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Kia Carens 2.0 GDI (A) Review

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This is an old car model that is no longer for sale by the local distributor since Apr 2016.
Editor Review
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Kia Carens 2.0 GDI (A) Review
30 Apr 2015  |  Kia Reviews
The third generation of the Kia Carens does everything you could ask of it with ease, making it an ideal choice for a growing family.
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   Consumer Reviews of Kia Carens
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4.0
 
9 Consumer Reviews
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Comfort
4.0 Reliability
3.5
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Handling
4.0 Features
4.0
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Exterior Styling
4.0 Interior Design
3.5
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Value for money
4.0 Engine Performance
4.0

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Sparta
1st Gear
1 reviews
24 points
33 forum posts Joined on 06-Aug-2016
Excellent pickup and lovely design  Posted on 08 Aug 2016
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Comfort 4.0 Reliability 4.0
Handling 4.0 Features 5.0
Exterior Styling 5.0 Interior Design 4.0
Value for money 5.0 Engine Performance 5.0
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Review
I test drove the Carens 1.7L SX version last weekend and bought it a few days later. I got to see the Carens by chance as I was looking for another car. I was curious and after the first drive was really impressed with the level of interior fitting, design of the car, flexibility of the second row seating and to top it off, the punchiness of the 1.7L turbo engine.

Design
I love the chrome accents on the door handle and other parts. I think the front grill looks great and the car is well proportioned. The third row with this mid sized MPV is squeezy, but that's to be expected for a car in this category.... I wouldn't use it for anything more than a 30 min drive, unless the passenger is a child. I also like the 6 airbags, roof rails and massive sunroof! The 3 seats in second row are independent of each other and can be configured to allow 2 baby seats with room for an adult.

Soundproofing
Right from the start, I noticed how heavy the doors were. This goes against the grain of expectation for an "Asian" Car. The feel of it was very European instead. I liked how the wipers wipe from center outwards, and how well insulated the car seems from sounds outside. I've driven its competitor in this category, BMW 216d, and thought the engine was quieter with the Carens.

Engine
Out on the road, the Carens pulled off quite effortlessly when overtaking. Only issue was a bit of vibration and the engine seemed to scream when I floored it a bit. But for normal traffic and driving within the speed limits, the clatter of the diesel engine was barely noticeable. Even from outside, the engine seemed really quiet. The brakes worked well with no screeching when I had to brake suddenly at the change of traffic light.

And for an MPV in this class, you'll be hard pressed to find an alternative with similar build and detail, for the same price elsewhere. The competitors are simply priced a lot higher. Although more expensive than the EX model, the SX had more airbags and the Sportskit. The dealer threw in a touchscreen console and window tinting too.

What I like
Design
High torque engine 340Nm compared with ~250 Nm with competitors
Decent hp
Frugal fuel consumption
Relatively quiet engine
Flexibility of seating arrangement
Front passenger seat folds down flat to carry extra long items.
Massive sunroof that opens halfway
Ventilated leather seats

What I do not like
Lack of electronic seat adjustment
Old style halogen lights (although tail is LED)
Sports mufflers would have jazzed it up a bit!


Asky2505
1st Gear
1 reviews
47 points
112 forum posts Joined on 12-Feb-2016
Best value of its class  Posted on 17 Feb 2016
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Comfort 4.0 Reliability 3.0
Handling 4.0 Features 4.0
Exterior Styling 3.0 Interior Design 4.0
Value for money 4.0 Engine Performance 4.0
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Review
Test drove the diesel version, qashqai, Renault kadjar and fluence. Carens torque wins them hands down. Booked it before the cny.

Reasons why I chose Carens over other make n model
1) Its the cheapest 7 seater mpv. Full specs and safety feature.
2) 6 Advanced air bags compared to 2 in the EX model . Not normal airbags. It will calculate the weight of the Pax to see to deploy it anot. Very child friendly.
3) 2nd row seats are in 33% Proportion and adjustable individually forward and angle. Can fit 2 car seats and the adult can sit in the middle with the seat pushed forward so all can sit comfortably
4) even tho the 3rd row is quite squezy for adults, with the 2nd row middle sear folded down and pushed forward, their legs can still stretch out. So total 6 adults can sit comfortably
5) full moon roof. Lots of light making the car less castrophobic.
6) fold up tray for the 2nd row
7) rear aircon
8) most parts are not plastic. When u touch it, it's spongy and leathery
9) FC damn good and it's diesel!!
10) the torque is 340 for a 1.7l!! Can hear the voom voom when u accelerate, not those empty acceleration noise

Look at other Japanese mpv, higher price and lesser specs and plastic finishes. Most imptly, they are all petrol car.

