Last post on Oct 21, 2007 at 4:00 PM
You are in the Kia Rondo
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Kia Rondo, Wagon
#23 of 51 Re: Another two reviews [medicineman]
Jul 16, 2007 (11:19 pm)
Thanks again for trolling for reviews and the links to them.
Mama Sara's obviously looking for something different. Referee armrests?
Since she brings it up -- I had some interest in the Mazda5's sliding doors, but the rear captain's chairs waste valuable flat cargo space. I occasionally notice how wide the Rondo's rear doors are in narrow parking spaces. They do open wider than many other vehicles, so give adequate access to the back area and openings large enough to get large bulky items in and out easily. I find myself reconfiguring the back frequently, depending on what the load is - passengers, lumber, furniture, dogs...
VegasRondo's blog is a pretty decent summary.
In recent hot weather, I also got 16 mpg mileage driving in-city with the a/c going. That was a disappointment, considering the 29 mpg I got on the first 2 tanks with freeway, some cruise control and a/c and a full load. Was hoping to be more pleasantly surprised. Sounds like for a few of us, that first tank of gas was a charm.
Jul 26, 2007 (12:04 am)
Another positive review, in its entirety because I suspect it will be short-lived on the website. Being a Canuck, I had to check Google Maps to find where San Leandro is (San Francisco Bay area).
Rondo Commands Attention
San Leandro Times
By : STEVE SCHAEFER : 7/25/07
With today’s concerns over the twin problems of fuel prices and global warming caused by fuel combustion, many families are wondering what to do. Sport utility vehicles and minivans are not the most fuel-efficient rides, yet if you want to carry five or six (or even seven) people, what choice do you have?
Well, the Rondo is part of a new wave of mini minivans, and at this point, has only one real competitor. The Rondo can carry up to seven passengers, yet is smaller and lighter than the fullsized competition.
I recently got the chance to spend a week with the Rondo. Impressive is the word that comes to mind, but maybe it’s time to stop being surprised when Kia delivers the goods. Korean manufacturers are using the original Toyota success model - quality and features for a reasonable price - and appear to have the will and the desire to make it work.
Rondos come in one body style, labeled "Midsize S/WGN" by the EPA. You can choose from the LX or higher-level EX model - the typical naming convention for the auto industry today.
The LX comes well equipped. Mechanical features include a four-speed automatic transmission; front and rear disc brakes with four-wheel, fourchannel ABS; and electronic stability control. Appearance and interior goodies include 16-inch alloy wheels, an AM/FM/CD audio system, and power windows and locks. For safety, six airbags are standard, including front, side and side curtain. A tire pressure monitor is there, too.
The EX upgrades some features and adds more stuff. The automatic transmission gains a gear, the alloy wheels get an extra inch (to stylish 17s), the audio system is enhanced with a CD changer and steering-wheel-mounted controls, and the driver enjoys a leatherwrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The EX also adds worthwhile things like illuminated vanity mirrors and some attractive exterior chrome trim.
Either level comes with a choice of a 162-horsepower fourcylinder or a 182-horsepower V6 engine. Riding on a four-wheel independent suspension with standard front and rear anti-roll bars, the Rondo handles surprisingly well for a 3,500-pound family hauler.
Fuel economy ratings are 21 City, 29 Highway for the fourcylinder and 20/27 for the V6.
The EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide gives the Rondo a 6 for both Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas score. If you live in California or one of the other four states with ou get a 7 on the Air Pollution score, which makes the Rondo an EPA recommended Smartway vehicle - better for the environment than most other cars. [This paragraph appeared like this on the website. For more info, check the EPA's website.]
My Volcanic Red tester was an EX with two extra equipment packages plus the third-row seat (which fits actual adults!). The Leather Package adds leather seats with heat. The Premium Package provides a sunroof and a 10-speaker, 315-watt Infinity audio system. Even with all this, the price of this loaded family hauler came to $23,495. An LX with the four-cylinder and no extras starts at just $16,995 (including destination charge).
Riding in the Rondo is remarkably quiet, and the interior fittings look like they came out of a Mercedes-Benz or Lexus. If you actually feel them, they are often hard plastic, but Kia got it right, especially at their price point. The panoramic view and clear graphics on the instrument panel add to the overall sense of well-being.
Throw in Kia’s Total Protection Plan warranty, and it’s hard to imagine why anyone who tested the Rondo and actually needed one wouldn’t drive it home immediately. My notebook contains only positive comments - something that doesn’t happen that often.
#25 of 51 MyRide Blog - correction
Jul 26, 2007 (12:58 am)
I previously posted the link to VegasRondo's review, but the link has changed (not sure why). Here's the new link.
Plus, check out Keith Buglewicz's blog entry, who wrote the review that appears at AutoWeb (and other similar sites).
#26 of 51 Austin American-Statesman
Jul 27, 2007 (5:41 pm)
Two thumbs up for the Rondo, although hardly enthusiastic.
RONDO: Kia spacious, but not clumsily large
Functionality in the eye of the beholder
Kia Rondo has plenty of room for bikes and tykes.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Kia's Rondo arrived just as gas prices were about to spike at $3-plus, propitious timing for a compact vehicle with lots of space. Pete 'n' Pam wonder whether the new Korean import has enough spirit for jaded American drivers.
