Kia Carens (2016 - 2019) used car review | Car review | RAC Drive (2023)

Kia Carens (2016 - 2019) used car review | Car review | RAC Drive (1)

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(Video) Kia Carens 4K 2016 review - Car Keys

Kia Carens (2016 - 2019) used car review | Car review | RAC Drive (2)

By Jonathan Crouch


With smarter looks, an upgraded interior and more sophisticated media connectivity, the revised version of Kia's third generation Carens we saw in 2016 was a much improved 7-seat mid-sized MPV. Though a little smaller than some rivals, it offered as much versatility as most likely buyers needed and potentially, diesel efficiency could better match the class standard too. In other words, you get pretty much everything families are looking for from a compact 7-seat MPV in this segment from the 2016-2019 era. At pricing to undercut most rivals.

(Video) Kia Carens MPV 2013 review - CarBuyer


5DR ESTATE (1.6 GDI, 1.7 CRDI [1,2,3])


In many ways, the Kia brand has been built on MPV motoring: for years, its large Sedona model was its best seller here. By the turn of the century though, it was clear that People Carrying segment growth lay in slightly smaller designs, a market targeted with the original Carens model of 1999. This was the kind of car Kia used to make, cheap, practical and very dull. Signs that the brand could do better arrived with its 2006 replacement, but that was still an MPV you bought on sticker price, not necessarily because you really wanted one.

By the 21st century's second decade though, Kia had no room for such cars in its line-up any more and accordingly, in 2013, the original version of this third generation Carens model was launched, far more up to date and better packaged than its predecessor. This design, though a little more compact than the MK2 version, managed to be a little larger inside thanks to a longer wheelbase. Which was just as well, given that by this time, Kia was no longer offering its big Sedona MPV in our market, deciding that going forward, the Carens would be the only family-sized people carrier it would offer.

Sales in the first three years of MK3 Carens production were steady but unspectacular, possibly because this People Carrier was one of the smaller seven-seat options in the mid-sized MPV sector, but more likely because most buyers didn't really know it existed and signed up instead for better-recognised segment contenders like Vauxhall's Zafira Tourer, Citroen's Grand C4 Picasso, Volkswagen's Touran, Ford's Grand C-MAX and Renault's Grand Scenic. All of these rivals though, were significantly more expensive than this Kia, dealers often justifying that premium with smartly-finished cabins, advanced media connectivity and strong engine efficiency. All of which this Carens claimed to be able to offer too, in the facelifted version of the MK3 model which was launched in 2016 - that's the version of this car we're going to look at here. It sold until 2019, MPV motoring then abandoned by Kia in favour of a tidal wave of different SUVs.

What You Get

As with the original version of the MK3 Carens, this Kia only came in a one single body style; unlike Ford, Citroen and Renault, the Korean maker didn't see the need to offer separate five and seven-seat body shapes in this segment. It never did previously either, but older generation Carens models offered the choice of either five or seven seats. Here, you've a seven-seat-only package. Fortunately, that's what most buyers in this sector want.

To reassure these people that this MPV is a credible choice, Kia made a few updates to the exterior styling as part of the mid-term package of updates introduced in 2016. Most of the alterations feature at the front, where an updated version of the 'tiger-nose' grille was complemented by revised bumpers and restyled front foglamps.

(Video) Should You Buy a KIA CARENS MK3 (RONDO)? Test Drive & Review

And behind the wheel? Well it was at this point, with the original version of this third generation model, that some potential customers lost interest and went to look at something else. There wasn't really anything wrong with the basic ergonomic design; it just wasn't very interesting. Which is something that Kia's designers did quite a lot to fix with this mid-term facelift and provided you opt for a plusher model, you'll notice quite a lot of difference. Freshly-added metallic and gloss-black accents lift the cabin, as did smart carbon-effect dashboard trim.

A more significant change though, lay in the updates Kia made to infotainment provision, this Carens in this updated form fitted with a proper colour touchscreen, a display that was 7-inches in size on standard models, or 8-inches on a top-spec variant. Via this, you can duplicate the functionality of your smartphone on this centre-dash monitor thanks to compatibility with the 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto' systems.

