KIA CARENS
Reviewer: Mark Borlace – RAA
Date: November 2000

Things we liked                                       Things we didn’t like
Affordability                                         Access to the last row of seats
Functionality                                   Engine noise in cabin

81kW @ 5,700 rpm
 152Nm @ 4,5000 rpm
Power to weight
 16.23 kg/kW
Price as tested
Fuel Consumption
 12.9 l/ 100km

The people carrier market is price sensitive because anyone who has enough

kids to need a people carrier, often have not got the money to spend on a new

vehicle. At a base price of $22,000 the Kia Carens will be within the reach of

many families.

It’s a people carrier with a slight difference in that it has very versatile seating.

Using the three rows of seats it will carry 6 people with little room for luggage or

if you remove the rear row of seats you have a 4-person vehicle with lots of room

for camping gear or bulkier items. However when all seats are being used there

is limited legroom for the people in the rearmost seats. Also the second row seat

locking mechanism is hard to operate and locate the locking mechanism. The

rear lift door would be easier to use if it had an external opening handle.

The front passengers are comfortably ensconced in large, comfortable seats.

These seats were easy to slip into as they are at convenient height. From the

driver seat, the ergonomics would be improved if the gearshift was higher and in

easier reach. There is a heap of headroom for all passengers and generally the

vision from the vehicle is good.

The fitment of front power windows and drivers air bag is indicative of the level of

equipment that is expected in modern people carriers. However Kia still has a

way to go with their general finish. The vehicle we tested had some parts of the

trim loose and the radio looking like an aftermarket fitment. The radio has the

small buttons, similar to that of other Kia models, and is difficult to operate.

The 16-valved 1.8 litre engine has to really work for its living, when its pulling

around a full load and the 4 speed automatic transmission allows the engine to

deliver modest performance by changing gears frequently to make the most of

the engine. Inside of the vehicle the engine noise is quite apparent when it is

under load. The fuel economy was a relatively thirsty 12.9 l/100km during our

testing. Generally it is an affordable and functional car for the family.


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