Kia Carens Premium Vs Renault Triber RXZ: Comparison Review

Published On Mar 28, 2022 By Nabeel for Kia Carens

This is an odd one for sure but is packed with surprising results!

If you are looking for a spacious MPV for the family and Innova is not really an option, the Carens then makes perfect sense. It's large, spacious and has one of the best balance of features and practicality. But it has one more quality - the price of its base variant. The Carens Premium is priced at Rs 8.99 lakh. And this makes it fall in territory of the Renault Triber’s top variant (RXZ AMT Dual Tone) which is priced at Rs 8.25 lakh. The question for today, then, is a simple one - does the size advantage of the Carens translate in the real world to make it more practical than the Triber, or does the feature advantage of the Triber help it remain the ideal small family MPV?

Looks

  • Before we start talking about looks, let's address the elephant on the ground - the Carens. The size difference between the two MPVs is massive. The Triber is built in the footprint of a hatchback while the Carens is larger than SUVs like the Creta And Alcazar.  And this clearly shows when the two are parked side-by-side. 

Dimensions

Length

Width

Height

Wheelbase

Triber 

3990mm

1739mm 

1643mm 

2636mm

Carens 

4540mm 

1800mm 

1708mm 

2780mm

  • However, in the base variant, the Carens does not have any flashy bits like LED DRLS, LED headlights, fog lamps or roof rails. It gets only the black grille on the face and even the wheels are 15-inch steel units with silver wheel caps. This does take its appeal down considerably. 

  • The Triber, size apart, is a good looking MPV. It looks muscular and with LED DRLs and roof rails, a premium family car as well. The Carens, in contrast, looks like a commercial vehicle in the base variant. You’d have to spend additionally on wheels and some chrome trims to make this look a little more personal and upmarket.

Boot Space

Boot Space

Triber

Carens

All Rows Up

84L

216L

3rd Row Down

625L (Seats Removed)

645L

  • The Carens clearly offers a more spacious and practical boot. When the third row seats are up, you can still keep an overnight suitcase and gym bags. The Triber offers practically no space. 

  • When the third row seats are folded, the Carens can accommodate all of our test luggage which includes a large, medium and a small suitcase and two soft bags. The Triber can only accommodate the suitcases. However, the rear seats of the Triber are completely removable and then you can add the soft bags as well. That said, you will have to store the seats separately at home. 

Third Row

  • The access to the Triber’s third row is fairly simple. Pulling a lever tumbles and folds the second row which gives you plenty of ingress space. The low floor makes it easy to get in. 

  • The knee room is very tight with the second row pushed all the way back, but sliding and positioning it in the middle offers ample knee room for both the second- and third-row passengers. The width of the cabin is enough to accommodate two passengers side-by-side comfortably as well. 

  • The seats themselves do not feel very comfortable. They are mounted lower to the ground and hence you do sit knees up, ending up with no underthigh support. The backrest angle is fixed and the cushioning is soft. Also, the backrest angle also means that you’re a bit too close to the rear windshield at all times, which gets hot in summers. These will make the passengers feel fatigue even on smaller stints. 

  • On the features front, you get roof-mounted AC vents, small storage pockets and one 12V socket. There are no cup holders, or mobile phone holders here.

  • Ingress in the Carens is better with a taller entry. Also, to tumble the seat, all you have to do is press a button. However, this is only available for the passenger side. The driver side seats also tumbles and folds, but with a lever. 

  • With the second row all the way back, the third row passenger won't have knee room - just like the Triber. However, slide it in the middle and both the passengers get comfortable. Surprisingly though, the knee room here is again the same as the Triber. 

  • Space apart, the experience is a lot better in the Carens. The seats are much higher and you get better underthigh support. Plus the backrest is reclinable so getting in a comfortable position is simpler. A taller roof offers better headroom and the larger quarter glass allows for more light in the cabin as well. 

  • Finally, the features are plenty. Roof mounted AC vents, 2 x (cup holders, Type C chargers, phone holders and storage pockets) keep the occupants better managed. 

  • The third row of the Triber feels like a typical third row, whereas the third row of the Carens feels like the second row of a hatchback. And that is a big compliment. 

