Kia Carens diesel AT: Impressions after 2000 kms & first service update

It has proven itself to be a very capable and comfortable car, regularly returning 14-15 in full city running and consistently 19-21 on the highways driving almost completely in the default City Mode.

BHPian PGNarain reecently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Further to my review posted earlier, we have now completed just over 2000kms and can share some initial impressions with the car.

Will start with my experience of the first service which was due at 1 month or 1000kms (whichever is earlier). We hit the 1000kms mark within a fortnight and booked our Carens for her 1st service on the 03rd of Arpil via the Kia Connect App, followed by a phone call. Booking process was very easy and got a confirmation via watsapp, which had details of the the booking, numbers of the service advisors and the location of the service center. Below is a screenshot:

Arrived around 10am and was asked to park the car outside the gate and proceed to the reception. Gave my details and immediately my wife's name (registered car owner) flashed on a screen with a welcome message:

Then was asked to wait in the customer lounge, which was big, well appointed, clean and comfortable. The staff offered coffee (or tea) while I read the latest issue of Autocar and which I have to mention was delicious but could not finish it since the Service Exec arrived soon thereafter to handle the booking!

There was just one niggle with the car, which I completely forgot to mention at the time and will take it up in the next service - will circle back to this later in the post.

Other than that, it was a regular service so headed back home with an expected delivery time of 2pm. Once we came back, and while waiting for the car, I got an opportunity to have a look around the center. Despite being a Sunday, the center did not seem busy though all the bays were occupied. All the bays and the center in general was very clean and came across as well maintained. Attaching a few pics:

While my wife settled the bill (INR 0) and got the gate pass, I went to check out our Carens which had been washed and was being wiped down and dressed. It looked absolutely smashing with a high gloss mirror finish:

And of course I could not miss another cup of the fabulous coffee:

Coming to our impressions during the last couple of months over 2k kms, our Carens is on a regular Home - Office run which is about 50 kms both ways and has become the default choice for any long trips or highway runs (mostly due to the diesel economy). It has proven itself to be a very capable and comfortable car, regularly returning 14-15 in full city running and consistently 19-21 on the highways driving almost completely in the default City Mode.


  • Drivability is very good, both in the city and out on the highway with hardly any instance that the engine caught out searching for a gear or in the wrong RPM range.
  • Sports Mode is fun, whenever we have used it!
  • Ride is exceptional with most potholes, bad and bumpy roads not bothering the car or throwing around the occupants.
  • NVH levels are also very good, with most of our friends repeatedly asking if this is a Diesel. There is absolutely no sound of the Diesel Engine clatter that comes in the cabin. We have yet to wring the engine beyond 2,500 rpm with the current driving pattern still on a relatively light foot.
  • Ventilated seats are a boon during these hot summers and the AC is upto the task of cooling the cabin quickly.
  • Last row seats are genuinely usable for adults, even over longer distances.
  • Lots of charging ports and cubby holes to keep stuff.
  • Touchscreen is slick and responsive.
  • KIA Connect App is useful and gives a very usable alert if I walk away without locking the car.
  • Footprint is smaller, or at least smaller than what I am used to, so driving around the town is much easier for me.
  • Ergonomics are spot on and presence of physical buttons is great to have.
  • 1st service experience was positive.

Dislikes / Niggles:

  • The annoying horn clack really bugs me and I haven't been able to get used to it. I wasn't a very 'horny' driver to begin with and with this clack, I actively avoid using the horn now.
  • The in built navigation has provision for voice assistance which is buggy. I keep getting random alerts, both on screen and via speakers and at times refuse to go away. Few times, the voice alerts has gone into a loop mode and continues beeping / voicing the alert. I forgot to bring this up with the service advisors during the first visit and since it doesn't happen very often, decided to deal with it during the next service. If any BHPians have any way to deal with it, please do let me know.

Below is a screenshot of one such alert. Go figure:

  • Another niggle that came up recently was in the ambient lighting strip, wherein one section below the dashboard refused to change colours but eventually changed after about 15-20mins on its own:

  • AC blower at 3,4 and Air Purifier at anything higher than 2 setting is audible.
  • Seat Ventilation, though great, could be a tad stronger.
  • Driver Seat under-thigh support and travel could have been better.
  • I miss electronic seat adjust, at least for the driver seat.
  • At full tank, the fuel gauge doesn't budge till about 200-250kms after which it starts to correct exponentially. Though DTE kms is reliable and have driven our Carens down to 20/25kms range after which I lost my nerve.
  • The lock and unlock alert is like really LOUD.
  • Speakers are a real let down, and at high volumes I end up having ear fatigue after 40-50mins
  • Car feels lightly built at places, and passenger doors sometimes need a firm hand to close properly.

I think that just about covers it.

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