With the 2012 Paris Motor Show starting next week, the flood gates have opened, giving us details on many of the upcoming models to be revealed. This morning, we have news of the all-new 2013 Kia Carens people mover.
Never heard of the Kia Carens? You probably know it as the Rondo, which is what Kia sold it as in the U.S. from 2007 to 2010. Despite efficiently packaging three rows of seating in a compact people mover, the Rondo never really took off in the States and left the compact MPV market to the Mazda 5.
Kia has yet to detail much about the new Carens, but we do know that it will moved off of the platform shared by the Optima and Hyundai Sonata sedans and onto an all-new one. Autocar reports that the platform is actually the one that debuted under the new C'eed hatchback earlier this year, which would make sense given the Carens' C-segment size.
The outgoing Carens was also the only remaining model in Kia's lineup that hadn't been touched by head designer Peter Schreyer. The new Carens falls right in line with the rest of Kia's lineup, complete with the so-called tiger grille, aggressive headlights, and sharp character line. The cabin has made a giant leap forward, too – gone are the cheap-looking plastics, replaced by slick-looking piano-black trim, bright gauges, and a raft of newly available technology like Bluetooth and navigation. Kia will again offer the Carens with up to seven seats.
According to Autocar, the new Carens will also serve as a replacement for the recently-departed Sedona minivan. We couldn't reach Kia for comment as to whether the Carens would fill the spot of the Sedona, and whether we would receive a new Rondo on our shores.
Expect the 2013 Kia Carens to go head-to-head with the Mazda 5, Ford Grand C-Max, and Toyota Verso when it goes on sale in Europe. The new Carens will make its debut next week at the Paris Motor Show alongside the new Pro_C'eed hatchback and facelifted Sorento SUV.
Sources: Kia, Autocar