Second Row

  • Sitting in the Triber feels like being a spacious hatchback as the seats are low and the bench is flat. The space is also good with ample knee and legroom even for  six-footers. The seats, though, are not as comfortable and supportive as the Carens. The underthigh support is lacking and because the backrest is flat, they don't feel supportive.

  • Three passengers in the middle row can adjust for some road trips, because of this flat bench and the nice width. 

  • In terms of features, you get B-pillar mounted AC vents, blower controls and bottle holders in the door pockets. An armrest and cupholders are sorely missed here.

  • The Carens second row immediately feels like a step up, both literally and figuratively. Literally because the Carens sits much higher than the Triber and hence the seats are much taller. And figuratively because the seats are better cushioned and more supportive, better underthigh support and the cabin feels a lot bigger and more spacious. 

  • The base variant of the Carens only gets the bench seat option and not the captain seats. However, the middle portion folds to make the armrest and that does offer a captain seat-esque experience. 

  • Features are better here as well, with roof-mounted AC vents and blower controls, an armrest with cup holders, larger door pockets with phone holder and leatherette upholstery.

  • The overall experience of the Carens is better than that of the Triber because of the sense of space, better features and the better seats. 

Cabin Feel, Features and Practicality

  • The Triber’s dashboard layout is very clean. The bright materials and the large touchscreen helps it feel pretty modern. And while the quality of plastics is still hard, the Triber does sit in a price bracket where this is the norm. 

  • Another excellent aspect of the Triber is the cabin practicality. It has two large open storage spaces, two glove boxes, two cup holders, bottle holders in the doors and finally a cooled central storage which can easily take a one-litre water bottle.

  • The Carens does feel like a larger and more spacious vehicle even from the driver’s seat, but the dashboard is disappointing. In the base variant, you do not get a touchscreen or even a music system. And the blue plastic on the dashboard does feel cheap and commercial. It does not convey the feel of a personal car. 

  • However, cabin practicality is plentiful, with large door pockets which can hold upto three bottles, large central storage, armrest with more storage underneath, cup holders, key slot and a glovebox. However, the pop-out ticket holder, cup holder, cooled cup holders and underseat storage tray are also missing in the base Premium variant.

  • When it comes to features, there is a big mismatch in the Triber’s favor. The common features include a height-adjustable driver seat, power windows, digital MID, and tilt-adjustable steering. 

  • The only advantage that the Carens has is the larger digital instrument cluster and leatherette seat upholstery. Whereas the Triber further gets 8-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, six speakers, keyless entry, push-button start, rear wiper, washer and defogger, cooled glove box, auto up/down driver window, rear parking camera, and steering-mounted audio and phone controls.

  • The Triber feels like a better personal car whereas the Carens offers a larger car experience, at the cost of features. 

Comfort and Convenience

  • Both these MPVs do a good job of keeping you cushioned from the surface. Especially the regular speed breakers and broken roads. And even with full load, both of them retain this character. 

  • However, over the larger undulations and potholes, the Triber does let in a bit of harshness whereas the Carens’ suspension absorbs them better. But because of the taller body, the middle-row occupants get more side-to-side motion in the Carens.

Drive Experience

Triber RXZ AMT

Carens Premium

Engine

999cc 3-Cylinder

1497cc 4-Cylinder

Power

72PS

115PS

Torque

96Nm

144Nm

Transmission

6-speed AMT

6-speed MT


  • The Carens comes with a larger and more powerful petrol engine which is much more refined than the 1-litre, 3-cylinder engine in the Triber. Both these engines do a good job of hauling the family but it's the Carens which is going to be more effortless, along with a more relaxed experience. 

  • But given the size of the Carens, the smaller Triber, along with the automatic transmission, will offer a lot more convenience inside the city. So if you are looking for a more convenient drive in a crowded city, the Triber, with its compact footprint,  will be better. 

Verdict

Picking between the Carens and the Triber has been more difficult than we earlier imagined. While the size of the Carens is a clear advantage inside and out, the Triber puts up a good fight with its features and practicality. The key advantages for the Triber are its compact size, easy to drive nature and the personal car appeal. If you are looking for a small family car, the Triber offers brilliant space, versatility and functionality. But if space and comfort are what you are after, be it for five or seven people with the boot space, the Carens leads convincingly. So if you are ok with spending for the missing features on your own. extending the budget will give you a lot more MPV.

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