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Mazda 5 vs Kia Rondo

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  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    I often have my current vehicle, a 1999 Camry, filled to capacity. I also have friends as tall as I am. I wish for those that I am transporting to be comfortable. That goal would be completely unachieved in Mazda5 or Forester. The point is that I don't need a larger vehicle to achieve that goal. I'm 45 minutes from a large city, and with gas being the way it is, we like to travel in the same vehicle. Currently, we have the choice between a Tahoe and an Explorer, or to take two vehicles. None of those propositions is very attractive to me. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law are both fairly short, but my wife, father-in-law, and my sister-in-law's boyfriend are all tall so the Rondo is a perfect fit since two rows are comfortable for those of above average height. The Mazda5's last two rows are not adequate for tall people. The Forester's second row isn't either. Why should I get a vehicle bigger than I need? The other vehicle I am considering at the moment is the Hyundai Santa Fe, which gets poorer gas mileage but has more interior space and better towing, which is a plus for me. Overall length for it is no longer than my Camry either.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,711
    they say that styling is a subjective kind of a thing and it must be.

    Because Mazda styling, though not ugly, has always had a "blocky-chunky" sort of a look to me and Kia has always had a smoother, more inventive look that involved a higher degree of intelligence to design it.

    Therefore, it required a higher degree of intelligence to notice it.

    With the Mazda5 and the Kia Rondo the same formula holds true. The Rondo wins hands down in the styling department. Kia is there right now for quality, design innovation, value and low initial pricing. True, Kia pricing is rising, but most everyone's pricing is rising a tad. Oh, and Mazda's Warranty just doesn't cut the mustard to go with my Chicago hot dog, either.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    Thanks Arumage, you seem to have your case so best of luck!

    It is interesting to see the "2nd car need" to ride. My earlier "5 adult - one baby" case was about to also become a "We need 2 cars" case as well. Surprisingly the huge Graco stroller fit in the back of the 3rd row, so one car was needed at the end. My family is tall as well (e.g. brother 6'2", me 5'11")...

    The only other thing I noted is your concern for the fuel economy (who isn't nowadays ;) ?) so I'll just point you to the article below about the Rondo's V6 option (I read this on a non-Edmunds blog earlier but it seems that the article is there as well). 15MPG City is a real gas guzzler for a car that size, so if you go for the Rondo, you better consider the 4cyl option :surprise:

    http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2007/04/suburban_dad_20_1.html
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    iluvmysephia1
    Therefore, it required a higher degree of intelligence to notice it.


    :confuse:

    ...OK.... possibly my car "intelligence" is weakening then... as the more I look at KIA models, the less I like their design :surprise: .

    iluvmysphia1
    Kia is there right now for quality


    As per the quality, yes, I'm with you on that one. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, IMO KIA has done a good job getting where they are today, no doubt.
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    Most people have been in the 20mpg area. That's the first poor review I've seen for the Rondo though. It definitely could use a 6-speed.

    For those looking for a much larger vehicle with good gas mileage, the Ford Freestyle is a good choice. People have been getting as high as 30mpg on the highway, which is pretty darn good for a nearly 4000 lb vehicle with 3 adult friendly rows. It's not sporty in any way, shape, or form though.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,711
    as usually happens with styling differences of opinion we have a different way of viewing Kia and Mazda and we'll have to part with our own opinions on them.

    Opinions are like noses, everyone has them.

    I just don't like Mazda styling, the Miata is so round it's bland and I like the Pontiac Solstice styling better.

    The Mazda RX-8 is kind of interesting, I will admit that. It comes across as a very sporty looking vehicle that has a unique look to it and I like that.

    Enjoy your Mazda5 and we'll happily just move on with our own opinions...and noses.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • vegasrondovegasrondo Posts: 11
    I live in the desert called Las Vegas, NV. I was looking for a small mini van type of vehicle. My list came down to the Mazda 5 and the Kia Rondo. I rented a Mazda 5 from Hertz for a couple of days and had mixed emotions about it. Nice handling, liked the sliding rear doors and the styling. Didn't like the air conditioning (weak)or the non standard stereo unit. Didn't see the possibility of upgrading it in the future. Interior space was good for people, but not great for odds and ends.

