The local MPV market will have another all-new entrant as Kia's distributor in the Philippines, Columbian Autocar Corporation, has confirmed with TopGear.com.ph that it will launch the all-new Carens in May.
The news was revealed by CAC marketing manager Boying Soriano at a recent media ride-and-drive hosted by the company in Batanes earlier this week. Pressed to provide more details about the Carens, Soriano shared that the Carens that CAC will initially offer will be a diesel-powered variant.
We double-checked the all-new Carens variants that have been launched in other markets, and we discovered that there are two different 1.7-liter U2 diesel engines being offered with the MPV: a high-power one that produces 134hp and 330Nm of torque, and a low-power mill that puts out 113hp and 260Nm of torque.
According to Kia, every all-new Carens "will be fitted with a six-speed transmission and every model will offer drivers a choice of manual or multi-mode automatic gearboxes."
The only thing we need to know now is if the all-new Carens will be offered as a five- or seven-seater model.
As for the updated Optima, Soriano could only say that it's due to arrive in September this year.
We figured it's a good idea to buy the all-new Carens as it is apparently the last mass-market model to be built using Peter Schreyer's design philosophy, following his promotion as Kia president in January 2013.