Last post on Oct 21, 2007 at 4:00 PM
You are in the Kia Rondo
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Kia Rondo, Wagon
#44 of 51 My review of the Kia Rondo
Oct 18, 2007 (4:22 pm)
Since the dealer is hanging onto my Elantra an extra day to fix the OCS sensor, they sprung for a rental car for me. I ended up with a Kia Rondo.... thought I would put my thoughts about it out there.
I think I would really like IF it didn't have steering that is too touchy, and WAY too much body lean! Good acceleration though, and it's got a shiftronic which is okay to play with when I'm bored.
If I were in the market for an affordable people mover (lots of room for 4 tall people; a fifth could squeeze into the middle of the back seat), this would get a look-see.
Ride is okay. No sports car, but handles well enough on the freeway. I'm not used to riding up as high as this is, but other than that it's a pretty car-like feel. When I was test-driving prior to buying the Elantra, I test drove the Vibe/Matrix and it kind of feels like that. The V6 has plenty of power for the vehicle. The dash materials and finishes, while kind of truck-like, are at least as good as, or probably a little better than, the Elantra in materials and quality.
The fit and finish on the Rondo is better than I recall in the Vibe and Matrix. The cargo area especially is nicely finished with a flat floor that hides multiple storage bins. Basically, you just don't see where corners have been cut; there are no obvious cheap areas. This is one area where the Rondo has a clear advantage over the Vibe/Matrix and the Caliber.
As I mentioned earlier, the downsides of the vehicle are the body roll and steering. The steering is light and twitchy; you definitely have to drive it with a light touch. It is more responsive than it should be for the force applied to the wheel. The body roll is kind of annoying but since I'm not a truck or SUV guy, I can't really comment on how it would compare to other models.
I kind of like the shifter. It is right at my right hand, just where it should be. In general I left it in Drive but would occasionally knock it over to the right and play with the shiftronic manual mode when I wanted to make sure I was in a good gear for traffic. Having a V6 though kind of makes that unnecessary since there is plenty of power even at lower rpms.
While quite a bit taller than the Elantra, the length and width are very close; it fits into the garage in the Elantra's spot. The only adjustment I had to make was to back it in just a little bit further than the Elantra goes.
I could see where they could have done better, but overall it's a pretty nice package.
#45 of 51 press request
by kirstie_h HOST
Oct 19, 2007 (9:41 am)
A reporter seeks to talk with owners and serious shoppers of the 2007 or 2008 Kia Rondo who are also parents. If you are interested in commenting on your experience, please reply to jfallonedmunds.com no later than Thursday, November 15, 2007 and include your city and state of residence as well as the age of your child/ren.
Thanks for your consideration,
#48 of 51 Re: MoneySense [medicineman]
Oct 20, 2007 (2:52 pm)
However, only the six-cylinder EX Premium and Luxury models offer the third row of seats.
they didn't read their brochure very closely as it was available in the EX premium 4 cylinder for 2007, and now thats been explanded to the standard EX model for 2008. Its only the LX model that does not have an available 3rd seat.
It really bugs me when these people write an article and make statements that aren't accurate
Oct 21, 2007 (1:19 am)
A positive review from About.com. It's another one of those "great utility and value, not so great performance and looks" reviews--in this case, the reviewer loved the space and versatility, but thought it wasn't much fun to drive.
#51 of 51 Re: My review of the Kia Rondo [doohickie]
Oct 21, 2007 (4:00 pm)
"WAY too much body lean!"
That is completely the opposite to my experience. We have had our 2007 Rondo EX V6 Luxury 7-seater for over 2 months now and it handles as well or better than our 1998 Legacy AWD wagon, which we traded on the Rondo.
I feel that the Rondo is quite athletic and moves exceedingly well for a vehicle in it's class and it's size. A 2007 Caravan we test drove had lots of body lean, but not the Rondo. My family and I just got back from a 700 km (450 mile) trip a few minutes ago, loaded with luggage, and loved the Rondo's composure in the twisty bits.
Maybe the rental Rondo you drove had been hard-driven by prior customers?
Plus, the steering feel is practically perfect! Of all the cars I have ever owned, only the Rondo comes close to having perfect steering feel. My 91 Civic Si (bought new) comes close, but not quite. I have driven WRX's, 911's, even a 1969 Lotus, and have to say that not only is the Rondo's steering feel fantastic for it's class, it is fantastic, period.
Just my experience.