    I ended up with the Kia Rondo, 5 passenger, 4 cylinder EX with the premium package. Kind of weird looking, but still pleasant to the eyes. The a/c is great in the desert, interior storage space is voluminous. The rear under floor storage areas are fantastic. Handling is on par with the Mazda 5 as is the interior materials and fit and finish. While the stereo deck display is visually disappointing it is a 2x dim unit and can easily be upgraded in the future.

    Overall they are equals. It was the small things that won me over to Kia. The warranty didn't hurt either. Both vehicles are well designed for their intended purpose. The lower overall purchase price of the Rondo compared to the Mazda 5 will buy a lot of gas and options to tweak it to my liking. The Kia fit my personal needs far better and won't get lost or forgotten with the Casino Valet parking crews! It is different for sure. :)
  • I agree about the Rondo edging out the Mazda5. But my question on either would be reliability.

    Why can't Honda or Toyota make a Kia Rondo type vehicle available in the USA???? :confuse:

    If they make the Stream and Wish, why not bring those over here?!?!? :mad:

    Are you listening Honda and Toyota??? :)
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    Maybe because the mainstream USA market is still looking after huge minivans, sedans, crossovers and gas guzzling SUVs to haul small families?

    This market is just opening to these type of cars but it will take time (see Europe, completely different story, they love these things). Here are some models:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opel_Zafira
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Touran
    http://www.caradisiac.com/php/essai_tun/ess_nou/nouv166/mg_6085_renault_grand_sc- - - - - - - enic.php

    To me, reliability is subjective because in North America both are new models. The KIA CEO is a quality lover but the Mazda5 has been so far very reliable to me if you ask (we almost have 2 yrs with ours, all fully assembled in Japan). Yet, I would wait another 5 years to really attest the final result (and see the market react)

    Now, I know you like the Rondo better, but in my case, Why a Mazda5 over any similar Honda model if it would exist? Handling, handling, handling and the sporty engine feeling are far superior (my other car is a Honda).

    We didn't buy it to race of course, but, covers all my family needs, is really fun to drive (I have a stick shift), it can handle the road greatly and does not look weird.

    Mazda vs. Honda? Just check this out:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zU4paH8qcQ8

    :D
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    Didn't like the air conditioning (weak)or the non standard stereo unit.

    I believe the weak A/C issues will be addressed in the 2008 Model which should be coming soon (link below), especially if you live in Vegas :D. Where I live has not been a big issue (so far).

    So, for the ones who haven't made a purchase and can wait, follow the Mazda news.

    http://media.ford.com/mazda/article_display.cfm?article_id=26425&make_id=227

    Now, with regards to the non standard stereo unit, I'm not sure if I followed your comment correctly :confuse: . The base model (Sport) already comes with AM/FM/CD Player. As options you can get a 6 CD in-dash player and/or MP3/WMA capable.

    Anyway, tell us how it goes with your purchase and keep cool up there. Love Vegas but I dunno what I would do if I live there (Bellagio fountains every evening perhaps?) :P
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    while in the UK last year I came across a most interesting vehicle from Toyota called the Verso. Now if that was available in Canada it would be one I would give serious thought depending of course on the price. I brought back the brochure with me. They sure do elaborate brochures, this one has 47 pages in one direction then you flip it over and it has another 9 pages just covering the accessories.

    you can see the vehicle at:
    http://www.toyota.co.uk
  • I like the Verso a lot. I just didn't mention it because I think I like the Wish better. But I'd be very happy if Toyota brought the Verso to the USA.
  • CoolMazda5, I agree with you about the mainstream USA market. Way too SUV-centric if you ask me.

    I don't know that I decidedly prefer the Rondo over the Mazda5. When I said it edged it out I was just agreeing with the points made by the previous poster.

    The Mazda5 has been only "average" in Consumer Reports reliability ratings. Though there has only been one year of ratings so far. It could get better.

    I want a car that gets at least an "above average" or "much better than average" reliability rating from CR.
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525

    I don't know that I decidedly prefer the Rondo over the Mazda5. When I said it edged it out I was just agreeing with the points made by the previous poster.


