Last post on Jul 30, 2008 at 12:09 PM
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What is this discussion about?
Kia Rondo, Mitsubishi Outlander, Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota RAV4, Mazda MAZDA5, Car Buying, Wagon
#1 of 271 Rondo vs Outlander/Rav4/Santa Fe/Mazda5
May 17, 2007 (7:00 am)
Help! I have been looking for the past few days for something to replace my 1993 Honda Accord Wagon. We love this car, but it is long in the tooth. I like the idea of a 3rd row of seats for when my kids need to bring along a friend, but I DO NOT want a minivan or SUV. We looked at the Mazda5, which while fun, felt cheap inside & our 9 yo thought it was uncomfortable. Only 6 seats though and it did have manual, but we looked at the Rondo "just to have something to compare it to". I was surprised at how much I LIKED the Rondo! We were all set to buy the EXv6 w/the premium package (gotta have a moonroof!) & we even put $$ down.
Then my husband went on the internet. Too much time on his hands and viola! we now have The Outlander, Rav4 & Santa Fe competing in this "not minivan or SUV but rather a pumped up wagon" space.
I have read the reviews and am totally lost. Friends of mine are scared of the Rondo because of the Kia brand & it's a 1st model year (only in this country I tell 'em) but I understand that Kia has really been turning into a very reliable company.
Help me understand what the best 7 seater is that has the following features:
Safety, reliability, good gas mileage and a nice dose of "fun to drive".
A good plus would be the company being able to back the car for the next few years.
Thanks for your help all you knowledgeable car guys (and/or gals!)!
#2 of 271 Why not the Santa Fe?
May 17, 2007 (10:26 am)
I just bought a 2007 Santa Fe Limited AWD and I've got to say, it's a fantastic vehicle. Though mine doesn't have 3rd row seating, it's available as an option. If you haven't taken a close look at the Santa Fe or driven one, I highly recommend that you do so before buying anything else. Here's a link to an admittedly "wordy" write-up that I just did in a different Edmund's discussion:
Link to new Santa Fe purchase
#3 of 271 Re: Rondo vs Outlander/Rav4/Santa Fe/Mazda5 [dnatoday]
May 17, 2007 (11:40 am)
As you did not fill in your location I don't know whether you are in the US or Canada.
Here in Canada the Santa Fe with sunroof and 7 seating would be $10,000 more than the Rondo EX-V6 Luxury 7 seater. The Santa Fe was one of the vehicles I am considering, but when I compare feature for feature its hard to justify the additional cost, also of all the road test I have read on the Santa Fe and seen, the one continuing problem is always poor gas mileage and with the price of gas these days you have to consider it. Also do you need 4WD?
The RAV4 you are looking at nearly $9,000 more, why you always have to get the top model to get the sunroof feature is beyond me, this seems to apply to most manufacturers.
The Outlander you are looking at nearly $5000 more, but I don't like the black interior.
I've checked out the Mazda 5 side by side to the Rondo and even though they are similar priced, when you compare feature for feature the Rondo comes out ahead.
Depends how much you want to spend and how much value you place on a sunroof. I like a sunroof but when I found you had to purchase the higher end models to get it, it was a very expensive sunroof!
You said you did not want a SUV, but that's what the Santa Fe, Outlander and RAV4 are. If you are going that route have you considered the CR-V, that's about $6600 more.
However, we would be interested in what eventually buy and your reasons for purchasing that vehicle, many of us are going through the same process, so you are not alone!
#4 of 271 Re: Rondo vs Outlander/Rav4/Santa Fe/Mazda5 [conwelpic]
May 17, 2007 (11:54 am)
We are in New England. I, too thought that the Santa Fe, Outlander and RAV4s were SUVs, but it seems they have snuck into that nebulous "cross over" category.
Have you looked at the "total cost of ownership" links in Edmunds which seem to show that the Outlander & the Rondo cost the same after 5 years-- about 42K?
We are blowing off previous evening plans to drive the Mitzu. I am hopeful we haven't pissed off our Kia dealer by backing out of the deposit, but there are other kia dealers within 50 miles.....
#5 of 271 Re: Rondo vs Outlander/Rav4/Santa Fe/Mazda5 [conwelpic]
May 17, 2007 (12:24 pm)
"...why you always have to get the top model to get the sunroof feature is beyond me, this seems to apply to most manufacturers."
To extract top $$ from buyers since most people seem to want a hole in their roof. Personally I think a sunroof is one of the most useless features on a vehicle. In the case of the RAV4, the problem actually is that you need to ante up to the Limited model to get the 3rd row seat.
#6 of 271 Re: Rondo vs Outlander/Rav4/Santa Fe/Mazda5 [dnatoday]
May 17, 2007 (12:25 pm)
I think 95% of the 'utes out there are technically cross-overs -- basically just jacked up wagons with various forms of AWD/4WD.
