Last post on Jul 05, 2010 at 7:01 PM
You are in the Prices Paid - Buying & Leasing Experiences
What is this discussion about?
Kia Rondo, Car Leasing, Car Buying, Wagon
#280 of 388 Re: Purchased my '08 LX V6 on 2/25/09 [tsm280z]
Mar 02, 2009 (6:45 pm)
I'm hopeful our Rondo will be somewhat more fuel efficient than our '98 Toyota Sienna. I consider myself a "closet" hypermiler" and will be quite disappointed if I'm unable to manage 30+ mpg with our Rondo on the highway at 60-65 mph after break-in. In all honesty though all the complaints I've read from owners concerning poor fuel economy results from their V-6 Rondos gives me pause.
My current commuter vehicle is a '05 Mazda 3i (2.0 L w/5-speed manual). When I purchased the car the EPA hwy rating was 35 mpg and since the revisions were made to the EPA test procedures the 3i manual has been rated for 32 mpg highway. My 3i recently passed the 60k mile mark and average mpg based on all fillups since purchase is now 38.6 mpg-or nearly 7 mpg more than the car's current EPA highway rating. The lowest tank I've calculated with my 3i was better than 32 mpg for the first fill up and during the break-in period. Note: all of my 3i's results are available for viewing at www.brianbauer.org. Look for results for 2005 Mazda3 2.0 L w/manual transmission. My car's results are the ones from Chesterfield, VA. I'm planning to post mpg results for our Rondo on this site too.
Note that I did consider the 4-cylinder version of the Rondo but since the EPA highway ratings were the same for both with the v-6 turning in 2 mpg less in the city cycle I didn't feel the difference between the two was significant fuel-economy wise. On the other hand after test driving a 6-cylinder Rondo, then a 4-cylinder Optima followed by another 6-cylinder Rondo I felt the 6-cylinder was noticeably quieter, smoother and generally more refined compared to the I-4. I also feel a 5-speed automatic offers increased flexibility and taller highway gearing over a 4-speed. On the other hand, the Optima we test drove (an '09 I-4 w/5-speed automatic...EPA highway rating 32 mpg) did appear to cruise a bit more "freely" on level ground in top gear than either of the 6-cylinder Rondos we drove. Of course, I'm also fairly sure that the Rondo outweighs the Optima by a few hundred pounds too. Still, if the dealership had a light-colored I-4 powered Rondo on the lot I would have taken it for a test drive. However, there was only one 4-cylinder Rondo on the lot and it was a dark color.
I also realize the '08 v-6 is only rated for 20 more hp and 20 more ft/lb of torque over the '08 I-4. From what I've read both engines were re-tuned for higher output for 2009 models, but there were no '09 Rondo's on the lot when I was shopping. In any case I would not have been willing to forego the $4k rebate in order to gain a few more hp-and the v-6 versions EPA ratings are unchanged for '09.
I'm also curious if those owners who have been getting poor mpg results with their v-6 Rondos were careful to follow the break-in recommendations listed in the owners manual. I've noted that after stating no special break-in procedure is needed, Kia does recommend some precautions over the first 600 miles, including:
Keep engine speeds between 2k and 4k rpm
Don't maintain a constant speed for long periods ("Varying engine speed is needed to properly break in the engine")
Avoid allowing the engine to idle longer than 3 minutes at a time.
Frankly, with the automatic transmission I don't see how any owner could follow these recommendations if they simply shift the transmission into "drive" and leave it there. I've also been surprised by all the posts I've read from owners (both on this forum and others) who drove their vehicles off the dealer's lot and immediately took them on fairly long highway trips-implying these new engines were most-likely broken-in by driving at steady speeds w/the cruise control set. To me that's exactly what most manufacturers recommend AGAINST!
As a result I've been keeping my Rondos transmission selector in sportmatic mode most of the time so that I my choose and vary the transmission shift points, maintain engine rpm in the recommended range generally avoid the allowing the transmission to select the relatively tall 5th gear during the break-in period. Except when you're maintaining 55+ mph on the highway the only other time engine rpm in a v-6 Rondo will be over 2k rpm with the transmission in "D" is while the vehicle is accelerating in the lower gears. Of course doing these things lowers fuel economy, but I'm hopeful the long term benefits will be well worth sacrificing some fuel economy over the first few tanks.
