Mike Stevens | Sep 27, 2012

Kia has revealed new details on its upcoming 2013 Rondo seven-seater at this week's Paris Motor Show.

Expected to join the Australian line-up next year alongside the new Cerato sedan, the Rondo ('Carens' overseas) wears the latest evolution of Kia's new styling language.

The wide 'Tiger Nose' grille dominates the face of the new wagon, flanked by large headlights that take their cues from the European-market Cee'd range.

A tall roofline ensures optimum head-room across all rows, and a tall tailgate and wide rear access portal stands out at the rear.

Inside, the Rondo is treated to an all-black trim, highlighted by a glossy dash and a large centre display screen.

"The new Carens builds on the family-friendly versatility and functionality of its predecessor, and features more athletic and visually dynamic design," Hyoung-Keun Lee, Vice Chairman and CEO of Kia, said.

"This marks a dramatic shift forward for our MPV contender and brings the model in line with Kia’s distinctive current design direction."


Mechanical Package

On the international scene, buyers will be treated to a choice of four engines: two petrol and two diesel, ranging in outputs from 85 to 130kW.

Australian buyers can likely expect the top-shelf 130kW/211Nm 2.0 litre petrol engine, replacing the 106kW engine in the current Rondo range.

With that petrol mill, Kia promises a 0-100km/h time of 9.7 seconds, with a top speed between 181 and 203km/h (depending on load, but we don't expect any families to be pushing the envelope on this one... - Ed).

If a diesel option is locked in, expect to see the new 1.7 litre engine offered, bringing 100kW and 330Nm of torque. It remains to be seen however if this option will make its way to Australia.

Internationally, both engines will be offered with six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, replacing the five-speed manual and four-speed auto options of the current model.

Note: Fuel consumption figures are still to be revealed.

The suspension arrangement includes MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam setup at the rear.

And, like all new Kia models, you can expect the new Rondo to get a localised handling tune before hitting Australian showrooms.


Dimensions and Features

On the outside, the new Rondo is smaller than its predecessor - some 20mm shorter end-to-end and 15mm narrower.

But, thanks to a cleverly designed interior and a 50mm longer wheelbase, Kia says it has liberated more interior space than the outgoing model offered.

There is also a new configurable seating arrangement, offering 492 litres of rear storage with the third row down, and 103 litres when upright.

Depending on specification and market, features will include an electric parking brake, a smart key, engine start/stop button, six-speaker audio with optional amplifier and sub-woofer, puddle lights in the exterior front door handles, and an optional large powered panoramic glass sunroof.



The new Rondo will go on sale in Korea as the Carens early next year, with an Australian debut likely to come in the following months.


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