Kia Carens MPV (00 - 06) Owner reviews

No longer on sale

We got this car new at the end of September 2013. From the start it didn't run or pull evenly at various rev between 1000 and 2000 rpm. We accepted the salesman's request to wait until the 1500 mile courtesy check for it to be looked at. It went into the service department last Thursday and we were told they would have to keep it for another day. The next day we were told they would have to investigate further. After hearing nothing further a visit to the dealer late on Monday revealed they had had to order a part for the rocker assembly. They were unable to say when it would arrive and it was possible that the part could be on 'back order'. When asked if this meant it might have to come from Korea the service department couldn't say. Two days later we have just been told the service department have the part but need a special tool to put it back on! The tool now has to be ordered and we won't be getting the car back until at least next Tuesday. So we've owned a new Kia for two months it has never run right and we are waiting for a service department to equip their toolbox. Our first new car experience has been ruined.

Mark Cam, November 13th 2013

CRDi 3 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG35 mpg

I have the new Three spec which is so loaded with toys it's ridiculous. First, the engine (Diesel 135bhp - amazing torque) is very strong for its size and pulls lustily from very low revs thanks to the variable geometry turbo. 6th gear sees it reach 1500 revs at 60 - more to the point almost silently - engine noise is very well damped. Ride is firm but supple - there's a stretch of road near me on the A50 which is a beast - up and down, side to side with the worst surface - which was dispatched with aplomb. Steering is definitely the weak area, but with variable assist, setting to "sport" mode gives some feedback and feels right to me. Which all brings me to the driving position. If a reviewer doesn't mention it, he hasn't actually driven the car. It is the most comfortable position I have ever had when driving. Magic. Having said that the rest all falls into place - in fact this car really does have the power to surprise in that it quite tardis like. Looks small on the outside but big on the inside. The panoramic sunroof is impressive with neat curtains that meet in the middle. Bluetooth radio etc. works well and sounds good. A smart looking car which delivers what a family really needs - space and comfort, but also looks after the driver with a comfy position and plenty of toys too. Finally I have to mention the one "toy too far" I would rather have had some memory settings on the driver's seat than a...heated steering wheel? - and don't forget the 7 year warranty!

Ian Bland, Cheshire, June 25th 2013

CRDi 1 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

i bought this car a 2004 2.0crdi in july 08.Paid a good price just overΒ£3k 30,000 miles.Not a bad drive quite comfortable but very loud around town allthough on the motorway very quiet.Gear change very clunky and third gear a bit stiff to engage.The gearing is very poor for use around town i.e cant engage 4th until 45mph plus.So this makes for bad fuel consumption,The best ive got so far is 25mpg.On the motorway it will cruise at well above the speed limit and will return 49mpg.Very unusual size of tyres so get a bit pricey so do your shopping.Labour rates at my local kia dealer very high,They quoted Β£340 plus vat for a 40k service which only involves oil air and fuel filters.Hopefully getting rid of this car soon as im very disapointed Thats if i dont have to pay someone to take it away as the trade in values are awful for such a low mileage diesel car

Gary Whiley, west midlands, February 14th 2009

CRDi LE 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG25 mpg

I have now owned this car for a month, having previously owned an 03 Sedona Auto which we only ever had one problem with in 5 years but we decided the time was right to downsize. Now to the car itself, it seems to run nicely, although it does seem to thud over small ridges in the road, there is a bit of wind noise certainly from both front doors, the foot operated parking brake is a complete pain especially on steep hills and even more so if you are in stop start traffic on a hill. It does say in the specs that the 2nd row seats recline, but this is only the one notch as the rear wheel arches intrude into the cabin right behind the 2nd row of seats and prevent them from reclining further. As for mileage, the first check produced nearly 45 mpg with the majority of miles done on motorways with cruise control set at around 60mph, and the second with more town driving came in at 39 mpg. so may be not that bad. Overall I am getting to like it although I do sometimes yearn for my old auto Sedona that had no problems with the bumps in the road and had that much more room although the Carens is a quieter drive plus the benifit of aircon which the Sedona didn't have. As I had the Sedona for 5 years from new, I was looking for the same with the Carens especially with the 5 year warranty, only time will tell.

