Official press release and features:
2014 Kia Rondo
The 2014 Rondo is a refresh of the model that has been in Kia’s line-up since 1999, while the Cadenza full-size sedan is an all-new addition to the family.
We’ll get to the Cadenza later, but the ’14 Rondo is the car that really turned the heads of the journos on-hand at media preview day in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Aside from the low-volume Sedona minivan, the Rondo “Urban Utility Vehicle” (UUV) was the last vehicle in Kia’s line-up to not have benefited from the firm’s new styling direction. Indeed, the old model was not a sight for sore eyes, looking more like it had been designed with an eye for necessity as opposed to one for any real stylistic interest at all.
The new car, on the other hand, is a vast departure and does well to make use of the new grille shape, available high-intensity discharge headlights (that feature massive lenses) and handsome lines found throughout the line-up.
You’d be hard-pressed to associate the old car with the new one by looking at it from the outside; inside, however, the optional three row seating, broad view out and high seating position from the previous model remain.
It is and has always been a truly unique car, the Rondo, one that has very few direct competitors this side of a Mazda5. Actually, the new car seems to even have a little in common with the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class, a testament to Kia’s awareness of the fact that even for people-movers like the Rondo, styling is important, especially when the vehicle is aimed at young, urban families as the Rondo surely is.
Power comes from a single engine option, and that’s a two-litre, four-cylinder gasoline-direct injection mill that makes 165 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque; that’s slightly more power than what’s made by the Mazda5, but down a little on torque to its Japanese competitor.
Like the 5, however, you’ll be able to spec the Rondo with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission; people moving with a manual ‘box? That’s a rare thing, and a testament to the sporty intentions of the new Rondo. We like.
In addition to the three-row seating (whose second and third rows fold completely flat), the rest of the interior benefits from Schreyer’s touch in the same way many other Kia’s have; nice lighting, quality materials and comfortable seats. The car on display in Toronto was top-spec, but having driven Kias with lower trim levels before, I’m sure the Rondo will do just fine.
Look for the ’14 Rondo to hit dealerships later this year.
- 6 speed manual transmission
- manual air conditioning
- 2nd row heating and cooling vents
- power windows
- heated front seats
- 6 speaker audio system
- keyless entry with power locks
- black cloth
- ESC, HAC, BAS, VSM
- flex-steering (3 settings)
- heated steering wheel
- heated 2nd row seating
- cooled ventilated drivers seat
- auto dual-zone climate control
- 10-way power drivers seat with extendable cushion optimizing thigh support
- supervision instrument cluster
- large LCD screen
- integrated side window blinds
- black or black/beige 2-tone high-grade leather
- rear parking sensors and rear-view camera
- automatic 6 speed transmission