Getting a new long-term vehicle is always a delight, and more so if it’s the Kia Carens, which I was quite looking forward to driving. Ever since its launch, the buzz around the Carens has been massive. And given the fact that the interest in three-row vehicles is at its peak, it’s easy to see why customers are flocking to the latest MPV in town. And I understand why people have a hankering for three-row vehicles now. Ever since the pandemic began, my travel has been minimal, and while we might be safer after the vaccination, both my kids have not yet qualified for a vaccination shot, which means that taking them on a flight is a risk I’m not willing to take.
The natural alternative, then, is to travel by road, and this is where the practicality of a three-row people mover comes in. In fact, my winter travel hopes were dashed by the third wave, and now I’m hoping to go on a long road trip with my family this summer.
Coming to the Carens, the one thing I miss is the traditional tiger-nose grille that has become a hallmark of Kia products. The Carens’ muted front misses the aggression of Kia’s typical design, but overall, it’s quite nicely proportioned. There are lots of clever engineering touches to create space inside the car. For instance, the massive rear doors, which make getting in and out of the Carens a breeze. The huge rear windows also help bring in more light into the cabin, giving it an airy feel.
I also love the blue leather that adorns many surfaces of the interior and gives them a premium feel. A good thing about the Carens is the lack of a panoramic roof, instead of which, we get dedicated air vents in each row, which is going to be infinitely more practical in India than a big piece of glass, especially during the summer.
And with its 250Nm of torque, the diesel engine of the Carens provides pretty good performance, striking a good balance with its fuel efficiency. But how does the Carens perform on the highway? Well, that’s a question I’m looking forward to answering very soon.
When it came: February 2022
Current odo reading: 2,292kms
Mileage this month: 528kms
Fuel efficiency: 14km/l
What’s good: Practicality, features
What’s not: Missing the traditional Kia design