Our cars: Kia Carens - August

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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

Week ending: August 12
Mileage: 10,950
Miles driven this week: 56


Read the full Kia Carens review


My colleague Rob Keenan reported a strange smell in our Carens some months back, which he put down to its air-con system. After leaving the Carens in the sun for a day, I opened the door to a similar whiff just this week.

A quick ask around the office revealed nobody had spilt anything inside and after searching the car and finding nothing, I was left scratching my head. No evidence of any spillages or rogue bananas inside, just the odd coffee cup and sandwich wrapper.

The only thing left to do was to get the whole car properly cleaned. So, after a full valet and the addition of a air-freshener, it's now sparkling on the outside and pine-fresh on the inside. Only time will tell if our Carens manages to remain pong-free for long.



Week ending: August 6
Mileage: 10,894
Miles driven this week: 350


We’ve determined that the Carens’ sixth and seventh seats are for occasional use only. Two adults will fit, but they wouldn’t want to be back there for hours on end.

As a five-seat MPV, though, there’s little that offers so much space and practicality for the money. That’s exactly why I chose to take the Carens on my Three Peaks Challenge at the weekend.

We were five adults, and we had a huge amount of walking gear with us. The idea is to walk the tallest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales in less than 24 hours, and that requires clothing and equipment for every eventuality.

We weren’t using the Carens to travel between the mountains – that was the job of a pre-organised minibus – but it did have to carry us to the minibus’s start point in Chester, which was a three-hour drive in itself.

My passengers were unconvinced everything was going to fit before getting in. However, the Carens’ individual rear seats and generous head- and shoulder room meant everyone was kept happy. Luggage for five slotted into the boot, too.

Even though the Carens was fully laden, the trip still read 44.8mpg at the end of the weekend.

By Rory White
Rory.White@whatcar.com

Our cars: Kia Carens - July

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