Teaser images of the Euro-market Kia Carens have been released in advance of the MPV’s Paris auto show debut. The previous-generation Carens was sold in the U.S. as the Kia Rondo, which was dropped from the U.S. lineup in 2011.
The teaser images reveal the Optima and Rio styling influences we noticed when a Carens tester was spied in Michigan earlier this month. The headlights, which feature a sleek, swept-back design similar to that of the Optima, flank Kia’s characteristic “tiger nose” grille. In back, the Carens gets a rear hatch with angular, horizontal taillights. Kia says the roofline is lower compared to the previous generation, and that the wheels on the new Carens are larger. Though it’s not easy to tell from the teaser images, a chrome beltline accent runs along the bottom of the windows. Kia’s mini-minivan was built around the theme “dynamic space,” according to the automaker, and is meant to combine a bold exterior look with a functional interior space.
The Kia Carens is unlikely to make it stateside, as the compact MPV segment is dwindling in the U.S. That segment includes the Mazda5, which has dipped significantly in sales this year, and the upcoming Ford C-Max. Still, we can’t help but wonder if Kia should give the Rondo nameplate another chance with the new, less frumpy Carens/Rondo design.
The Kia Carens will be fully unveiled at the Paris Motor Show on September 27.