Pete: The Rondo is the kind of practical car you'd own if you lived in France, where small and sometimes goofy-looking automobiles seem to proliferate like no place else. I can just picture the Rondo with a couple of baguettes poking out one window, your dog hanging out the other and you and five friends headed for a picnic along the Seine. Pass the fromage!
Pam: Make mine brie, please. As for the Rondo, I think it looks like a minivan. But in Europe and Asia, they call this type of vehicle a "space wagon MPV."
Pete: Yes, and they are popular there, where the Rondo is known as the Kia Carens. As far as I know, the only other Euro-style "space wagon" sold here is the Mazda5. Kia's ad copywriters are calling it a "crossover," but in reality, the Rondo is a little wagon-van.
Pam: I don't get the nickname. The Rondo is more down-to-earth than space age. I can fold down the seats and slide in my bike, no problem. My oversize gym bag fits, along with my water ski, wet suit and change of clothes for work. Or I can load up seven passengers, who can use a total of 10 cup-holders. This ride is all about function, not NASA-style good looks.
Pete: The Rondo does have kind of a frumpy look. But functionality has its own beauty. The Rondo is pretty comfortable up front. The back seat has a lot of legroom. The tiny way-back seat? That's where you compulsive exercisers toss your wet swimsuits when leaving Deep Eddy.
Pam: I like the clean, sparse look of the dash, with just three centrally located dials. But when the Texas sun is shining, the glare makes it hard to read some of the digital readouts to the right, like those for the radio.
Pete: The LCD readouts in most Asian cars are often hard to read. Is it always cloudy over there? I appreciate all the handy bins inside -- you could have 10 cell phones and find a place for each of them. But no MP3 plug-in jack or satellite radio? That's medieval nowadays.
Pam: Squeezing into a parking spot on the road is not for the faint of heart, so I'm happy to report that parallel parking this little wagon is a lot easier than launching a rocket ship.
Pete: I love the Rondo's size: large enough to carry cargo and several people but not so big it's wasteful and clumsy to drive. The 2.7-liter V-6 in our test Rondo EX has decent power for a small engine, but it costs $1,000 more than the 2.4-liter four.
Pam: The Rondo has enough pep for most of my driving, but there were a few times, such as when I was trying to pass another car on a two-lane road, that I wished it had more juice. You didn't notice that?
Pete: I'm either a victim of low expectations or just realistic. It's a family wagon.
Pam: Yep. The test car had a five-speed automatic transmission. The 4-cylinder comes with a four-speed automatic. I still prefer manual transmissions, but the Sportmatic feature lets you choose your gear.
Pete: The steering is slow, and the suspension gets flummoxed on battered pavement. Otherwise, it's a competent but decidedly un-sporty handler.
Pam: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Wake me up when you're done. I can't think of anything wrong with the Rondo; I'm just having a hard time getting excited about it. Except for all that room, room, room to store my outdoor gear!
Pete: I could easily live with the Rondo, but I'd buy the 4-cylinder version (starting at $17,000), which gets mileage in the 20s. Our test model was $22,500, a tad much for the Rondo. I sure wouldn't buy one with a gray paint job like our test Rondo. It looked like a delivery van.
The Pete 'n' Pam column appears monthly. Contact Pete Szilagyi at peteszmacconnect.com and Pamela LeBlanc at pleblancstatesman.com or 445-3994.
According to Pete 'n' Pam ...
Target audience: Drivers who seek function over form, anti-SUVers who need to carry things.
Highs: Pete - Nicely finished cabin, interior storage for odds and ends, cargo space, quiet ride; Pam - Room for my water ski and my water ski buddies, clean dash design, easy to parallel park.
Lows: Pete - Odd rear styling, lack of personality, no satellite radio or iPod jack; Pam - Sluggish when overtaking vehicles, digital readouts hard to read, bo-ring!
Bottom line: Pete - If things keep going the way they are, we could all be driving Rondos in 10 years; Pam - Wake me up when this is over.
Jul 30, 2007 (12:23 pm)
The Rondo is rated in different categories and its final score is fairly average. My one beef with the review is that the Rondo's ratings are presented side-by-side with the average ratings for a midsize car--I wouldn't say that the Rondo is comparable to a midsize car.
They are also doing a 12-month evaluation of the Rondo.
#28 of 51 Re: Consumer Guide [medicineman]
Jul 30, 2007 (3:01 pm)
It probably is with its interior volume.
Couple of comments on the Consumer Guide article - "Interior and exterior photos of the 2007 Kia Rondo are presented in our extensive photo gallery. Check out pictures of the new 2007 Kia Rondo from different angles and see the 2007 Kia Rondo in varying color options. Captions on each picture of the 2007 Kia Rondo identify different trim packages and body styles. "
Doesn't look very extensive to me, only saw one picture!
Also (from a Canadian perspective)you never see the invoice price stated (as they show at the start of the article) on any Canadian site (at least not any that I've come across), unless you pay a fee to obtain it.