Kia Carens Diesel iMT vs AT: Real-world performance tested

The Kia Carens has emerged as a popular choice among MPV enthusiasts, offering a touch of premiumness for buyers seeking an alternative to the ubiquitous Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. Unlike its counterpart, the Carens provides options in both diesel and petrol engines, as well as manual and automatic transmissions. Of particular note is the availability of two automatic transmission variants for the diesel variant — a conventional six-speed AT and an iMT.

Let’s delve into the performance metrics of the Kia Carens diesel engine and its gearbox configurations. Powering the Carens is a 1.5-litre diesel engine, delivering a robust 113bhp and 250Nm of torque. This engine is paired with either a six-speed clutch-less manual (iMT) or a six-speed torque-converter (TC) automatic transmission.

In terms of acceleration, the two variants exhibit distinctive characteristics. During the 0-60kmph sprint, the TC gearbox showcased a slightly superior performance, clocking in at 5.3 seconds compared to the iMT model’s 5.9 seconds. Similarly, in the 0-100kmph acceleration test, the TC variant outshone the iMT, achieving a time of 11.8 seconds versus 12.9 seconds, respectively.

When evaluating drivability, the differences become more apparent. The V-Box test for the AT entails a kick-down, while the iMT necessitates manual gear shifts. Consequently, the figures for the two variants diverge, providing insights into their respective pulling power. The conventional AT recorded a time of 6.9 seconds for the 20-80kmph sprint and 9 seconds for the 40-100kmph acceleration test in kick-down. Conversely, the iMT took 9.5 seconds for the 20-80kmph run in third gear and 11.26 seconds for the 40-100kmph sprint in fourth gear.

While neither set of figures is groundbreaking, they offer satisfactory performance benchmarks for a seven-seater MPV like the Kia Carens.