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Upgraded from an Ertiga to a Carens DCT: Purchase process to delivery

What package you get in the Carens for the price being paid is quite compelling.

BHPian vikramv4u recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Introduction & background:

Firstly, this post has been in my draft for a while and due to multiple reasons, couldn't get down to finishing it.. but finally posting this

We have (now had) an Ertiga Petrol VXi 2012 model and although I can't complain in any way about that car, but somehow, I decided to change the car (can’t point a finger on the actual reason why ). The criteria/ things we needed in the new car are the following:

Must-haves:

  • 7 seater car (not 6 seater, so no captain seats) - we have 2 kids and 4 adults in the family, hence!
  • Sliding Middle row seats (need the flexibility to have an adult sit in the 3rd row, if needed, hence need that flexibility to move middle row seats)
  • 3rd row seats suitable for adults -- no knees up scenario or 3rd row seats only for kids not acceptable
  • Luggage space with 3 rows of seats up - need decent (more than Ertiga) space to fit some bags
  • Safety features - 6 airbags
  • Automatic transmission

Slightly lesser important:

  • Easy on the hand driving - not very heavy steering, suitable for city drives and stable on highways
  • Upgrade from Ertiga
  • Some cool features would not be bad

Options Considered:

Looked at all possible 7 seaters between Rs. 12-15 Lakhs to Rs. 40 Lakhs ..

  • XUV700 - great power, felt very nice driving it, but got ruled out as it didn't have sliding middle row. Also, the luggage space wasn't great, neither was the 3rd row, especially for adults.. waiting time, although not a criteria as such didn’t help either
  • Safari - Boot space was the dampener.. other than that somehow didn’t like the interiors and the reviews as such didn’t feel like it is the car for me
  • Ertiga - didn't want to buy an Ertiga again.. just from a change perspective
  • Hycross/ Invicto - very nice space in-cabin, interiors didn't feel great. Some of the lower variants didn't have many features, and the higher variants would push the budget up to close to Rs. 38L - which I felt was too much. Long waiting period as well. Potential parking challenges in the city due to the larger size etc. didn’t help as this will not be chauffer driven
  • Alcazar - not as much room in-cabin as much as the Carens and more expensive, so fell lower in value.

Finally, looked at the Carens - it pretty much ticked most boxes for me and the final thought process was:

  • Better value for money compared to competition - what package you get for the price being paid is quite compelling (compared to competition) and also didn't want to pay more than Rs. 30L
  • Good features.. safety or otherwise
  • Driving felt good - unlike last year when I felt it was terribly underpowered. Maybe they have done some software upgrades, so Normal (default on starting the car every time) driving mode felt fine to drive.. upon asking about the power, I was told that the new engine and the software updates have made it better. This has been corroborated by Puneet as well as a part of his thread.
  • Very nice NVH levels - quite a quiet cabin

After watching numerous numerous and numerous hours of videos on YouTube and reading many Team-Bhp posts...

the decision was made.. it would be the Kia Carens!!

Variant:

  • Petrol all the way – maybe “petrol-head” term may fit in here, but jokes apart, not sure about the future of Diesel vehicles and have never owned one plus my running will not be extensive.
  • Like I mentioned above, 6-seater ruled out.. wanted a 7-seater as we have a young baby and she may sleep in the middle row
  • Sunroof was mandatory for the family, so I was left with only 2 variants - Luxury (O) or Luxury Plus (LP)
  • Price difference was about Rs. 1 Lakh and for that extra price I would get an Audio system with Bose speakers, Paddle Shifters, Ventilated front seats, Rain sensing wipers, Wireless Charging etc. -- now although some of the above could have been skipped or could have been fitted after-market, I went ahead with the Luxury Plus! Not fully sure I have made the best decision (considering the cost of accessories), but definitely something that was a head-scratcher at that time.

