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Kia Carens (13 on) - rated 4 out of 5

The Kia Carens is a people carrier first offered on sale in 2000 by the Korean company.

It was certainly cheap to buy, has proved reliable and has a good sized boot, but this is a very competitive market and its rivals had a much stronger package. For instance, the Volkswagen Touran and Vauxhall Zafira were more refined and had a much more versatile interior, better suited to young families.

In 2006 Kia wheeled out a much more compelling offer with the all new Carens. It was available with seven seats, had plenty of kit as standard and had been designed with the needs of young families in mind.

It was now less a budget choice and more a genuine alternative to mainstream rivals. It was comfortable, the interior was well built and the flexible seating could be folded flat in the rear for a large load area. Okay the design wasn’t exactly cutting edge but the Kia Carens ticked a lot of boxes.