New Kia Rondo makes North-American debut in Toronto

2014 Rondo multipurpose vehicle revealed at Canadian International Auto Show

Published: February 15, 2013, 11:00 PM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 3:24 PM

2014 Kia Rondo

Kia Canada hosted the North-American premiere of the all-new 2014 Kia Rondo at the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) in Toronto this week.

The Rondo made its world premiere at the Paris auto show last September, but under the name Carens, which is what it's called in Europe.

The Carens fits neatly in the increasingly-popular MPV class in Europe, which encompasses vehicles that seem to be a cross between a station wagon and a minivan.

There's no such category here, but the Rondo is similar in concept to a Mazda5, albeit smaller, with nominal seating for either five or seven.

Kia Canada calls it an urban utility vehicle, saying it's in a segment of its own, with world-class design, European-inspired high-grade interior and a continuation of the versatility and flexibility that Canadians appreciate.

It does have a sleek and sculpted new design that is a dramatic shift away from the look of its predecessor. "I wanted to give the new Rondo a sleeker look and feel, to create a design that envelops its functionality and versatility in something altogether more athletic and dynamic," says Peter Schreyer, Kia's chief of design (and recently-appointed company president).

There's also a new 2.0-litre, gasoline direct injection (GDI) four-cylinder engine, generating an estimated 164 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque. It cinects to a six-speed transmission, either manual or optional automatic

The new automatic is said to provide faster acceleration from low speeds and feature greater refinement at high speeds.

Increasing the luxury quotient inside, leather upholstery is available, as is a panoramic sunroof. The second- and third-row seats can both be folded completely flat, enabling a variety of seating configurations and cargo options.

All models feature a tilt-and-telescopic adjustable steering wheel, height -adjustable driver's seat and an organ-style accelerator pedal that pivots on the floor to match the natural movement of a foot engaging the pedal.

Other standard features includes air conditioning, second-row heating and cooling air vents, power windows, heated front seats, a six speaker audio system and keyless entry with power locks.

Also available are a heated steering wheel, heated front and second row seating, cooled ventilated driver seat, automatic dual-zone climate control, 10-way power driver's seat, a large TFT LCD screen, parking sensors, a rear-view camera and integrated side window blinds.