    Got it


    The Mazda5 has been only "average" in Consumer Reports reliability ratings. Though there has only been one year of ratings so far. It could get better.

    I want a car that gets at least an "above average" or "much better than average" reliability rating from CR.


    Who doesn't? ;)

    I could only say that you need to keep into account the model (year) that you may want to buy. I got the very first 2006 Mazda5 batch in 2005 so, yes, I got some of the common first model "bugs" that may have hit the overall reliability numbers. Yet, Mazda acted fast so for the 2007 model those issues have been corrected. Yes, I took the risk in 2005 but I would do it all over again, the car is worth it (in addition that Mazda owners in general are very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and helpful, as I've experienced in other Non-Edmunds forums).
  • vegasrondovegasrondo Posts: 11
    In my post #161, I referred to the Mazda 5 not having a standard DIM or duel DIM stereo chassis. The unit in the Mazda 5 is unique for the dash. It does not appear to be able to be changed out. I can do so with the Rondo as it has a standard 2X DIM head. After a full month with this unit, I dislike it more and more every day. Too dim of a display panel to read. Other than that, the Rondo is still great. Still getting a solid 16 MPG in 80% stop and go driving with the A/C going full tilt.
  • I should say CR does like the Mazda5 a lot and they list it as a quick pick. Though they haven't road tested the Rondo yet.

    I have to say, that strong A/C is important to me. And I think a vehicle this size should have V6 power (which the Rondo does). Though 4-bangers are getting more and more powerful these days so it doesn't matter as much as it used to.

    I also like the roominess of the Rondo interior as compared to the Mazda5 in the CanadianDriver review. http://www.canadiandriver.com/testdrives/07rondo.htm

    But I think both these vehicles are very nice.

    I used to have a 1st gen Dodge Caravan (SWB) V6 and it was very similar in size. The mainstream minivans have all gotten so big and bloated they can hardly be called "mini" anymore. So it's great to see at least two offerings in this size.
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    vegasrondo replied:
    n my post #161, I referred to the Mazda 5 not having a standard DIM or duel DIM stereo chassis. The unit in the Mazda 5 is unique for the dash. It does not appear to be able to be changed out. I can do so with the Rondo as it has a standard 2X DIM head. After a full month with this unit, I dislike it more and more every day. Too dim of a display panel to read. Other than that, the Rondo is still great

    OK, got it. I hear you, for my old Honda I can still get a good CD MP3/WMA player for ~USD$120 in Circuit City or Best Buy (free install), but for the Mazda5 (good thing it had already the in-dash 6CD Player, wife loves it) I would need to get it OEM. So Best Buy or e-bay may be still an after market option in your case.

    Still getting a solid 16 MPG in 80% stop and go driving with the A/C going full tilt

    Are you sure it is only 16MPG? It sounds really low for a 4 cylinder, regardless of the A/C. One report for the V6 had had that earlier (family with children fully loaded ;) )

    Report:
    http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2007/04/suburban_dad_20_1.html
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    I have to say, that strong A/C is important to me. And I think a vehicle this size should have V6 power (which the Rondo does). Though 4-bangers are getting more and more powerful these days so it doesn't matter as much as it used to.

    If it is an Auto Transmission, yes, I would agree. Now, I have a Manual so the 4cyl works great. Wife is the primary driver and she has no issues with the HP (I should also say she does not drive nor accelerate like I do :P)

    I used to have a 1st gen Dodge Caravan (SWB) V6 and it was very similar in size. The mainstream minivans have all gotten so big and bloated they can hardly be called "mini" anymore. So it's great to see at least two offerings in this size.

    Yes, I agree. Somebody told me last time that my Mazda5 had "just" the size of the very first generation Honda Odyssey (like a sign of going backwards) so I replied: "Well, it is not intended to compete against minivans, plus I don't need a bigger car, it is just the ideal size to me"
  • I am suprised that you find the Rondo display panel too dim to read. I do not have that problem. Is it possible that you drive with the headlights on and have not turned up the intensity of the display lighting? Jusst a thought. I do find that it is impossible to read the clock under certain sunlight coonditions.
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    I also like the roominess of the Rondo interior as compared to the Mazda5 in the CanadianDriver review

    Actual dimensions are OK, actually many people have mentioned the same thing, that Rondo has more space...

