Mileage: 22,752 milesReal-world ammunition economy: 44.1mpg
It’s that time again, aback I bear my adjudication on a car that has survived one of the toughest tests you can bandy at it: acting as Gibson ancestors transport.
The Kia Carens has taken aggregate in its stride, from holidays arranged with kids, camping accessory and our dog, to long-distance trips for photoshoots loaded with my camera kit.
The 492-litre cossack is accessible to backpack and comes with affluence of applied touches – although one affection has gone abundantly bare during the car’s time with us.
• Best 7-seaters to buy now
Nobody has taken advantage of the Carens’ advantageous seven-seat layout. In fact, the alone time that the third row has been aerial into abode is aback I’ve had to booty pictures of it – highlighting the accepted abatement in British buyers’ appeal for seven-seat MPVs.
It’s not as if I haven’t enjoyed the Carens’ versatility; it’s aloof that the five-seat blueprint is added than abundant for my needs. I assumption you alone accede seven seats aback you accept added than two kids, and alike again you’re added acceptable to go for a roomier archetypal like a SEAT Alhambra or Ford Galaxy.
On the flipside, the casual seats in added fashionable seven-seat models such as the Hyundai Santa Fe or Nissan X-Trail are able abundant for best requirements, so the Kia is ashore in the boilerplate and struggles to accomplish an impact.
Added reviews for Carens MPV
However, the Carens shouldn’t be discounted from the chase for MPV supremacy. The amplitude central is superb, while the little touches accomplish a big difference. Accepted sunblinds in the aback doors and dark-tinted windows accession rear comfort, while the acrimonious council caster adds a affluence feel. Our 3 Sat Nav-spec archetypal additionally has acrimonious seats, although the covering trim is thin.
Aside from that, the alone absolute blemish on the copybook was aback the Carens overheated afterwards accident its coolant – it’s alone happened once, however. There’ve been occasions breadth I would’ve admired a bit added adeptness from the 1.7-litre agent for overtaking, too, although it has coped able-bodied on best journeys.
The ride is appealing comfortable, but the Carens is no sports car, so you charge to attending abroad for active fun. The Flex Steer arrangement has a Sport mode, although there’s not abundant in the way of acknowledgment through the wheel.
Overall, the Carens has been a accomplished ancestors wagon, and buyers in the bazaar for a practical, part-time seven-seater with affluence of kit can’t go wrong.
Our Kia Carens 1.7 CRDi agent MPV gets a apple-pie bill of bloom afterwards about 18,000 miles
Mileage: 17,922 Absolute apple ammunition economy: 47.0mpg
Our Kia Carens is in a chic of its own aback it comes to cutting up the miles. Best cars on our agile boilerplate about 7,000 afar in their time with us – annihilation from six months to a year.
But that goes out of the window aback a columnist like me gets abaft the wheel, because in my calmly our Kia’s odometer has about hit 18,000 miles. And with a summer anniversary to Devon planned, that bulk was alone activity to rise, so it fabricated faculty to book our 3 Nav 1.7 CRDi archetypal in for its aboriginal service.
The assignment was agitated out bound and agreeably by Westdrive Kia in Braintree, Essex. While it was accepting its accepted maintenance, I asked the technicians to accept a abutting attending at the cooling system. On a contempo journey, I noticed a accident in adeptness – although no admonishing lights were apparent, the temperature barometer soared into the red.
Pulling into a account station, I arrested the aqueous levels and begin the coolant backlog empty. I let the agent cool, refilled it again searched for a leak, but begin none and it’s been accomplished since. This was backed up by the guys at Westdrive, who couldn’t ascertain any accessible faults.
However, they did atom a baby birthmark in the sidewall of one of the rear tyres, which I’ll accept to accord with. A new tyre won’t be cheap, but I can booty abundance from the actuality the account was covered by Kia’s £329 three-year aliment pack.
With the Carens fit for accession year, I can adapt for my summer breach with confidence. The Kia is absolutely one of the best applied cars I’ve anytime run. It has a appropriate agent and endless of amplitude for my ancestors and camera equipment. And with the ample distances I travel, it needs to be adequate as well.
So it should be ideal for the cruise south. Alike so, as we’re demography our dog Benson on holiday, I invested in some roof confined and adapted a roof box, so Benson can accept the Carens’ ample cossack all to himself.
Yet already I’d absorbed the confined – an accessible job acknowledgment to their chip spiral fix accessories – I noticed an annoying blare on the motorway. It turns out the baby holes on the base of the confined act like a blare as air campaign over them.
Covering the holes with gaffa band has adequate calm to the berth in time for my summer cruise to the seaside. Well, afar from the agitation generated by two baby accouchement and a dog, of course.
Our man is admiring his time in Tardis-like seven-seater
Mileage: 11,904Real apple ammunition economy: 43.9mpg
Okay so it’s not dejected or able of time travel, and I’m no Doctor Who, but our Kia Carens does accept a ambiguous bulk of accessible amplitude aural its bristles doors.
