All Mod Cons at Hand

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), July 9, 2004 | Go to article overview

All Mod Cons at Hand


Byline: By Richard Ord

There was good news and not so good news from Kia when the Carens received a mid-life makeover. The good news was that several significant improvements were made, but the six-seat version was axed.

From now on punters have to make do with just five seats, making the Carens a direct competitor with the Citroen Picasso, Renault Scenic and a host of others.

The effect of the facelift was to give the vehicle a cleaner, more European appearance, rather than the typically excessive extravagances of Asian designs.

The fancy front end is now neat and simple, with a less flamboyant grille, while the rear received a new tailgate and window, together with smart combination lamps.

It is a similar story inside, with a more modern interior, better quality trim, and a less cluttered instrument layout.

One of the key tasks was to lose the sixth seat and improve the versatility of the remaining five-seat layout, while enhancing safety in the process.

It means that the rear seats are now split 60/40 to fold flat, with provision for a hidden removable luggage tray that acts as a mini wet room.

On the safety front, the second row of seats have integrated three-point seatbelts and head restraints for all.

Air conditioning is standard across the range, with automatic climate control on SE versions, together with anti-lock brakes, child seat anchors, remote central locking, a de-icer system for the windscreen wipers and front fog lamps.

The model designations are now LX and SE, while prices have remained virtually unchanged, at pounds 10,000 for the petrol LX versions, plus pounds 900 for their diesel equivalents.

The SE models cost pounds 2,000 more, for which you get side airbags, parking distance sensors, alloy wheels, climate control, a CD player, rain-sensing wipers, some leather trim and roof rails on top of the goodies fitted to the standard car. …

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