2022 Kia Carens 1.5 diesel road test review
A large part of the appeal of an MPV like the Carens lies in the fact that this type of vehicle allows for long-distance travel for quite a few passengers in comfort. Pair that with the SUV-like design theme and ground clearance, and the new Kia MPV should find favour as a good option for those looking to log in quite a bit of mileage on their car. So a diesel engine that maximizes these strengths should only strengthen the Carens' appeal.
Kia Carens diesel driving impressions
As with the turbo-petrol, the diesel engine in the Kia Carens is also shared with the Seltos. This 1.5-litre unit makes the same 115PS and 250 Nm here and pairs with a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. This should be your pick if you think you'll spend quite bit of time on long-distance trips with your Carens. The drivetrain works the best at highway speeds, with the gearbox ticking the motor over above 2,000 rpm in most situations. The turbo is spooled up fully here and the diesel Carens is an easy and comforting way to cover long distances with its good poise, a steady supply of torque and generally quiet demeanour. The 16.48 kmpl highway fuel efficiency figure only solidifies its strengths in this situation.
But this advantage over the turbo Carens isn't quite as apparent in slower traffic conditions, like on the daily commute. The motor's more hesitant low-end performance is accentuated here, especially in the Eco and Comfort modes, which means progress, though still quite steady, isn't as confident as with the turbo. The narrow powerband also makes it a bit noisier and a bit more strained more often. The gearbox is well-timed with its shifts and at highway speeds, the softer, rolling shift action of the torque converter is quite comforting but this also means that the gearbox can't react quite as quickly as the DCT in the turbo, which can leave the diesel hunting for gears a bit more. The turbo makes a stronger case for itself when you find that there's not a great difference in city fuel economy between the two.
There's very little to separate the two Carens' in terms of ride comfort and handling. With the heavier nose, the diesel Carens can sometimes be a bit less alert to heavy steering inputs but this is largely indiscernible in regular use. We do think the suspension tune in the diesel seems slightly more focused towards comfort, with more weight helping isolate the cabin from larger bumps a bit better.
Kia Carens diesel exterior, interior
The Kia Carens diesel looks identical to the turbo-petrol, with only the badging separating it visually. This means that the striking styling with its mix of MPV and SUV attributes remain. It's the same on the inside, where six or seven-seater options are available with both. So the diesel also enjoys the feature-packed, practical interior layout. However, the diesel-auto can be had in a single top-spec Luxury Plus variant, unlike the mid-spec turbo-DCT also being offered. For our in-depth review of the Kia Carens, click here.
Kia Carens diesel verdict
While the diesel-powered Carens can't match the flexibility and refinement that the turbo motor offers, this version still is a compelling choice as a three-row car. It will be pricier than the turbo and should be your pick if road trips are the order or the day for you. The more tamed power delivery may also endear the diesel Carens to those who will be chauffeured around more often than not in their Kia Carens.
2022 Kia Carens diesel AT real-world mileage, performance
City - 10.85 kmpl
Highway - 14.85 kmpl
Overall - 11.85 kmpl
0 to 100 kmph - 9.6s
30 to 50 kmph - 1.5s
50 to 70 kmph - 2.1s
60 to 80 kmph - 2.1s
100 to 0 kmph - 39.4m, 3.1s
Images by Anis Shaikh
Starts Rs 8.99 Lakhs
Starts Rs 16.3 Lakhs
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