WHATEVER you’re buying, whether it be a stereo, a fridge or a motor car, the very cheapest option could be the very nastiest ... but not if it’s a Kia.
No other five or seven-seat compact MPV can better the Kia Carens for value, but it’s a product that manages to be inexpensive without appearing to be. If I were to tape over the badges, tell you that this car offered more space and as much equipment as any people carrier in its class, plus an industry-leading warranty, you’d be unlikely to expect the asking price so far below that of obvious rivals.
The key decision in this sector that has taxed the minds of many major manufacturers is whether to develop a five or a seven seat model. Kia neatly sidesteps this quandary by offering the latest Carens in both five and seven seat guises. The ultimate test of how well these vehicles are packaged comes when you try to lever an adult into the back row of a seven seat model. With most mini-MPVs, their knees will be up around their ears. Kia has got around this problem by designing a shallow petrol tank that sits inside the rear suspension subframe. This drops the floor height by some 40mm, allowing for a more relaxed seating position.
Longer, wider and taller than its predecessor (by 55, 50 and 40 mm respectively), this MK2 Carens has significantly improved aerodynamic which helps with fuel economy and high speed refinement.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
CAR: Kia Carens range
PRICES: £14,695 - £18,995- on the road
INSURANCE GROUPS: 10
CO2 EMISSIONS: 146-174g/km
PERFORMANCE: 0-60mph 11.6s / Max Speed 112mph
FUEL CONSUMPTION: (CRDi) (urban) 43.5mpg / (extra urban) 54.3mpg / (combined) 49.6mpg
STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: Twin front & side airbags, ABS
WILL IT FIT IN MY GARAGE?: length/width/heightmm 4545/1820/1720mm.