Kia Carens 1.7 CRDi 2
Read the full Kia Carens review
Week ending 25 June
Miles this week 130
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 gives you the option of 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
Week ending June 13
Driven this week 255 miles
As we enter the warmer months of the year, climbing into different cars every evening has me searching for one thing in particular – the climate control.
Some systems are difficult to find on the dash straight away, some are complicated to adjust and some simply take an age to cool down the cabin.
Not the Carens’. Its large, clearly labeled buttons and simple rotary dials are mastered quickly and adjusting the various temperature and fan settings takes seconds. Even better, the cold air is almost instant, and the circulation mode does a great job of keeping warm air outside.
By Rory White