An MPV that is stylish and smooth to drive to boot
IT’S a while since I last drove the Kia Carens and in that time the car
IT’S a while since I last drove the Kia Carens and in that time the car seems to have grown in status and desirability.
This I’m sure is a continuation of the Kia success story, which seems to show no sign of slowing. The buoyant sales of the Carens indicate it is no exception to this growing desire of British buyers to go Korean â?? Kia is part of the Hyundai Motor Group, one of South Korea’s biggest conglomerates.
This new version of Carens has picked up some best car awards in the time since I last drove it and you can see why. And there are new models, facelifts and product enhancements to come from Kia during 2015. There will be a new grade “4” version of the Carens.
But the appeal of this MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) in particular for me has been its sense of style - which Kia rates high in attracting in car buyers to its new models - and its solid build quality, all for a starting price of Â£17,295.
There’s also the comfort factor and, surprisingly for an MPV, because others can tend to be a bit lumpen when you get behind the wheel, the Carens is smooth to drive and I would say that is original and unique to this model. I look forward to the next Carens and hope to report on it later in the year.
In the meantime, news comes from Kia that the all new Carens SR7 offers buyers the choice of two direct-injection engines - the 1.6-litre GDi petrol unit or the 1.7-litre CRDi diesel. Both are fitted with ISG (idle stop and go) to maximise fuel economy and minimise COÂ² emissions. This brings the COÂ² output of the SR7 1.6 GDi down to 120g/km - the lowest in the Carens range.
Standard premium features include LED daytime running lights, front foglights, automatic headlight control, 16-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass in the rear windows and tailgate, premium cloth seats, reversing sensors, dual automatic air conditioning and roof rails.
Meanwhile, the new grade “4” version of the Carens, powered by the 134bhp 1.7-litre CRDi engine paired with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, has been added at the top of the range to replace the former “3 Sat Nav” model. The manual is fitted with ISG. The extensive specification of the “3 Sat Nav” has been supplemented with Parallel Park Assist, a 7-inch TFT (thin film transistor) supervision cluster and black headlining to create a genuinely luxurious top-of-the-range model.