Kia Carens 1.5 Turbo review: Family car with a hint of excitement?


MPVs are often ignored by people when they are out in the market to buy a new car. Yes, MPVs do make a lot of sense for Indian families, they are spacious, and practical and would fulfil most of the household needs. However, not everyone prefers their design or wants to be seen in them. This is where the Carens from Kia changed the game. It is an MPV that takes design inspiration from SUVs.

By: Paarth Khatri
| Updated on: 18 Nov 2023, 18:00 PM

Kia Carens
Kia has not made any cosmetic changes to the Carens.

Kia used to offer the Carens with three engine options – 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol, 1.4-litre turbo petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel engine. A few months back, the 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine was replaced by a 1.5-litre turbo unit. The new engine is offered with a 6-speed iMT and a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. We got to review the 1.5-litre turbo with DCT transmission and here are my thoughts about it.

Kia Carens 1.5 Turbo: Powertrain

The 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine gets a direct injection. It produces 158 bhp of max power and 253 Nm of peak torque. That is a bump of 20 bhp and 11 Nm over the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine.

Kia Carens
The new 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine is very smooth and refined.

The engine pulls quite hard and there is plenty of torque available for quick overtakes. The power is delivered in a linear manner and there is torque available throughout the rev range. The engine is very smooth and refined too which helps in keeping the cabin quiet. There are three driving modes on offer – Eco, Normal and Sport. The Eco mode is plenty to drive in the city and the Normal mode is suited for driving on the highways. The Sport mode is where things get a bit serious as the engine gets more responsive, the transmission holds on to the gear and shifting gears can be a bit jerky.

Speaking of transmission, it is very seamless in Eco and Normal mode, most of the time the gearshifts are not even noticeable. It tries to hold on to the second gear in traffic which can make the driver feel a bit of lag. However, there are paddle shifters using which the driver can take manual control of the gearbox and they respond fairly quickly.

Kia Carens 1.5 Turbo: Ride and handling

Kia Carens
The interior feels quite premium and is well laid out. However, the piano-black elements could get scratched-up easily.

In terms of ride quality, the Carens is quite comfortable. The suspension does a good job of ironing out bumps and potholes. The steering is light which makes it quite easy to drive in cities. However, as soon as you show Carens some corners, you are immediately reminded that it is an MPV because of the body roll.

Kia Carens 1.5 Turbo: Fuel efficiency

In the city, we managed to get a fuel efficiency figure of just under 10 kmpl whereas out on the highways, the fuel efficiency climbed up to 17 kmpl.

Watch: Kia Carens Diesel: First Drive Review

Kia Carens 1.5 Turbo: Verdict

If you are looking for a people mover that does not look like a typical MPV, then you can take a look at the Carens. It comes packed with features, has an up-market interior and a powerful engine. So, it can serve as a family vehicle with a hint of enthusiasm because of that turbo engine.

First Published Date: 18 Nov 2023, 18:00 PM IST

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