And the second row? Well if you happen to be one of those people who owned the pre-2013 second generation version of this car, you'll notice that things are much more flexible here, the old bench replaced in this case by three separate reclining and sliding chairs. That makes it much easier to properly accommodate three adults but if you are only transporting two people, then the middle seat can be folded forward to create a useful table.

All well and good, but in the eyes of its detractors, the issue the Carens always had lay in its lack of third row seating space. So, how does this car fare in reality? Well, the effective middle row tilting and sliding mechanism makes access to the very rear a lot easier than you might expect it to be. Once you get seated in the very back though, it becomes clear that, for adults at least, things are going to be very restricted indeed unless particularly accommodating fellow passengers seated in front of you are prepared to push their sliding seats right forward. This issue is of course relative. If you're the kind of owner likely to buy a Carens, you'll be the sort of person who won't be likely to use these fold-out chairs very often anyway. If when you do, they're only going to be occupied by young children, then what's provided here will probably be quite sufficient.

And luggage space? Well, as you would probably expect, with all three rows raised, there isn't much - just 103-litres, though a small compensation in this regard is provided by a neat underfloor compartment that can be used to stow away the removable load cover. Of course as we mentioned previously, the majority of the time, most owners won't be using the third seating row and with those two chairs folded into the floor, there's 492-litres of space on offer below the window line. Push forward the second row too and you get a usefully flat floor and up 1,650-litres of total fresh air.

What You Pay

Prices start at around £10,800 (around £13,200 retail) for a '16-plate 1.6 GDI petrol version with base '1' trim, with prices rising to around £16,000 (around £18,300 retail) for a late '19-plate version. Allow £700 more for mid-range '2' trim. For the 1.7 CRDi diesel variant, prices start at around £10,900 (around £13,300 retail) for a typical '16-plate '2' variant, with prices rising to around £16,000 (around £18,400 retail) for a late '19-plate version. Allow £1,100 more for plusher '3' trim. All quoted values are sourced through industry experts cap hpi. Click here for a free valuation.

(Video) Kia Carens 7 Seater 2018 review | Mat Watson Reviews

What to Look For

Top tips here are to ensure that the second row seats slide on their runners cleanly. And make certain that the parcel shelf is still in its compartment beneath the boot floor; some original owners will have taken this out, put it in the garage, then forgotten to put it back into the car. Look for damage from child seats in the second row. You may be looking at a car with the balance of Kia's seven year warranty intact, but bear in mind that this cover was only of the unlimited mileage kind for the first three years from new; for years 4-7, there's a 100,000 mile limit - and items like the battery and the infotainment system aren't covered at all.

Very little goes wrong with typical third generation Carens models; in fact, our ownerships survey almost completely failed to find anyone at all who was dis-satisfied. The closest we came to that was with an owner who felt that the diesel engine didn't pull cleanly and evenly, a glitch that was quickly cured by their local dealer.

Otherwise, just look out for the usual things; kerbed alloys and damage caused to interior plastics by unruly children. Make sure that the service book is fully stamped up by a franchised dealer too. And if you're looking at the CRDi diesel, make sure the DPF Diesel Particular Filter hasn't clogged up with too much suburban and town driving. Careful questioning of the seller's driving habits should help here.

Replacement Parts

(approx based on a 2018 Carens 1.7 CRDi ex VAT) An air filter will be priced at around £10, an oil filter will sit in the £5 bracket and a fuel filter costs in the £14 bracket. For a pair of front brake discs, you're looking at paying in the £58 to £106 bracket, with a pair of rear discs costing up to around £80. A pair of front brake pads are around £24, while a pair of rear pads sit in the £17-£35 bracket for a set. A wiper blade can cost anything between £3-£14. A starter motor is around £262 and an alternator around £250.

