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Rondo joins Kia’s growing five-star list

Five all: Europe’s five-star safety rating for the Kia Rondo is likely to translate into a similar rating here.

Safety tick for seven-seat Rondo from European NCAP crash watchdog

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Kia logo25 Sep 2013

KIA has maintained its clean sweep of five-star safety ratings for its new-generation range, gaining a maximum rating for its new Rondo compact people-mover from the Euro New Car Assessment Program (ENCAP) in Europe, where it is known as the Carens.

Like other fresh Kia models such as Optima, Rio, Cerato, Sportage, Sorento and Soul, the seven-seat Rondo is now likely to earn the same top rating from the Australian NCAP organisation, which frequently adopts the ENCAP judgment.

This leaves the larger but aging Kia Carnival – the long-time people-mover sales champion in Australia – as the only Kia model in the current range not to carry a five-star new-car rating. In Europe, the Carnival was given four stars in 2006, while it has not been rated by the Australian car safety watchdog, except as a used vehicle.

That is likely to change late next year when an all-new Carnival arrives on global markets, sitting on a new platform designed for five-star safety.

Kia’s new family bus is likely to appear first in the United States – the world’s biggest market for such MPVs – at the New York motor show in April, before being rolled out in late 2014.

The all-new Rondo was launched in Australia in June when it gained diesel power – the Hyundai-Kia group’s 1.7-litre unit – for the first time as an alternative to the new 2.0-litre petrol engine.

As expected, the new model has given the nameplate a sales boost in this market, selling about 50 units a month since launch.

This is well short of the top-selling Carnival’s average of about 200 a month, but well up on the previous Rondo’s performance. With four months of new-model sales under its belt, the latest Rondo has already eclipsed last year’s full-year Rondo sales tally of 293.

In the ENCAP crash tests announced today, the five-door Rondo received a high 94 per cent score for adult occupant protection, 76 per cent for child occupant protection, 81 per cent for safety assist equipment, and 64 per cent for pedestrian protection.

Euro NCAP testers awarded the Carens/Rondo maximum point scores for side impact protection against a barrier, child protection for 18-month old infants, front seat whiplash protection and protection for pedestrians’ legs.

Kia Motors Europe marketing and product planning vice-president Benny Oeyen said the ENCAP testing regime had become tougher over the past five years, making it harder to score top marks.

“It is a testament to Kia’s on going commitment to improving vehicle safety that we are able to once again achieve the highest rating with new Carens (Rondo) which has great appeal for families with an active lifestyle who seek both style and practicality,” he said.

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