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Kia Carens 2022: Australian release unlikely for small van sibling to popular Carnival


Created specifically to suit the Indian market, Kia’s reimagined Carens MPV acts as a smaller alternative to the well-known Carnival

Kia has unveiled its latest model known as the Carens that aims to offer SUV like-styling without sacrificing the practicality of a people mover.

The Carens was previously sold in Australia in its third generation until it was discontinued in 2018 – but locally it was badged the Kia Rondo.

Kia Carens 2022 rear
Kia has unveiled the Carens MPV that introduced SUV-like styling

While the 2022 Carens has not been confirmed for Australia, it could act as a smaller and more affordable alternative to the large Carnival people mover that starts at $$46,880.

Sitting on the same K2 platform as the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Venue small SUVs, the Carens offers the practicality of three rows and is designed specifically for the Indian market.

Set to go on sale in that region early next year, the Carens debuts similar styling to the recently facelifted Niro small SUV and aims to woo buyers with a long list of standard features.

Kia Carens 2022 interior
A 10.25-inch touchscreen and six airbags are among the highlight features inside

These include six airbags as standard (in a market where these are often an option), disc brakes front and rear, ventilated front seats, a 10.25-inch touchscreen and an eight-speaker Bose sound system.

Kia says the Carens also offers the longest wheelbase in its class which is matched with people mover headroom along with niceties such as a sunroof, 64-colour ambient lighting and over the air updates.

A new design direction

Unlike the third-generation Rondo that offered a more traditional blend between a small wagon and a people mover, the Carens is far more visually comparable to a small SUV.

With a seemingly less aggressive windscreen angle, roof rails, cladding around the wheel arches and a raised ride height the Carens looks far more SUV-like than its predecessor.

It builds on the sharp LED daytime headlights and tail-lights, along with silver trimmings around the window lines that add to the contemporary appearance.

Kia Carens 2022 front 3/4
The Carens is unlikely to make it to Australia

The Carens will be offered will be available in India with similar engine options to the Seltos, this includes a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine making 86kW of power and 144Nm of torque that is matched to a six-speed manual that sends power to the front wheels.

A punchier 1.4-litre turbo-petrol will also be offered developing 107kW/242Nm and can be paired with the aforementioned manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch. Buyers can also opt for a 1.5-litre diesel option that sends 86kW/250Nm through a six-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual transmission.

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