On the Road

The changes made to his revised third generation Carens model didn't include any significant alterations to the engines on offer, or to the ride and handling package provided. There wasn't much point since likely buyers weren't people particularly prioritising driving dynamics. They cared about efficiency though. Which is why the Korean brand tweaked the gear ratios of the volume 114bhp diesel model to make it cleaner and more economical. And gave buyers wanting auto transmission a far more frugal 'DCT' dual-clutch gearbox option on the 139bhp diesel variant, this self-shifter replacing the old-tech torque converter auto previously used.

Otherwise, things were unchanged from the original pre-facelift version of this MK3 model. Almost all Carens buyers choose the diesel units we've just mentioned, both 1.7-litre CRDi powerplants from the Kia conglomerate's back catalogue. Expect 109g/km of CO2 and 67.2mpg on the combined cycle from the 114bhp unit (both NEDC figures). The only other engine on offer was a 133bhp 1.6-litre GDI petrol unit that struggles a little in terms of both pulling power and overall efficiency. Through the bends, a firm-ish set-up means that body roll is well controlled but there's not really enough feedback through the steering for any real degree of driving enjoyment, despite a 'FlexSteer' system that allows you to vary steering weight.

(Video) Kia Carens 2013 - THE PERFECT FAMILY OPTION??


Rival mid-sized 7-seat People Carriers from the 2016-2019 period offer more fashionable looks and extra space for third row folk than this improved version of the MK3 Kia Carens. The question is though, whether those attributes are really needed by typical buyers in this segment. You might take the view that an MPV is a sensible, functional thing that doesn't really have to look trendy. And that third row seating in a mid-sized model like this one doesn't really need to be very spacious because it's only ever used by small children. If you did, we'd understand. And suggest that this improved Carens probably needs to prominently feature on the list of affordable models from this period you should try.

In summary, this remains a very credible choice from its period in a family world that'll usually see a multitude of expenses take precedence over a plush People Carrier - food, clothing, heating, iPods, XBoxes, cutting-edge Nike trainers, full suspension mountain bikes and so on. Once these essentials have been provided for your brood, there are often scant funds remaining for a vehicle to transport them between their football matches, dance classes, swimming lessons and youth clubs. What is a parent to do? Buy one of these? You can certainly make a case for it.


Is the Kia Carens a reliable car? ›

Throw in a terrific reputation for reliability and some great independent crash test scores, and the Carens makes even more sense for families on a budget. On the downside, it's a little less spacious than some of its seven-seat rivals, and the performance and handling is somewhat mundane.

Is it worth it to buy Carens? ›

The smart pricing of Kia Carens is the major contributor to its massive success. With the base and mid variants, the Kia Carens rivals Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and Mahindra Marazzo, and its top variant takes on the likes of Hyundai Alcazar and Toyota Innova.

Is Kia Carens base model worth buying? ›

Excellent car, easy to drive long distance, interiors, ac excellent, exteriors too good, its look like royal , u will not feel tired driving this car, for long and short distance its amazing with full feature. Kia car service is very good compare to another car company.

Is Kia Carens discontinued? ›

With the new BS6 Phase II Emission Norms coming into effect in India from April 1, Kia Motors India is believed to have just updated the Seltos, Carens and the Sonet.

How many miles can a Kia Carens do? ›

The mileage of Kia Carens ranges from 15.7 Kmpl to 21.3 Kmpl. The claimed ARAI mileage of Carens Petrol Manual is 15.7 Kmpl. In Automatic the claimed ARAI mileage of Carens Petrol is 21.3 Kmpl and for the Carens Diesel Automatic is 21.3 Kmpl.

What are the safety issues with Kia Carens? ›

Kia India has issued a recall for Carens. The company has recalled 44,174 units of the Carens over safety concerns regarding the airbags. The Korean automobile manufacturer has recalled over 44 thousand units of its MPV Kia Carens in India over potential error in airbag control module software.

What is the ranking of Kia Carens? ›

The Kia Carens scored 3 stars for adult occupant protection and 3 stars for child occupant protection and after a previous five star rating the Mahindra XUV 700 has now achieved a 'Safer Choice' Award.

