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Mazda MAZDA5, Kia Rondo, Car Comparisons, Car Buying, Wagon
#186 of 859 Comparison article 2
Jul 26, 2007 (2:43 pm)
Odman already posted the link to the following article, but it isn't available anymore. So here it is in its entirety. This is a Canadian article, so remember that the options available in Canada are not exactly the same as in the US.
Mini people-movers go head-to-head: Kia Rondo EX V6 Luxury and Mazda5 GT share many qualities yet are vastly different
May 23, 2007
The Europeans are known as trendsetters. In the automotive world, they have long embraced the diesel engine and, with the cost of motoring being what it is, they prefer smaller, more practical forms of transportation.
In North America, the minivan and seven-seat SUV have been the typical choices for anyone needing to carry more than five people on a sometime/regular basis. The problem is that the minivan paints the driver with a tainted brush (you're a soccer parent) and big SUVs are gas hogs. Now, there are urban-friendly alternatives. Here, the Kia Rondo EX V6 Luxury takes on the Mazda5 GT. Both offer five-plus seating and deliver plenty of cargo space when the third row is not in use.
The Rondo and Mazda5 are strikingly similar, right down to the sharp-edged flashing on the glove-box door, yet they are very different. The biggest similarity is seating - the Mazda5 accommodates six in a 2+2+2 configuration, while the Kia adds a seventh spot to the middle row. Realistically, it is fit only for a child.
Both also deliver plenty of flexibility and cargo capacity. Folding the middle and third rows flat is a simple matter, although the Kia's second-row headrests have to be removed first.
When it comes to actual cargo-carrying capacity, things get a little muddy.
The two companies seem to use different methods to calculate the relative space available. One thing is for sure - with the third row deployed, there is virtually no cargo space in either case. (Take the toothbrush, buy the toothpaste when you get there.)
With the third row down, space more than quadruples. And, with the centre row flat, the Rondo opens up to 73.4 cubic feet. Visually, the Mazda5 matches the available space, although its swoopier roofline might slightly limit overall height.
As for accommodations, both again come very close. In the third row, the Kia has noticeably more legroom, kneeroom and headroom. Mazda also puts a hard plastic trim piece right where your head sits. The 5, however, is slightly more comfortable because the seat sits higher off the floor (270 millimetres versus the Kia's 230 mm).
In the second row, things are much better. First, the seats are comfortable and can be moved fore and aft. With the third row vacant, moving the seat back brings plenty of stretch-out space. When the third row is in use, pulling the middle-row seats forward opens up the third row appreciably.
The Mazda also has a couple of nice touches, including a storage bin under the left middle seat and a handy tray/net under the right. The Kia counters with functional roof rails.
Up front, there is little to split the two. The driving positions are comfortable, visibility is good (both feature triangular windows at the A-pillar, which eliminates what would be a bad blind spot) and the layouts are entirely logical. Both testers also came with air conditioning (a $1,100 option on the Mazda5), decent audio packages and power locks, windows, mirrors and sunroofs. The noticeable difference is manual adjustment for the 5's cloth seats versus the power adjusters for the Kia's heated leather buckets.
Differences are also found in the doors. Kia uses four conventionally hinged doors; Mazda uses sliding rear doors. The difference is subtle but meaningful. On the plus side, the Mazda5 is easier to load when parked in a tight spot. On the downside, the sliding doors hinder access to the third row because the leading edge eats into the entryway.
Unlike larger minivans or SUVs, the Rondo and Mazda5 track a pretty good line through a fast on-ramp. Likewise, there is minimal body roll (both use anti-roll bars front and back) and any understeer exhibited is far enough out so as not to be a nuisance. Both also come with suitably large tires (the Mazda5 GT wears P205/ 50R17s, the Kia 225/50R17s) and anti-lock brakes.
