The Korean manufacturer began to produce a compact MPV under Kia Carens name in 1999. The Kia Carens was equipped with 2.0-liter and 1.8-liter engine. 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic transmissions were available for both engines. The wheelbase of the Carens measured in at 101 inches, the length at 175 inches, the width at 68 inches, and the height at 63 inches. The Kia Carens was worldwide marketed under the various nameplates. In North America, the car is named the Kia Rondo. This name derives from the musical term Rondo, which means "to return" and indicates the original theme return. The Rondo is not exactly a new concept, it is a return to the original Kia ?arens, which lasted 2000-2002. Rondo is simply the new Carens. The new name gives the car a new start on the automotive market.
The Kia Rondo debuted at the 2007 International Auto Show in Los Angeles. The 2007 model year vehicle made an impression and exceeded the planned sales amounts. The Kia Rondo is based on an Optima platform. A compact crossover competes with the slightly longer Mazda 5. The Rondo is available either as a 5-passenger car or optional 7-passenger vehicle. The Kia Rondo is equipped with the 2.4LV4 engine producing 175 horsepower. The 2.7LV6 engine producing 192 horsepower comes as an option. 5-speed and 4-speed automatic transmissions are available. No manual transmission is available. The sliding door is replaced with conventional rear passenger door. Two trim levels are offered: the base LX and the sportier EX. The standard features include front and rear side airbags, 16-inch alloy wheels in LX trim and 17-inch alloy wheels in EX trim, 4-wheel disc brakes, air conditioning, electronic stability control, ABS. The optional features included the leather interior, front seats heating and cruise control. The 2008 Rondo earns four and five stars in crash tests. It also comes with Kia's 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.
Although in America the 2007 model cars were rapidly sold exceeding the sales plans, the 2009 model year sales were in decline. Therefore, in 2010 the Kia discontinued the Rondo in United States, and offered the new 2011 Sportage. However the 2011 Kia Rondo was face-lifted, furnishing Kia's new grille, and went on sale in Canada because of the better sales there. The 2010 Kia Rondo comes in LX and EX trim levels, each with a choice of 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder powerplant. The engines range includes 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 175 horsepower, provided with a 4-speed automatic transmission, and 2.7-liter 6-cylinder engine with rated power of 192 horsepower and a 5-speed automatic transmission. The Rondo parts received some changes, including standard 7-passenger seating due to a split-folding 3rd-row bench. Safety features include traction control, anti-skid system, ABS front-side and curtain-side airbags. All models come with power windows, locks, and mirrors. 2010 Rondo, has been selected as 2010 Consumer Guide Automotive Recommended Vehicles.
The Kia Rondo has a reputation as one of the best performing compact SUVs on the market today. Period. It is designed and packaged to present all of the maneuverability that a compact is capable of, but its clever interior layout and cargo capacity is what really does the trick. Smooth performance and acceleration, the Rondo zips past the competition with relative ease, effortlessly outgunning nearly every model in its class. To top it off, its sleek stylized exterior parts sweep you off your feet with angular delight, further affirming its status as a vehicular fashion plate.
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