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Old 1st February 2022, 01:36   #76
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Default Re: Kia Carens Review

While a lot of people in the automotive circles are hedging Carens against the Ertiga twins, I have a slightly differing opinion.

Carens is trying to be MPV in an SUV's clothing
Kia itself seems very confused with the positioning of the vehicle. While they have created a 'recreational vehicle' (read MPV) narrative around the Carens, they have designed for it to look like an SUV. Now while best of both worlds might sounds good on paper, it can very easily translate in the problem of "Dhobi ka Kutta, Na Ghar Ka Na Ghat Ka" too.

Pricing
As aggressively as Kia might price the Carens, it will still command at least a ₹50K - 1L premium over the top specced Ertiga twins. And while Maruti has a very thin variant spread, Kia is known for their bigger spreads and consequently top specced Carens might cost as high as ₹16-17L.

USPs and Brand Perception
Each brand is known to have a certain kind of image, evoke certain kind of feelings when mentioned. If someone mentions a Maruti car to me, my first thought would be a fuss free, reliable car with good fuel economy. If someone mentions a Kia car to me, I would think of a value for money car loaded with gizmos and tech to the brim.


Now the amalgamation of all these factors creates a problem for Kia.

For the base variants that are more reasonably priced, Carens, in direct competition to Ertiga, will be rationalized as an MPV. And a consumer going for an MPV would much rather choose the comfort and stress free ownership that Maruti provides than the bare bone gizmo addition that might be available in the base variant Carens.

For the higher variants, since the price gap becomes so significant, Carens is no longer seen in the same light as the Ertiga. It is rather compared to the likes of Alcazar, Safari (and XUV700?) and therefore rationalized as an SUV. And while Kia is known to sell more than 50% its cars from the top variant, this proposition comes under threat here.

While the Carens might be rationalized as an SUV here, the perception of an MPV (due to Kia's relevant marketing efforts) still persists. And no matter what, Indians have a certain stigma around owning an MPV. They do not wish to ride in people movers. On top of that, owing the recent rise of the aspirational SUV segment, people would rather choose a car that is both perceived and rationalized as an SUV rather than one trying to be both.

This leaves out a very niche small market of buyers which should be barely enough for the Carens to qualify as a success. Therefore, I believe, Carens is gonna suffer a similar fate as the Alcazar and might not sell much.
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Old 1st February 2022, 02:58   #77
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Default Re: Kia Carens Review

Apart from the looks which are subjective, this has all the right ingredients to appeal to evolving Indian customer base. Frankly speaking the 6/7 seater category was missing something & I thing this ticks all the boxes if priced correctly. The predicted price of 14.5-19L Ex showroom is disastrous.

Car which was primarily a status symbol / occasional usage product a decade back has become a utility and the owners are using their cars for travelling long / with family. Hence space / more seating becomes even more important.

Now, 6/7 seater segment is crowded and dominated by player having strong legacy (Innova & Ertiga). I hope they price this sensibly (Close to Ertiga) else it will be compared with XUV / Safari where with the road presence & space it does not stand a chance (Marazzo, Lodgy).

With no 2.0L offering, it seems that KIA is looking to undercut competitor.
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Old 1st February 2022, 04:45   #78
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Default Re: Kia Carens Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post
Not sure why this is being compared with XL6.
With its 1.5L engines, MUV styling and size, it definitely is closer to XL6 (and probably Marazzo) than say Safari, XUV700, Innova. The 3rd row space is actually comparable to XL6 if you watch some comparos online. If its priced within 1L of XL6, I think it can do decent numbers. Otherwise, for a 3 star safety rated product (since it's based on Seltos platform), its got no chance against Safari or XUV700.

Last edited by aah78 : 1st February 2022 at 05:13. Reason: Quote trimmed.
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Old 1st February 2022, 08:19   #79
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Default Re: Kia Carens Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazooka View Post
Aren't you forgetting the Marazzo? It can sit 3 adults in the third row.
With sales figures in the last 4 months being in 2 digits, I do not consider Marazzo at all against any newly launched vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sreejithkk View Post
And in Kia website itself where they mentioned class leading safety/power etc, the class is mentioned as "3 row seater car with overall length less than 4550mm & height more than 1680mm".
Oh! Did not know this. Thanks for sharing. Where in the Kia site do you see this? [EDIT] I see it now, note against the asterisk!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time_Machine View Post
With its 1.5L engines, MUV styling and size, it definitely is closer to XL6 (and probably Marazzo) than say Safari, XUV700, Innova. The 3rd row space is actually comparable to XL6 if you watch some comparos online. If its priced within 1L of XL6, I think it can do decent numbers. Otherwise, for a 3 star safety rated product (since it's based on Seltos platform), its got no chance against Safari or XUV700.
Agree with you. If it is within 1L of XL6, it should do good numbers. But hope the NCAP ratings are better this time.

