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New Kia Carens makes global debut in Spain

01.06.2006

The all-new Kia Carens compact MPV made its world premiere at the Madrid Motor Show

  • All-new compact MVP in five-seat and seven-seat versions
  • Choice of 2-liter 140 ps turbo diesel or 144 ps gasoline engine in Europe; 2.4-liter 158 hp gasoline or 2.7-liter 185 hp gasoline engine in North America
  • Particle filter for diesel engine as standard from launch
  • On sale this Fall (beginning of 2007 in North America)

The all-new Kia Carens compact MPV (to be named ‘Rondo’ in North America) made its world premiere at the Madrid Motor Show on May 26 and will go on sale this Fall (beginning of 2007 in North America). A little over 4.5 meters long, the New Carens will be marketed in two versions -- with seven-seat and five-seat cabins -- both featuring ‘European-specific’ frontal styling with unique twin-chrome-bar grille, lower center 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 conceived a next generation vehicle for active lifestyle 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, with elegant detailing, results in significantly improved aerodynamics.

The 4,545 mm long New Carens’ aerodynamic Cd is a highly competitive 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 created 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 meter adults in comfort.

In both versions, the middle and/or rear row seats fold down to create a flat-floored luggage area. With five seats occupied, luggage space is more than 400 liters and with just the driver and front passenger on board, up to 2,106 liters 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 gasoline 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 generates 140 ps and has a six-speed manual gearbox. The twin-cam four-cylinder 2.0-liter ‘Theta’ gasoline engine, with continuously variable valve timing (CVVT), produces 144 ps and is mated to a five-speed manual.

In North America, Carens will be offered with either a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 158 hp or a 2.7-liter 6-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 185 hp.

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 kmh is achieved in a braking distance of just 41.8 meters.

16 models in nine colors on sale from Fall 2006

New Carens will appear in Kia dealer showrooms from this Fall (beginning of 2007 in North America). In most countries there will be a 16-strong model line-up (in a choice of nine distinctive exterior colors), with both the five-seater and seven-seater versions available in two equipment levels (LX and EX), with diesel or gasoline 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.