Martin Wilson, East Yorkshire, August 29th 2008

CRDI LS 5dr [7 Seat]

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I collected this car new on 26/1/08 and have been completely delighted with it so far. It handles well, has tons of room and many interior extras. My very tall kids have plenty of headroom and legroom in the back. It is smooth to drive, accelerates easily when overtaking and is comfortable to drive. After 2 weeks I drove from Norwich to Kent and back and it was a pleasure! I have had no problems operating the 'footbrake' and have just about got used to the indicators and wipers being on the opposite sides. (One bad driver did get a blast on the windscreen wipers by mistake though!) I have had 40 miles/gallon on combined driving, and 33/gallon on urban driving. The car is easy to change from 5 to 7 seats and very versatile. Given a choice I would have opted for a darker interior, as I wonder how long the light grey colour will stay that way with 2 boys using it! Having test driven many MPVs and estates I would say I've made the best choice and as far as value-for-money goes, at Β£13,775 including the extras I opted for, I think it wins all round. It comes with a 5 year warranty so we shall see over time if it's needed. If you haven't tried a Kia before, I think you will be pleasantly surprised and I can thoroughly recommend them. I also was impressed with the Kia Ceed.

Paula Bloor, Norfolk, March 25th 2008

CRDI GS 5dr [7 Seat]

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have had my car for nearly two weeks and have driven over 1000 miles. It is comfortable, the cabin is quiet with very little wind , road or engine noise. It is quite a powerful engine with plenty of pulling power to overtake on motorways. The first weeekend of ownership, I drove,with the family, from Cornwall to Cardiff and back. The whole family love it. It is a safe car and comfortable with a range of useful 'extras'. I do, of course, take into account the initial cost of the car which, at around Β£16,000, is very good value for money. It is not a car which is designed to be raced; hence, it does roll a bit if cornering too fast. But it is not designed for this type of driving. Provided one is fairly gentle, it will give a comfortable ride. I think it is much better than the Citroen C4 and the Vauxhall Zafira, both of which have strange cabins; and it is cheaper than both. With a 5 year warranty, I would assume the car to be reliable.

Michael Gilford, Cornwall, February 1st 2008

CRDI LS 5dr [7 Seat]

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Im's sorry you can't slag this car off too much. Yes i know it is cheap and cheerful but that's what you are buying and i found it a godsend. I had a Galaxy that blew up and Kia dealers gave me a good price part ex and a good price for a new Carens in 2003. I found it did exactly what it said on the tin and didn't presume to be a top of the range Mazda or Toyota. It was comfortable for what it was required to do and the furthest i drove was to Normandy, which it did okay with no fuss. For 3 years i had no problems. It was totally reliable and never went back to the dealers for anything other than a service. Yes it is full of plastic and has no power, but i am in defence of the Carens for all it did for my motoring needs at the time on a low budget.

simon nash, norfolk, November 26th 2007

LX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Being a diesel and a Kia, I wasn't expecting the last thing in refinement. But by today's standards I do find the engine very noisy and unrefined. I have had almost two years trouble-free motoring in this car - the only minor glitch was a problem with the central locking system. The unit was replaced with a new one under warranty but it took a while for the part to come in. Fuel consumption is disappointing for a diesel - even on a long run and sticking to 60mph, this car will not better 40mpg. Oddly, it is quite good in town and I usually get around 34mpg. In spite of that I am glad I went for the diesel - Kia petrol engines are renowned for being thirsty. The diesel engine is quick and feels more powerful than Kia's figures suggest. Servicing is much too expensive and my local dealer is not particularly helpful. On the plus side the Carens does drive nicely and the interior is roomy and practical. There is plenty of standard equipment and the car only cost me Β£10,495 brand new. That'sl a bargain for what it is and much cheaper than rivals like the Zafira, Scenic or Touran. That's good news for families on a budget. You can see instantly, though, just by the quality of the interior, why the car is so cheap. It's still reliable A to B transport, however. Overall, this is a reasonable car but just a bit too rough round the edges for my liking. If you like driving, the Carens doesn't fit the bill as a "driver's car" - and for that reason I am about to replace min

