Kia's all-new seven-seat Rondo is now in Australia, priced from $29,990 plus on-roads.
The new Rondo replaces an unloved compact people-mover that struggled for the attention of the market, leaving the top-selling Grand Carnival as the oldest model in the brand's local range.
And, while the compact people-mover market barely exists in Australia, Kia reckons the new Rondo will hit the mark for those looking for more seats, without a large footprint.
“For Australia, the segment is much smaller [than in Europe], but in the new Rondo we believe we have a car that will give a viable and attractive option to those who have a need for extra seating but do not wish to drive an SUV," Kia Australia COO Tony Barlow said.
In Australia, the Rondo will be offered with two engines, one petrol and one diesel, both mated to a six-speed automatic - replacing the four-speed unit in the older model.
Three trim grades will be available depending on engine choice, from the familiar Si entry model, to the mid-range SLi and the top-shelf Platinum.
In petrol form, the Rondo gets Kia's 122kW and 213Nm 2.0 litre GDI four-cylinder engine. Fuel consumption on the combined cycle is listed at 7.9 l/100km.
The diesel Rondo gets a 1.7 litre four-cylinder engine, offering 100kW and 320Nm of torque, the latter available from 1750 to 2500rpm.
Fuel consumption with the diesel model is listed at 6.4 l/100km.
All models are equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission, and optional paddle shifters are available with both engines in SLi and Platinum models.
The suspension package in the new Rondo sees a switch at the rear from a multi-link setup to a couped torsion beam axle (CTBA), while the front gets MacPherson struts mounted to an all-new subframe.
Kia says the CTBA setup at the rear has been engineered to reduce under-steer and bump-steer, while ensuring a comfortable and compliant ride.
Braking is managed by 300mm ventilated discs at the front and 284mm solid discs at the rear, along with BS anti-lock, electronic brake force distribution and BAS emergency ‘brake assist’ systems.
Standard features with the entry Si model include 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, trip computer, six-speaker audio system with MP3 compatible CD players, 4.3-inch touch control screen, Bluetooth with media streaming and steering wheel-mounted controls, manual air-conditioning, remote central locking and 6-way driver’s seat adjustment.
There's also split-fold second row seats, split fold third row seats, heated electric folding mirrors, electric windows and tinted glass, six cup holders and four bottle holders, and luggage screen with under floor storage.
Moving up to the SLi adds 17-inch alloys, front parking sensors, LED daylight running lamps, leather trim seats, 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters and a 4.2-inch colour TFT instrument cluster.
There's also auto up-down on all windows, dual-zone climate control, fold flat front passenger seat, outside side mirror-mounted indicators, puddle light on side mirrors, roof rails and tinted windows.
Go for the top Platinum and you'll get 18-inch alloys, an electronic parking brake, smart key with push button start, HID headlamps with washers, LED rear combination lamps, panoramic sunroof, second row side window curtain blind, cooling glovebox, satellite navigation with 7-inch full touch screen, climate controlled front seats and heated steering wheel.
Safety features include ABS with EBD and BA; ESC with traction control, VSM (vehicle stability management), HAC (hill assist control), reverse parking sensors, rear view camera, static cornering lamps, three-point ELR seatbelts for all passengers.
There is also six airbags, front seatbelt pre-tensioners and impact-sensing auto door unlock.
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.
Up to 1650 litres of cargo can be carried when only the front seats are occupied. By folding the front passenger seat backrest down, objects up to 2150 mm long can be accommodated.
Kia says the switch to a CTBA suspension setup at the rear has contributed to freeing up 17 percent more storage space. The change has also reduced wheel arch intrusion, widening the boot floor by 67mm to 1080mm.
The cargo bay is overall 24mm longer (999mm) than in the old model, and 48mm taller (499mm to the window), while the top of the rear bumper has been made 15mm lower.
At the front, glove box capacity is up 23 percent (to eight litres), centre console capacity is up 84 percent (to 4.8 litres), and the small console tray (ahead of the gear selector) holds 1.3 litres. Two large cupholders are fitted front and rear.
In the back, two new underfloor storage trays (in the second row foot wells) each have a 6.8-litre capacity. New storage pockets in each door can hold one litre (front) and 600ml (rear) bottles.
Pricing (excludes on-road costs)
- Si - $29,990
- SLi - $33,990
- Platinum - $38,990
- Si - $32,490
- SLi - $36,490