Body-coloured or chrome exterior door handles and body-coloured door mirrors (with LED indicators and kerb lights on all but entry-level versions) are other premium touches, and most models have new-style alloy wheels and surface-mounted roof rails.
The front of the new Carens is dominated by the now familiar Schreyer 'tiger-nose' grille with a chrome edge and either black or high-gloss black mesh. The front is sharply contoured and voluminous, differentiating the Carens from the flat, dull appearance of most MPVs. Volume is also a feature of the stylish headlight units that include, as standard, cornering lights and LED daytime running lamps.
At the rear, a wider tailgate and window emphasise the solidity and practicality of the new Carens, with no dilution of the cohesive overall design. Black garnish beneath the rear bumper and a standard rear spoiler with an integral high-level brake light maintain the dynamic appearance that starts at the front of the car. Most versions feature a chrome tailgate finisher.
QUALITY THROUGH AND THROUGH
The 7-seater Carens maintains the leap in quality with every successive new model from Kia, thanks to the classy materials and sophisticated detailing. The wide fascia and crash pad have been split into an upper information area and a lower control area for ease of use, with all switches placed exactly where the driver would expect them to be.
The cabin trim is characterised by minimal panel gaps and soft-to-the-touch surfaces. Each trim grade comes complete with its own unique seat material - black cloth, black woven cloth with keep-clean texture or a choice of two leathers (depending on exterior colour choice). A leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter with chrome surround are standard in the Carens interior specification, along with faux leather garnish on part or all of the door interiors. The two upper trim grades have black high-gloss panels with a grille pattern in the dash, upper centre console, doors and steering wheel spokes, and all models have metallic finish door handles and chrome accents within the cabin.
The increased space within the cabin and boot is reflected in the improved and more intelligent storage and usability features of the new Carens. The standard cooled glovebox is supplemented by second-row under-floor storage, a centre console box, front and rear door pockets large enough to hold drinks bottles and front seat-back pockets. The front seat backs also have fold-up tables with cupholders in most versions, and there are cupholders in the second and third rows. The middle-row centre seat folds to create a table.
The new-style front seats provide greater support in the shoulder area for taller occupants. Ten-way power adjustment for the driver, and integral heaters in both front seats, are standard with the highest trim grade. The individual second-row seats are lighter for easier adjustment and folding, and all three have built-in three-point seat belts. A tilting and sliding mechanism on the outer two improves access to the rear. Third-row seats are also easier to move as a result of the introduction of rigid but lightweight plastic parts, and redesigned head restraints ensure no obstruction to the driver's rear visibility when the seats are unoccupied.
EFFICIENT AND FUN TO DRIVE
The new 7-seater Carens is available with a choice of three direct-injection engines - one petrol and two turbodiesels - which share the common characteristics of strong performance, outstanding fuel efficiency and excellent driveability and refinement.
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