    But now, I have carried 5 "tall" adults, a baby on a car seat and a folded stroller in the back of the 3rd row (one of those large Gracos) and all fit greatly. I have done it once in the lifetime of the car though. I don't carry adults in the back 99% of the time so to me is not very relevant.

    As per pure cargo (lugagge, swingsets, you name it) I posted these pics below sometime ago in a non-Edmunds forum. I did not do a thorough analysis on dimensions, but see how versatile the Mazda5 is. I don't need more than that if you ask ;)
    image
    image
    image
    image
  • Somebody told me last time that my Mazda5 had "just" the size of the very first generation Honda Odyssey (like a sign of going backwards) so I replied: "Well, it is not intended to compete against minivans, plus I don't need a bigger car, it is just the ideal size to me"

    "Ideal size" may not be in the American vocabulary where "bigger is always better". :)

    I think the 1st gen Odyssey was perfectly sized. Though I do prefer sliding rear doors like on the Mazda5. You may recall the little Mitsubishi Expo LRV from the early 90s had sliding rear doors too, while the larger Expo (non-LRV) had regular opening rear doors like the Rondo and 1st gen Odyssey. There were some other good designs then like the tall Nissan Stanza Wagon and Nissan Axxess. (The Axxess we only had in the USA for a single model year but was sold for 5 years in Canada.)
    http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/jc/90-95axxess.htm

    Really, here in the USA, we have only a fraction of what they have elsewhere in the world. :mad: Just looking at the cornucopia on this page... http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/about_toyota/manufacturing/product.html
    it becomes apparent that most vehicles outside the USA are some variation on the hatchback/wagon/"MPV" small minivan theme. More pics of these can be found here: http://www.cars-directory.net/gallery/toyota/

    The SUV is really not the best replacement for the station wagon. Chrysler had it right in 1984 with the original Caravan/Voyager. It took way too long for the Japanese automakers to bring something really competitive to the table in the USA. And now everythings just gone all SUV-crazy.

    All I can say is hopefully sales of the Mazda5 and Rondo will set a new trend toward offering sensible, smaller minivans in the USA market.
  • tgahantgahan Posts: 2
    After reading this forum and doing other research, my wife and I finally bought a Kia Rondo LX, v6, 7 seater. We have a one year old and another on the way, and plan on a big family. We bought the Rondo a month ago from a dealer in Auburn WA, and absolutely love it. We have used it as a moving truck from a condo to a house, and it's load capacity is great. Our favorite thing about it, though, is the visibility - it doesn't look as cool as the sleek, high waisted comparable cars, but it makes such a difference to see out of all the windows. Our one year old is clearly engaged with the outside because he can actually see it now.
    Our experience with the dealer wasn't great (ask, and I'll tell you...), but the car itself is a pleasure to drive and has suited our needs to a "T."
    Tomas
  • vegasrondovegasrondo Posts: 11
    Reply to dakota29803: Headlights are off during the day. I can see the clock under all conditions of lighting. The stereo display is just too dim in my unit and so far, the only real sore spot with the car.
  • vegasrondovegasrondo Posts: 11
    Hi! Yep, 16 MPG with the 4 banger in mostly stop and go city driving with the A/C going full tilt. There are 630 miles on the Rondo now. Part of the problem might be gasoline density. When filling up at 109 degrees, the volume of gas is less per gallon then when at something really cold, like 90 degrees ;)! Of all the cars I have had, 16 MPG for a new engine in the middle of a miserable summer really isn't bad. If I am still getting 16 MPG in January, then Houston We Have A Problem :mad: Just for the heck of it, I'll top off the tank and take a 50 mile all highway drive. Stay tuned.
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    Got it. Just do the 50 mile ride over the weekend so at least you can go somewhere fun (The Hoover Damn Dam maybe?) :P
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    toronado455 replied:
    All I can say is hopefully sales of the Mazda5 and Rondo will set a new trend toward offering sensible, smaller minivans in the USA market.

