Kia Carens: Worth The Wait Or Do Its Rivals Offer A Better Deal?

Modified On Jan 25, 2022 05:10 PM By Rohit for Kia Carens

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Kia is gearing up to launch a mass-market MPV which promises to be a well-equipped model with a range of powertrains. We see if it’s worth the wait or not

Kia’s new MPV, the Carens, was unveiled in December 2021 and will likely be launched in February 2022. We already have all its details, including the list of its variant-wise features and colours, trim levels, and even powertrain options. Kia has already started accepting bookings for the Carens both on its website and its country-wide dealerships. But should you really wait for the Carens or will one of its rivals be better for you? Let’s find out.

Model

Price Range

Kia Carens

Rs 14 lakh to Rs 19.5 lakh (expected)

Hyundai Alcazar

Rs 16.34 lakh to Rs 20.14 lakh

Tata Safari

Rs 14.99 lakh to Rs 23.29 lakh

Mahindra XUV700

Rs 12.95 lakh to Rs 23.79 lakh

MG Hector Plus

Rs 15.94 lakh to Rs 20.69 lakh

Hyundai Alcazar: BUY for SUV-like styling, premium features, and a bigger petrol engine

Hyundai Alcazar

Hyundai launched its three-row SUV, the Alcazar, in June 2021. Staying true to its form, the Alcazar has the SUV-esque styling compared to the Kia Carens, which looks more like an MPV. The Hyundai SUV also gets a few features more than the Kia, including a 360-degree camera, a panoramic sunroof, a fully digital driver’s display, and a powered driver’s seat. It has the second-longest wheelbase (standing at 2760mm) amongst similarly priced three-row cars following the Carens. Another advantage that the Hyundai Alcazar has over its Kia sibling is the availability of the powerful 2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine.

Tata Harrier/Safari: BUY for its space and powerful diesel engine with an optional automatic transmission

Tata Harrier
Tata Safari

While the Tata Harrier/Safari aren’t as equipped as the Kia Carens, they do get a bigger and more powerful diesel engine and even more in-cabin space. Tata has provided them with a 2-litre diesel unit making 170PS and 350Nm (with both 6-speed manual and automatic gearboxes). Their headlining features include a powered driver’s seat, an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a panoramic sunroof.

Mahindra XUV700: BUY for ADAS, feature-rich cabin experience, powerful petrol and diesel powertrains with an all-wheel-drive option

Mahindra XUV700

The Mahindra XUV700 is undoubtedly the best SUV in its segment, thanks to its expansive features list, wide range of powertrains, and segment-first Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Mahindra has equipped it with a dual-display setup, Amazon-Alexa connectivity, a panoramic sunroof, and even a driver drowsiness detection function. The only major drawback is that the SUV is witnessing a waiting period of up to a year for select variants.

MG Hector/Hector Plus: BUY for its second-row space and as a feature-laden offering

MG Hector
MG Hector Plus

MG is offering the Hector/Hector Plus with the choice of petrol and diesel engines. Additionally, the two MG SUVs are also the only ones to offer mild-hybrid tech with the petrol engine in their respective spaces. Automatic transmission is only available with the non-hybrid petrol powertrain. After the discontinuation of the DCT option, both the SUVs now only get the CVT automatic. Both are equipped with comforts such as ventilated front seats, leatherette upholstery, a 10.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system, connected car technology, and a panoramic sunroof. MG has also equipped the Hector Plus with power-adjustable front seats (non-hybrid variants), a 360-degree parking camera, and a powered tailgate.

Toyota Innova Crysta: BUY for its reliability, affordable service cost, as well as good performance and comfort

Toyota Innova Crysta

If we are discussing MPVs, we have to consider the Toyota Innova Crysta. It has managed to hold its own since it was introduced in the Indian market and has always been one of the most preferred models. While it may not be as feature-rich as you would want it to be, the Innova Crysta is still a viable alternative to the Kia Carens when it comes to reliability, low service cost, and even its long-term usage.

Kia Carens: HOLD for its practicality, feel-good features, and more choice of engines or seating configurations for MPV buyers

Kia Carens

Kia will be offering the Carens with the same three engines as the Seltos: a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol (115PS/144Nm) with a 6-speed MT, a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol (140PS/242Nm) with a 6-speed MT or a 7-speed DCT (dual-clutch automatic), and a 1.5-litre diesel (115PS/250Nm) with a 6-speed MT or a 6-speed AT. The Carens is also vouching to be a practical three-row MPV with features such as cooled cup holders, an under seat tray for the co-driver, roof-mounted AC vents, and electric one-touch tumble second row seats. Other than these, Kia has also equipped it with ventilated front seats, auto climate control, cruise control, a 10.25-inch touchscreen system, and a single-pane sunroof. Its standard safety kit is impressive as well which includes six airbags, electronic stability control, and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

5-Seater SUVs You Can Consider For A Similar Budget

Due to the expected positioning of the Kia Carens, it is sure to make buyers ponder upon the possibility of going for a 5-seater compact SUV instead of the MPV given the expected price overlapping. There are six compact SUVs worth debating over when the Carens is considered. The Creta-Seltos duo provides a feature-loaded experience while the Kushaq-Taigun pair offers a fun-to-drive feel. On the other hand, there’s the MG Astor which has introduced ADAS in this SUV segment while the Maruti S-Cross is a no-nonsense and practical alternative.

Here’s a look at your options and their prices:

Model

Price Range

Hyundai Creta

Rs 10.23 lakh to Rs 17.94 lakh

Kia Seltos

Rs 9.95 lakh to Rs 18.19 lakh

Skoda Kushaq

Rs 10.99 lakh to Rs 18.19 lakh

Volkswagen Taigun

Rs 10.99 lakh to Rs 17.99 lakh

MG Astor

Rs 9.98 lakh to Rs 17.72 lakh

Maruti Suzuki S-Cross

Rs 8.8 lakh to Rs 12.77 lakh

All prices ex-showroom Delhi

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