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by Tim Beissmann

Kia has released sketches of the all-new Kia Rondo MPV, giving us our first look at the South Korean brand’s sleek new compact people mover.

Based on Kia’s past premieres, the production version of the seven-seat Rondo is expected to closely resemble the sketches when it debuts at the 2012 Paris motor show on September 27.

The 2013 Kia Rondo sketches come hot on the heels of similar images of the all-new Kia Cerato sedan, which will be unveiled at the 2012 Los Angeles motor show in November ahead of its anticipated Australian launch in April/May 2013.

The Rondo is one of the last models in Kia’s global line-up to be completely redesigned under the watchful eye of design chief Peter Schreyer. Like the Optima, Sportage, Rio and others, the Rondo incorporates the brand’s signature ‘tiger nose’ grille, swept-back headlights, and clean-cut lines for a sharp, purposeful appearance.

Kia says the all-new Rondo has been designed around the theme of ‘responsive space’, seeking to combine emotional appeal with spacious functionality and sporty looks. The wheelbase is longer, creating more interior space, while larger wheels and a lower roofline contribute to a sleeker overall look.

The fourth-generation Rondo – the first-gen model was sold in Australia as the Carens, and the second-gen model never came here – is set to arrive in Australia in 2013, landing in local showrooms around five years after the current model’s launch in April 2008.

Kia will be hoping the new model can take a leap forward from the modest achievements of the current Rondo, which has racked up just 183 sales so far this year. The Rondo’s big brother, the larger Kia Carnival, dominates the people mover segment with a 34 per cent share of the market.




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