Who is the competitor of Carens? ›

What are the top competitors of KIA Carens? The Top compeitors for KIA Carens are Mahindra Marazzo, Maruti Suzuki XL6, MG Astor, Hyundai Creta, Honda City, Mahindra Scorpio Classic, KIA Seltos, Toyota Urban Cruiser HyRyder, Force Gurkha, Skoda Slavia.

How is the build quality of Kia Carens? ›

Helpful Reviews of Carens Safety

The build quality of kia carens is like an aggressive tiger and after being a petrol car it looks like an electric car. Designed in an innovative format.

What is the best year Kia to buy? ›

Buy: 2019 Kia Optima

The 2019 Kia Optima is arguably the most reliable Kia Optima year across all generations. It featured a stylish interior and exterior, a spacious trunk, and plenty of powertrain options. Also, there are little to no complaints about this model, so you can buy it used with confidence.

Which color Kia Carens sells the most? ›

Clear White

Undoubtedly the evergreen choice colour of Indian buyers and has been a long time favorite of buyers across the country. KIA Carens will be available in two shades of white.

Which model is best in Kia cars? ›

The most popular Kia cars in India are Sonet, Seltos and Carens.

What is the Kia Carens called in the USA? ›

In North America and Australia, the car is called the Rondo and Rondo7 respectively.

Are Kia cars built to last? ›

Do Kia cars last long? Yes, Kias are known for lasting as long as other reliable vehicles like Hondas, Toyotas, and Hyundais. The automaker's powertrain warranty lasts up to 100,000 miles, but many drivers own their Kias far beyond that milestone.

Which country made Kia Carens? ›

Kia Carens recently made its world premiere in India. It will be the fourth product from the South Korean carmaker for the Indian market after Seltos, Sonet, and Carnival.

How long can Kia engine last? ›

A Kia can last around 200,000 miles or 13 years with regular maintenance, depending on factors like the model year and your driving habits. .

How many miles is too many for a used Kia? ›

Often, 100,000 miles is considered a cut-off point for used cars because older vehicles often start requiring more expensive and frequent maintenance when mileage exceeds 100,000.

What is the last speed of Kia Carens? ›

Car VariantKia Carens Diesel Premium
ARAI Mileage (Certified)21.3 kmpl
Top Speed174 kmph
Official TaglineFrom a Different World
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What is the problem with Kia Carens in India? ›

Kia India has recalled a total of 44,174 units of its Carens MPV to detect possible errors in the airbag control module software and fix it. Kia India has recalled a total of 44,174 units of its Carens MPV to detect possible errors in the airbag control module software and fix it.

Which is safer Kia or Hyundai? ›

Both brands are known for their long-lasting performance and durability, but comparing Kia vs. Hyundai reliability ratings from J.D Power reveals a clear winner: Kia. In fact, Kia beat out all other automakers in 2022 with a score of 145 PP100 (Problems per 100 Vehicles).

Does Kia Carens have belt or chain? ›

All engines have a timing chain, apart from the 2.0-litre CRDi diesel – its cambelt needs to be replaced every 10 years or 100,000 miles.

What are the top 3 models of Kia? ›

Key Highlights of Kia Cars
Popular ModelsSeltos, Sonet, EV6, Carens, Carnival
Most ExpensiveKia EV6(Rs. 60.95 Lakh)
Affordable ModelKia Sonet(Rs. 7.79 Lakh)
Upcoming ModelsKia Sportage, Kia Seltos 2023, Kia Sonet 2024, Kia Carnival 2024, Kia EV9
Fuel TypeDiesel, Petrol, Electric
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Which is best Kia or Nissan? ›

When it comes to quality, Kia has a clear advantage over Nissan. In the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Vehicle Dependability survey, Kia finished third, just behind Lexus and Porsche.

Is Hyundai or Kia better? ›

Hyundai Reliability — According to the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, Kia was the highest-ranking manufacturer for reliability in the US, with the least amount of issues per 100 vehicles. Hyundai is close, winning the bronze, but for the current model year, Kia takes the gold medal!

