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In the segment of medium-sized minivans the brand Kia is presented by Carens model, which in some countries is also known as Rondo, which was shown for the first time in 1999. Now the baton is taken by the third generation of Carens: which was shown at Paris auto show in 2012. Previous Carens, as well as many mini-vans were utilitarian means of transport, but the newcomer became more interesting and emotional. In Kia Carens Review you will find all the necessary information about the features of this car.
The design has become much brighter - with a large angle of inclination of the windscreen, a high window line, profiled sides and the hood. The overhangs are slightly shortened, the hood is reduced in size, and the passenger compartment is moved forward. Branded framed chrome grille is reminiscent of the mouth of the beast, and the large drop-shaped headlights are stretched to the wings. The silver lining appeared on the window frame and door handles. The panoramic rear window is topped with a spoiler.
The mini-van uses the platform of the new sedan Kia Cerato. Compared to the previous generation model, the length is reduced by 20 mm (to 4,525 mm), while the wheelbase increased by 50 mm - up to 2750 mm. Also, the car became narrower by 15 mm (1805 mm) and lower by 45 mm (1610 mm), so that it looks stockier. Besides, it is lighter than its precursor - 1458 kg in the basic version. The initial equipment includes 16-inch wheels and optional wheels are available with a diameter up to 18 inches.
Inside, the quality of finishing materials is significantly improved with numerous black lacquered inserts. The compact three-spoke steering wheel is familiar from Kia Soul, it is already multifunctional in the basic version. The instrument panel is dominated by a speedometer with fuel gauge indicator within the tachometer and a temperature sensor of the engine. Between them there is a color display of the onboard computer.
In the more expensive versions the central panel has a 7-inch touchscreen display of multimedia system. Thanks to it the number of keys is significantly reduced. The remaining buttons and switches are simple, very clear, and easy to reach. The front seats are placed slightly lower than previously. They are wide and comfortable, but also have better lateral support than in predecessor. On the center console there is a large and comfortable armrest with a box inside.
As before, Carens is offered in versions with five or seven seats. The third row of seats is comfortable for children or adults of average height, as it is not too spacious. The trunk volume in the seven-seater version is small - 103 liters, in five-seat configuration it is increases to 492 liters. If to fold all the seats except the driver's, you get a 1650 liter compartment.
Standard equipment includes electric windows and mirrors, air conditioning, cruise control with speed limiter, the CD-player, connection Bluetooth. The car is also provided with six airbags and ESC stabilization system. The most expensive option offers leather interior, light sensor, dual-zone climate control, sunroof, rearview camera, power driver seat, heated first and second row of seats. Among the options - parking autopilot, ventilated front seats, xenon headlights and system of lanes compliance.
The engines are familiar from other Kia models, all of them are equipped with direct fuel injection. The initial 1.6-liter petrol “four” develops 135 hp at 6300 rev / min. This engine is high-rpm and peak torque of 165 Nm is available only from 4850 rev / min. Moreover, at the approach of the needle to the “red” zone on the tachometer the motor becomes noisy. Manual 6-speed transmission could be more accurate, but the lever is easy to move. The acceleration to 100 km / h takes 11.3 seconds, and the top speed is 185 km / h. Fuel consumption in the urban cycle - 8.4 liters / 100 km, and in the country - 5.3 l / 100 km.
Another engine is 2.0-liter 174-horsepower unit that allows developing 203 km / h and reach 100 km / h in 9.7 seconds.
Both available turbodiesels are 1.7-liter, which develop 115 and 136 hp. They work pretty quiet, and the vibrations are imperceptible. A more powerful version reaches huge maximum torque of 331 Nm in a range of 1750-2500 rev / min. With it the minivan is capable of accelerating to 100 km / h in 10.4 seconds, and its limit - 191 km / h. In addition, this engine is quite economical - 5.7 l / 100 km in town and 4.3 l / 100 km - on the highway.
Drive and Comfort
Carens is comfortable, as befits a minivan; moreover its drive is much more interesting. Its steering is more accurate than the previous generation model, though not the most informative. A Flex Steer technology allows changing the force on it, in Sport mode it becomes heavier, and in the Comfort, on the contrary, lighter. Most road irregularities are absorbed gently and smoothly, and body roll in cornering is greatly reduced. The car shows good traction and directional stability. In addition, sound insulation is better than in its predecessor. Kia Carens is sold in Europe for 19 900 Euros.
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