The Maruti Suzuki Ertiga changed the MPV segment with its car-like driving dynamics. Relatively compact size, creative packaging and economical price. Its ability to transport seven adults made it incredibly tempting, and some purchasers of sedans, compact SUVs, and hatchbacks were also drawn to it. As a result, Ertiga sales have been prosperous thus far. (Kia Carens vs The Maruti Suzuki XL6)
But, MPV consumers today have higher expectations and are searching for modern features and a more upscale experience. The Maruti XL6 and Kia Carens need to be considered for these buyers.
The Maruti Suzuki XL6 is supplied with a 1.5-litre, 103hp petrol engine that can be paired with a 5-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, or a CNG-manual transmission. The XL6 series is priced from Rs 11.29 lakh-14.39 lakh (ex-showroom). The Carens is available from Kia with a variety of engines: a 115 horsepower, 1.5-liter petrol engine with a 6-speed manual. A 140 horsepower, 1.4-liter turbo-petrol with either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic; and a 115 horsepower, 1.5-litre diesel engine with a 6-speed manual or automatic. They are priced between Rs 9.99 lakh-18 lakh.
We contrast their 6-seater gasoline-automatic iterations to see which is the superior urban people-mover. The Kia Carens Luxury+ is about Rs 3 lakh more expensive than our test vehicle. The Maruti Suzuki XL6 Alpha+, which has a sticker price of Rs 14.39 lakh. Has the Carens already conceded defeat with such a significant price difference. Or is there still hope that it can outperform the XL6?
Interior Comparison Of The Kia Carens With The Maruti Suzuki XL6
With its upright posture, the XL6 is easy to enter and exit. You’ll notice how comfortable the seats are once you’ve sunk into them. They are wide, supportive, and perfectly cushioned thanks to Maruti Suzuki. What is comforting about the ‘good seats’ is that they are not only comfortable. The imitation wood panelling and matte silver details in the cabin’s all-black decor seem excellent. The materials don’t feel particularly high-quality or unique, and everything feels quite plasticky and rough to the touch.
The interior of the Kia is very different. It overwhelms you as soon as you enter with its design, beige and dark blue colour scheme, and the choice of materials employed. Although though the interior of the Carens is mostly made of hard plastics. The quality and fit-finish appear to be a step higher than in the Maruti Suzuki. The ambient lighting, which has been done in a very sophisticated manner, adds to the cabin’s sense of occasion. Like the XL6, these chairs have ventilation and are also fairly comfy. Yet, both in terms of support and the efficiency of the seat coolers, Maruti has an advantage in this situation.
Because the middle passengers in both of the cars being tested have captain’s chairs, the seating configuration is 2+2+2. Both cars have fore-and-aft swivelling captain’s seats with movable backrests and armrests. Again, the XL6’s middle seats are incredibly comfortable, just as the front ones. Yet, the Kia pampers passengers in the middle rows with useful features like an airplane-style tray table. A USB charging station (the XL6 gets a 12V plug), and window sunshades. Something you would miss in the Maruti on a hot day. Oddly, the air purifier mounted behind the driver’s seat is rather large and obtrusive and appears to have been added after the fact.
You must slide the middle seat forward in order to access the third row of the Maruti. Which creates a space big enough for you to fit in. Once seated, comfort is suitable for adults as well, and the backrest also reclines to a comfortable angle. However, taller adults will discover that their heads will touch the roof in the most reclined position.
The middle seat in the Kia is moved forward by an electronic release. Making entry into the third row more simpler. The Kia Carens seems more comfortable in the third row than the first two, where the XL6 has an advantage. Even taller people can sit in this row for lengthy trips without feeling worse for wear.
Both have a little over 200 litres of boot capacity with all three rows up. Although there is more room than the statistic suggests. In order to fit large bags without folding down the last row. They also contain additional storage spaces beneath the floor that can be opened up. If we’re talking storage and functionality. The Kia Carens features a lot more well built storage spaces around the cabin than the Maruti Suzuki.
Kia Carens vs. Maruti Suzuki XL6: Design
By merely increasing the XL6’s wheel size to 16 inches (from 15 inches). Which makes it appear more proportional to its body than previously, Maruti Suzuki has added a higher level of desirability. Of course, it also receives a few modest cosmetic changes, such a new front grille, more modern LED headlamps, and smoked LED taillamps. Yet credit goes to its clean-cut appearance, prominent body lines and pronounced plastic cladding. Thanks of which it comes across as a robust MPV that could suit SUV-loving purchasers too.
On the other hand, the Kia’s styling, particularly the front end, is a fusion of several features, including the stylish split headlamps, the black panel with a chrome bar, and an enormous air-dam with Kia’s distinctive “tiger nose” shape and a chrome outline. All these give a lot of shine to the Carens’ aesthetic. The side profile is comparatively cleaner, and its tail-end is pretty neat too. With triangular LED tail-lamps tied together by a light bar running the width of the boot. Chunks of chrome on the back bumper give it even more glitter.
As compared to the XL6, the Carens appears bigger, which it actually is. Much longer by 95mm, broader by 25mm, and with a 40mm longer wheelbase is the Kia.
Performance Of The Kia Carens Vs. The Maruti Suzuki XL6
The XL6 is powered by a modern 1.5-liter, 103hp K15C petrol engine from Maruti Suzuki. Moreover, a new 6-speed torque converter automatic replaces the previous 4-speeder and comes with the mill.
