Kia Rondo: a mini-MPV for just under $30k; sat nav only on Platinum

The new Kia Rondo encapsulates the change in the brand’s fortunes over the last couple years: the price is up, so too style and quality. This despite the fact that the new Rondo is actually a little bit smaller than previous car.

The new Rondo (known as the Kia Carens in Europe) is available in Australia with two engine choices: a 122kW/213Nm NU 2-litre direct injection petrol and 100kW/320Nm U2 1.7-litre turbo-diesel motor. The only transmission on offer is a 6-speed auto, which, naturally, drives the front wheels. Check out our comparison chart below for more details.

The range kicks off with the A$29,990 SL (A$32,490 for the diesel) which comes as standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, seating for 7 people, reversing camera, air conditioning with vents in the rear, 35/30/35 split-folding second row, 50/50 split-folding back seat, space saver spare wheel, automatic headlights, front and side airbags for passengers up front, curtain airbags, stability and traction control, reverse parking sensors, front and rear fog lights, heated electric folding wing mirrors, cruise control and speed limiter, faux leather steering wheel and gear knob, underfloor storage area in the second row, and four 12V outlets.

As far audio goes, the SL has a 6-speaker stereo driven by a 4.3-inch touchscreen and steering wheel audio controls, as well as a USB port, auxiliary jack, CD slot, AM/FM radio and Bluetooth.

Step up to the A$33,990 SLi (A$36,490 for the diesel version) and you’ll gain 17-inch alloys, front parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, auto dimming rear view mirror, indicators in the wing mirrors, LED daytime running lights, leathers, 10-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat, fold flat front passenger’s seat, dark grille and chrome exterior highlights, puddle lights, roof rails, rain sensing wipers, tinted rear windows, paddle shifters, a 4.2-inch colour trip computer LCD in the instrument panel, auto up/down electric windows for all doors, piano black interior trim, and fold-up tables for the second row.

At the top of the Rondo tree is the A$38,990 Platinum (petrol only), which has 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, LED tail-lights, proximity entry key, push button start, blinds for the second row, ambient interior lighting, built-in LED torch, chilled glove box, heated and cooled front seats, and a heated steering wheel. The audio system is upgraded with a 7-inch touchscreen, sat nav, external amp and a subwoofer.

Power and fuel economy

  NU Petrol U2 Diesel
Availability SL, SLi, Platinum SL, SLi
Displacement 2-litre 1.7-litre
Turbo No Yes
Direct injection Yes Yes (common rail)
Transmission 6-speed auto 6-speed auto
Power 122kW 100kW
Torque 213Nm 320Nm
Fuel economy
City 10.6L/100km 8.2L/100km
Highway 6.3L/100km 5.4L/100km
Combined 7.9L/100km 6.4L/100km
CO2 emissions
City 246g/km 217g/km
Highway 148g/km 143g/km
Combined 184g/km 170g/km

Dimensions and weight

Length: 4,525mm (-20mm compared to previous Rondo)
Width: 1,805mm (-15mm)
Height: 1,610mm (-40mm)
Wheelbase: 2,750mm (+50mm)
Weight: 1,546kg – 1,652kg

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Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]