Kia Carens Review-kia-safety.png
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Old 1st February 2022, 08:57   #80
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Default Re: Kia Carens Review

In my opinion the Carens will straddle quite a large price band starting from 12 lacs for the basic petrol version with no frills and go all the way till 19.9 lacs for the fully loaded diesel auto variant. Off late most companies have been adopting this approach and it is quite successful (see the Xuv700). That way they can target buyers from every possible segment - Muv and SUV. Only thing which remains to be seen is how they can price a car with six airbags at a very aggressive entry price. Toyota had also tried this earlier with Yaris but somehow it never gave results for them. But Kia being Kia definitely has a better all round package and looks like it will be successful inspite of the looks (from photos).
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Old 1st February 2022, 09:11   #81
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Default Re: Kia Carens Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post
But hope the NCAP ratings are better this time.
Attachment 2267522
This is the biggest concern with Carens. Based on Seltos and being heavier, it will perform worse than Seltos if nothing is changed. Btw Seltos also has a similar figure emphasizing the usage of high-strength steel and we all know how it turned out.

Not sure why 1.4L petrol should be cheaper than 2.0L petrol. Are the taxes lower? 1.4L is a more modern turbo-charged engine and makes more power than 2.0 throughout the mid-range where most of the action is except for the top-end.
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Old 1st February 2022, 10:18   #82
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Default Re: Kia Carens Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnkgrg View Post
While a lot of people in the automotive circles are hedging Carens against the Ertiga twins, I have a slightly differing opinion.
In my opinion, Carens will have its own segment: Above XL6 and below Alcazar.

I'm actively looking for a 7 seater and I checked out all available options.
- XL6 is very much dated, though VFM. Also, one should forget driving pleasure.
- Marazzo, no petrol option and no AT. Mahendra will be soon pulling out the plug.
- Hector plus petrol AT is very much fuel hungry and ASS is an issue as the network is scarce.

Only options left are Innova and Alcazar, which are expensive.

Kia has done a wonderful market study in my opinion and come up with thier variant distribution.
Since Seltos had created negative perception about safety, they made all safety features as standard. Very smart! Though, the core strength is about the body structure which still remains a question.

They have also made sure that it won't eat into Alcazar volumes.
Alcazar comes with 2L petrol whereas Carens got 1.4 Turbo. Also, Kia has purposefully left out on many features like panoramic sunroof, 360 cam, electronic seat adjustment etc which are the USP of Alcazar.
So, its like, the Alcazar starts where Carens ends.
Note that the Alcazar doesn't have any low end variant.

Also, if one is really concerned about MPV looks of Carens, Alcazar would be the choice.
Honestly, I will not worry so much about SUV, MUV category if car is satisfying my needs.

Coming to the pricing, Alcazar top end diesel costs 19.5L Ex showroom. Considering that Carens lacks so many features, it would be priced at 18.5L.
Petrol top end would be 18L considering that there is around 50K difference in Seltos petrol and diesel.