    Yep, this one of my aims for being in these forums :). By the time I need to replace my Mazda5, I would like to see more of these models as possible options in the future. In addition, if gas goes up (~$6.82 per gallon in Germany) it will support the cause.

    Axxess and Stanza Wagon. Well, I've seen them around but never attracted me (even when those were new. They were functional but very ugly). I realize that designing this type of cars is very difficult, that is why when I saw the Mazda5 (very functional, spacious PLUS a good looking design) I really liked it. My personal view is that the Rondo is very functional but still lacks the good looking design part.

    Other brands, like Opel and Volkswagen, are also catching up. As example, the first Opel Zafira was ugly, but the new one is much better looking. Same with the VW Touran and, actually, the first Mazda5 (1999-2005 Premacy in Asia)
  • tgahantgahan Posts: 2
    "My personal view is that the Rondo is very functional but still lacks the good looking design part. "

    I hear you on this point - I also like the way the mazda looks better. What I didn't like was that narrow rear window and how low it rides to the ground- we bottomed out on a hill on the test drive. We also got the kia for a lot less $$. Also found the interior of the kia more spacious and the seats 6 and 7 were more comfortable..

    Cheers,
    T
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    tgahan replied:
    What I didn't like was that narrow rear window and how low it rides to the ground- we bottomed out on a hill on the test drive

    No issues with regards to the rear window but, very true, The Mazda5 rides lower than other cars (especially the front bumper/spoiler is a troublemaker). I kind of like the height but, yes, it was a hassle when new so we had to spend some time to get used to it. I remember scratching the bumper bottom several times against parking car stops where I usually never cared about with our other car. We now have to make sure we stop at a safe distance from front curbs or car stops when angle parking :surprise:, just in case. During snow days and snow piles, yes something to look out as well :D
  • medicinemanmedicineman Posts: 135
    (Edit: I originally posted 3 articles, but one of them seemed to be just a rip-off of Graeme Fletcher's article.)

    Looking to downsize, but still needs space

    I think this is a transcript from an automotive TV show hosted by Jeremy Cato and Michael Vaughan in Canada. They also discuss the Chevy HHR.

    Vaughan doesn't like Kia's reliability record based on the reports from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power. Being a Rondo owner myself, I want to point out what the reports actually say.

    Kia ranked 17th out of 36 in the 2007 Consumer Reports study, which isn't outstanding, but it isn't horrible, either.

    In the 2006 Power's three-year dependability study, Kia ranked fourth from the bottom--but it also notes, "Kia has improved twice as much as any other brand in the past three years." The 2007 study should be released in the next few weeks, so it'll be interesting to see if the trend continues.

    Power also has a 90-day initial quality study. The 2007 study notes, "Among non-premium brands, Kia posts the largest improvement in ranking, moving from 24th in 2006 to 12th in 2007."
  • medicinemanmedicineman Posts: 135
    Odman already posted the link to the following article, but it isn't available anymore. So here it is in its entirety. This is a Canadian article, so remember that the options available in Canada are not exactly the same as in the US.

    Mini people-movers go head-to-head: Kia Rondo EX V6 Luxury and Mazda5 GT share many qualities yet are vastly different

    GRAEME FLETCHER
    Montreal Gazette
    May 23, 2007

    The Europeans are known as trendsetters. In the automotive world, they have long embraced the diesel engine and, with the cost of motoring being what it is, they prefer smaller, more practical forms of transportation.

    In North America, the minivan and seven-seat SUV have been the typical choices for anyone needing to carry more than five people on a sometime/regular basis. The problem is that the minivan paints the driver with a tainted brush (you're a soccer parent) and big SUVs are gas hogs. Now, there are urban-friendly alternatives. Here, the Kia Rondo EX V6 Luxury takes on the Mazda5 GT. Both offer five-plus seating and deliver plenty of cargo space when the third row is not in use.

    Interior/Cargo

    The Rondo and Mazda5 are strikingly similar, right down to the sharp-edged flashing on the glove-box door, yet they are very different. The biggest similarity is seating - the Mazda5 accommodates six in a 2+2+2 configuration, while the Kia adds a seventh spot to the middle row. Realistically, it is fit only for a child.

