Make / Model Search

Kia - Carens

Latest articles for Kia Carens

Kia Carens


Make: Kia

Model: Carens

Released: Jan 1970

Discontinued: Dec 2001

Kia logo1 Jul 2000


KIA tried to crack the nascent ‘space hatch’ segment with the oddly named Carens, a small front-wheel drive hatchback with extra seating versatility.

It features the Kia Shuma/Mentor/Spectra small-car's platform, suspension and Mazda-derived 81kW/152Nm 1.8-litre twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder engine tied to a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual gearbox.

Inside there is seating for six in a 2-2-2 formation, thanks to a tall body and upright seats that liberate the necessary space.

But despite easy access to the cabin, there is no split fold on the strictly kids-only third row seat. And with that third row in place there is very little luggage space, so if you need to carry items then the Carens inconveniently turns into a four-seater.

Equipment levels include a driver’s airbag, air-conditioning, CD audio, power windows, mirrors and steering, a luggage blind and boot-sited power socket, but no central locking, outside latch for the rear hatch, anti-lock brakes (ABS) or a front-passenger airbag.

Performance is leisurely due to the Caren’s substantial weight for a small engine six-seater – 1315kg – while noise levels, not only from the engine, but also from wind, road and suspension, can also be intrusive as speeds rise.

But, despite a low price and good storage areas, the Carens was not a sales success, with Kia withdrawing it in Australia just 18 months after launch.


Latest reviews

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here