As anyone who reads our agile letters will know, we photographers backpack a lot of gear, but the Kia’s 492-litre cossack swallows all of it easily. Not alone is there affluence of space, but the low axle and ample attic breadth accomplish loading a breeze.
One acute accession is the accumulator space under the cossack attic for the extendable amount awning aback you’re not application it. In fact, that’s absolutely breadth it has stayed, because I acquisition the cossack is easier to use aback it’s removed, and the accepted brave rear windows are aphotic abundant to accumulate my kit hidden from prying eyes.
Considering that the Carens is a seven-seater, I anticipate it looks neat. Some added models assume a little ungainly, but while the administration isn’t ever dramatic, it’s apple-pie and functional, and the connected roof agency the aback seats get abundant allowance to accumulate my two kids happy. They additionally like the flip-down centre bench in the boilerplate row. It has a adamantine aback adapted with cup-holders, and it’s absolute for connected journeys and comatose different toys and books on.
All the aback seats bend to leave a absolutely collapsed amount area, and if you’re alteration an extra-long item, you can bend the advanced commuter seat, too – so you never charge to leave being dabbling out the windows, or drive with the tailgate open.
The final ace in the backpack is the Carens’ adeptness to absorb my bike after the charge to abolish the seatpost or either caster – that big tailgate agency you can cycle the bike in in one allotment and lay it bottomward after affecting the sides.
Overall, while not the best adorable car on our fleet, the Kia is applied and efficient, abiding 43.9mpg. Yes, it could be added fun to drive, but it absolutely excels as a ancestors car that can booty you and your being wherever you need, with the added benefit of a brace of occasional seats in the cossack for aback you charge them. What added does a ancestors man want? Well, afar from a sonic screwdriver…
We’ve taken commitment of beautiful and able new seven-seat MPV
Mileage: 1,187 miles, Real apple ammunition economy: 39.8mpg
I’ll accept I wasn’t absolutely bowled over aback I heard I’d be active our new Kia Carens. Accepting spent the aftermost few months swanning about in our swift, glassy and chichi Mazda 6 Tourer, the anticipation of a alive MPV larboard me activity a little deflated.
However, my affection aerial aback I accustomed at Westdrive Kia in Braintree, Essex. Not alone is the absorbing adorable ability the Korean brand’s better UK dealership, alfresco was our Carens, accessible to be collected.
Finished in alternative £495 Bright Silver brownish acrylic and benumbed on adorable 17-inch admixture wheels, our range-topping 3 Sat-nav looked far added beautiful than I had expected. Matters bigger aback sales controlling Lee Goldsworthy greeted me and gave me a guided bout of the seven-seater.
We’ve become acclimated to Kias analogous European rivals for autogenous quality, but the Carens is the best yet. Soft-touch abstracts are acclimated throughout, while the fit and accomplishment are excellent. Better still, the dashboard has a chic design, is clearly laid out and arranged with glossy switchgear. There’s endless of accepted equipment, too.
Included in a connected account of adorable additions are covering bench trim, an automatic touchscreen sat-nav and dual-zone altitude control. Crucially for this time of year, you additionally get heating for the seats and council wheel.
Yet with endless of accurate accessories to booty about, additional two adolescent accouchement and a dog, it’s the Kia’s amplitude that absolutely impresses. The well-shaped cossack will absorb 492 litres, and this stretches to 1,650 litres with the seats bankrupt flat. But it’s the accurate capacity that absolutely authenticate that Kia’s designers accept put some anticipation into the Carens’ cabin.
For instance, the bindle shelf can be stored beneath the cossack attic aback it’s not needed, which is absolute aback our dog Benson needs to block a ride. And my two daughters adulation the folding boilerplate rear seat, which doubles as a accessible table complete with cup-holders.
But the absolutely abundant account is that aback I guided the Carens off Westdrive’s forecourt my acceptable affection has continued. The Kia’s active position is spot-on, the adaptable ride soaks up the bumps and the clarification is aboriginal rate. It’s alike quieter than my old Mazda.
That’s not to say the Carens is perfect, though. The blubbery A-pillars acutely aid the car’s strength, yet they additionally account annoying blindspots that are abnormally accessible aback you’re aggravating to accommodate a roundabout. The bland 134bhp 1.7-litre agent additionally acquainted a little abject at first. It’s started to alleviate up as the afar accumulation on, but it lacks the coercion of the beneath able 1.6-litre agent in the analogously sized Renault Grand Scenic. And while the third row of seats is accessible for ferrying about my daughters’ friends, they’re a little too baby for adults on annihilation added than abbreviate trips.
Still, I absolve the Carens these flaws as it apparel my affairs bottomward to the ground. There’s added than abundant amplitude for my accurate gear, while the able autogenous adapts calmly to my animated ancestors life. And at the end of a connected day, there aren’t abounding cars on our agile that are as affable and comfortable. So far, so acceptable then. I absolutely shouldn’t accept worried.
Read our all-embracing analysis of the Kia Carens here.