What is the Hyundai version of Carens? ›

The Hyundai Alcazar is based on the Kia Carens but has a totally different design and interior.

Which is bigger Seltos or Carens? ›

The Kia Seltos price is Rs. 10.89 Lakh and Kia Carens price is Rs. 10.45 Lakh. The Kia Seltos is available in 1497 cc engine with 1 fuel type options: Petrol and Kia Carens is available in 1497 cc engine with 1 fuel type options: Petrol.
Length (mm)
Width (mm)
Height (mm)
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Which engine is same with Kia Carens? ›

The Kia Carens and the Hyundai Alcazar come with the same 1.5-litre diesel unit that also does duty in the Seltos and Creta. This unit has the smallest displacement here and the least output – 115hp and 250Nm. Gearbox options for both Korean models include a 6-speed manual and 6-speed torque converter auto.

What is special about Kia? ›

Kia Corporation was founded in May 1944 and is Korea's oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. From humble origins making bicycles and motorcycles, Kia has grown – as part of the dynamic, global Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group – to become the world's fifth largest vehicle manufacturer.

What is the engine performance of Kia Carens? ›

The Kia Carens has 1 Diesel Engine and 2 Petrol Engine on offer. The Diesel engine is 1493 cc while the Petrol engine is 1497 cc and 1482 cc . It is available with Automatic & Manual transmission. Depending upon the variant and fuel type the Carens has a mileage of 16.8 kmpl .

Is Kia Carens Prestige worth buying? ›

User Review on Kia Carens 2022 Prestige 1.5 Petrol 7 STR

This car is value for money because it's comfort and Features Also it's seating capacity is very good and it's space is much better than Xuv 700 and it's segment cars So it is the fully loaded featured and comfortable car.

What is Kia's best selling car? ›

Kia Sonet. The Sonet was launched in India in September 2020, and it has since become one of the most popular models in its segment. It is the best-selling Kia car in April 2023, securing 9744 units, compared to the 5404 units sold last year.

Is Kia ranked #1 in dependability? ›

Kia received the lowest rate of reported problems among mass market brands in the J.D. Power 2021-2023 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Studies. 2023 Study based on responses from 30,062 original owners of 2020 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership, surveyed August-November 2022.

Which Kia model is value for money? ›

Three Kia models are recognized with 2023 Best Cars for the Money awards. This year, three Kia vehicles have been honored with Best Cars for the Money awards. The winners are the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid, the Kia K5, and the Kia Rio.

What is the name of Kia Carens top model? ›

Kia Carens Variants Price List
  • Base Model. Carens Premium. Rs. 10.45 Lakh*
  • Top Petrol. Carens Luxury Plus DCT. Rs. 18.45 Lakh*
  • Top Diesel. Carens Luxury Plus Diesel AT. Rs. 18.95 Lakh*
  • Top Automatic. Carens Luxury Plus Diesel AT. Rs. 18.95 Lakh*

Does Kia Carens have 360 camera? ›

The Kia Carens however misses out on 360-degree parking camera.

What car Colour is best for resale? ›

Resale Value

Many buyers choose to buy white, black, gray, or silver cars because they retain their value better. If your car is a flashier color, you may have difficulty selling it. There is a common misconception that brighter hues like red increase insurance premiums.

Which Kia is best for seniors? ›

With enough room, adaptive cruise control, and visibility, Kia Soul is a good option.

What year and model of Kia is most reliable? ›

However, several 2018 Kia models were named as the most dependable in their class for the 2021 Dependability Awards. The 2018 Kia Sportage was the most dependable small SUV, the 2018 Kia Sorento was the most dependable midsize SUV, and the 2018 Kia Optima was the most dependable midsize car.

Why Kia is better than Hyundai? ›

The Kia Advantage

So, the verdict is in – while Kia and Hyundai offer similar vehicles, Kia models offer better value and better quality, with bolder styling and a more dynamic driving experience. Simply put, Kia vehicles are all-around better vehicles, no matter what you value most in your car.