My Rondo is approaching the 300 mile-mark now (the odometer showed 17 miles when we took it for a test drive) and subjectively I feel the engine seems to be running smoother at idle and spinning more freely as the number of miles add up. In any case I'm hoping a careful break-in will pay dividends in engine longevity and fuel economy over the long haul as it has with the other engines I've broken-in this way. Of course I may be deluding myself as I've read that with the tight manufacturing tolerances used today there's little need to treat a new engine any differently than you would normally. In any case, if my Rondo's engine turns out to be a disappointment down the road at least I'll know for that it was not due to a failure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations during the break-in period.
#281 of 388 Re: Purchased my '08 LX V6 on 2/25/09 [bobw3]
Mar 02, 2009 (6:57 pm)
I refused the dealership's "low-ball" trade-in offer and plan to sell my '99 BMW 323ic convertible myself once the spring fever demand for convertibles ramps up. Hopefully the economy will be on the rise by then as well.
Of course, when it warms up I'll also be less motivated to get rid of the convertible. Although it's not very practical for a family the BMW's smooth I-6, great handling and drop-top do combine to make it an awfully fun car to drive on a mild, sunny day!
#282 of 388 Re: Purchased my '08 LX V6 on 2/25/09 [smoothsailin]
Mar 04, 2009 (5:35 pm)
As a previous Mazda owner, what made you go for the Rondo over the Mazda5? Just curoius.
#283 of 388 Re: Purchased my '08 LX V6 on 2/25/09 [smoothsailin]
Mar 04, 2009 (6:28 pm)
I chose the 4cylinder over the 6 cylinder because
1) A bit better gas mileage
2) No timing belt to replace
3) 4 cylinder had all the power I would ever use
I really don't think the break in driving habits will result in any differences in final MPG you get with a 6 cylinder.
My 07 4 cylinder has averaged in the low 30's for long trips and 25-26 average for my use which consists of a few short trips to the local store and 15 to 20 mile cruises on back roads at average speed of 40 mph.
This is not my commuter car.
#284 of 388 Month 7 on my Kia Rondo: DONT BUY
Mar 04, 2009 (11:50 pm)
You can read my other posts (seach on my name) and you'll see that I was so pleased with myself with good deal I got on the Rondo.
The car seems to be well-designed, but, boy, is that deceiving -- it is crappy.
Wind noise, rattles, hesitation, bad smell, leaking oil (dealer replaced tranny!). Just a bucket of stuff you dont need when you have a new car. I have heard that some people only buy one American car in their life because it was a loser...I'm definitely there with Kia (and, just to e safe, Hyundai)
If someone wants to give me 12K for it (Portland, OR) at 6K miles, I'll take it. !!!
#285 of 388 Re: Purchased my '08 LX V6 on 2/25/09 [bobw3]
Mar 05, 2009 (7:42 am)
My wife and I test drove a Mazda 5 and generally liked it. However, as a member of the Mazda 3 forums I've read a lot of negative comments about the Mazda 2.3 L I-4's relatively poor fuel economy-especially when mated to an automatic transmission. That said, since the 5-speed automatic became available owner complaints about poor mpg w/the 2.3 L automatics have dropped somewhat, but have not been eliminated entirely. Of course, based on what I've read on this forum there also seem to be more than a few owners complaining about their mpg results with Kia's 2.7 L V-6, I'm also aware that EPA ratings for the Rondo v-6 are a bit lower than those for the Mazda5 automatics. Another factor was pricing. The "reasonably equipped" Mazda5 we test drove stickered around $22.5k as I recall. So even after deducting Mazda's current mfg rebate ($1k "owner loyalty) I expect the best deal we might been able to negotiate for that car would probably have been in high $19k-over $20k range. Again, I paid $15,088 for our brand-new '08 Rondo (17 miles on the odometer before our test drive) before taxes and dealer fees.
If I could have found a Mazda5 locally in a light color with the 5-speed manual it possibly might have tipped the scales in favor of Mazda. But according to the Mazda salesmen I've spoken to, finding a Mazda5 equipped w/the manual transmission can be difficult since demand for the automatic is higher and the manual is only offered in the Sport (basic) version.
