The Kia Carens has evolved from a traditional minivan to a three-row "Recreational Vehicle."
Kia has a lot to celebrate this year. Despite challenges brought by the semi-conductor chip crisis, Kia is ending the year on a huge high and has already beaten its all-time sales record in America thanks to high demand for new SUVs like the Telluride and redesigned Sorento. Today, Kia is welcoming a new member to its SUV family: say hello to the 2022 Kia Carens, which was teased earlier this month.
Launched in 1999, the Kia Carens has been on sale for three generations, but the all-new fourth-generation model represents its most radical redesign yet. It's a sign of the times that the Carens has evolved from a minivan to a "Recreational Vehicle" with SUV styling cues. It combines the looks of an SUV with the practicality of a family minivan with a spacious three-row interior.
Sharing the same platform as the slightly smaller Seltos, the 2022 Kia Carens measures 178.7 inches long, 71 inches wide, and 67 inches tall, with a 109.4-inch wheelbase - the longest wheelbase in its class.
Aesthetically, the 2022 Kia Carens adopts the Korean automaker's Opposites Unite design language, resulting in a bold design that stands out against its competitors. The roof is almost completely flat to optimize the interior headroom, while the new slick-looking LED headlights and taillights derived from the Sportage modernize the Carens and the traditional Tiger Nose grille has been slimmed down. New exterior colors for the 2022 Kia Carens include Imperial Blue, Moss Brown, and Sparkling Silver.
Inside, the spacious interior is modern and high-tech, with a fully digital driver display incorporating a 10.25-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system that supports over-the-air updates, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The cabin is loaded with luxuries and tech, from ventilated front seats to 64-color ambient lighting, a premium eight-speaker sound system, and an air purifier system offering protection from viruses and bacteria.
With three rows of seats, the 2022 Kia Carens can be configured with six or seven seats, with the six-seater version featuring captains chairs in the middle row. The second row also features recline and slide functions as well as a "One Touch Easy Electric Tumble" for easier access, while the third row offers generous legroom and can be flattened to maximize cargo space.
Other convenience features include cooling cupholders, a retractable seat back table, sliding-type seat undertray, easy push retractable cupholder and sliding tray, and a dedicated air freshener mounting system.
Under the hood, the 2022 Kia Carens is offered with a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter gasoline engine with 115 horsepower and 106 lb-ft of torque, a 1.4-liter turbo with 140 hp and 179 lb-ft, and a 1.5-liter diesel rated at 115 hp and 184 lb-ft. The entry-level 1.5-liter model utilizes a six-speed manual, while the turbo version is available with an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The diesel engine, on the other hand, is mated to a six-speed torque-converter automatic. All trims come with Kia's Hi-Secure Safety Package as standard, which includes six airbags.
Sales for the new Kia Carens will start in India and select markets in Q1, 2022, but it won't be coming to America since the original Carens has never been sold here.