Is Kia Carens a SUV or MUV? ›

Kia Carens is a 7 seater MUV available in a price range of Rs. 10.45 - 18.95 Lakh*. It is available in 19 variants, 3 engine options that are BS6 compliant and 2 transmission options: Automatic & Manual.

Is Kia Carens made in India? ›

The vehicle will be manufactured in India and exported to over 80 countries, it said, adding that the vehicle is all set to create a segment of its own. Following the world premiere in December, the Kia Carens will be officially launched in February 2022, Kia India said.

Is Kia Carens rear wheel drive? ›

Performance of Carens is backed by a 6 Speed Manual transmission and Front Wheel Drive (FWD) configuration.

Which Kia lasts longest? ›

With the combination of Kia's top-tier warranty and excellent safety ratings, the Kia Rio will last you a long while with the proper care and maintenance. As mentioned, some Rio owners claimed that they managed to reach 250,000 miles on their subcompact vehicle.

Do Kias hold their value? ›

Selling your Kia within three years of ownership will maximize the chances that you'll get up to 50% of its original value back upon resale. But there's more at play than just the ticking clock—your Kia's condition, mileage, and popularity all impact your car's worth on the used car market.

What is the most reliable Kia SUV? ›

Steadily loved and recognized Kia SUVs include the Sportage and Sorento. Latest SUV from Kia, the Telluride is also recognized for its performance and design. The 2019 Sorento was ranked among the IIHS Top Safety Picks. The Sportage was also among the safest models picked by IIHS for the 2018 model year.

Are Kia Carens reliable? ›

Kia Carens reliability

Reliability shouldn't be a worry in the Carens. While Kia as a brand finished 14th in our 2016 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, a 10th place for reliability places it firmly in the top third of manufacturers when it comes to dependability.

Is Kia more luxurious than Hyundai? ›

What's the difference between Kia and Hyundai? Kia designs its vehicles with a sporty aesthetic, while Hyundai offers a more luxurious and flowing design. Reaching a broader target market with a slightly more diverse selection of vehicles, Kia's lineup includes a minivan, the Sedona.

Is Kia owned by Hyundai? ›

Kia and Hyundai Motor Group operate independently, but Hyundai is the parent company of Kia Motors. The difference between Kia and Hyundai is that both companies have their own brand philosophies to uniquely produce their vehicles. As you can see, they are related but not the same!

What is Kia Carens similar to? ›

What are the top competitors of KIA Carens? The Top compeitors for KIA Carens are Mahindra Marazzo, Maruti Suzuki XL6, MG Astor, Hyundai Creta, Honda City, Mahindra Scorpio Classic, KIA Seltos, Toyota Urban Cruiser HyRyder, Force Gurkha, Skoda Slavia.

Which car is best seller of Kia? ›

Kia Motors Car Sales Worldwide by Global Region in 2022

By model, the Sportage SUV topped the 2022 global sales ranking with 452,068 units, followed by the Seltos SUV with 310,418 units and the Sorento SUV with 222,570 units.

What country is Kia Carens from? ›

Kia Carens recently made its world premiere in India. It will be the fourth product from the South Korean carmaker for the Indian market after Seltos, Sonet, and Carnival.

Where is Kia Carens made? ›

New Delhi: Kia India has rolled out Carens from its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, the company reported today.

Which is better between Hyundai and Kia? ›

The Kia Advantage

So, the verdict is in – while Kia and Hyundai offer similar vehicles, Kia models offer better value and better quality, with bolder styling and a more dynamic driving experience. Simply put, Kia vehicles are all-around better vehicles, no matter what you value most in your car.

What is the star rating of Kia Carens 7 seater? ›

10.45 - 18.95 Lakh. It is available in 21 variants, with engine options ranging from 1482 to 1497 cc and a choice of 3 transmissions: Manual, Clutchless Manual (IMT) and Automatic. Carens has an NCAP rating of 3 stars and comes with 6 airbags. Kia Carens has a ground clearance of 195 mm and is available in 8 colours.


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