All-new Kia Carens makes global debut in India

After releasing design sketches of its newest model last week, Kia has officially revealed the 2022 Carens.

No longer an MPV, the fourth-generation Caren has transformed into a crossover. But despite the change in design, the all-new model continues to offer three rows of seats and more.

Starting with the exterior, the Carens adopts the brand's latest design philosophy called Opposites United. As a result, the front fascia looks similar to the all-new Sportage. It features sleek LED daytime running lights, bumper-mounted headlights, and a bold grille. Both the front and rear fenders come with distinct kinks that highlight the vehicle's sportier looks.

MPV no more: All-new Kia Carens returns as 7-seat crossover image

Meanwhile, sharp LED taillights give the Carens a distinct look when viewed from the rear. These are complemented by a unique rear bumper with chrome accents and reflectors. Rounding up the exterior features are the black body cladding and the 16-inch dual-tone alloy wheels.

Size-wise, the 2022 Carens measures 4540mm long, 1800mm wide, and 1700mm tall. This makes it 15mm longer, 5mm narrower, and 90mm taller than the previous generation. The wheelbase has been stretched to 30mm, now measuring 2780mm. Ground clearance was not mentioned, however, but Kia did say that it's optimal for a recreational vehicle.

Like the exterior, Kia also made sure the interior of the Carens was both stylish and sophisticated-looking. At the center of the dashboard is a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system that's surrounded by a high-gloss black panel. Below are the controls for the HVAC which have been cleverly spruced up by a 64-color LED ambient light.

MPV no more: All-new Kia Carens returns as 7-seat crossover image

Those seated at the back will be happy to know they can use the Retractable Seatback Tables. Not only do they come with integrated cupholders, but they can be used to place various gadgets like laptops or tablets. As an added bonus, the second-row seats come with a One Easy Touch Electric Tumble function, making it easier to ingress/egress from the third row. Did we mention the Carens will be available with either 6 or 7 seats?

Other high-tech features available in the 2022 Carens include front ventilated seats, full-leather interior, wireless phone charger, 5 USB-C charging ports, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, rain-sensing wipers, and front/rear parking sensors.

Under the hood, the Carens is available with three engine options. First up is a naturally-aspirated 1.5-liter inline-four that makes 115 PS and 144 Nm of torque. Next is a more powerful 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that generates 140 PS with 242 Nm of torque. Last but not least is a 1.5-liter turbo-diesel mill that makes 115 PS plus 250 Nm of torque.

MPV no more: All-new Kia Carens returns as 7-seat crossover image

The naturally-aspirated 1.5-liter is connected to a six-speed manual while the turbocharged 1.4-liter gets a seven-speed dual-clutch. As for the turbo-diesel 1.5, it's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

“With its bold design, high-tech features, and industry-leading safety systems, the Kia Carens is set to create a completely new segment and industry benchmark for family vehicles. Kia is especially honored to launch Carens in India, where new ideas and innovations are taking shape. We are confident that the Kia Carens will deliver meaningful experiences to modern families both in their daily and leisure life,” said Ho Sung Song, president and CEO at Kia Corporation.

Sales of the 2022 Kia Carens will start in India from Q1 2022, with other markets to follow. Should Kia Philippines actually bring the all-new Carens to the Philippines, it could give other similarly-sized three-row crossovers a run for their money, particularly the Toyota Rush, Suzuki XL7, as well as the Mitsubishi Xpander Cross assuming it's priced competitively.