Long term report: Kia Carens


Kia Carens long term test

I can't help but feel a bit sorry for our (previously) sparkling white Kia.

When it arrived at the AOL Cars office a month ago, it probably had hopes of a nice quiet tenure with us – leisurely trips to the beach with Leon, lunchtime jaunts to Waitrose with Batch, that sort of thing.

If its first four weeks are anything to go by, the poor Carens has probably had a bit of a shock.

LJ63YYT had barely been in the car park ten minutes before I'd brimmed its boot with camera gear and set sail for central London. How did it cope? Admirably.

Okay, so a diesel MPV is never going to be the perfect thing in which to tackle the capital's streets, but the Carens did at least prove to be a comfortable ally as I crawled my way to Hoxton.

An overnight stop complete with insanely tight hotel car park helped prove the reversing camera's worth too, though I reckon our car could benefit from some front sensors also.

I did find one gripe, though: the integrated sat nav. It's attractive enough and easy-ish to use, but it lacks the sort of intelligent route planning most £99 portable systems manage – something that would have made a huge difference in crossing Boris's kingdom.

Still, it can't have been that bad, as two days later I found myself subjecting it to almost exactly the same trip. And then all the way to Rockingham just a few days after.

To top it off, a nice man from Kia came the other day to fit it with some hefty-looking roof bars, so it'll soon be on kayak transport duties too.

Sorry Carens, you've got a hard 11 months ahead of you.

Long term report: Kia Carens

Long term report: Kia Carens