Since making its world debut in India in late 2021, the latest generation of the Kia Carens has been launched in a couple of Southeast Asian markets with Vietnam being the second market in the region after Indonesia.
While the Indo-spec Carens is only available with 2 variants, the Vietnamese version of Kia’s people’s carrier crossover is offered with a whopping 7 variants. Prices for the Carens in Vietnam range between VND 619 million to 859 million (~RM 115k-159k) which puts it between the price range of the Toyota Veloz Cross and Toyota Innova in the country.
The Veloz Cross is priced at VND 658 million (~RM 122k) while the Innova is priced between VND 755 million to 885 million (~RM 140k-164k). The Carens might look like a B-segment crossover but it's actually built on an elongated Seltos platform
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However, Kia has been very successful in Vietnam so perhaps it might still attract buyers despite the higher price. There are 3 engines offered across the 7 variants which consist of the naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre Smartstream petrol engine (113 PS/144 Nm), the 1.4-litre Turbo Smartstream (138 PS/242 Nm), and the 1.5-litre CRDi diesel unit (113 PS/250 Nm).
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The NA unit is paired to either a 6-speed manual transmission or a CVT automatic that Kia calls an IVT while the turbo unit is only offered with a 7-speed DCT. Meanwhile, the diesel powertrain is paired with a 6-speed automatic.
7 seats are available as standard on the Vietnamese-spec Carens but there is the option of having 6 seats on the Signature variants of the turbo petrol- and diesel-powered versions. The latter sees a pair of captain chairs in the middle row instead of a bench.
It’s difficult to tell the variants of the Carens apart from the outside with automatic LED headlights, LED taillights, 17-inch two-tone wheels, 2-tone rear bumper, and rear spoiler available as standard.
Inside, the Carens offers a spacious interior thanks to having the largest wheelbase in the segment. Perhaps it’s here that you might see Kia’s justification for offering a premium price.
Depending on the variants, the Vietnamese-spec Carens comes equipped with the following features:
- 8-speaker Bose sound system
- Front ventilated seats
- Wireless charging pad
- 10.25-inch infotainment with wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- 12.5-inch digital instrument cluster
- Automatic air-conditioning
While all this sounds premium, the Carens does not come with active safety features on even the highest variants. Lack of ADAS aside, the higher variants come with 6 airbags, front and rear parking sensors, downhill assist, ESC, and all-round disc brakes.
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Malaysian buyers looking forward to the Carens’ arrival here have to wait longer since BAuto has not yet made any announcements for the crossover’s introduction here. However, it is planning to bring in a few SUVs into the country including the Sportage and the Sorento.
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