Tony Elliott, Essex, August 8th 2007

CRDi LX 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I just bought a Kia Carens 2.0 manual. At first it seemed great. The ride was comfortable. However I had several incidents when I was stuck in traffic on an inclined road on my way uphill. The slope was high and I was stuck already for five minutes. I was growing tired of balancing the accelerator and clutch so that the car would not move. I finally decided to put the parking brakes on just to provide additional safety and prevent any accidents. The parking brakes are foot-activated. Of course my feet were busy balancing the gas and clutch and I could not activate the park brake. The ordeal lasted 10 minutes on that occassion. By that time I felt the clutch disc has been badly damaged already. As if once was not enough, it happened again to me four times! And on those other times, I almost hit the cars behind me because I have been exhausted for driving nearly 2 hours stuck in traffic. The foot-activated park brakes are a hazard for manual driving systems. These products should be recalled and re-evaluated! I have just driven my car for nearly a month now and I fear I will have an accident with this system, no matter how fast my foot is. I have complained to the Kia dealer and they just said they will forward my complaint.

Roland Manalang, July 4th 2007

S 5dr

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

haveing owned this car for 2 years, and covered over 70,000 miles the only disapointment has been the gear box, that went at 40,000 and was repaired by the dealer, then again at 60,000 and a new box was fitted along with the clutch, up untill then the car never liked 4rth gear around town at below 30mph, now it will run in 5th at 25, both front wheel bearings where renewed at 65k, all under warenty, the cost of the cam belt change is a shocker at Β£450,independant gararge next time

Graham Gray, April 25th 2007

CRDi LX 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

owned it 30 months had brakes & discs done twice (not under warranty) in 30,000 miles,Getting the right spares is very difficult. Now I have a big problem with diesel injector's that the main dealer can't fix It Had to go to a specialist. the Cost of repair could be Β£1500:00, I am still waiting two weeks later. the handling is poor, noisy,& uncomfortable on long journeys worst car i have ever had in 40 years of motoring, best of luck to Kia owners, I'll get rid of mine very soon

J Jones, March 7th 2007

CRDi LX 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive1/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I own a vauxhall zafira 2003 1.8 petrol and was looking for a replacement. Having looked at most 7 seaters in this market I found the Kia to meet more of my needs than the others. I thought I wanted a Touran having driven one before but for me the Kia drove better, was more practical, better built and had better performance than the touran 140ps TDI i tried! I felt right at home in the Kia with the seat wrapped round you rather than being perched on the Touran's seat. The Mazda Five has a silly middle seat which is useless if you travel 6 plus luggage. Also most new compact MPV's are lower to the ground than my Zafira and I need a high driving position because of back trouble. I will miss the smart grey interior of my Zafira. The new Zafira interior is in black only and rather than looking like a classy black interior as the Kia does it's more of a gloomy dull look. The Kia wasn't fault free though, It has a silly parking brake, the indicators are on the right rather than the left and you have a black interior rather than a grey one for the top of the range LS model. Finally there's no real side rubbing strip to protect from door opening dings in car parks. They should have moved the lower chrome side strip up 10-15cms! However when you add in the price you pay Β£3000-Β£4000 less than the others for a car that's more than a match for the competition. Once I looked past the 'Kia' Badge I found a gem!

david piggford, March 5th 2007

CRDI LS 5dr [7 Seat]

