Kia Carens is the name of Kia’s all-new MPV for India, to debut on 16 December ahead of 2022 launch

It’s official – Kia’s fourth product for India, so far known by its ‘KY’ codename, has been named the Kia Carens, ahead of its launch next year. The Carens name – which was rumoured to be the name chosen for a long time – will be familiar to audiences overseas, as Kia has sold three generations of the Carens MPV abroad over the last two decades, and the model set to be introduced in India will be the fourth-generation Kia Carens.

According to Kia, the Carens name is “based on the concept of ’Car + Renaissance’, which signifies the beginning of a new era of cars.” Aimed at ‘modern Indian families’, Kia says the Carens MPV will create a segment of its own.

That may not strictly be true, as the Mahindra Marazzo is still very much around, but hardly finds any takers, and there does exist a chasm between India’s highest-selling MPVs – the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga at the budget end, and the Toyota Innova at the premium end. Kia’s only MPV on sale in India, the Carnival, is also positioned as a super-premium offering, and the Carens – which is expected to be slightly larger than the Kia Seltos SUV, but smaller than the Carnival – will be a more affordable and more accessible family vehicle.

Only providing a glimpse of its silhouette in a promo, Kia says the Carens MPV will combine the attributes of ‘a large family vehicle with the boldness of an SUV’. The teaser doesn’t give much away, save for the distinctive light signature created by the LED DRLs up front, subtly-incorporated roof rails and LED tail-lights that appear to be linked by a light bar. Expect the Carens to feature a refreshed take on Kia’s signature ‘Tiger Nose’ grille and other interesting design details.

On the inside, the Kia Carens is expected to have an all-new interior with only a few elements borrowed from the Seltos. Fully-loaded versions of the Carens are likely to be equipped with a large touchscreen infotainment system, a digital instruments display, powered sunroof, ventilated front seats, wireless smartphone charging, an air purifier and more.

While we do know it will be a three-row vehicle, it remains to be seen if Kia chooses to offer it in both six- and seven-seat forms, with the former being equipped with captain chairs for the second-row passengers.

The Kia Carens is set to carry over the Seltos’ 115 hp, 1.5-litre diesel engine, and could be available with a 169 hp, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine – as seen on the Hyundai Alcazar – as well. Expect to see both engines offered with a six-speed manual as well as a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Barring the Marazzo, the Kia Carens will have no direct rivals at launch, but it will have to contend with three-row SUVs operating in the same price segment, including the Alcazar, MG Hector Plus and Tata Safari. Expect prices for the Kia Carens to range from Rs 13-19 lakh (ex-showroom) when it’s launched in the first quarter (January-March period) of 2022.

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