Programmed to make its live debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show next week, the 2017 Kia Carens / Rondo is just as spacious as it was before. But compared to the pre-facelift, the South Korean manufacturer has upped the ante with “quality materials and trim options,” among other upgrades.
First, there’s the exterior design. The more modern bumper with revised fog lamps are complemented by a tiger-nose grille with a polished chrome surround. It’s a little too blingy for my taste in MPVs, but then again, the facelift took a few years off the Carens’ face. Exterior updates also include a new paint finish (Mysterious Blue) and three types of alloy wheels, ranging from 16 to 18 inches. New combination lamps complete the visual makeover.
Once you hop inside, you’ll spot that the seven-seater multi-purpose vehicle now boasts new upholstery. Available in cloth with a knit pattern or leather with a diamond-woven pattern, the cabin is further beautified by metallic accents. Unfortunately, gloss black accents also abound, translating into a magnet for dust and fingerprints. The dashboard also gets carbon fiber-effect trim, which is a bit unusual for a vehicle designed to haul kids around.
When it comes down to infotainment solutions, the Carens / Rondo can be had with either a 7- or 8-inch system. Kia Connected Services, TomTom satellite navigation, rearview parking camera, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are the highlights of this vehicle’s touchscreen infotainment system.
When it goes on sale in Europe in late 2016, the 2017 Kia Carens family hauler will also add a new model to the range. Dubbed Eco Pack, this optional extra has been developed around the 1.7-liter turbo diesel engine with 114 horsepower on tap. Thanks to Idle Stop/Go, low resistance tires from Michelin, and revised gear ratios, the Eco Pack model emits as little as 109 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer when paired to the 6-speed manual.
Expect complete specifications, as well as pricing, in due time.
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