Remember that small tease Kia Corp gave the world of the new SUV concept to hit India, the Kia Carens Luxury SUV? Kia launched the Carens overseas, calling it a recreational vehicle (RV), although still no larger than the average SUV – comfortable and spacious with three-rows. With a little something for everyone, this SUV has many highlights to talk about, from practical features to new tech. We can’t talk about powertrains until this comes to the Americas, but there are still a lot of interesting things to look forward to in a luxury SUV from Kia.
Kia Corp has been changing the design of its vehicles ever-so-slowly, starting with the swept-back hood and currently designing electric vehicles (EVs) with the new “Tiger Face” front fascia. The Kia Carens SUV does its own thing but is the first internal combustion vehicle in the new lineup to really take on this new look. Starting off the front with Crown Jewel Headlamps and DRLs in Kia’s new signature lighting concept – “The Star Map” – mirrored again in the rear with Star Map LED Tail Lamps. Two tone side door garnish, horizontal chrome garnish on the upper grille, lower rear bumper, and around the frame to create the tiger face.
Some fine-tune details are there, like the diamond knurling pattern on the chrome rear bumper, an integrated rear spoiler with a high-gloss black side cover, and a rear black skid plate – also with premium high gloss. Up in front, wing type air vents with silver garnish make up the design, and the Star Map LED creates a high-tech feel while also playing with a sporty design, reflected in the interior with a black high gloss dashboard. This all rides on 16-inch Dual Tone Crystal Cut Alloy Wheels.
With generous headroom and three rows, there is plenty to look for, including all the convenient storage spaces. Just look at this list – Retractable Seatback Tables with an integrated cup holder, gadget pockets, cooling cup holders, Retractable Seat Back Table with Cup and Gadget Mount, Sliding Type Seat Under Tray, Easy Push Retractable cup holder and sliding tray, and a dedicated air freshener mounting system. Okay, so the interior has storage space, where is the luxury? All three rows have been inspired by airplane seats to give a cabin look, complete with second row seat backs, a folding armrest with cup holders, rear door sunshade curtains, a boarding assist handle with illumination for getting inside in the evening, and speaking of, the second row seat has “One Touch Easy Electric Tumble” for getting into the third row easily. With plenty of cabin space with the longest wheelbase in the class, there is a lot of room to fill.
We don’t have much information on the engineering, but up front there are paddle shifters and Multi Drive Modes linked with Ambient Mood Lighting (more on that later). Like most vehicles with multiple drive modes, the driver can pick certain styles based on their preferences (Sport/Eco/Normal)). Around the interior cabin, there are roof flushed second and third-row diffused AC Vents, 5 USB C type interfaces, a smartphone wireless charger with a cooling function, and ventilated front seats. Recline on a nice evening and enjoy the SkyLight sunroof.
Tech and Safety
The tech is glorious, starting with the 10.25-inch HD touchscreen Navigation and Next Generation Kia Connect. For years, Kia has been adding ambient mood lighting to its vehicles, and the cabin comes with surround 64 colors and a rear door spot lamp with Kia Logo Projection. As noted, the different drive modes can also affect the lighting and interior cabin mood, so that’s fun. All you need to do is turn on the music and listen to a BOSE Premium sound system with eight speakers. Next-gen Kia Connect has also been added, replacing the UVO system, with OTA (Over the Air) Map and System Updates 60+ connected car features.
Safety has also been a large factor for Kia Corp vehicles. After the COVID-19 pandemic, the cabin comes with a smart pure air purifier with virus and bacteria protection for keeping the air clean. A Hi-Secure Safety Standard Package has been installed – apparently the standards we have today is a first for India. Remember, this vehicle is still overseas. That means this SUV comes with six airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Hill-Assist Control (HAC), Downhill Brake Control (DBC), Brake Assist System (BAS), Highline TPMS and All Wheel Disc Brakes. We haven’t heard of any special safety features just yet.We’re looking forward to this SUV making its way stateside, regardless. If the Seltos can do it, the Carens can, too. Follow along with us on Miami Lakes Kia social media for more information on new Kia Corp models.
Photo Source/Copyright: Kia Media
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