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First Drive – Kia Carens

The new Carens features a spacious five-plus-two seating layout,

The new Carens features a spacious five-plus-two seating layout,

 

We travelled to Monte Carlo to test drive the New Kia Carens MPV ahead of its arrival in Ireland in May

What is it? Kia’s new MPV, the Carens is the latest vehicle to benefit from the new “Tiger Nose” design and it is unrecognisable from the model it replaces. With styling reminiscent of the new cee’d the Carens is also shorter, narrower and lower than before. It competes against the Ford Grand C-Max, Opel Zafira Tourer , Volkswagen Touran, plus the Nissan Qashqai +2.

First impressions of the new Kia Carens: The Carens has never been the star of the Kia range but this new model is extremely stylish with a very spacious and solid interior.

What about the interior? Inside the Carens is very clever, with plenty of leg and headroom and a considerable amount of space throughout. As a seven seat there are three rows of seats that can be slid and reclined independently of one another but as with all seven seaters the third row is best suited for short trips and small kids as you’ll need the agility of a gymnast to squeeze back there. There is high quality materials used throughout and it is all very tastefully trimmed.

Maximum luggage capacity is 1,694 litres

Maximum luggage capacity is 1,694 litres

And on the road? At the international launch we had an opportunity to drive the 1.7 diesel.
Kia Carens and the city: The hairpins bends and twisty routes around Monaco may not be the ideal proving ground for an MPV but around this tiny principality the Carens was refined and smooth and would be perfectly suited to pottering around town, family trips or simply just getting the kids to school
Kia Carens and the open road: On the motorway the diesel is a little noisy when pushed and it is not as impressive to drive as rivals, but that said driving dynamics are not a deal breaker in this market; comfort and practicality are of far greater importance.

How Much? The Carens will have a starting price of €26,490 when it launches here in May. The official fuel economy figures are 4.9 litres (about 58mpg) on a combined cycle of motorway and city driving.

How Safe? All models come with 6 airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management and Emergency Stop Signal.

What about my options: There is only one engine to choose from, the 1.7 diesel engine,  but the Carens comes in a choice of three trim levels;  TX,EX and Platinum. Standard equipment for the entry level TX model includes alloy wheels, rear spoiler, LED daytime running lights, cornering lights, front and rear electric windows, luggage cargo screen, steering mounted audio controls and voice activated Bluetooth. The EX upgrades include auto light controls rear privacy glass, folding mirrors,seat back tables, rear parking sensors and rear view camera whilst the top of the range Platinum model adds luxury features such as a leather upholstery with heated front seats, 10 way power driver’s seat, panoramic sunroof, HID types lights, front parking sensors and a supervision instrument cluster .

3 words to describe the Kia Carens: Practical, Stylish, Solid

 

For more information check out Kia Ireland or the Kia Ireland Facebook page.

15th March, 2013

 

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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