On the subject of versatility, the interior design is brilliant! Converting the Carens from a 7 to a 6 – to a 5 – to a 3 – to a 2-seater is quick and effortless. There is no need to remove any seat frames, as in some of the other “people-carriers” (stupid phrase that, isn’t it! – “people-carrier”-“carrier of people” – “MPV”. It’s a seven-seater car really!) as everything simply folds flat at the pull of a ribbon! I particularly liked the way that the middle seats not only tilt forward to allow access to the rear seats, but slide fully forward at the same time in the same movement! Even a largish human such as me could get in there without having to contort my body too excessively! The kids could fly in and out of there with the greatest of ease.
The driving experience is effortless and relaxing. The automatic gearbox on the 2-litre diesel LS version I had was impressively smooth, with none of the anticipated jerks and roars. The cruise control made quieter motorway runs an absolute delight. The anti-dazzle interior mirror is also a God-send, especially on busy wet motorways at night. If I was pushed to make a criticism, it would have to be the steering, which although incredibly easy and light, is a little TOO light at higher speeds. It didn’t give quite enough “feel” from the road and could at times feel a little wishy-washy. It is, however a very small price to pay for the refinement and comfort that the car offers as a whole.
In conclusion, the new Kia Carens is an impressive seven-seater family car, which pleases both driver and passengers. It looks good, with elegant lines and gracefully rounded corners and is about as versatile in terms of the interior as you could ever hope for in a family car. It drives well, with a smooth and quiet air to the whole experience and did not let me down in any single respect. It is packed with intelligent features, all of which make the driving and travelling experience more of a pleasure for both driver and passengers. On top of that, fuel economy from the new diesel engines will leave the most astute of Scrooges breathing sighs of relief.
I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who has 3 or more kids to transport around on a regular basis.
This is a 13-year+ news article, from our Kia archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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