Kia Carens - Used

Car Review

Kia Carens 3 1.7 CRDi SatNav
Kia Carens, front, action
Kia Carens, rear
Kia Carens 3 1.7 CRDi SatNav
Kia Carens 3 1.7 CRDi SatNav
Kia Carens, parking camera display
Kia Carens, rear seats

TIME was that when you needed to take half the children's football team to a match they were just crammed into the car - and you had a couple in the boot if it was a hatch or an estate.

Thank goodness those days are long gone and we are now all far more safety minded about our children.

But of course back then, the only people carriers (MPVs) around were mini-buses, and they were based on vans, with few creature comforts.

Now we are inundated with family holdalls that have five, seven or even more seats, such that it's hard to choose between them.

The Kia Carens built between 2013 and 2019 makes a very good argument for itself when compared to the others.

New, they came with a seven year 100,000 mile warranty - and there is none better in the world.

This is also transferable to new owners and there are plenty out there that still have some left.

A car maker has to be pretty sure of his quality to offer such back-up.

As if this was not enough recommendation, prices are cheaper than for equivalent cars from other makers, but it offers just as much space and equipment - if not more.

This Carens replaced both the larger Sedona and previous Carens when it was launched, so it had big boots to fill and did so admirably.

There are four trim levels to choose from, designated 1, 2, 3 and 4, but bear in mind that some are only available with specific engines.

Those engines are both petrol and diesel, but looking at the used cars on offer, the vast majority seem to be diesels.

These are all 1.7-litre CRDi units, and start with a 114bhp offering, which can do 61 miles per gallon and covers the 0 to 60 miles an hour sprint in 12.6 seconds.

Then there is a 139bhp version of the same 1.7 that brings the sprint down to 10 seconds and can still do and excellent 62mpg.

This engine is available with a six speed manual gearbox or a six speed automatic that works very well. But in this form, it is slower and has slightly reduced economy.

The single petrol engine - called GDI - is a 1.6-litre producing 133bhp. This comes with the automatic ‘box as standard and has a 60 sprint of 10.9 seconds with 45mpg at very best.

The top 3 and 4 models are available only with the diesel engine.

From the outside, the Carens looks like a five seater with a big load area, but when needed the two extra seats fold easily up out of the boot floor.

Even with five seats in use the layout can be varied to improve access and room, while the rearmost pair are comfortable and ok for legroom on all but the longest trips.

Boot space can be steadily increased from a minimum of just under 500 litres with five seats in place to over 1,650 litres with all seats folded.

Most of the time the more powerful diesel has given me about 42mpg in real driving but occasionally on longer runs it headed up towards 50.

It has good pulling power and it was generally quiet and always smooth for a diesel. Longer gearing in fifth and sixth gears helps economy and dropping down through the gearbox to overtake makes it feel eager and willing.

Handling is safe and sure allowing decent speed through corners, and the ride comfort is very good even though there is some noise over poorer surfaces.

All come with excellent storage throughout, reversing camera, audio remote control, loads of airbags, alarm, cruise control, CD stereo with Bluetooth and aux in, air conditioning, heated electric mirrors and comfortable seats with good adjustment.

Mid-range 3 adds electric driver's seat, heated front seats, leather upholstery and parking sensors.

Pay about £11,650 for an '18 18-reg 114bhp 2 diesel, or £16,800 for a '19 19-reg 139bhp 4 diesel automatic.

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