2007 Kia Carens / Rondo MPV

While the 2007 Kia Carens (also known as Rondo on certain markets) will not stun you with refined styling or expensive materials decorating its interior, the new people carrier seems to offer a nice combination of a comfortable interior with all the necessary amenities, and an easily recognizable exterior that, after you look at it for a minute, doesn’t look that ugly after all.

The 2007 Kia Carens / Rondo compact multi-purpose vehicle is just a trifle longer than 4.5 meters and features a decent wheelbase of 2700 millimeters (106.3 inches) that not only makes the interior of the car a bit roomier, but also allows for easier access into the vehicle through the rear doors. Although the car was created specifically for the European market, it will possibly soon go on sale in the United States and Australia as Kia Rondo.

2007 Kia Carens / Rondo MPV introduced in Madrid
2007 Kia Carens / Rondo

In Europe, the 2007 Kia Carens will go on sale later this summer and will target a wide group of potential owners.

According to the Korean car manufacturer, the second generation 2007 Kia Carens / Rondo will come in two trims that will seat five and seven passengers respectively.

Although the third row of seats in the latter will be as practical as those on mid-sized seven-seat SUVs, they will still be useful if, from time to time, you have to transport two families of adults with their couple of kids.

2007 Kia Carens / Rondo MPV (rear view)

Both versions will feature the same European-style large head-lights, twin-bar grille that seems to look more stylish than that on the last year’s Spectra sedan, and a brutal front bumper that can feature either additional air-intakes (which is quite a good thing, albeit not completely necessary: nothing looks cheaper than fog light niches that are simply covered by pieces of unpainted plastic) or fog lamps.

All in all, the 2nd-gen vehicle looks like an evolution of the facelifted first-generation Carens that was introduced in 2002 and has been recently discontinued.

While the new MPV will be longer, wider and taller than the current model (4545, 1820 and 1649 millimeters against 4490, 1750 and 1610 millimeters respectively,) it will nevertheless feature better aerodynamics (Cd=0.32 against Cd 0.35 the for older model) that will possibly greatly contribute to its fuel economy rating.

MPV’s upgraded four-cylinder 2.0 CRDi diesel engine comes mated with a six-speed manual transmission and features a variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) and is able to produce 140 horsepower. Not particularly impressive, that, but will surely do the job.

The twin-cam four-cylinder 2.0-litre Theta petrol engine provides the car with 144 ps. It is mated with a five-speed manual gearbox.

Future customers can also order both trims equipped with four-speed automatic transmissions that may look somewhat archaic today when European customers expect a new car to be equipped with a box that sports at least five forward gear ratios.

Kia expects that the new MPV, which is supposed to compete against the Volkswagen Touran, Ford Focus C-MAX, Citroen C4 Picasso and Seat Altea, will come to dealers later this summer.

See also: 2006 Kia Sedona gets five-stars NHTSA safety rating

2007 Kia Carens / Rondo MPV (interior)

Photos: Kia

2007 Kia Carens / Rondo MPV technical specification

Original Retail Price (MSRP): $16,395
Body Type: 5-door van
Layout: front engine + FWD
Engine: 162 hp @ 5800 rpm, 164 lb.-ft. (222 Nm) @ 4250 rpm, 2.4-liter, inline-4
Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic
Top Speed: N/A
0 – 62 mph: N/A
Fuel Economy EPA city / highway / cycle mpg (l/100 km): 21 / 29 (11.2 / 8.1)
Exterior Dimensions (L/W/H/Wheelbase) (inches): 179.0 / 71.7 / 65.0 / 106.3
Ground clearance (inches): 6.1
Track (frt/rr): 62.0 / 61.8
Curb to curb turning circle (feet): 39.6
Curb Weight: 3333 lbs
Coefficient of Drag (Cd): N/A
Seating Capacity: 5 (2/3), 7 (2/3/2) optional for the LX, LX V6, EX and EX V6 models
Cargo capacity (cu ft): 32.2 / 80.1 / 141.5
Payload (max w/ occupants and cargo): N/A
Towing Capacity (max): N/A
Direct Competitors: Buick Terraza, Dodge Caravan, Mazda MPV, Honda Odyssey, 2007 Ford Galaxy MPV