#7 of 271 Re: Rondo vs Outlander/Rav4/Santa Fe/Mazda5 [bodble2]
May 17, 2007 (6:29 pm)
Mazda5 is a 6 seater so it doesn't meet your criteria.
If you are strong about "fun to drive", Rondo may not fit the bill. I didn't drive it, but I read few reviews and Kia's are not exactly known for this after all.
It leaves you with the Outlander, Santa Fe and RAV4. Out of all, I think the Outlander has the most "fun to drive", although the RAV4 V6 (you will have to get the LTD for 7 seats) and to a certain extent the Santa Fe are not bad either.
Of course, I would recommend you the Outlander as being the closest to meet your requirements out of the three.
You will need the Outlander XLS 4WD w/Sun&Sound.
On the side note, they all have 7 seats, but I don't think the 3rd row is of any use in any of them.
#8 of 271 Re: Rondo vs Outlander/Rav4/Santa Fe/Mazda5 [dnatoday]
May 17, 2007 (7:32 pm)
I agree with dodo2: Mazda5 and Rondo will not work for you.
RAV4 is nice overall, but RAV4 has shorter warranty then Outlander and SF. RAV4 has no free roadside assistance. Also it has too many little problems, according to owner feedback: on all 3 major sites RAV4 has lower owner satisfaction rating, then Santa Fe and Outlander:
---------- MSN autos -- edmunds.com --Yahoo Autos
Outlander - 9.5 -------------- 9.2 -------------- 4.5
Santa Fe -- 9.5 -------------- 9.2 -------------- 4.5
RAV4 ------- 8.6 -------------- 9.0 -------------- 3.5
Santa Fe is great, most upscale interior in the group, but little short on features, 3rd row seat cost extra as a part of package, only single CD-player and according to edmunds.com road test 5-speed "transmission sometimes slow to respond and unimpressive brakes". Still very pleasant car with great warranty.
Outlander is the best in the group to my opinion. It's fun to drive, smooth 6-speed transmission, better gas mileage then SF and best styling in the group to my taste. Standard Outlander XLS loaded with many features, some are not available even on standard Lexus RX350: 6 speed shiftable automatic transmission + paddle shifters (fun to drive), 18" tires, split lift gate, Fast-Key, keyless ignition, bluetooth, odor absorbing interior, LED rear lights, 6-CD stereo with MP3, roof rails.
Sunroof is not included in standard model but I would not care for it much even though I have it. Beige interior looks much nicer to me vs. black. 3rd row is tiny but is good for kids and when folded it does not take much space.
It has all the safety equipment: skid/traction control, electronic brake assist, ABS, 8 airbags, tire pressure monitor, hands free phone link. Unlike many other cars, Outlander offers tri-mode AWD, similar to Mercedes "4Matic": 2WD for better fuel economy, 4WD auto and 4WD locked. This car, I believe, expected to have good reliability since it is build entirely in Japan, and with amazing 5/10 warranty and 5 year road side assistance reliability is not a major factor. Roadside assistance would even replace you flat tire for free: just call 800 number!
I was offered standard Outlander XLS 2WD for $22.5K, but I ended up getting XLS AWD with most of the packages.
#9 of 271 Re: Rondo vs Outlander/Rav4/Santa Fe/Mazda5 [dodo2]
May 18, 2007 (6:09 am)
In response to the 3rd row seating.... This is my family's criteria as well. I believe I saw on the Mitsu. website that they don't recommend anyone over 5' sitting in them. We are merely having them as a backup if our sons - ages 8 & 12 bring a friend along and we can put the 8 yr old and friend in the back. If you are want something more of a wagon and not a crossover you may want to look at the Saturn Outlook - nice and big, the Ford Freestyle (we didn't like just because it's a Ford) or the Mazda CX-9 (very big like the Outlook). Of course since I am responding on a Santa Fe board I am partial to the SF and will be purchasing monthend. We did narrow our choices down to the Outlander, SF and Rav. Really liked the pep of the RAV, but for the $ the SF is such a better buy. We aren't 20 yrs old anymore and don't have to have the pep! The Rav also seemed so cheap inside to us in many ways. Good luck with your search. I initially looked at the Rondo and came to the conclusion of one of the other posters and dismissed it pretty quickly - reviews weren't so hot.
#10 of 271 Re: Rondo vs Outlander/Rav4/Santa Fe/Mazda5 [ppetroff]
May 18, 2007 (9:46 am)
Well, it appears the original poster is constrained by smaller and less expensive vehicles, but Outlook and CX-9 would not fit into it. So there is no way you could have full size 3rd row seat. Outlander's 3rd row is intended to be for smaller people.