Saturday 17 February 2018

Diesel boost for new Kia Carens

Declan O'Byrne

IT'S just as well the new version of the Kia Carens is not coming to Ireland in May – at least not in 1.6 GDI (135bhp) petrol guise. If it were, the arrival of the updated version of its MPV, unveiled this week, would probably amount to a major disappointment.

The all-new Carens was awaited with considerable anticipation. However, that would have quickly dissipated had we not been aware that the much better-looking people-carrier will arrive here in May with a more impressive 1.7-litre diesel powertrain.

On a test run from Nice to Monte Carlo, the paucity of the petrol engine's pulling power was astonishing – with just two adults on board, it struggled to cope with a series of inclines on the outskirts of the busy principality.

However, faith in the new car was restored yesterday when, over a second test route, the 1.7-litre 6spd diesel engine – the only version coming here – made light work of the hilly terrain. This fourth generation of the car is more spacious and more sporty. Its versatile 5+2 seating system accommodates five adults and two children in comfort.

The Carens is well-finished and quiet and drives as well as the Ford C-MAX to mention but one. It comes with a choice of three trim levels (TX, EX and Platinum) with a starting price of €26,490.

Standard equipment (TX spec) includes alloys, rear spoiler, LED daytime running lights, cornering lights, electric windows, six airbags, stability control, Vehicle Stability Management, Emergency Stop Signal, steering mounted audio controls and voice-activated Bluetooth.

The EX adds auto light controls, LED rear lights, rear privacy glass, folding mirrors with puddle lamps, dual zone air con, rear parking sensors and rear-view camera. The range-topping Platinum adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, 10-way electric driver's seat, panoramic sunroof and front parking sensor.

The new Carens is shorter, narrower and lower (20mm, 15mm and 40mm). But cabin space is not compromised due to a longer wheelbase (up 50 mm).

Irish Independent

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