There are bigger differences in the powertrain. The Mazda5 comes with a 2.3-litre four-cylinder and a four-speed manumatic; the Rondo EX V6 is powered by a 2.7-litre V6 that drives a five-speed manumatic (the base Rondo EX comes with a 162-horsepower, 2.4-litre four and a four-speed tranny). The Mazda5 takes 9.3 seconds to reach 100 kilometres per hour and 7.6 seconds to do the 80-to-120-km/h passing move; the Rondo's V6 accomplishes the same thing in 8.2 and 6.1 seconds, respectively.
The difference boils down to the power on tap. The Mazda four delivers 153 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm; the Kia pushes 182 horses and 182 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. The Kia's extra gear accentuates the urgency off the line and is also quieter at highway speeds.
When it comes to fuel economy, it's pretty much a tie. The Mazda5 is rated at 11.2 litres per 100 km in the city and 8.3 L/100 km on the highway; the Rondo is thirstier in town (11.8 L/100 km), but better on the highway (7.9 L/100 km). Again, credit the five-speed box.
As for safety, the Rondo beats the Mazda5 by coming with standard traction and electronic stability control systems - neither is offered on the Mazda5. Both come with front and side seat-mounted airbags, as well as drop-down side curtains and active headrests.
The bottom line
Both these vehicles are very good at what they do. They out-handle any SUV, have rear seats that are actually usable (albeit for a limited period of time), and both are attractively attired and affordably priced. The Mazda5 has the company's rep going for it. The Kia brings more power and better equipment for similar money. As such, my score sheet ranks the Kia Rondo EX V6 ahead of the Mazda5 GT.
#187 of 859 Re: New competition for Mazda5 [vegasrondo]
Jul 28, 2007 (10:44 am)
Just a recap. I rented a Mazda 5 from Hertz for a few days before deciding on the Rondo. When I turned the Mazda 5 in, it had about 15,000 miles on the odometer and gave me a solid 20 MPG for the time I had it. My 4 cylinder Rondo EX has been returning 16 MPG during the height of the Las Vegas summer. My Rondo now has 825 miles on it.
I topped off the tank this AM. It was 87 degrees outside. I then checked the tire air pressure, then drove to the freeway. I put 63.8 highway miles on the car, all but 4 miles at 68 MPH. The cruise control worked great. I then topped off the tank, 2.3 gallons, and my little experiment gave me 27.7 MPG on the highway with the A/C running full tilt. When I got home, the temperature was 91 degrees. The 2007 EPA highway ratings is 29. For 2008 it will be, I think, 27. So I am getting the adjusted EPA MPG, and that is real world MPG. I am real satisfied.
All in all, I am very pleased with the highway mileage of the Rondo. As an extra note, the infinity Stereo, while still being horrid to see the display, does have incredible sound. During my little road trip I listened to Abbey Road (side B) and Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. The sound reproduction and positioning was fantastic.
#188 of 859 Re: New competition for Mazda5 [vegasrondo]
Aug 04, 2007 (4:25 am)
Thanks for the recap vegasrondo. I'm assuming that you are referring to the Beatles soundtracks, right?
You may need to get more tanks calculations to get a good average but to me that sounds like OK mileage. I wouldn't mind a Manual Transmission to get more than that though . I have been able to get 31-34MPG on 70-75MPH 3-4hr trips (including lugagge, 2 passengers and nasty 1hr DC 495 beltway stop-n-go traffic).
#189 of 859 Re: Rondo - One month later [tgahan]
Aug 16, 2007 (6:17 pm)
Can you tell about your experience with the dealer? I visited a dealer and he said the market value for the car (rondo) is 2k higher than the sticker price. It took me time to understand that the price of the vehicle is 19K+2K. I mean you go into Kia expecting to have 2K knocked off right away not added. I know it might be just so he can start the negotiation at a higher figure. I would rather start at 19K and go down instead of 21K. I am in New Jersey. I have seen this market adjustment at some other dealer also and it puts one off. And they want us to be smart and understand this very quickly. Meaning if you do not get it then you are a little behind. Any similar experience you or anyone had. Still trying hard to be dumb and not understand. I know it is difficult to get the real prices paid by others but I do not want to pay more or think that I paid more.
