Last post on Oct 21, 2007 at 4:00 PM
You are in the Kia Rondo
What is this discussion about?
Kia Rondo, Wagon
#33 of 51 Some video reviews
Aug 17, 2007 (10:06 pm)
Two thumbs up for the Rondo, although the reviewers didn't like the exterior looks at all:
A generally positive review of the Carens. You need Internet Explorer to watch this video. If you get a popup window urging you to fill out a survey, just ignore it or reload the webpage:
This isn't a review but I thought you guys might be interested in seeing one of the Rondo's forefathers (i.e., this is a previous incarnation of the Carens):
Kia Carens LS
#35 of 51 Update: Al Beeber (Canadian Press)
Aug 18, 2007 (11:48 pm)
I posted the link to this review before, but I think the review has been removed from the website. So here it is in its entirety:
Kia Rondo is nimble in the city; interior is more appealing than exterior
Thursday, July 05, 2007
In musical terms, a rondo is "a form of composition with a recurring theme" often found in the final movement of a sonata or concerto, according to a dictionary definition.
Why Kia chose to plaster that name onto its curious new crossover vehicle is perplexing.
Was Kia trying to suggest some type of theme is evident in its Rondo, which basically is an inexpensive small wagon capable of carrying seven passengers in models equipped with a third row?
If so, I'm at a loss to explain what that theme might be except value, because Kia is renowned for packing a lot of features into its cars at low prices.
If the theme is about value, then the Rondo lives up to it because for a price of $27,490, a buyer can get a fully-loaded Rondo EX-V6 that will seat seven on leather seats - heated up front, of course. It's an interesting vehicle. From a styling perspective, the Rondo is proof that beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. It's got some sporty cues, especially when viewed from the rear, but from the front, the Rondo is rather homely.
The interior is much more appealing with a comfortable and pleasantly designed cabin. Gauges are bright and legible, the dashboard has a sound system and heating controls that are intuitive to operate and the gearshift lever is angled from the dash perfectly for a driver's right hand.
Truth be told, the driver's seating position is superb. The leather-trimmed seats are supportive and have high backs, legroom is abundant and the height is minivan-like. The stubby centre console between the front seats is positioned superbly for resting and elbow and in front of it are two massive cupholders.
Kia clearly paid a lot of attention to driver comfort because the Rondo has the feel of a minivan in the cockpit. The only oddities are the triangular vent windows in front of the side mirrors in the A pillars. They're compact versions of those big honkers that were among the most noticeable design elements of the mid-1990s Chevrolet "Dustbuster" minivans.
The fully-loaded tester comes with an array of goodies from power everything to a sunroof. It also has auto-off headlights, dual heated side mirrors, steering wheel audio controls for the six-speaker sound system, automatic temperature control, eight-way power driver's seat and full-length side curtain airbags.
The tester also has 17-inch wheels and foglights.
Electronic stability control, traction control and electronic brake distribution are standard right across the Rondo line.
The middle seating row has a 60/40 split bench that will accommodate three in comfort while a 50/50 split seat is in back.
Middle and rear rows can quickly and easily be folded flat to create a humongous cargo area. While the headrests have to be removed from the middle seats, Kia does have slots for them, which is handy.
With more than 73 cubic feet of space behind the front seats, the Rondo could be a really good urban hauler. The cargo area is wide and the roof high so a pile of stuff could be loaded.
Even with the second row of seats in place, the Rondo has 31.7 cubic feet of cargo room which is plenty for hauling a family's luggage. And if more space is needed, the roof-mounted cargo racks can come in handy.
The middle row of seats offers plenty of legroom for adult passengers and they can be slid forward and aft to give more space to the rear riders.
The tester is powered by a 2.7-litre V6 engine cranking out 182 horsepower.
Fuel economy is only 24 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. A 2.4-litre inline four comes with the LX, EX and EX Premium models. Fuel mileage with that 162 hp powerplant is marginally better at 26 mpg city/38 mpg highway.
In the urban jungle, the Rondo is nimble, quick, easy to manoeuvre and fun to drive. This is where its virtues really shine. People who need space for stuff could conceivably see it as a value-minded alternative to the traditional minivan.
On the highway, road and wind noise are intrusive and engine performance is completely underwhelming. The V6 always seems to be struggling even at cruising speed. When passing, drivers had better expect the Kia to argue loudly when the gas pedal is pressed because quick acceleration is not the Rondo's forte. I can't imagine what the four-banger would be like.
The car handles well though and has a smooth ride, but a lot more oomph and a lot less wind rush would probably make it way more appealing.
As it is, the Rondo certainly does have potential to make an impact with buyers. The price is certainly right and its roominess plus creature comforts are attractive. Just don't take it on the highway.
Sep 04, 2007 (8:42 pm)
Here's a positive video review of the Rondo by a guy from AutoSpies.com appearing on Fox 6 in San Diego.
#39 of 51 Re: AutoSpies.com [medicineman]
Sep 05, 2007 (3:37 pm)
I would have been more impressed if the host would have climbed into the 3rd row and the lady into the 2nd row and they conducted the review from inside. Then you would have had a better idea of the interior space.
Sep 12, 2007 (3:53 pm)
A fairly even-handed review that ultimately recommends the Rondo.
#41 of 51 Dallas Morning News
Sep 17, 2007 (5:42 am)
There seems to be mainly two types of reviews for the Rondo. First, there are the reviews that just gush about the Rondo; second, there are the reviews that are non-enthusiastic about the Rondo's looks and performance, yet love its utility, size and value. This review belongs to the latter type:
Dallas Morning News