Pre delivery experience:

  • I had reached out to a dealer Taapasi Kia and they were prompt in sending the car for the test drives and I asked for both the IMT and DCT versions
  • But I got a contact in Naara Kia JP Nagar (Bengaluru) and ultimately decided to go with them as they had a couple of vehicles readily available, whereas Taapasi told me straight away that they will be able to give me the car in 2 months (I appreciate their frankness though!!)
  • After having booked the car thru Naara, negotiated a little for some accessories for a certain value and then we had to decide on the color. This was a difficult decision for the family as all colors were not on display, so we requested to go to the stockyard to see all the colors on display - finally decided on Silver
  • Silver in my variant wasn't coming at all from the factory, patience was being tested and I was after the dealer to get the car.. He gave me quite a few options, but we were adamant on Silver.. till we read the news about a potential 1-2% hike in prices starting Oct 1, and that's when I started pestering the dealer..
  • Finally, I was offered a Black Luxury Plus variant and the family had no problem with that, so despite my reluctance (due to high maintenance in general), we decided to go ahead - with all formalities of paperwork done within 2 days.
  • I, ideally wanted to do a PDI, but considering the stiff timeline due to price increases, auspicious day for delivery etc. I skipped that, although I mentioned to the dealer (contact) to check and double-check everything.

Side View:

Front side view:

Rear view:

Interior view:

Delivery experience:

Finally, the registration happened and I did go to see the car, with a lot of hope (that everything will be fine) and knowing fully well that there is not much I can do now, even if something was not 100%

Then I had to decide on the accessories to be bought from Kia - Eventually I bought the following from the dealer:

Mud flaps -- Rs. 727

Door Sil guard -- Rs. 1158

Door edge guard -- Rs. 577
- Door visor -- Rs. 4965

Body Side Molding Chrome -- Rs. 2956

Got all these installed by the day of delivery.

Had other accessories in mind, but decided to do that after-market. More on that later. After spending about a couple of hours on the photo moment, walk-thru of the Kia Apps and features and settings etc. the moment of handover had come...

Handover:

Key:

 Collected a few goodies that Naara Kia had given.

And we finally drove the car home.

Some more views:

Aftermarket accessories:

7D Floor and Boot Mats: Ordered thru Capedell (some say Capdell) for Rs. 6500 - very happy with the way it looks and it was easy to install. This included the cabin mats and the Boot mats as well.

Sunfilm: So, this was debatable in terms of which to install, as 3M was Rs. 43,500 for the car - this was too expensive for me and then after reading a lot on Team-bhp, finally decided to do a mix and match option.. Windshield was from 3M (CR70) for Rs. 13,500 and all other glasses (incl sunroof, which was a darker version) was Rs. 14,000 (Garware SHR Natural 70 Film) installed at home thru Shreyas - Thanks to the recommendation from Shravan (@drive.helios) here on Team-Bhp! -- Total Sunfilm cost - Rs. 27,500.

Dashcam: Again, after reading and watching many videos, finally went ahead with the following:

Front: VIOFO A119 Mini 2 (bought from their India website for Rs. 13,999 + CPL Filter-Rs. 1,999) + SanDisk Extreme 512GB MicroSD card - Rs. 3,849

Rear: NexDigitron ACE+ with GPS (Rs. 4,190) + CPL filter (Rs. 899) + Samsung Evo Plus 128GB MicroSD card - Rs. 775

Total Expenses on Dashcam -- Rs. 26K

Few additional things bought:

  • Duracell 65w car charger - Rs. 1,449
  • 3M Foaming Interior Cleaner - Rs. 607
  • Car Mobile Holder (Yellowfin) - Rs. 799
  • Car door protector rubber - Rs. 319

I still have a few more things on my radar, but will see when I will buy, if at all..

Initial driving experience:

  • Very smooth, refreshing new-age experience with very low NVH levels
  • Trying to learn how to drive the DCT, managing the drive modes especially in city traffic etc.
  • Although power is satisfactory and adequate in Normal mode, but Eco is slightly sluggish, so one needs to get used to that or be ready to push the throttle a little more
  • Fuel economy as per MID is between 9-10.1 with AC within the city, but driving almost everytime in Eco mode

Absolutely no regrets on this purchase and I will highly recommend this car!!!

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