Kia bets on Carens to lead the medium minivan segment

Article by Christian A., on May 9, 2013

Kia believes that with the new Carens, it will be able to lead the medium minivan segment and break the dominance of European automakers. Kia is confident that the Carens will appeal to buyers from competing brands since the minivan has a sleek appearance, a spacious interior, and useful storage features.

Kia executives said that the low profile of the Carens isn’t characteristic for its segment. During a press launch, Benny Oeyen, Kia Europe's head of marketing and product planning, said that the Carens is not a boxy minivan and that it can rival any minivan on the road when it comes to versatility and practicality.

Oeven said that it also has a better appearance. JATO Dynamics said that as customers made the switch to SUV-styled crossovers, medium minivan sales in Europe declined by 8% to 712,000 units in 2012. Meanwhile, the five best-selling models (which were all produced by European automakers) experienced double-digit decreases.

JATO said that last year, Kia sold only 620 units of the Carens in Europe. However, Kia expects worldwide medium minivan sales to increase during the next three years. Oeyen said that while Kia realizes that the European automakers are dominating this segment, it is confident about being able to break their leadership.

The new Kia Carens is a story of plus and minuses. There are certain aspects of the car that have been reduced, while there are also others that have been made bigger. What it has resulted to is a new Kia Carens that is positioned between a five-seater and a seven-seater because compared to the previous Carens, the new one is shorter by 20mm, narrower by 15mm, and lower by 45mm.

Kia Carens is 50mm bigger in wheelbase and lower seat positions compared to the previous model. This has brought about plenty of leg room and a larger luggage space while also offering a comfortable head and shoulder rooms for the occupants. The bigger luggage space comes with a very practical feature in the form of an under-floor compartment that adds more storage space inside the Carens. Compared to the Soul, the new Kia Carens is 5mm lower because its overall height is measured at 1605mm.

Carens features three individual sliding and reclining centre-row seats, compared to the previous model which had 2 separate rear seats and a split bench. The front passenger seat is adjustable in that it can be folded flat which makes it convenient to load items that are lengthy.

But more than the enhancement in dimensions and sizes, the Kia Carens is also aerodynamic, sporty, and fuel efficient. It also does not lack for style. The Carens is Schreyer-inspired, and this is shown in the three-dimensional side surfaces that make the Kia Carens dynamic in both form and performance. The Carens offers maximum side visibility because behind the A-pillars and in front of the C-pillars are delta glass features, while running the length of the side windows is a chrome belt line that rises to meet the C-pillar.

Topics: kia, minivan

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