Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Kia Carens 3 1.7 CRDI SatNav; Robin Roberts

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Kia Carens 3 1.7 CRDI SatNav; Robin Roberts

Article excerpt

SIZE matters when it comes to family cars, and Kia has the measure of that in the Carens.

The size of the Carens is a major selling point in the MPV sector. It falls between rival five or seven-seat competitors without compromising in any way.

The seats and loading arrangements have been very well thought-out and it will swallow a very long load when the front passenger seat is fully flat folded.

The second and third row of seats which make up the seven-seat arrangement have a clever slide and tilt mechanism on the outer second row seats to ease rearmost access. Boot capacity can be steadily increased from a minimum of just under 500 litres to more than 1,650 litres.

Up front you can choose from a petrol or two diesel engines - and we tried the more powerful turbo-diesel version here - manual or automatic transmission and four specifications.

The 1.7-litre four-cylinder 134bhp turbodiesel is the most popular in the series and it produces a strong amount of pulling power which is ideal for heavy family holidays or towing without much trouble.

With Kia's Intelligent Stop and Go, the fuel consumption is minimised and we achieved almost 43mpg on test, remarkably close to the official combined figure of just over 46mpg. Our figure shows what is achievable and realistic and it's a credit to Kia engineering and honesty.

From rest, and through the six manual gears, it pulls well while the overdrive fifth and sixth ratios helped achieve the economy without having to think about it. If you opt to stay in the lower ratios, it covers ground well and overtakes quickly but you notice how hard it's working with a lot more engine noise.

In higher ratios and cruising it is very composed and quiet and there is a general lack of mechanical and wind noise.

Major and minor controls are well located and work smoothly and I liked the tight turning circle and well-balanced brakes underfoot. …

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