The Rondo enjoyed decent European sales, so it has been redesigned specifically for that market, with no mention of whether or not it will come back to the States. With the Rondo looking dated in the lineup, the Carens looks to keep the small MPV from Kia fresh and relevant.
The front end gets a new prominent grille, LED headlights, and a sloping roof line which adds to the slick design. The wheel base grows a little in length compared to the Rondo, but overall the Carens is a smaller vehicle, height and width wise.
Three engines have been announced for the European market, starting with a 1.6-liter that makes 135 hp, a 2.0-liter that makes 177 hp, and finally a diesel option that makes 115 hp. All engines are mated to a standard six-speed manual gearbox, another tip off that this vehicle is not likely destined for America.
“The new Carens builds on the family-friendly versatility and functionality of its predecessor, and features more athletic and visually dynamic design,” says Hyoung-Keun Lee, CEO of Kia Motors Corporation. “This marks a dramatic shift forward for our MPV contender and brings the model in line with Kia’s distinctive current design direction.”
The Carens looks to challenge the Mazda 5, which goes almost unchallenged in its segment.