In hindsight, had I researched the Rondo more thoroughly and aware of the owner complaints I might have decided against purchasing one...or at chosen not to have purchased one w/the V6. Still, I've read far more favorable comments from Rondo owners than negative ones. Another reason why we ended up with a V-6 version was due to the fact that we were unable to locate an '08 equipped with the I-4 in a light color and otherwise equipped the way we wanted.
In any case after being carefully broken in by me, our Rondo will driven by my wife most of the time and she told me that she preferred the Rondo's attributes and driving character over the other vehicles we considered. Note that she had never looked at or test driven a Rondo before the day we ended up purchasing ours.
Both of us did like the Honda Fit, but had decided it would probably be too small to serve well as a family vehicle. Also the Honda salesman quickly quashed any hopes of negotiating a good deal for one, saying Honda had never offered any promotions for the car and stating that dealer invoice was within $500 of the car's MSRP. Based on this it seemed the best deal we might be able to manage for a manual-transmission Honda Fit Sport would probably fall in the mid-to-high $16k range, before taxes and dealer fees..
We also considered Scion's xD and xB, but like the Fit ended up ruling out the xD as too small and my wife wasn't crazy about the larger, but more boxy xB's styling.
Ultimately we ended up deciding to purchase our Rondo without test driving either Scion...and paid less for our fairly well-equipped Rondo LX V6 than the non-negotiable base prices listed for either of the two Scions.
I'll also mention that my wife test drove a Chevy HHR, but quickly dropped it to the bottom of her list of possible choices. In short, she didn't care for the way it drove, both of us felt the build quality was substandard, and felt the interior was somewhat cheap and "plasticky".
My wife did like the '09 Hyundai Sonata (test drove an I-4 w/5 speed manual) as well as the similar '09 Optima (test drove an I-4 w/5 speed auto). But we both liked the Rondo's higher driving position (similar to our '98 Sienna minivan) along with greater passenger capacity w/the optional third row and & imo superior versatility for carrying cargo and passengers. I did feel that the seats in the Sonata and Optima were slightly cushier, more comfortable and form-fitting than those in the Rondo.
In the end it was the Kia's $4k mfg rebate offer for remaining '08 models along with our dealer's willingness to accept my offer to purchase the car at dealer invoice that ultimately sealed our decision. I'll also say that Kia's superior warranty also played a part, but was not the deciding factor. Had there been a '08 Optima on the lot equipped the way we want it's possible that could have ended up being our choice.
Only time will tell if we may end up regretting our decision to buy the Rondo, but so far at least we've been quite pleased the vehicle. For the first tank I'm predicting mpg may fall in the low-to-mid 20's. As of this morning I've driven it a bit over 300 miles and am expecting to manage another 25-40 miles before the gas gauge will drop to "E". When it does, if the tank ends up swallowing ~13.5 gallons after ~335 miles driven, the tank average should calculate to ~ 25 mpg. Since I've been generally been staying out of 5th gear and varying engine rpm a lot while breaking in the engine, I'm not expecting the 1st tank's mpg results to be stellar in any case.
#286 of 388 Re: Purchased my '08 LX V6 on 2/25/09 [ramblinmo]
Mar 05, 2009 (9:10 am)
Based on what I've read it appears the majority of those who chose the I-4 w/4-speed automatic powertrain have like you been reasonably satisfied with their Rondo's general performance and fuel economy results.
I also agree w/you that an engine equipped with a timing chain has some advantages over one equipped with a reinforced rubber timing belt. One thing I want to learn is whether or not my Kia's 2.7 L V-6 could be subject to catastrophic engine failure caused by to piston/valve clearance issues should the timing belt fail.
Our '98 Toyota Sienna's 3.0 L V-6 is also equipped has a timing belt, but my parent's 2nd generation '04 Sienna's 3.4 L V-6 is equipped with a timing chain. In any case according to what I've read should the timing belt or chain in either Siennas' fail the engine would simply stop running and would not suffer internal damage caused by clearance issues.