So the Prestige plus DCT would be 17L and low end manual will be 14.5L.
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Old 1st February 2022, 10:50   #83
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Default Re: Kia Carens Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post
Not sure why this is being compared with XL6. Carens looks leaps ahead of XL6 in terms of features, interior quality, practicality and NVH. Moreover XL6 is not available with a Diesel heart.
IMHO, Carens is a good option for anyone looking for a 6 or 7 seater (probably the only 7 seater with a comfortable third row in this segment) unless the family members have a large build.
Moreover there is bound to be atleast a 8 lakh price difference between the two cars. True comparision would have to be between cars from the same or similar specification/ price segment range. The Carens is a Alcazar clone and will be priced accordingly
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Old 1st February 2022, 12:19   #84
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Default Re: Kia Carens Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time_Machine View Post
With its 1.5L engines, MUV styling and size, it definitely is closer to XL6 (and probably Marazzo) than say Safari, XUV700, Innova. The 3rd row space is actually comparable to XL6 if you watch some comparos online. If its priced within 1L of XL6, I think it can do decent numbers. Otherwise, for a 3 star safety rated product (since it's based on Seltos platform), its got no chance against Safari or XUV700.
No chance against the Tata flagship car that the company knowingly doesn't send for crash testing? Tata sends its new Punch for testing, but neither the Harrier nor the Safari. It's easy to surmise both would do poorly in crash tests. Just because they feel "heavy" or "solid" doesn't mean they're actually any safer in a crash than a Seltos or Carens. If safety is a priority, one should go for a car that is actually tested, not based on the perceived weight of the bonnet or doors.
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Old 1st February 2022, 13:04   #85
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Default Re: Kia Carens Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by karanddd View Post
If safety is a priority, one should go for a car that is actually tested, not based on the perceived weight of the bonnet or doors
A classic example is Toyota Etios which had scored a 4 star in GNCAP. High kerb weight doesn't translate to better safety(Toyota examples again - Innova and Fortuner).

Last edited by Bibendum90949 : 1st February 2022 at 13:05.
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Old 1st February 2022, 14:26   #86
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Default Re: Kia Carens Review

The biggest concern seen in the various media reviews, Carens has been struggling with 7 people seated in the naturally aspirated 1.4 petrol and 1.5 Diesel Only the 1.4 petrol turbo seems to be a savior.
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Old 1st February 2022, 16:33   #87
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Default Re: Kia Carens Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by @Debanshu_B View Post
The biggest concern seen in the various media reviews, Carens has been struggling with 7 people seated in the naturally aspirated 1.4 petrol and 1.5 Diesel Only the 1.4 petrol turbo seems to be a savior.
Probably that calls for the next set of drag races by the auto media groups - fully loaded MPVs pitted against each other.
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Old 1st February 2022, 16:40   #88
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Default Re: Kia Carens Review

From the brochure, I could notice that only the two top-end variants (Luxury and Luxury+) have gloss finish on dashboard and the beige colored seat covers. Rest of the lower three variants have non-gloss dash and darker seats (pics below). This is a relief since the Carens hosts 6 airbags and there won't be an option for customers to add seat covers in the aftermarket. Both the dash and the seats will be a lot easier to maintain in the lower 3 variants.

Since we are discussing the feature difference between Carens and other cars in the same price band, let me recall the observations that I made in the thread - (Kia Carens midsize MPV unveiled) -
Quote:
Comparing the top-end Seltos GTX+ 1.4 Turbo MT with Carens top-end MT, the Carens looses out on these notable features-
  • 360-degree camera
  • Heads-Up Display
  • Electric seat adjustment
  • Sub-Woofer
  • UV-Cut glass
  • R17 wheels
Seltos GTX+ 1.4T MT is priced at 16.85 lacs. For Carens Luxury Plus 1.4T MT, I hope it comes at 16.99 lacs if Kia is not over-ambitious.
Attached Thumbnails
Kia Carens Review-carens-interior-colors.png  

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Old 1st February 2022, 18:25   #89
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Default Re: Kia Carens Review

Looking at the pains taken to 'unglamorize' Carens, it's clear that they expect the pricing to cannibalize Seltos, thus they absolutely want to ensure that a person selecting Carens, does it for the extra seats and not it's size or SUV-ishness. They really just want large families as customers, everyone else can get the Seltos which will command higher margins.

Going on a limb here, I expect prices to start just above the base XL6, so around 11L for the lowest petrol trim, then step up to around 15L for the T-GDI Automatic base. Diesel may start at about 1.5L premium to the petrol so from 12.5 to around 14L for the base automatic.

I don't think they can price the cheapest automatic trim at anything over 16, as that is Innova territory, even though it will be devoid of features, Toyota is still perceived as the better brand and people may hop over to it. Similarly, at that level, the competition will include XUV500 too.

The Carens is boxed in between the XL6 and Innova, in size and expectedly price as well. They can't make it too cheap, and anything more expensive (like a Seltos+ pricing) will simply put it up against a lot of well regarded competition.
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Old 1st February 2022, 20:35   #90
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Default Re: Kia Carens Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post
Someone in KIA's marketing team has balls of steel.
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