Kia Carens Diesel iMT vs AT: In-Depth Performance Comparison

Kia Carens Diesel iMT vs AT: In-Depth Performance Comparison

The Kia Carens has carved a niche for itself in the multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) segment appealing to buyers who desire a more premium option than the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. Unique to the Carens is its availability in both diesel and petrol engines, along with a variety of transmission choices, including manual and automatic options. Notably, the diesel variant offers two types of automatic transmissions: a conventional six-speed torque-converter (TC) and a six-speed clutch-less manual (iMT).

Engine and Gearbox Specifications

Under the hood, the Carens is equipped with a 1.5-litre diesel engine that produces 113 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque. This engine can be paired with either the innovative six-speed iMT or the more traditional six-speed torque-converter automatic transmission.

Kia Carens Diesel iMT vs AT: In-Depth Performance Comparison - left
Kia Carens Diesel AT

Acceleration Performance

To evaluate the performance of the iMT and TC variants, we conducted acceleration tests using a V-Box:

  • 0-60 km/h Sprint: In this test, the TC gearbox variant demonstrated slightly quicker acceleration, achieving the sprint in 5.3 seconds, compared to the iMT model, which took 5.9 seconds.
  • 0-100 km/h Sprint: Again, the TC variant showed superior performance completing the run in 11.8 seconds, while the iMT variant lagged slightly behind at 12.9 seconds.

These results indicate that the TC automatic transmission provides a quicker off-the-line acceleration compared to the iMT variant.

Drivability Tests

Drivability is a critical aspect of the driving experience, especially for an MPV designed for family use. We assessed the in-gear acceleration of both variants:

  • 20-80 km/h Sprint: The TC variant completed this mid-range acceleration test in 6.9 seconds in kick-down mode, showcasing its responsiveness. In contrast, the iMT variant required 9.5 seconds to complete the same sprint in third gear.
  • 40-100 km/h Sprint: For this higher speed range, the TC variant finished the run in 9 seconds in kick-down mode. The iMT variant, on the other hand, took 11.26 seconds to complete the sprint in fourth gear.

These tests highlight the TC variant's superior drivability, particularly in scenarios that require quick acceleration, such as overtaking on highways.

Kia Carens Diesel iMT vs AT: In-Depth Performance Comparison - front
Kia Carens Diesel iMT 

The comprehensive performance comparison between the Kia Carens diesel iMT and AT variants reveals that the torque-converter automatic transmission consistently outperforms the clutch-less manual (iMT) variant in terms of acceleration and drivability. While both variants offer satisfactory performance for a seven-seater MPV, the automatic variant is the preferred choice for those seeking a more effortless and responsive driving experience. The choice between the iMT and AT ultimately depends on the driver's preferences and driving conditions, with the AT variant offering a more convenient and smoother ride especially in city traffic and on long drives.