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First look: Kia previews next Carens

Next-gen: Kia says Multi-S stands for "sporty, spacious, smart".

Kia’s next-gen Carens people-mover lurks within the Multi-S Frankfurt concept

20 Sep 2005

KIA’S six-seater Carens was one of Australia’s first compact people-movers, but the concept never really caught on here as it has in Europe.

Like Mazda’s discontinued Premacy, slow sales saw its life cut short here – after just 18 months in December 2001 – and the facelifted model revealed at 2002’s Madrid motor show was never made available Down Under.

But Kia’s all-new Carens – which, if the Multi-S concept shown at Frankfurt last week is any indication, is likely to offer seven seats – should have a much better chance of gracing Australian roads.

Ateco Automotive will relinquish its local distribution rights to a factory-backed operation from March 1 next year, just before the production version of the new Carens is likely to become available.

Dubbed a next-generation Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV), the Multi-S is claimed to blend the MPV, SUV and crossover trends.

17 center imageRiding on a 2700mm wheelbase and at 4545mm long, it’s closer to Kia’s full-size Carnival people-mover in length and will boast boast "best in class" occupant protection systems, including motor driven power steering (MDPS), an electronic stability program (ESP), tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), adaptive front light system (AFS), full-length side curtain airbags and active head restraints.

Featuring seven seats and air-conditioning for all three rows, the Multi-S concept is powered by a 2.7-litre petrol V6 mated to a five-speed auto, but Kia says its engine bay is also designed to accept a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel.

Kia also gave its new Optima large sedan its debut at Frankfurt.

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