LOS ANGELES – Kia Motors America says its ’07 Rondo multipurpose vehicle will base at $16,395 for an entry-level model with five seats and a 4-cyl. engine.

The 7-seat version of the Rondo will cost $500 more, the EX trim will run $19,000 and the vehicle will top out at $21,000 fully loaded, the importer says.

The Rondo, as well as a refreshed version of Kia’s large Amanti sedan, was unveiled at the auto show here.

The ’07 Amanti receives the same 3.8L V-6 engine as sister brand Hyundai’s Azera, as well as a new grille, headlamps, 17-in. alloy wheels and dual exhaust.

Inside, the car features a standard 8-way power driver’s seat and chrome door handles, wood trim and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The Amanti’s eight airbags are the most offered as standard equipment by any vehicle in the segment, KMA Chief Operating Officer Len Hunt says.

The Amanti was put on a diet, he points out, with the ’07 model 251 lbs. (114 kg) lighter than the outgoing ’06 car.

Hunt says he doesn’t know whether this new version of the Amanti ultimately will be replaced by a rear-drive model spun from the car Hyundai Motor America will launch in the 2008-2009 timeframe.

Kia wants to sell 30,000 Rondos and about 10,000 Amantis in the U.S. next year.

Meanwhile, Kia is keeping a keen eye on the plug-in hybrid movement.

“We watch it really closely,” Hunt says. “That is an interesting development. Plug-in hybrid is a new facet to the debate. These trends are amazing, because they’re not all that logically based sometimes.”

While Hunt won’t comment on when Kia will offer a hybrid in the U.S., an official earlier told Ward's the auto maker would bring one to market by the end of the decade.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com