What I like
Listed abv

What I do not like
Doesnt look sporty
The stigma of a korean car is still there


Sunset73
5th Gear
9 reviews
1,453 points
892 forum posts Joined on 15-Mar-2009
It blew me away!  Posted on 16 Feb 2016
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Comfort 5.0 Reliability 5.0
Handling 5.0 Features 5.0
Exterior Styling 5.0 Interior Design 5.0
Value for money 5.0 Engine Performance 5.0
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Review
Went for a test drive at Leng Kee this afternoon. Being a 2007 Carens owner, I was eager to find out the "Acclaimed" Improvements that I heard many people talking about.

I must admit I am a die-hard Carens fan, no matter how bad the fuel consumption is. The space and comfort just can't be rivaled in anyway during that period of time.

I was introduced to the Carens SX 1.7 DCT (diesel) which was totally different from the lower spec-ed 2.0 Carens Petrol. It came with extra goodies that were not found on the petrol model such as Panoramic Roof and the special DCT gearbox.

During the drive, I heard absolutely no diesel clatter from the cabin. Noise insulation was top notch, interior materials were soft touch and refined. Gone were the days of the fuel guzzler that KIA is well known for.

Though it sounded like a taxi when you are outside the vehicle, that is not too important because you can't hear it when you're inside!

Power delivery was good, throttle response was quick and car felt nimble.
It certainly brought a smile to my face when I heard that it had been one of the best selling models since its launch!

What I like
Panoramic Sunroof
7 Speed DCT gearbox
Diesel powered means more torque over petrol counterparts
High-spec-ed as compare to my 2007 Carens
6 airbags
Individual fold 2nd row seats
Continental Design

What I do not like
No Electric Seats even on SX version due to marketing strategy??
Road tax + diesel tax to be paid is equivalent to the price of a 2.5L petrol.


Wiiuwii
1st Gear
6 reviews
61 points
142 forum posts Joined on 29-Sep-2011
No-frills budget MPV  Posted on 11 Nov 2015
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Comfort 4.0 Reliability 4.0
Handling 4.0 Features 5.0
Exterior Styling 3.0 Interior Design 4.0
Value for money 5.0 Engine Performance 3.0
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Review
The Carens is a little family-carrier if you're not looking to ferry 7 pax all the time. It is a very comfortable ride for 5, like most compact MPVs.

Handling is good and I prefer to keep the steering in sports mode. Good stock brakes. Did an e-brake at amber lights. Brake was clean with short braking-distance (as compared with another MPV).

The 3rd row is pretty cramp for an average adult because the back of the roof is slightly tapered, probably for aerodynamics. Cluster-phobics will not like it.

The gearbox, although is Auto 6 speed, doesn't really feel like one.

Car infotainment is quite outdated on a new model in the market.

What I like
Rear aircon.
6 airbags.
Very affordable MPV.
The 3rd row cushions are surprisingly thicker hence more comfortable than a 7 seater SUV next door.

What I do not like
A little under-powered though.
Cramp 3rd row but it's expected.
Outdated HU. Even if they fit in the manufacturer's GPS HU, the map updates cost money. Should just do away with it.


drivinghazard
2nd Gear
15 reviews
221 points
291 forum posts Joined on 08-Feb-2011
Not what I expected  Posted on 16 Oct 2015
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Comfort 4.0 Reliability 4.0
Handling 4.0 Features 4.0
Exterior Styling 4.0 Interior Design 3.0
Value for money 4.0 Engine Performance 4.0
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Review
Had a go in the Carens the other day, and the car did surprise me. I had heard and read a couple of things about the new car, which seemed quite positive, and i needed to experience it for myself to know.

First off i must say its a handsome looking car, gives off a aggressive feel. The car also drives surprisingly well, the engine is not too bad, handles well. The ride is a little bit on the harder side though. Its a very practical car, and at this price range it seems quite value for money.

The downside is that the 3rd row is quite cramp. Also, the materials feel abit plasticky and cheap, even as it is well put together.

