It goes a Rondo
The ugly duckling of Kia’s cool family gets the Cinderella touch
FAMILIES in need of a compact seven-seater that’s not an SUV have had a choice of one and Kia’s Rondo hasn’t been much choice at all.
The stolid and practical people-mover is undergoing a transformation that will result in a new model by April. Sitting on a new platform, the Rondo brings an increase in cabin space, a decrease in fuel use and a big boost in the style stakes.
I don’t think this can be considered a permanent sevenseater,’’ Kia Australia spokesman Kevin Hepworth says. But it certainly is capable of seating up to seven and it has a very flexible and roomy interior. It’s styled and engineered for buyers who want all the versatility and space of an SUV, but don’t want to be seen in an SUV.’’
The third-generation of the Rondo— the first model came here as the Carens— will probably retain its 2.0-litre engine and manual and auto transmission choices and $26,000-$32,000 price range. It debuts at this month’s Paris motor show along with Kia’s Optima Hybrid (which will not coming to Australia) and the new Sorento SUV (which will).
The Sorento, due here early next month, won’t follow the lead of parent company Hyundai, which released its closely related Santa Fe last week. The Sorento comes with the option of a 3.5-litre petrol V6 and and a front-wheel drive version, neither of which are available in the Hyundai, though both models have a 2.2-litre turbo diesel.
Hepworth says a 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol model is under consideration. This 145kW direct-injection engine is also fitted to the Optima sedan.
Flexible: Kia’s thirdgeneration Rondo gets a boost in the style stakes and can fit seven