Meet the Kia Carens, which was shown off a week before its official scheduled debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. The Carens is set to enter the European market, but some people in the United States may feel like they’ve seen it before. If you’re one of those people, don’t panic, you’re not going crazy. In the states, the Carens was called the Rondo, which was on sale here from 2007 to 2010 before being discontinued. While in the states, the Rondo was never able to gain traction, and the Mazda5 had a firm grip on the segment at that time.
Kia isn’t saying much about the Carens yet, but one thing we do know is that it’s no longer based on the Kia Optima sedan. Autocar has discovered that the new Carens is based on the new C’eed hatchback that debuted earlier this year. Until now, the Carens didn’t share any design traits with current Kia model designs. The reason behind this was because Kia head designer hadn’t gotten his hands on the Carens, until now.
The latest interpretation of the Carens now features all of Kia’s current design language and includes the same grille seen across the Korean automaker’s lineup. The cheap feeling interior has been swapped out with piano-black trim and brighter gauges than before. Seating for seven will once again be available. Bluetooth and navigation will also be available on the latest Carens.
The Kia Carens will officially be unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show next week. Stay tuned for all your Paris news as we’ll be reporting from the floor.
Sources: Kia, Autocar