Our cars: Kia Carens - August

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Kia Carens
Kia Carens

Kia Carens 1.7 CRDi 2

Week ending August 30
Mileage 1645
Miles this week 145

Kia Carens review

The latest addition to the road test team is a Kia Carens. As the only member of the road test desk with a child I decided to test the capacity for smaller people.

Having three separate back seats means that you can fit three kids seats in a row so for once my friend and I weren't restricted to visiting places within walking distance.

With two extra seats hidden away in the boot there is even somewhere to put the mother-in-law.

There isn't much space for the paraphernalia that comes with three children when you are using both of the rear seats, but on all other counts it is a very practical vehicle.

By Sarah Hossack

Week ending August 23

Mileage 1500
Miles this week 450

The Carens has been at work on the What Car? fleet for only a few weeks, but already it’s had its first holiday. It carried myself and some friends away to their ‘second home’ in Suffolk.

We didn’t pack light. The boot was filled with suitcases, food, loads of beach paraphernalia, and even a telescope – it’s fair to say the Carens’ dimensions were used to their fullest extent.

Needless to say, progress was what might be described as ‘stately’, and the Carens definitely felt a bit on the ponderous side.

It was also far too susceptible to crosswinds and cambers, getting tugged this way and that, a trait not helped by the overly light, imprecise steering. It didn’t seem to matter which of the steering’s three settings it was in either.

Nonetheless, once unloaded, the Carens provided decently flexible, quiet and economical transport for the full week – we did the whole week on one tank of fuel and averaged 45.1mpg.

As holiday transport for a group of people, the Carens was decent – it’s just a shame it wasn’t fractionally bigger inside.

Then we could have taken even more stuff. Ahem.

By Euan Doig

Week ending August 16
Mileage 1012
Driven this week 501 miles

Last weekend I nabbed the Carens for what I had hoped would be a serene couple of days in the Cotswolds sun.

With the rear seats folded, our long-termer swallowed the camping paraphernalia for three people with ease. The frugal engine was perfectly happy at motorway cruising speeds, however holding a steady line in crosswinds was trickier than anticipated because of the overly light steering and slab sided profile.

All things considered, the Kia held up well, and even held its own on the mud when the heavens opened and partially flooded our campsite. Top marks.

By Tom Langan

Week ending August 16
Mileage 1012
Driven this week 501 miles

The seven-seat Kia Carens has joined the What Car? fleet, and we'll be spending the next year with us as we see how much sense it makes as a practical family transporter.

Read our full intro to our Kia Carens>>


Read our full Kia Carens review>>

Our cars: Kia Carens - Farewell


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