Kia Carens petrol DCT: Driving impressions with all 7 seats occupied

With the Normal drive mode, the car starts smoothly from the get-go. This mode can cater to the mix of sedate and occasional enthusiastic driving.

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Driving the Kia Carens petrol automatic with full load:

Took out my Carens 1.4 DCT last night with all 7 seats occupied and drove extensively on the empty city roads. My experience in brief:

Seating comfort:

With ample space on offer, the seating is comfortable. No complaints from the 3rd row passengers whether there were 2 adults or 3 kids seated there. Since there is no air-purifier or tablet tray in the 2nd row, there is oodles of space on offer for middle row passengers. Overall, the cabin feels airy which can be attributed to large windows and 4 separate air vents at the back.

Drivability:

With the Normal drive mode, the car starts smoothly from the get-go. This mode can cater to the mix of sedate and occasional enthusiastic driving. With full load, both city and highway drives can be taken care of with this mode.

With the Sport mode, the car instantly becomes aggressive- drops a gear, gains RPMs and the engine becomes vocal. I could notice the push back in the seat feel even with full load. The car waits longer before upshifting, but the FE takes a hit. Overall, this mode will keep the enthusiastic drivers well satisfied.

With the Eco mode, a conservative approach takes over and the car can only be driven sedately. The engine delivers power rather conservatively and this leads to a better FE figure. As per my observation, the gearshifts take place at the same RPMs as they take place in Normal mode. But due to the limited power delivery, the FE figure improves. I drove sedately in Eco mode for a good length and didn’t face any issues with car loaded full.

Ride and suspension:

The ride was overall smooth and can be termed as family friendly. The 205mm wide tyres and 16inch wheels are a fine combination to tackle potholes.

Gearbox:

The gearshifts are very smooth with the DCT gearbox. It doesn’t matter if the car is full with pax or just the driver, it’s hard to notice the gearshifts without looking at the MID.

I have driven a friend’s Crysta Diesel AT and I felt the Carens to be smoother to drive which can be attributed to the refined 1.4 Turbo engine and the dual-clutch AT.

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