Kia Carens - best people carriers and MPVs
Kia's Carens MPV won't set the world alight with its design, but it makes a sound buy thanks to strong economy and a class leading warranty
Plenty of people see the MPV as little more than a tool, and it’s those people who will be most impressed by the Kia Carens. Kia’s people carrier is a purchase you resolutely make with the head rather than the heart, but that’s not to say it’s a bad one.
The Carens is neatly styled, with Kia’s trademark ‘tiger nose’ grille taking pride of place at the front, while stylish creases mark the doors. It’s still not exactly thrilling to look at, though, and that’s not helped by the colour palette on offer.
Buyers get the choice of white, black, three different shades of silver and one dark, murky ‘Mysterious Blue’. It’s pretty difficult to make your Carens stand out.
The interior doesn’t really stand out either. It’s well put together and pretty generously equipped, but it’s also dark and nowhere near as stylish as the likes of the Citroen C4 SpaceTourer.
Space for passengers in the middle row is good, but rearmost passengers will be very cramped, making the Carens an occasional seven-seater at best.
The Carens has a couple of trump cards to play, though. Economy from the 1.7-litre diesel engine is strong at a claimed 61.4mpg, which is competitive for a seven-seat MPV. The Carens also benefits from Kia’s amazing seven-year warranty, which should keep bills from unexpected repairs to a minimum.
Best people carriers and MPVs
In this review
- 1IntroductionHere are the 10 best MPVs and people carriers to buy this year – all loaded with family-friendly features and lots of space
- 21. Citroen Berlingo MultispaceIt's not the most stylish, but the Citroen Berlingo Multispace offers van-like practicality and good value
- 32. Citroen C4 SpaceTourer/Grand C4 SpaceTourerThe Citroen C4 SpaceTourer offers great fuel economy, a practical interior and a hefty dose of style
- 43. Renault Grand ScenicA total redesign has turned the Renault Grand Scenic from a dowdy family bus into a stylish MPV with a crossover vibe
- 54. Ford S-MAXBased on the Mondeo, Ford’s seven-seater is still the best MPV to drive, and it’s impressively practical, too
- 65. Kia Carens - currently readingKia's Carens MPV won't set the world alight with its design, but it makes a sound buy thanks to strong economy and a class leading warranty
- 76. Vauxhall Zafira TourerBigger and better-looking than its predecessor, the Zafira Tourer is a great option for comfortable family transport
- 87. Ford C-MAX/Grand C-MAXOne of the finest handling small MPVs on sale, the C-MAX is also impressively practical and available with five or seven seats
- 98. BMW 2 Series Active Tourer/Gran TourerGood-looking, great to drive and luxuriously equipped, the 2 Series Gran Tourer is a worthy first MPV from BMW
- 109. Ford Tourneo ConnectA van-based MPV that drives like a car, the Ford Tourneo Connect isn’t as refined as the competition, but it’s practical and well priced
- 1110. SEAT AlhambraThe SEAT Alhambra is mechanically identical to the classy and spacious VW Sharan, but cheaper