Fleet News

First Drive: Kia Carens 1.7 CRDi

BIK List Price
Kia Carens BIK list price
BIK Percentage
Kia Carens BIK Percent
Kia Carens CO2
Combined MPG
Kia Carens MPG


One of the most practical cars produced by Kia is expected to account for most of the South Korean firm's growth in Britain this year.

Extensively repackaged to be smaller overall but markedly bigger inside, the Carens multi-purpose model should represent 4,000 UK market registrations over the next 12 months – 80 per cent of anticipated growth.

“As our major mainstream newcomer, it will be responsible for the lion's share of our plan to lift annual sales from 65,000 to 70,000 units and I'll be surprised if demand doesn't outstrip supply,” commercial director Yaser Shabsogh told Fleet News.

According to Shabsogh, a surge of interest from the contract hire sector is set to win 2,000 fleet registrations for a car that has been redesigned to be sleeker and more spacious despite being shorter and narrower.

“From almost nothing back in 2008, we delivered 10,500 vehicles to the fleet market last year and our focus on contract hire is creating heavy growth – our partnership with ALD accounted for more than 3,000 registrations for the Ceed and Sportage in 2012 and there's no doubt that the Carens will add to this.

“I'm expecting us to be seeking additional stocks of this car from distributors who might have problems selling their allocations in weaker markets,” he said.

Thanks to its longer wheelbase, the new seven-seater makes extra space available for all occupants in a layout that allows greater versatility based on a second row of sliding and folding seats and third row seating that splits and folds into the floor when not needed. Boot space is up by 71 litres and the front passenger seat backrest can also be folded forward to take total load volume potential to 1,650 litres.

Engine modifications and a stop-start system have cut emissions by 15 per cent and a high sixth gear ratio gives a relaxed and subdued cruising gait. Suspension revisions make for neater cornering without compromising ride comfort.

On sale in May, the Carens is expected to offer trim levels in line with other Kia models. Pricing is not yet fixed, but expect to pay around £20,500 for the expected best-seller - the lower output 1.7-litre diesel version in mid-spec form, which is likely to include air conditioning, Bluetooth, cruise control, power windows and electric fold-flat mirrors and rear parking sensors.

“Kia no longer needs to be aggressive on pricing and heavy on discounts. Our aim is to offer seven-seat transport in a more refined package at around the cost of rivals that have only five seats,” said Shabsogh. 

Fuel costs
Available for the first time in the Carens, the 114bhp 1.7-litre CRDi offers optimum fuel efficiency and is set to be the most popular power unit choice.
CO2 emissions
Thanks in part to the incorporation of ISG, the Kia stop-start equipment, tailpipe emissions are 15 per cent better than the previous Carens – a significant improvement that results in a creditable 124g/km performance.
Residual values
The Carens has proved to be one of the most consistent Kia models on the secondhand forecourts and the new car's performance and build quality improvements bode well for future values.
Driver appeal
Much neater in profile than before and now one of the lowest C-sector MPVs, the Carens handles well and is an enjoyable long distance holdall.
FN Verdict
Finally endowed with more stylish lines, the versatile Carens is a match for its rivals in the car park as well as on the road and promises excellent operating economy.
Top Speed
Kia Carens Top Speed
VED band
Kia Carens Ved
Fuel Type
Kia Carens Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : N/A
4 Year 80k : N/A
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : N/A
4 Year 80k : N/A

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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