety technology. The all-new bodyshell created for the new Carens incorporates Kia’s latest CAD techniques and structural lessons from recent Kia models. Manufactured with a high percentage of high-strength steel, the new bodyshell will contribute to new Carens earning an anticipated 5-Star rating in Euro NCAP crash safety tests.

Innovative ‘active’ safety features available for the new Carens will include LDWS (Lane Departure Warning System) and SPAS (Smart Parking Assist System). LDWS uses a forward-facing video camera to monitor the car’s position in relation to lane markings and triggers a warning in case of unintended lane departures at speeds above 60 kph. SPAS features automatic steering control by ultrasonic sensors and an on-board computer to safely perform parallel parking. The computer ‘takes over’ the task of steering, while the driver remains in control of the accelerator and brake.

Safety during parking manoeuvres can be enhanced by using the optional rear-view safety camera, while visibility during night-time driving can be enhanced by specifying HID Xenon headlamps.

Photos by Coki Photography

Written by Jose Antonio Lopez

Passionated about Korean cars from Hyundai, Kia & Genesis. Photographer. I love being in nature, hiking. Tech lover.

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