Remember the Kia Carens? It was a small seven-seater MPV that was once sold in Malaysia as the Naza Citra and Rondo. Well, three years after the third-generation model was discontinued worldwide, the Carens is making a comeback on December 16, presumably to the delight of young families everywhere.
But whereas the old car was a mini-MPV focused on the European market, this new one has morphed into a compact people-carrying SUV for India – essentially Kia’s Hyundai Alcazar. According to the Hindustan Times, Kia calls the car a “recreational vehicle” based around the concept of “Car plus Renaissance”.
The company has apparently paid special attention to ensure the Carens accommodates larger families while sporting typical SUV styling and an interior featuring “Kia’s signature innovative and smart technology.” This presumably means that the car will be compatible with the UVO smartphone app and come equipped with remote vehicle functionality, first introduced on the Seltos.
“We are really excited to bring our fourth product for the Indian market,” said Kia India managing director and CEO Tae-Jin Park. “Kia wants to offer a premium and comfortable family RV that has a three-row seating configuration and features fitting in perfectly with India’s urban lifestyle and road conditions.”
A teaser video released by Kia shows a tall and narrow SUV silhouette with distinctive V-shaped LED daytime running lights and Sportage-style full-width taillights. Spyshots published on Indian media show that the Carens will feature a split headlight arrangement, with the main lamp units separated from the DRLs.
No technical details have been revealed just yet, but expect the car to share its engines and gearboxes with the Alcazar. These include a 159 PS/191 Nm 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated petrol four-cylinder petrol and a 115 PS/250 Nm 1.5 litre turbodiesel, mated to six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
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