However, judging from what I've read I have doubts whether the same may be true of my Kia's V-6. As far as I know among Japanese and Korean auto manufacturers, Toyota engines (most of them anyway) are designed to avoid clearance issues between valves and pistons should the timing belts, or chains break. Most, if not all engines manufactured for Nissans, Hondas, Mitsubishis, etc. can suffer serious damage if their timing belts or chains should fail.
As far as whether or not the precautions I've been taking during the preliminary engine break-in period will make any difference, you could be right. However taking steps to carefully stick to the manufacturer's recommendations for the break-in period simply seems to make sense (at least to me). In any case I've had excellent results with my other new engines after using similar methods during the initial break-in period for those.
#287 of 388 Re: Purchased my '08 LX V6 on 2/25/09 [smoothsailin]
Mar 05, 2009 (9:16 am)
I too was very careful during the break-in period ... followed the directions in the Owners manual, checked tire pressure, drove like I had an egg between my foot and the gas pedal, etc., etc. I even told my "lead foot" wife not to drive it during the break-in. I now have 8,000 miles on it and still get lousy mileage.
Other than that, it's a great car ... very pleased with it.
Good luck with yours.
#288 of 388 Re: Month 7 on my Kia Rondo: DONT BUY [newkiaguy1]
Mar 05, 2009 (9:36 am)
Sorry to hear you've been so dissatisfied with your Kia newkiaguy1.
It's still to early to know whether or not we may suffer similar issues with our Rondo, but based on all the favorable reviews I've read from other owners I'm hoping the odds will be in my favor that this won't turn out to be the case.
As with any mass-produced product it's inevitable that some few bad examples may manage to get past all the quality control inspections despite having some problems.
In any case I'm hopeful the Rondo I carefully test drove and inspected before purchase proves to be better-built than the one you unfortunately ended up with.
So far the only quality-related issues I've noticed have been with a relatively weak seat-belt retractor mechanism for the driver's seat and some difficulty it retrieving and re-positioning the belt latches in the rear seats after they've been folded. Some of this of course may simply be the result of an initial lack of familiarity w/the vehicle and how things are supposed to work.
#289 of 388 Re: Purchased my '08 LX V6 on 2/25/09 [tsm280z]
Mar 05, 2009 (10:15 am)
It's great to hear you're pleased with your Rondo-except for "lousy mileage" tsm280z.
Unfortunately, based on your experience the care I've been taking to follow the break-in recommendations may not necessarily prove to be beneficial. Oh well-I'll just have to wait and see.
I've also read your posts concerning window fogging issues and experienced similar issues last weekend while having six passengers in the car while driving back from dinner on a cold (high-30's deg. F) night in steady rain. In my case I found that after selecting one of the first two (ie farthest clockwise) vent positions seemed to take care of the fogging issues-at least for the most part. I believe the car's air conditioner compressor is designed to engage automatically when one of the first few defog/defrost vent positions are selected when outside temperatures are above freezing. Unfortunately, my '05 Mazda3's HVAC system is designed
so that the a/c compressor will run automatically whenever one of the defrost OR FLOOR vent positions are selected. Imo having the a/c run when all you want to do is warm your toes seems asinine. It seems Mazda chose to engineer their cars this way because when the floor vent position is selected some air is still directed toward the windshield. Hence, the decision to produce air dried by the a/c for superior defogging characteristics. Personally, I'd prefer to be allowed the option to turn the a/c on or off as needed via the button. My guess is a fear of product liability lawsuits should drivers be involved in accidents who claim their car's wouldn't defog the windows effectively may be behind some of the auto a/c designs.
One suggestion I would make for hopefully improving your problem would be to clean the inside glass very carefully, followed by the use of an anti-fog product or wipe. In my experience the plastic surfaces and other materials in new cars tends to produce a gas (that "new car smell") which can show up as a film on the windows-and these films can encourage fogging issues. I've also found that the application of vinyl protectants (like Armor-All) can similarly lead to a buildup of a film inside the windows-particularly after the car's surfaces have been heated by being parked in the sun.
I'm fairly sure that Rain-X and companies which produce similar products offer disposable wipes and cleaners designed to combat windshield fogging issues.
Hope this helps!
Btw, 25 years ago I used to own a '74 260z. Still miss that car sometimes.