Long term report: Kia Carens

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Kia Carens

For those of you who follow the antics of the video team, you'll know that no vehicle is too big when it comes to lugging our everyday kit around. Never has this been more the case than our recent commission, which took us to sunny Lisbon for three weeks, where we were filming a product launch event, swiftly followed by a week in Barcelona for another launch event.

The Kia has become an adopted member of the video team. At this rate, the guys back in the office may struggle to get the keys back.

Since the demise of the ginormous Sedona, the Carens is the largest MPV in the Kia line-up. With all the seats folded flat it has 1,650 litres of boot space. Turning it from people carrier to load lugger is simple, thanks to some well-located handles on the back seats. On some rivals it's fiddly and frustrating. So with all the filming kit, the luggage and essential trip sweeties loaded, we hit the road for the 600-mile trip across Spain.

The Carens was surprisingly comfortable to drive. The roads between Lisbon and Barcelona were pretty smooth to be fair, but the Kia ploughed along the motorway miles with ease. An agile ride has been sacrificed in the interest of comfort, though, and when I found myself on a twisty road, I was pretty keen to get back on the straight stuff. It rolls, the steering doesn't
give much confidence in the bends and it's slow to react.

Author: Nigel Swan (@motoringnut)

The knowledge

Model: Kia Carens '3' 1.7 CRDi
Price: £23,895 (as tested)
Engine: 1.7-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged diesel
Power: 134bhp, 330Nm
Max speed: 119mph
0-60mph: 10s
Emissions: 132g/km
Mileage this month: 2,145

This month's highlight

Eating up the Spanish miles from Lisbon to Barcelona