My 2003 Kia Carens 1.8LX was brought 2nd hand last year from an independent car trader. I was looking for something that was reasonably modern,well equipped,well serviced and reasonably low milage, oh yes and.......CHEAP!
Having heard that a Kia might fit the bill I began an internet search of relevant databases. I at first Settled on the Kia Rio but after three disapointing trials(found it to be to basic, small and noisey) I noticed a local dealer selling a Carens 1.8 LX ,one owner,55000 miles,full service history and the photos had me salivating nearly as much as the price £1900 pounds!
One quick examination and test drive later, I was the proud owner of said vehicle.Now one year on I can honestly say,even with some small niggles(what do you want for £1900!), it has been one of the best buys of my life.
Good things include:All round disc brakes, full air conditioning,rear and front fog lights, electric mirrors,multi-adjustable front seats, ice clearing for mirrors,front courtesy lights for both sides,adjustable steering wheel, seats five comfortably, when seats folded down the boot will take a full sized fridge freezer with room to spare (took mine to the tip in it!), mobile phone charger in rear of vehicle and my favourite is the overhead spectacles storage area for the driver. It has never failed to start-YET!
Bad things include: Heavier on fuel than I would like but no worse than my old clapped out Escort(35mpg average).Similar insurance costs to the escort of £230 per year fully comp (I am 44 and full NCD).The only parts I've had to fit so far are two tyres (£50 each). It tends roll a bit on corners so no good for boy racers, which is good 'cause if your image matters this is not the car for you!(The lads at work call mind the "Johnny Cab"!)The ABS is a bit noisy, the first time it came into play I thought the front brake pads needed changing!Changing the headlight bulb is ...interesting, you have too remove the complete unit, but it is pretty simple to do once you've worked it out, two bolts undo the spring clip and its done. Tax is quite hefty as it drops into the £210 pounds a year bracket. It is due for MOT next month and apart from some wear on the front brake discs there appears to be little to worry about.
Summary:For me this car has provided me with a decent level of comfort, space and reliability for minimum outlay. I am really happy with the car and when this on goes I would definitly look to buy another,second hand only as they depriciate fairly rapidly, although I have noticed though that for some bizzare reason similar cars to mine are now going for more than I paid for mine a year ago! So search carefully and if you want a Porsche please buy one of those or you will be dissapointed.