Apart from the parking brake, I really enjoyed the sheer driveability of the new Carens.
Looking at the range list, it is clear that the emphasis is on the 7-seat version with the diesel engine, which makes sense in terms of flexibility and frugality. The 138 bhp, turbo-charged, 2.0 CRDi engine is also flexible and willing to eat up as many miles as you care to put in front of it. This unit, in combination with the 6-speed manual gearbox takes 11.0 seconds to get from 0-62mph and the top speed is 116 mph. The automatic version has the same top speed but takes 12.6 seconds for the 0-62 mph dash. Curiously, the 142 bhp, 2.0 petrol engine is not that much different with figures of 118 mph and 11.0 seconds for the top speed and sprint respectively.
The differences show themselves at the pumps. The fuel consumption figures for the diesel unit in LS trim are 36.2 mpg (urban), 54.3mpg (extra-urban) and 46.3mpg (combined), while those for the petrol engine are 25.4 mpg, 40.9 mpg and 33.6 mpg. Of course, the other variance is the amount of torque produced; 305Nm between 1800-2500 rpm for the diesel and 189Nm at 4250 rpm for the petrol.
The UK version is unique to Europe, where the design brief was to make it look more robust and 'outdoorsy'. Externally, the Carens has a tendency to look a little 'slabby' but the choice of colour does make a difference. Needless to say, it is bigger in every way than the previous version and is built on the same platform as the new Magentis saloon. The resulting extra interior space has allowed for more leg room and larger seats and, of course, the third row.
Six airbags; twin front, side and full-length curtains, are fitted as standard across the range and for the first time, the front passenger airbag can be switched off. Another safety first for the Carens is that the ABS now comes with EBD.
Apart from the parking brake, I really enjoyed the sheer driveability of the new Carens. It has an underlying sporty nature, which becomes evident on minor roads and it cruises easily at Motorway speeds and is easily manoeuvred in town. The build quality is good and it has everything required for a safe journey but at a bargain price.13 November 2006
Kia Carens Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Kia Carens 2.0 CRDi LS|
|Colour||Pure Silver Mica|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||11 Seconds|
|Top Speed||116 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||54.3 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 Years / Unlimited Mileage|
|Price (when tested on the 13/11/06)||£15,995|