Our cars: Kia Carens - April

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  • Kia-supplied Thule bike rack is brilliant, and having the bikes in place reduces the wind whistle

    Kia-supplied Thule bike rack is brilliant, and having the bikes in place reduces the wind whistle

  • The Carens will go for ages between windscreen washer refills

    The Carens will go for ages between windscreen washer refills

  • Climate controls are simple to use and air-con is quick to cool the cabin

    Climate controls are simple to use and air-con is quick to cool the cabin

  • Carens was pressed into load-lugging duties again this week

    Carens was pressed into load-lugging duties again this week

  • Carens is great at transporting people, but it's got a seriously practical load space, too

    Carens is great at transporting people, but it's got a seriously practical load space, too

  • Carens' bike rack is easier to remove than we expected - once unscrewed, it lifts away in one piece

    Carens' bike rack is easier to remove than we expected - once unscrewed, it lifts away in one piece

  • New bike rack adds practicality, but produces a loud whistling noise at speed

    New bike rack adds practicality, but produces a loud whistling noise at speed

  • Carens was great for a tip run

    Carens was great for a tip run

  • Caren's steering wheel controls feel well built and satisfying to use. They're easy to tell apart by touch, too

    Caren's steering wheel controls feel well built and satisfying to use. They're easy to tell apart by touch, too

  • The dedicated storage area for the Carens' boot cover is another feature that makes this MPV genuinely versatile

    The dedicated storage area for the Carens' boot cover is another feature that makes this MPV genuinely versatile

  • Kia's steering has been frustrating Alex, regardless of which setting she puts it in

    Kia's steering has been frustrating Alex, regardless of which setting she puts it in

  • Rearmost seats are a squeeze for six-foot adults - but just about tolerable for short journeys

    Rearmost seats are a squeeze for six-foot adults - but just about tolerable for short journeys

  • Carens safely carried a treasured childhood dolls' house this week

    Carens safely carried a treasured childhood dolls' house this week

  • Mothercare's child seat fitting experts confirmed that our model of child seat didn't fit the Carens

    Mothercare's child seat fitting experts confirmed that our model of child seat didn't fit the Carens

  • Climb up to the back seats not too daunting, but it's sometimes tricky to get out again.

    Climb up to the back seats not too daunting, but it's sometimes tricky to get out again.

  • Angle of Carens' rear seat buckles caused dangerous 'buckle crunch' for our model of child seat

    Angle of Carens' rear seat buckles caused dangerous 'buckle crunch' for our model of child seat

  • Carens has been good as a camera car

    Carens has been good as a camera car

  • Rivals arriving thick and fast

    Rivals arriving thick and fast

  • The Kia's boot light detaches and becomes a torch - a neat touch.

    The Kia's boot light detaches and becomes a torch - a neat touch.

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Kia Carens 1.7 CRDi 2

Read the full Kia Carens review

Week ending April 30
Mileage 8500
Driven this week 44 miles

As mentioned previously, our Kia's new bike rack performed faultlessly with bikes on board, but started to annoy just about everyone who drove the car whenever they weren’t, due to it kicking up a high-pitched whistle on the move.

So, it was time to remove it, a job I initially thought would take quite a lot of time. In fact, after unscrewing the four locking mechanisms holding the rack to the Carens' standard roof rails, the cross bars and three individual bike holders just lifted away as one piece.

Should you be tight on space, breaking it down to its separate parts is just as easy, requiring no special tools.

By Rory White
Rory.White@whatcar.com

 

Read the full Kia Carens review

Week ending April 16
Mileage 8446
Driven this week 209 miles

The Carens’ new bike rack was put to good use at the weekend, transporting three bikes to the start of a training ride in the New Forest.

The Kia-supplied Thule rack is a great piece of design, holding the bikes firmly in place, despite grasping them at just a single point on the frame. The wheels are strapped down to keep them straight, but even if they weren’t there, there’s absolutely no chance of the bikes leaving that roof.

The individual claw-like clasps are tightened to the bike frames using a circular ratchet, and released via a single push button. It makes getting the bikes on and off a doddle, and they can each be locked should you need to pop away.

Another plus is that the whistling noise generated by the straps (mentioned last week) is greatly reduced with the bikes in place.

By Rory White
Rory.white@haymarket.com

Read the full Kia Carens review

Week ending April 9
Mileage 8237
Driven this week 187 miles

It seems the bike rack I’ve had fitted to the Caren is, well, a little noisy on the move. I couldn’t believe that it was as bad as colleague Euan Doig made out, but having sampled it, I’m in agreement.

Below around 40mph there’s not a peep, but stray beyond that, and a low-pitched whistle builds up. This fades at around 50mph, but then starts up again at 70mph - a full-blown penny whistle effort.

It’s the straps - which loop through the bike wheel spokes - that are to blame. After this weekend’s cycling, I think I’ll have to store the rack somewhere else until needed again.

By Rory White
Rory.White@whatcar.com

Our cars: Kia Carens - March

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