With a weight of 1,225kg, the XL6’s power ratings appear to be just about appropriate for its size and weight. However, throttle responses are very abrupt, especially in the first two gears. Which helps make up for the engine’s subsequent lack of power. It will even accelerate quickly to 60 kph with your foot firmly on the floor, but beyond that, power delivery becomes noticeably blunted, and it is at those times that you will notice the lack of punch from this non-turbo petrol engine. This engine’s weak mid-range is also revealed during a hill-climb with a full house. And the transmission will frequently keep downshifting to keep the engine on the boil in order to retain momentum.
As a mild hybrid, this device uses a backup battery pack to provide some torque assistance for improved performance. You won’t really notice much difference, though, and the only way to see this technology in action is to take a quick look at the animation on the instrument cluster.
The Carens’ 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine outperforms the Maruti’s with 140 horsepower and 242 Nm of torque, a difference of 37 horsepower and 105 Nm. While weighing in at 1,396 kg, the Carens is 171 kg heavier than the XL6, yet its turbo-petrol engine tows this 6-seater far more easily.
The same unit, which uses the same unit, which uses the same unit, which uses the same unit, it feels sportier. With no sudden spikes in performance or very abrupt throttle reactions, the Carens delivers its power in an incredibly smooth manner. Even the shifts from the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission have been slowed down in comparison to the Seltos. Which fits with the personality of this people-mover.
Performance is swift whether it’s at full or partial throttle. It travels quickly from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in 9.67 seconds, which is 4.64 seconds faster than the XL6. It will also completely destroy the Maruti in a rolling race at 40 or 20 kph. Kia has included paddle shifters and several driving modes like “Sport” and “Eco” in addition to “Normal” to keep the driver amused. The new driving modes vary gearshift points and throttle response. With “Sport” being the most aggressive and “Eco” being the least aggressive.
Kia Carens vs. Maruti Suzuki XL6: Equipment
The top-spec vehicles examined here come equipped with standard features like automatic LED headlamps. 16-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, climate control, cruise control, paddle shifters, four airbags, ESP, hill-start aid, a rear-view camera, and a tyre pressure monitoring system. The Carens receives a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen than the XL6, which has a smaller 7.0-inch display. To justify the price difference, the Carens has exclusive features including. Curtain airbags, all-wheel disc brakes, ambient lighting, a digital instrument cluster, wireless charging, a sunroof, an electric tumble function for the middle-row seat, and premium Bose speakers.
Kia Carens vs. Maruti Suzuki XL6: Ride and Handling
Like its sister vehicle, the Ertiga, and its siblings like the Swift and Baleno. The XL6 is constructed using Maruti’s Heartect architecture. Also, the XL6 is lightweight like the other vehicles on its platform thanks to Maruti’s innovative weight reduction. From the driver’s seat, the XL6 seems rather sturdy, and its suspension is perfectly adjusted to handle the challenges of our Indian roads.
It maintains a flat, controlled ride at all speeds, filters through few road shocks, and makes no superfluous body motions. It rides with a sense of confidence. Its steering even seems superior to other Marutis built on the same platform. Resulting in continuously even weight distribution and a very smooth return to centre.
The Carens has been expertly tuned by Kia for our roads as well. Although you can hear the suspension operating in the background when the Bose speakers aren’t entertaining you, it rides fairly nicely. Also, compared to the XL6. You will experience greater road shocks and some additional vertical movement. But they are only noticeable in relation to the Maruti and never feel overwhelming.
The steering is a little bit lighter and a little bit simpler to use in the Kia, and the brakes give you greater assurance. The Carens’ incredible stopping power also deserves to be mentioned. With all four disc brakes engaged, it can stop completely from 80 kph. Which is a whole metre faster than the much lighter XL6.
Fuel Efficiency Of The Kia Carens versus the Maruti Suzuki XL6
In order to increase fuel efficiency, Maruti’s new K15C engine receives twin injectors, dual variable valve timing, and a greater compression ratio (than before) in addition to mild-hybrid technology that includes automatic engine stop-start, brake energy recovery, and torque assist. It also has longer legs thanks to its 6-speed automatic, making it a calm cruiser. The sum of all these factors yields an efficiency of 9.20 kpl in the city and 17.01 kpl on the motorway, respectively.
The 1.4-liter turbocharged engine in the Kia Carens achieves 8.90 kpl in the city and 15.76 kpl on the motorway, respectively. It’s odd that the Kia’s efficiency ratings aren’t much further behind the XL6 despite being a turbo-petrol and being substantially faster.
The Kia’s unit, however, is sensitive to driving circumstances like other turbo-petrols, so over extended periods of idle or with an energetic driver at the wheel, you’ll notice this figure dropping quite quickly.
Kia Carens vs. Maruti Suzuki XL6: The Result
While the Maruti XL6 is built on the Ertiga, it inherits all of its advantages, including creative packaging, cosy seats, and a smooth ride. It does its responsibilities with some elegance and includes some contemporary bells and whistles. So, the XL6 is for you if you appreciate the Ertiga for all of its benefits but want something a little more upscale and supported by Maruti’s extensive support network.
The Carens from Kia, on the other hand, elevates the MPV experience to a new level and seems to belong in a sector above. Although the top-spec petrol auto is Rs 3 lakh more expensive than the XL6 and is only available with the turbo engine, it more than demonstrates the proverb What you pay for is what you get. With excellent fit and finish, premium materials, and a variety of appealing options including a sunroof, ambient lighting, Bose speakers, wireless charging, and a noticeably bigger touchscreen, the interior of the Kia feels more comfortable and adds real value.
Its XL6-beating turbo-petrol performance is surpassed by its own, as is the Maruti’s fuel economy. The Kia also edges out the competition in terms of practicality thanks to its abundant storage space, slightly larger cargo, and more comfortable third row.
Hence, the Carens does an excellent job of moving passengers while still offering a pleasant experience. It thereby wins this test and takes first place.
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