HOW ABOUT A KOREAN AUTOMAKER that caters to budget-minded consumers? In fact, the company’s vehicles are priced below competing models and typically represent a good value when taking into consideration their high feature content. Such is the case with the Carens from Kia Motors as it combines the essential qualities of a sedan with the space and practicality of a mini MPV. Like most Hyundai/Kia CRDis, the Carens is smooth, more like a gasoline-powered car parts vehicle than the breathless diesels in some of the competition. While most people may look at the Carens as a compact minivan; Korean automaker Kia thinks that it is as a crossover utility vehicle. No matter how you may want to view or classify it; what it does though is offer much of the flexibility and passenger-hauling abilities of a larger minivan in a not-so-mini size. Powered by today’s modern Common-Rail Diesel technology, the all new Carens does all of the above and more. The CRDi engine provides enough power, but as is the case with most diesel, this delivers a lots of torque at 225 foot pounds; that’s enough pulling power for the compact MPV with 7 bodies inside. The interior is well designed and thought out, with plastics that have a quality feel about them and a black dash on beige interior as color combinations. It’s surprisingly spacious considering its size as the Carens features 7 seats; enough for the average family and with some luggage space left over or more should the rear seats are folded down.