by Daniel DeGasperi

The all-new Kia Rondo will launch locally in May 2013 with a 1.7-litre turbo diesel engine, in addition to a more powerful 2.0-litre petrol engine.

The Kia Rondo‘s turbo diesel engine, shared with the Hyundai i40, produces 100kW of power and 330Nm of torque. The petrol engine, also shared with the i40, is a direct injection unit producing 130kW and 211Nm, significantly up on the 106kW and 189Nm of the outgoing, non-direct-injected 2.0-litre Rondo.

Both petrol and diesel engines mate with a six-speed automatic transmission.


Currently a slow-selling model, Kia Australia PR manager Kevin Hepworth hints that volumes may grow with the new model – known as the Carens in some markets.

“It [the new Rondo] looks like a large five-door hatch. It doesn’t drive around screaming ‘look at me, I’ve got kids coming out of my ears’.

“Marketed properly and not dismissed out of hand because it is a small people mover … it could be a very interesting car for Australia.”


The new Kia Rondo will be “priced off the current Rondo”, which means between $26-32K for the petrol models. It is expected that the diesel surcharge will be $3000 in line with the premium between Sportage petrol and diesel models.

The Rondo won’t, however, mark the start of an expansion of a diesel-engined Kia passenger car line-up. According to the Kia PR boss, the prospects of the Cerato (pictured below) and Optima scoring a turbo diesel engine in the near future are slim, despite diesel engines being fairly popular in their Hyundai i30 and i40 equivalent rivals.

While Hepworth says that “diesel engines in passenger cars is a discussion and will [continue to] be a discussion” he cautions that “a lot of it [the decision] comes down to availability … diesel is the least available of the engines around.”

Kia Cerato

Kia Australia is allocated a certain number of diesels per year, and according to the PR boss, the Sportage and Sorento SUV models already strain that supply.

If Kia’s diesel passenger car range was expanded, Hepworth says that “I would think the five-door [Cerato hatch] would be the model to put the diesel into.

“Would it be nice to have one? I suspect it would. [But] you would have to pick your model correctly.”

While the Pro_Cee’d is available with a diesel engine in Europe, Kia Australia will bring only the turbocharged flagship Pro_Cee’d GT to Australia as it is destined as a ‘halo’ car to sit above the Cerato.

Although the Optima – a chance at getting a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine – is available in some markets with the same 1.7-litre turbo diesel engine used in the Hyundai i40 and forthcoming Rondo, Hepworth says “it [diesel] is not a point of discussion as far as I’m aware of”.

  • Matt

    Actually looks ok. Nice one Kia.

  • Galaxy

    Looks promising and ticks all the right boxes for specs, design.

  • 42 = The Answer

    An alternative to the Honda

    • Resident

      Doubt it – practicality issues with the size mean it is really a 5 +2 scenario. The current Rondo never set the sales charts on fire. Hopefully the new one will do better…

  • LowRezFez

    A decent effort from Kia. A good alternative to RA4 sized SUV. The other pluses are 12 month service intervals, timing chain, 5 year warranty, the petrol runs on 91 RON fuel, so running costs should be resonable. I’d avoid the diesel as it has a DPF and has a spare parts cost of an eye watering $7,000!

    • $29896495

      Very good points.

    • Zaccy16

      i agree, looks alot better than the last gen

  • JP

    Model for model, Kias outclass Hyundai. It shows the european styling influence, but why are korean car makers obsessed with the vertical central air vents on their dashes?

    • Sumpguard

      “but why are korean car makers obsessed with the vertical central air vents on their dashes?”

            More to the point why are you?  They are just vents ffs.

    • Zaccy16

      i agree, those airvents don’t fit in with the rest of the interior

  • JP

    Because they all look the same, & I appreciate variety from different car makers. That’s why.

    No innovation, just blindly copying the others.

    The actual point is, I’m entitled to my opinion.

    • Sumpguard

      Kia are now producing some of the best looking vehicles on our roads and their outer designs  are a copy of NOTHING yet you find fault in vertical air vents?  Get over yourself numpty.

         Subaru use them, so do ford in their Kluga and Jeep in their Cherokee. Just to name a few. All stand alone brands so who copied who? Or are they all just smart enough to realise it allows them to raise the Sat Nav so you don’t have to look down away from the road?


      • JP

        You still can’t comprehend that someone can have a different opinion.

        I don’t like that particular dash styling in Kias, nor in the others you mentioned.

        I don’t have to get over myself; I can express this opinion, even if you don’t agree.

        Why are you so insistant that only your opinion is valid?
        What do you achieve by trying to shout down anyone who doesn’t agree with you?

        The way you react, it’s as if your personally designed them, & I’ve slighted you.

        Maybe you should get over YOURSELF, Humpty Dumpty.

        Bye Bye

        • Sumpguard

          You seem uptight.

          • JP

            Nah! :-)


        • Hgf

          “just blindly copying the others” is not an opinion. It’s a statement that could be refuted by evidence.

          • JP

            That’s just you’re opinion. :-)

            This is a car site, not a disection in grammar.

          • Hgf

            No, it’s not a ‘disection’ (sic) in grammar, but it in no way means logic must go out the window.

          • 451

            LOL JP just keep your air vents closed

      • Don Quay

        The Ford is a Kuga. “Kluger”, note the spelling, is a Toyota.

        Who’s the numpty?

        • Sumpguard

          Kuga, Kluga , Beluga. Makes no difference to me as the vehicle will never be on my shopping list though you did rush out to defend it. In the market? Finally upgrading from your 45 year old Kombi Van?

    • bd

      If Kia is “blindly copyimg” others when why do designers continually award Kia design awards (more design awards than any mainstream brand over the past 3 years)?

      • JP

        Was just relating it to the very similar vent treatment in many cars lately.
        There are many with them out there, including many recent GM cars, that are out on the market already.

        This is a new Kia dash, & they’ve copied what’s already out there.

        I quite like their exterior styling, & my father owns a current Cerato hatch.

        (Interior very similar to a Golf, syling-wise)

        As per my original comment, model for model, Kia looks better to my eye than the Hyundai version.

        • $29896495

          True about the comparison. but as for the dash, it is hard to make it different when you have to have the same things as everyone else. I think they’ve done a pretty nice job. the new Cerato dash reminds me of a 93 Civic. As i liked that dash, I don’t have a problem with it.

  • Boiboi

    On the car that size, the 3rd row seats must be for the smurfs.

  • bd

    One has to wonder why the Rondo gets a nice looking dash (as well as the cee’d) while the new Cerato gets one that looks like it was pulled out of the ’80s.

  • Pmmcarblogs

    Good to hear that the new model will have a decent engine or two. The old one was always underpowered. As to the styling, it’s a little disappointing after hints that it might be a little sleeker. The photos here manage to make it look a little portly.

    • $29896495

      It is a people mover.

  • Ann Urch

    disappointed regards the no diesel for the Optima – another car off the list of possibles :-)