#190 of 859 Re: Rondo - One month later [renu_p]
Aug 16, 2007 (7:54 pm)
If the dealer you bought the Rondo from is the only game in town, then you pay whatever they can get from you. It sounds like the dealer was trying to recoup the rebate as well as add to their profit margin. I find that in Las Vegas dealers that sell multi lines of cars (like Mazda, GMC, Mitsubishi, Kia - which my dealer carries) try to do this a lot less than just a Kia dealer would. A solo make dealer has to try and make as much money as possible on each sale. If you don't buy the car you came in for, they don't have another brand to guide you to.
Since you bought the car, and seem to really like it, that's all that matters in the long run. It will still depreciate at the same rate, and it will still cost the same to insure and operate. Enjoy the Rondo. The moral to the story is, the real price of a car is whatever someone is willing to pay for it.
#191 of 859 Re: Rondo - One month later [renu_p]
Aug 16, 2007 (8:03 pm)
I've never heard of any Kia dealer adding two grand. That's obnoxious behavior. For the record, I bought an Optima rather than a Sonata because the local Hyundai dealer insisted on adding on to the sticker-- although they're fishing for suckers and I could have easily negotiated it down it is a terrible turn off.
#192 of 859 Re: Rondo - One month later [renu_p]
Aug 17, 2007 (7:10 am)
I've tried to explain this before - you shouldn't care about the sticker price at all. Find out the dealer cost (invest $12 from CR and get all the info you need) and negotiate UP from the dealer cost. If the dealer wanted to tack on money to the sticker price, walk out. Sticker price is of no concern to you. Hope you do well with your negotiating. Good Luck!!
#193 of 859 Re: Rondo - One month later [renu_p]
Aug 17, 2007 (6:49 pm)
Just find another close dealer in any car web site. If you live in NJ you may not need to drive long from the original one, I'm sure. Regardless of the type of car (except a collector's edition like a Lamborghini Diablo) you can find a good deal, especially if you are looking for a 2007 model in the middle of August. Now, if it is a 2008 model, dealers may be more stiff to negotiate a discount, but that's pretty much it, there should not be imaginary market value "charges".
#194 of 859 Re: Rondo - One month later [coolmazda5]
Aug 18, 2007 (12:54 pm)
thanks vegasrondo , csandste , kivo , coolmazda5. i have not bought the vehicle yet. still deciding where rondo/mazda5. i found that they are the only vehicles with third row and good price or ok mpg. in rondo whether v4 or v6 is also a question. i am leaning toward v4 to avoid the extra cost and for better mileage. i have seen too much variation on rondo mpg and do not know if it is the v6. i do not know if the particular car one gets matters. i heard that with v4 if i have 5 passengers or more load then it would have to work extra hard and could consume more gas then a v6 with same load. is this true?
yes, i think better to put in $12 for consumer reports. there was also one other site which had car review at $1 per car and a minimum of $5. thanks
#195 of 859 Re: Rondo - One month later [renu_p]
Aug 18, 2007 (3:34 pm)
I just bought from a local dealer here in MA for $1300 UNDER sticker price - and that was for a Rondo with a 3rd row, premium package and V6. Add to that the incentives ($1000 rebate, 2.9%/60 months financing, extra $400 grads) and it came out very reasonable.
If you are interested in a 5 seater, then they will even lower the price more (but then again, there are many other options). Use the net to find other dealers within your state (and perhaps out of your state) - for 2K$ you can take a nice vacation driving to pick one up... (isn't this line better suited for the dealer experience forum?)
I picked the Rondo over the Mazda because: (i) more space for the kids (ii) more space for the driver (iii) 5 speed transmission (V6 only). The fact that it was somewhat cheaper was nice, but did not matter. Having the 7th seat is nice, but of limited use, as only a skinny 8-12 years old could fit there...