    Both also deliver plenty of flexibility and cargo capacity. Folding the middle and third rows flat is a simple matter, although the Kia's second-row headrests have to be removed first.

    When it comes to actual cargo-carrying capacity, things get a little muddy.

    The two companies seem to use different methods to calculate the relative space available. One thing is for sure - with the third row deployed, there is virtually no cargo space in either case. (Take the toothbrush, buy the toothpaste when you get there.)

    With the third row down, space more than quadruples. And, with the centre row flat, the Rondo opens up to 73.4 cubic feet. Visually, the Mazda5 matches the available space, although its swoopier roofline might slightly limit overall height.

    As for accommodations, both again come very close. In the third row, the Kia has noticeably more legroom, kneeroom and headroom. Mazda also puts a hard plastic trim piece right where your head sits. The 5, however, is slightly more comfortable because the seat sits higher off the floor (270 millimetres versus the Kia's 230 mm).

    In the second row, things are much better. First, the seats are comfortable and can be moved fore and aft. With the third row vacant, moving the seat back brings plenty of stretch-out space. When the third row is in use, pulling the middle-row seats forward opens up the third row appreciably.

    The Mazda also has a couple of nice touches, including a storage bin under the left middle seat and a handy tray/net under the right. The Kia counters with functional roof rails.

    Up front, there is little to split the two. The driving positions are comfortable, visibility is good (both feature triangular windows at the A-pillar, which eliminates what would be a bad blind spot) and the layouts are entirely logical. Both testers also came with air conditioning (a $1,100 option on the Mazda5), decent audio packages and power locks, windows, mirrors and sunroofs. The noticeable difference is manual adjustment for the 5's cloth seats versus the power adjusters for the Kia's heated leather buckets.

    Differences are also found in the doors. Kia uses four conventionally hinged doors; Mazda uses sliding rear doors. The difference is subtle but meaningful. On the plus side, the Mazda5 is easier to load when parked in a tight spot. On the downside, the sliding doors hinder access to the third row because the leading edge eats into the entryway.

    Road manners

    Unlike larger minivans or SUVs, the Rondo and Mazda5 track a pretty good line through a fast on-ramp. Likewise, there is minimal body roll (both use anti-roll bars front and back) and any understeer exhibited is far enough out so as not to be a nuisance. Both also come with suitably large tires (the Mazda5 GT wears P205/ 50R17s, the Kia 225/50R17s) and anti-lock brakes.

    There are bigger differences in the powertrain. The Mazda5 comes with a 2.3-litre four-cylinder and a four-speed manumatic; the Rondo EX V6 is powered by a 2.7-litre V6 that drives a five-speed manumatic (the base Rondo EX comes with a 162-horsepower, 2.4-litre four and a four-speed tranny). The Mazda5 takes 9.3 seconds to reach 100 kilometres per hour and 7.6 seconds to do the 80-to-120-km/h passing move; the Rondo's V6 accomplishes the same thing in 8.2 and 6.1 seconds, respectively.

    The difference boils down to the power on tap. The Mazda four delivers 153 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm; the Kia pushes 182 horses and 182 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. The Kia's extra gear accentuates the urgency off the line and is also quieter at highway speeds.

    When it comes to fuel economy, it's pretty much a tie. The Mazda5 is rated at 11.2 litres per 100 km in the city and 8.3 L/100 km on the highway; the Rondo is thirstier in town (11.8 L/100 km), but better on the highway (7.9 L/100 km). Again, credit the five-speed box.

    As for safety, the Rondo beats the Mazda5 by coming with standard traction and electronic stability control systems - neither is offered on the Mazda5. Both come with front and side seat-mounted airbags, as well as drop-down side curtains and active headrests.

    The bottom line

    Both these vehicles are very good at what they do. They out-handle any SUV, have rear seats that are actually usable (albeit for a limited period of time), and both are attractively attired and affordably priced. The Mazda5 has the company's rep going for it. The Kia brings more power and better equipment for similar money. As such, my score sheet ranks the Kia Rondo EX V6 ahead of the Mazda5 GT.
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