Kia Carens diesel iMT launch soon; new entry level, 5-seat variant expected

    The new entry-level variants are likely to bring the starting price of the Carens closer to that of the Ertiga.

    Published On Mar 06, 2023 06:31:00 PM

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    Kia will soon launch the Carens with a diesel iMT powertrain, and the carmaker is also working on introducing new base variants, including one with a five-seat layout that will sit below the Premium trim in the Carens’ line-up.

    These updates to the Carens will likely take place at the same time as the MPV’s upgrade to the upcoming BS6 Phase-II emission norms. 

    1. Kia Carens diesel to get a 6-speed iMT gearbox
    2. Kia likely to launch new variants below Premium trim 
    3. New Kia compact SUV, MPV India bound in 2025

    Kia Carens diesel iMT in the works

    The diesel Carens is currently offered only with a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox options. The new iMT or clutchless manual gearbox will slot between the conventional manual and automatic transmissions. The 115hp, 1.5-litre diesel engine, too, will see updates before the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) norms, which will go into effect from April 1, 2023. Kia already offers the diesel-iMT powertrain on the Seltos SUV. 

    Kia will also update the base 1.5-litre naturally aspirated engine to make it E20- and RDE-compliant. The carmaker will replace the 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine with a more powerful, 1.5-litre turbo-petrol unit ahead of the RDE norms. Kia’s sister brand Hyundai has already introduced the engine in the Alcazar, and other Hyundai models, including the upcoming new-gen Verna, will get this engine too. It is only a matter of time before the Kia Carens and Seltos get the same engine.

    Kia Carens 5-seater, lower variants incoming 

    Along with new powertrains, Kia is also likely to introduce new base variants with naturally aspirated petrol and diesel powertrains in a bid to make the MPV more accessible. The new variants are expected to slot below the Premium variant, which is currently the starting point of the Carens range.

    Kia is also likely to introduce a five-seat layout with the base variant, which would make the Carens the only MPV in its class with an option of a five-seat layout. 

    The Carens competes with Maruti Suzuki's XL6 and Ertiga. Currently priced at Rs 10.19 lakh, the starting price of the Carens is less than the XL6 (Rs 11.41 lakh), but much higher than the more popular Ertiga (Rs 8.49 lakh). The entry-level variants could thus be an attempt to attract Ertiga customers into Kia showrooms. 

    In terms of equipment, it is likely that the new base variants to miss out on some features like leatherette seats and second-row folding armrest, which are currently offered on the Premium variant. Kia is, however, unlikely to skip on safety equipment as the carmaker has been adding more standard safety features across its range in the recent past. 

    Kia’s upcoming launches for India 

    Kia recently announced that it will be investing Rs 2,000 crore to bring two locally manufactured EVs by 2025. One of them is likely to be an all-electric MPV since the carmaker will continue to focus on the MPV segment. Kia will also bring a new, rugged compact SUV that will sit between the Seltos and the Sonet, and it will also be available with an ICE powertrain. 

    In the near future, Kia is expected to launch the KA4 MPV and the Seltos facelift in India. 

    All prices ex-showroom Delhi. 

    Image source

    What do you think of Kia's move to launch a new base variant with five-seats? Let us know in the comments below. 

    Also see:

    2022 Kia Carens review, test drive

    Maruti Suzuki XL6 vs Kia Carens comparison: six-seat showdown

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