What I like
- good looking car
- drives surprisingly well, better than i expected
- fulfills many practical needs as a family car

What I do not like
- rear is a little cramp
- interior quality is average


Chrix
Neutral Newbie
4 reviews
0 points
0 forum posts Joined on 15-Mar-2009
The car surprised me  Posted on 04 Sep 2015
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Comfort 3.0 Reliability 4.0
Handling 4.0 Features 4.0
Exterior Styling 4.0 Interior Design 4.0
Value for money 5.0 Engine Performance 4.0
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Review
Always thought that korea cars are plastciky except for the Genesis I tried, which was fabulous. Heard the price of this car was only slight above $110 which led me to believe that if can't offer much. To my surprise, the finishing way exceeded my expectation. If you are one which look at interior finishing as a main criteria, this car at this price tag would interest you. I do not own this car so I can't say much for the reliability.

What I like
Very luxurious feel for this price range
Handles well.

What I do not like
Only comes in black leather. Beige leather always feels more plush
Narrow 3rd row like in most mid size MPV
Boot space very limited if the 3rd row is in used
Bumpy as hard ride over a hump


Xman13
1st Gear
1 reviews
36 points
79 forum posts Joined on 29-Dec-2005
Korean Car Experience  Posted on 12 Jun 2015
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Comfort 4.0 Reliability 3.0
Handling 4.0 Features 3.0
Exterior Styling 4.0 Interior Design 3.0
Value for money 4.0 Engine Performance 4.0
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Review
Saw the car during the Expo car Carnival.Took a test drive on the car a month later at Leng Kee . The ride was surprisingly good for korean mpv. Abit bumpy on humps. Quite nimble. I drive a sedan, and this MPV drives like a car. The transmission responds quite well and road noise was hardly present. Good soundproofing. Worth considering for an MPV for its price. No frill MPV.

What I like
Drives well for an mpv. Small turning circle. Responsive steering. Comfortable seating arrangements. Looks great- nice design

What I do not like
Supplied Car Headunit is awful - Old school. The pictures in the brochures should be a standard. No reverse camera. Lack of features. Even K3 has better interior features which is suprising.


Clemenzo
1st Gear
3 reviews
88 points
133 forum posts Joined on 08-Apr-2007
First test drive with Carens  Posted on 16 May 2015
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Comfort 4.0 Reliability 4.0
Handling 4.0 Features 4.0
Exterior Styling 4.0 Interior Design 4.0
Value for money 4.0 Engine Performance 3.0
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Review
Internal space is good, however boot space is almost missing when full load with 7 passengers. Pick up is not there, even though test drive only when 3 adults and 1 child. Probably the car body is heavy.

Ventilated seats idea is great for weather in Singapore. Overall, the car would serve a family well.

What I like
Push start button
Spacious 7 seater
Family Friendly
Rear aircon vents

What I do not like
Slow pickup
No moon roof


Coolpica
4th Gear
11 reviews
590 points
1235 forum posts Joined on 27-Sep-2005
Nice 7 Seater  Posted on 02 May 2015
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Comfort 5.0 Reliability 4.0
Handling 4.0 Features 3.0
Exterior Styling 4.0 Interior Design 4.0
Value for money 4.0 Engine Performance 4.0
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Review
The exterior of the Carens will put a smile on your face. Muscular and well defined lines, it does not look like a normal 7 seater.
The interior is huge especially for the 1st and 2nd row. As for the 3rd row it is best left for kids and teenagers. With all 7 seats utilized there is no boot space to talk about but with the last 2 seats tucked away, the boot space is decent. The interior is well screwed together but the materials used for the interior could be better with softer material used. The current model comes w/o reverse camera, ventilated driver seat and is equipped with simple HU unit and normal halogen headlights unlike other cars in the Kia line up. The rear air con is useful ensuring 3rd row passengers receive cool air during hot days.
On the road, the driver sits high up and have a good view of the road. The Carens cabin is quiet with most road noise kept out, providing a comfortable ride for the passengers when cruising. However the car seems unwillingly to rev up unless the accelerator is pressed hard (could be due to newness of the test drive car). When that happened, some engine noise will intrude the cabin.
Overall the Carens is able to perform its people carrier role well. However it will be good if C&C can bring in a better equipped version.

What I like
Nice handling
Exterior design
Quiet cabin when cruising

What I do not like
6 speed gearbox is unwilling to downshift unless pressed hard
Lack of features as compared to other cars in Kia range

Kia Carens
4 stars - based on 9 reviews