Kia’s tack may have altered since the previous Carens appeared with a sub-£20k sticker on its bonnet, but it hasn’t lost its knack for locating a sweet spot in the market.
Larger MPVs command substantial values, and even the more compact models can be catapulted towards substantially higher values with the right (or wrong) ticks. The Carens deliberately appears at the lower end of this morass (which includes the Ford Grand C-Max and successfully facelifted Toyota Verso) when measured on a like-for-like basis.
It's worth paying the price premium for the 2 grade, however, due to the niceties it adds such as dual-zone climate and parking sensors.
Level 3 is for drivers who want everything, from a heated steering wheel to other luxuries such as full leather, a 10-way powered driver's seat, a panoramic sunroof and a reversing camera.
The familiar Kia seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty is standard and fully transferrable, while buyers can also pre-pay for Kia Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages that give cover for three and five years respectively.
So while the Kia Carens is priced alongside much of its opposition, owners have the benefit of knowing the likely running costs up front. Measured against the household names, however, the Carens (blighted by its past record, no doubt) is expected to lose a higher percentage of its price tag three years down the line.