Kia first revealed the Carens in 1999. Its latest generation was launched globally at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. In the Philippines, the third iteration MPV was released in May 2013.
The Kia Carens sports a sleek roofline, strong character lines, and an aggressive Tiger Nose front fascia emphasized by large vertical fog lamps, projector-type headlamps with LED daytime running lights and automatic leveling, cornering lamps. Its overall look projects confidence and athleticism highlighted by the cab-forward design. Its lower and narrower stance adds to the MPV’s sportiness. The LX variants ride on 16-inch wheels while the top-spec EX variant comes with sleek 17-inch wheels to complete the look.
Boasting of the versatile spaciousness of its cabin, the Kia Carens provides a seamless blend of practicality with aesthetics. The bucket-type driver’s seat is height-adjustable and comes with Kia’s signature excellent driving position. Its heavily-bolstered second-row seats are equipped with slide and recline functions for added comfort, while the third-row seats can be fully folded down to expand the cargo space from 103 liters to 1,650 liters.
Aesthetically, the MPV’s interior is clad in gray-and-black with red lighting. Seats of the LX variants are wrapped in fabric, while the EX gets leather upholstery. Complementing the sleek color palette and finishes are elegant white-on-black instrument controls that are logically laid out on the neat dashboard.
In addition to the standard features, the EX variant gets a panoramic sunroof and a cooled glovebox.
The Kia Carens is equipped with a 4.3-inch TFT LED infotainment display with radio, CD, MP3, Aux, and USB ports. Audio comes out of a six-speaker sound system that can be controlled through the tilt and telescopic steering wheel with mounted audio controls. The EX variant gets an upgraded connectivity system for iPods and Bluetooth.
In terms of safety and convenience, the MPV comes with an anti-lock braking system, rain-sensing wipers, and driver-side airbag as standard. The EX model meanwhile, has a wider range of features including dual airbags, an electronic stability program, and front and rear parking assist.
The five-door, seven-seater MPV was built on a modified version of the Kia Ceed’s platform. The suspension comes in the form of MacPherson struts in front with coil springs and stabilizer, coupled torsion beam axle at the rear. Stopping power comes from disc brakes on all four wheels.
The Kia Carens is powered by a 1.7-liter, inline-4 cylinder, DOHC, 16-valve, common rail direct injection (CRDi) diesel engine with Variable Geometry Turbo (VGT) intercooler that produces 134 hp and 319 Nm of torque that sends power to the front wheels through either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.
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