New Kia Carens Makes Global Debut In Spain
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28th May, 2006
- All-new compact MVP in five-seat and seven-seat versions
The all-new Kia Carens compact MPV (‘Rondo’ in North America) made its world premiere at the Madrid Motor Show on Friday (26th May, 2006) and will go on sale later this year (Australian release date to be confirmed). At a little over 4.5 metres long, the New Carens will be marketed in two versions -- with five or seven seats -- both featuring ‘European-specific’ frontal styling with unique twin chrome bar grille, lower centre air-intake and front bumper with inset air-intakes or fog lamps.
Responding to consumer feedback and to developing market trends within the compact MPV sector, Kia designed a vehicle for families that blends the interlocking trends of MPVs and SUVs.
New Carens is an all-new model, only the name of the previous model has been retained. Longer, wider and taller than its predecessor (by 55, 50 and 40 mm, respectively), the latest Carens does not share a single panel with the old model and its smoother exterior results in significantly improved aerodynamics.
The 4,545 mm long Carens’ aerodynamic Cd is 0.32 -- down from 0.35 for the previous model -- despite the latest vehicle’s increased cross-section and frontal area.
Consumer clinics with Carens prototypes confirmed that a significant percentage of today’s compact MPV customers would welcome a larger vehicle that could seat up to seven people -- provided that any increase in overall length was kept to a modest level. Consequently, New Carens is higher and wider than the model it replaces, with a much longer wheelbase (up by 130 mm, a 5% increase), but it is only 55 mm (or 1.2%) longer, thanks to skillful packaging design.
“With New Carens, we are presenting consumers with a surprisingly spacious yet compact MPV. Our Kia teams on several continents designed the new Carens to surpass the escalating expectations of Kia customers. They have created a truly competitive vehicle that is more stylish and more practical, and will complement modern families’ lifestyles however they spend their work or leisure time,” commented Jung-Moon Park, Senior Executive Vice President and COO of Kia Motors.
“New Carens marks a major advance for our compact MPV model. It incorporates a host of significant improvements in every category -- design, comfort, performance, versatility, quality and safety. I am sure that New Carens will certainly have great appeal to new and existing Kia customers across the world,” concluded COO Park.
Room for seven with greater versatility
Making best use of the longer wheelbase and wider cabin, Kia engineers also designed an innovative ‘shallow’ fuel tank mounted integrally with the rear suspension subframe, which allowed the rear cabin floor to be lowered by 40 mm, boosting interior space and ensuring that the rear row seats in the seven-seater will accommodate two 1.8 metre adults in comfort.
In both versions, the middle and/or rear row seats fold down to provide a flat-floored luggage area. With five seats occupied, luggage space is more than 400 litres and with just the driver and front passenger on board, up to 2,106 litres of cargo can be carried.
Two newly developed 2.0-litre engines, diesel engine with DPF
Kia is offering European Carens customers a choice of one diesel engine and one petrol engine (both Euro4 compliant), with manual gearboxes or automatic transmissions, so they can choose the power train that best suits their motoring needs.
Kia’s upgraded four-cylinder 2.0 CRDi diesel engine features a variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) that comes with a particle filter as standard. It is mtched with a six-speed manual gearbox. The twin-cam four-cylinder 2.0-litre ‘Theta’ petrol engine, with continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) and is mated to a five-speed manual.
In North America, Carens will be offered with either a 2.4-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine or a 2.7-litre 6-cylinder petrol engine.
All Carens engines will be available with a four-speed automatic transmission (as an extra-cost option), fitted with Kia’s Sport Mode system which offers drivers the choice of fully-automatic gear changes or driver-controlled sequential manual selection.
Improved suspension, steering and braking
New Carens’ significantly wider track (up by more than 80 mm), longer wheelbase (up by 130 mm), and stiffer bodyshell have inherent benefits for the new model’s agility, ride, handling and safety.
The fully independent suspension systems, both front and rear, are designed to deliver responsive handling and a supple, comfortable ride. For agile handling in everyday driving, the new Carens model has a hydraulic power-assisted rack and pinion steering system with relatively high gearing, requiring just 2.86 turns of the wheel from lock-to-lock with the standard 16 inch wheels.
New Carens’ braking system has larger and thicker ventilated front discs and solid rear discs for powerful, secure and stable braking performance, backed up by ABS with EBD. Stopping from 100 km/h takes a braking distance of 41.8 metres, about the same distance the Editor can pull-up a Volkswagen Passat from a legal 150 km/h!
16 models in nine colors on sale from Fall 2006
In most countries there will be a 16-strong model line-up (in a choice of nine distinctive exterior colours), with both the five-seater and seven-seater versions available in two equipment levels (LX and EX), with diesel or petrol engines, manual or automatic transmissions, and an extensive range of optional equipment.
Kia expects the New Carens to be a high-volume seller and targets sales of 150,000 units globally in 2007.
Note: Specifications and standard/optional equipment may vary depending on country.
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