Kia Carens (2006 – 2012) Review

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Kia Carens (2006 – 2012) At A Glance


+Option of seven usable seats, all rear seats fold into the boot floor, spacious interior, five-year warranty on models sold since September 2006.

-Foot-operated parking brake is old fashioned, poor turning circle.

Insurance Group 19
On average it achieves 95% of the official MPG figure

The previous Kia Carens was a decent enough vehicle - roomy, pleasant, reasonable to drive and at very fair list prices. The trouble was at heavily discounted transaction prices, the better looking and better to drive Citroen Xsara Picasso wiped the floor with it.

But now the goalposts have shifted. Citroen is still there with 5-seater Xsara Picasso Desire diesels from around £9,800 via a broker. And its much more expensive new 7-seater C4 Picasso.

Vauxhall offers a much-improved new Zafira. Renault has updated its Scenic. Ford has the excellent S-Max. And both Vauxhall and Renault offer 7-seater diesel automatics.

So what sort of a fight does the new Kia Carens put up against all this stiff competition?

Obviously before discounts, it's still price competitive, starting at £11,995 for the petrol engined 5-seater and £14,495 for the diesel engined 7-seater. While diesel automatics start at a very enticing £15,495.

Kia Carens 2006 Road Test

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Real MPG average for a Kia Carens (2006 – 2012)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

26–54 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

I'm looking at two used cars, one LPG and one diesel - which is the better choice?
"I'm looking to buy a secondhand, seven-seater car that runs on LPG. I wanted an LPG car because I'm looking for a way to save money on fuel costs. However, I never had an LPG car before. I've shortlisted two cars but one of them is not LPG so would like your advice on which one is better to buy. The first is a 2009 Vauxhall Zafira, Petrol/LPG, 98k miles for £1150. I asked the seller if the timing belt was changed and he said no, but also told me not to worry about it because this is a petrol car and that diesel cars are the ones that have problem with the timing belt. Second is a 2007 Vauxhall Zafira B 1.8,16v design, diesel, 93k miles for £1195. It has a full service history, stamp, cambelt was changed at 88k miles and was well looked after."
Do not buy the LPG Zafira. The seller is talking rubbish - it should have had its timing belt changed years ago. And even if the service history was good (which it isn't), I wouldn't recommend buying a 10 year-old-car that runs on LPG - the costs will be huge if anything goes wrong with it. A seven-seat version of the Kia Carens would be a much more reliable choice.
Answered by Dan Powell
How reliable is the Kia Carens automatic?
"I'm looking to buy a Kia Carens automatic (2009-2010 reg) however I'm not sure what kind of automatic gearbox it has? I'm looking for something reliable as I don't want any additional costs. Would you recommend any other cars? I really appreciate you helping me. My budget is £5k."
Torque converter. Bit sluggish, but okay. These cars are generally reliable and underpriced so good buys.
Answered by Honest John
Best used family car for £1500?
"We have a budget of £1500-£2000 for a used family car. It must be practical and capable of carrying five (incl baby) and have boot space for a pram and shopping. What should we consider buying?"
That isn't enough money for guaranteed reliability from any car meeting your criteria. I'd forget SUVs. Maybe a KIA Carens 2006 - 2012 if you can find one, but you are asking a lot for very little money.
Answered by Honest John
Does the Kia Cee'd have a dual mass flywheel?
"I'm thinking of buying a 2010 Kia Cee'd diesel, can you tell me if it has a dual-mass flywheel?"
Presuming its a 1.6CRDI diesel, yes, but they don;t seem to have been trouble.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Kia Carens (2006 – 2012) cost?