Rivals to Kia Carens will include Tata Safari, Hyundai Alcazar, MG Hector Plus, Toyota Innova
Renowned for the space and practicality that it offers, SUVs and MPVs in the 6 and 7 seater segments have been noting increased demand in India. Demand is such that that every leading automaker is planning an onslaught into this segment.
Upcoming models include the Jeep Meridian, new gen Mahindra Scorpio, Toyota Rumion and Kia Carens. It is the latter that will be launched first. Already showcased earlier this month, Kia has now announced the date on which Carens bookings will officially open.
Kia Carens Bookings Start Date
Carens will be Kia’s 4th model in India after Sonet, Seltos and Carnival. Being branded as an RV (Recreational Vehicle) the new Kia Carens continues to be on test ahead of official launch next month. Bookings will start being accepted for Kia Carens across India from 14th Jan 2022 – online as well as company dealerships.
Placed between Seltos and Carnival in the company lineup, the new Carens will will receive wider rear quarter glass and overhangs while its B Pillars will be in a similar design as that seen on the Kia Seltos. It will get front grille with chrome accents, new LED fog lamps, wide airdams and LED tail lights.
It will also receive a floating roofline, black cladding on wheel arches and side profile while it will ride on new alloy wheels. Design elements towards the rear will include a roof mounted spoiler, massive rear bumper and roof rails.
Kia Carens – Interiors
Kia Carens is spacious and comfortable while it sports a minimalistic and futuristic stance. It features a multi layered dashboard, three spoke leather wrapped steering wheel with silver inserts and brand logo. Air conditioning vents placed below the multimedia system and quality leather upholstery on its seats.
It will get a host of infotainment and connectivity features among which will be Kia’s UVO connected car tech, a 10.25 inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, ambient lighting and electric single pane sunroof. It will also get 6 USB-C ports (two each in front, middle and third rows) could be reserved for the higher variants.
Kia Carens will be powered by same engine options as seen on the Seltos. These are 1.5 liter petrol NA, 1.5 liter diesel and 1.4 liter petrol turbo. Transmission options are also same – 6 speed manual, automatic, iMT and DCT. Pricing is expected in the Rs 15-20 lakh range, ex-sh.
Three shift operations in Anantapur facility
With introduction of Carens, the Korean carmaker is hoping to utilize the full capacity of its plant. The company is contemplating increasing its annual production capacity to three shift operations from early next year. This will help Kia achieve 3 lakh production units combined for domestic and exports per annum in India. However, the global shortage of semiconductor chips still remains a concern.
Further, starting a third shift will also help bring down the long waiting period of mass-market vehicles such as Seltos and Sonet. This should come as a relief to customers who have booked their cars a long while back and are yet awaiting deliveries. After achieving an annual production of 3 lakh units, Kia’s next target will be to expand its existing production capacity within the same plant.
Reports have indicated Kia might be mulling on investing in a second manufacturing plant in India. However, the company’s MD revealed that Kia will first expand the annual capacity of the current Anantapur factory from 3 lakh units to 4 lakh units.