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

seems good in first at start bought 4 as taxis so as the mileage went up the problems began each car had a gear box replaced before the first year ran out the central locking making horrible noises windscreen wiper linkage breaks seats colapse one car sat in the garage for 3 months waiting to have the gearbox replaced fuel consumption is awful for diesel we have petrol cars that are far better on fuel Kia costomer services are a waste of time i have owned over 100 cars over 20 years and these are rubbish

steve dunn, carms, February 16th 2007

CRDI GS 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have had this particular model for just over 12 months, in which time i have towed my caravan over 3000 miles without any problems. It's powerpack handles towing with ease and quite economic returning 29 mpg. The luggage space is very generous allowing me to carry my work tools around witout any problems with the ladders on the fitted roof bars. All round it is good value for many.

Graham Stewart, HANTS, December 30th 2006

CRDi LX 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

after only a month of ownership, i am pleased to write that kia ownership remains a pleasure. this is kia no 3, and the 2nd supplied by the same dealer. part of the pleasure of ownership is of course down to the dealer. helpful, friendly people in a family business being so much better than the experience in the glass and chrome palaces. the car itself is exactly what i expected in practical terms. its a big space on wheels, for not a great deal of money. the trim is fine, the rds radio/cd player excellent, the seating and driving position comfortable, fuel consumption reasonable and ability to cover ground in a surprisingly brisk way, better than expected. the carens is no sports car, but then you don't get almost 6 feet of flat load space in a sports car, together with lots of underfloor storage. nor do you get the commanding view. the doors open wide for ease of entry. the gear change is precise. infact everything just works, as should be the case. i don't expect problems with this car any more than with my previous kia's, but if it does happen i know the dealer will be there and willing to solve any problem. car overall, 4 stars. car/kia coventry experience, 5 stars, no doubt at all.

john townsend, November 2nd 2006

GS 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I bought a Kia Carens at the end of last year. Ever since, I have experienced significant problems, most notably with the hand brake. My drive is sloped, and the car is able to roll down the drive freely, even when the brake is fully applied, unless supported with large bricks. When taking the car out, I have to be careful where I park it, in case of damage to either my car or to other people's vehicles. Kia is still not interested in the problem, neither is the dealer I bought it from. Are there any other problems like this anywhere, and any cures?

ian millward, staffordshire, May 23rd 2006

CRDi LX 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I drove this car for 4 days, and did 500 miles in it, it was basically the worst car i had ever driven...

Sam Ellis, Nottinghamshire, April 19th 2006

CRDi LE 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive1/5
  • Running costs1/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I've had this model for 15 months. (Previously had a Carens 1.8 LX petrol, and bought my son a Kia Rio.) Last Bank Holiday Monday, my car stopped in North Yorkshire. The AA had to return all of us to Grimsby where car was left with the dealer, where it was remained ever since. In a nutshell, it suffered massive engine failure with around 40,000 miles on the clock. A whole new engine is required - under warranty - Kia tells us. However, there isn't one available, anywhere in the world! Dozens of calls to Kia UK, local dealers, Trading Standards and so on, and my car still sits there waiting. No, I will not be recommending Kia.

Susan Marshall, North East Lincolnshire, September 27th 2005

CRDi LE 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have been the proud owner of the Carens now for three weeks and I am totally hooked on the way that the car goes about its business. The performance around mid-range is positively stunning considering it is only a Kia, and a diesel one at that. I really do believe this car deserves a better credit rating.

steve gillingham, renfrewshire, April 21st 2005

CRDi LE 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

The Kia Carens might be a budget car in price but the quality of the build, the ride and the service supplied are far from budget offerings. The seating is comfortable and the cabin spacious with more than enough room in the car for 2 adults, 3 children and all the requirements a baby has to carry going in the boot. Fuel economy and ride are excellent and the engine is a nice, powerful beast which (although admittedly slightly noisy at times) responds well and has plenty of pulling power. Overall it compares well against it's rivals and whilst some features aren't standard it is normally possible to negotiate the inclusion of these when purchasing.

Mike Hartley, Lincs, December 6th 2004

CRDi LX 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg