No car is more useful for handling a big occasion that a seven-seat MPV. As comfortable as it is economical, the Carens was the perfect car to take on the airport run to a friend's wedding in Norway.
However it was only on the journey home that its practicality was really put to the test. With seven people to carry, along with four days worth of luggage each, it was a real squeeze to fit everyone inside.
Unlike rivals such as the Seat Alhambra, the Carens makes you choose between carrying either people or luggage, rather than both at the same time. Fully loaded, it also felt a bit nervous on the motorway, with the light steering giving little confidence or stability at higher speeds.
Still, the Bluetooth streaming and air-con worked perfectly to keep the packed car comfortable and entertained on the two-hour journey home, and when we all climbed out at our destination a neighbour asked if the car was a Tardis.
That's surely the highest compliment anyone can pay a humble people-carrier.
By Paul Bond
Read all of our updates on life with our Kia Carens 1.7 CRDi.
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