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Mazda 5 vs Kia Rondo



  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    In Aug last year, we were looking to replace our beloved 1998 Legacy Brighton wagon with a vehicle that was at least as practical as the Subaru, but not as large as a mini-van. We shopped Subaru again, but could not reach an agreement on a fair trade price.
    After looking seriously at a number of vehicles, we narrowed our choices down to two - a 2007 Mazda 5 and a 2007 Kia Rondo EX V6. We really liked the M5, especially it's sporty demeanor, it's 5 sp manual and it's fuel economy, but we did not care for it's rather stark interior, it's thin and unsupportive seats and it's inability to tow (the manual warned against towing).
    We chose the Rondo for it's efficient use of space, it's smoothness and quiet highway ride, it's almost overload of safety features (6 airbags, stability control, electronic brakeforce distribution, anti-whiplash headrests, etc, etc) and the lovely V6. We also liked it's exterior design more than the M5 (which is a good looking car too) and the interior as well, with lots of child-resistant surfaces and comfy leather. In all, price for price, the Rondo offered more than the M5.
    That said, if we had chosen the M5 I am sure we would be content with it (despite not being able to tow), but the Rondo has proven to be the ideal vehicle for us, and has had no issues in 14,000km other than an insistent Check Engine Light early on (we were not twisting the gas cap enough, we discovered). The fuel economy has been waaay better than expected, with 33 mpg on the highway consistently (that's with 2 adults,2 kids and a load of stuff aboard), at 115km/h. Our Legacy 4 cyl 5-speed could only manage 32 mpg...
    Friends of ours have Rondos and M5s, and all enjoy their vehicles. In all, two great little cars that, regardless of which is chosen, should be bought by more people, rather than larger, less-efficient vehicles that in many cases, can carry no more than the M5 or Rondo (name any mid-size SUV, for example).
    An M5 would be for the more sporty-minded. A Rondo is for the more comfort-minded.
    What do you own, bobw3? (My own daily beater is a 1998 Escort wagon 5-sp and a 1985 Suzuki GSX-R750).
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    Just to set the record straight, the Rondo you rented in Puerto Rico based on your comments it bares no resemblance to the 2008 Rondo EX model that I own. In fact I can hardly believe we are talking about the same vehicle!

    First, the Rondo you tested is a rented vehicle, so my first thought what is the mileage on this vehicle and how well has it been looked after. You want facts so here they are:

    First disappointment: The LX didn't have an Aux port
    Fact – aux port is standard on the 2008 models.

    Second disappointment: none of us found the seats truly comfortable and their material seemed cheap
    Fact – the EX has upgraded material, I find them comfortable and have had no staining problems.

    Third immediately apparent disappointment: the steering. It was HORRIBLE! It felt like a rubber band
    Fact – not exactly sure what you mean by this, but I find the steering precise and very direct and the leather wrapped steering wheel comfortable to hold.

    since the Rondo's turning circle was significantly larger than that of the 5's
    Fact – not true, lock to lock: M5 - 2.9 , Rondo – 2.9; turning circle: M5 – 34.8’, Rondo – 34.4’

    We were all in agreement in saying that the suspension outright SUCKED
    Fact – I find the suspension a bit on the hard side (probably because the car is so new), I’ve had four adults and luggage with no bottom out problems and soaks up bumps and potholes with no problem.

    The handling also left MUCH to be desired…………………… the Rondo rolled heavily and just couldn't keep up with any speed through any curve or corner or turn. NO fun driving this thing at ALL!
    Fact: I find the suspension tight and handles sharp corners with ease with very little lean and certainly no roll. I was surprised on this due to the height of the vehicle. It’s a lot of fun to drive and we enjoy the driving dynamics of the Rondo very much.

    Another disappointment, even though I had the LX 4 cylinder, the fuel economy was disappointing. The 5 definitely gets better gas mileage AND it is SIGNIFICANTLY noticeable! We drove a mix of city and highway and the Rondo, with a full tank of gas, couldn't reach 300 miles of travel, whereas with my 5 that is a regular occurrence
    Fact: you are comparing a fully loaded Rondo (you stated 7 people) to your M5 at home where you don’t carry that much all the time (and can’t cause it only carries six) – so not a fair comparison. My Rondo with the 2.4L gets good gas mileage, ranging from a low of 26mpg (imperial) in the dead of winter to a high of 39mpg, with my average being in the 31-32mpg range.

    Another thing we definitely missed: cruise control. The Kia didn't have it. I thought this would have been standard in such a supposedly "well-equipped" car at a low price. Whatever!
    Fact: cruise control is standard on the EX model. On the M5 GS it’s not standard you have to get the GT model. However, to be fair the dealer said they would install it on the GS for about $700.

    The 5's looks are so much better than that of the Rondo's, and it looks infinitely cooler and sportier.
    Fact: this is subjective, I have no problem with the looks of the Rondo and I think it looks great with the black trim against the Aqua silver paint job. The M5 is also a great looking vehicle.

    I can't think of ANY advantage the Rondo has over the 5
    Fact: I’ll give you some of the reasons I picked the Rondo over the M5:
    - hinged rear doors, didn’t like the sliding doors even though they opened and closed easily
    - no door pockets on the rear sliding doors, good size ones on the Rondo’s and match the ones on the front doors with large bottle holders
    - had no need for the extra seating and preferred the 5-seater available on the Rondo
    - with the 5-seater Rondo I get a lot of extra under floor storage in the rear
    - we had to accommodate our large Golden Retriever and on the M5 with the seats folded down there was gaps around where our dog could catch a leg whereas the Rondo’s was a solid rear floor.
    - Did not like the black interior on the M5, however this has changed for the new models
    - To match some of the features offered on the EX Rondo you have to get the M5 GT model at thousands more. For example the EX Rondo comes standard with heated seats in the fabric model, whereas on the M5 you have to get the leather package on the GT to get it. I do not like leather in a car.
    - A very important safety feature, currently not available on the M5 and that is the Electronic Stability Control system – rated as one of the best safety features in a car since the advent of the seat belts. It has to be on all vehicles by 2012.
    - Leather wrapped steering wheel standard on the EX, again you have to go to the M5 GT model to get this.
    - Another 5-seater advantage, I can recline the passengers seat back and able to carry 8’ items without any problem.
    - Heated door mirrors standard on the EX, again you have to get the M5 GT
    - Fog lights standard on the EX, M5 GT model standard
    - Illuminated vanity mirrors standard on EX
    - Front windshield wiper de-icer standard on EX, n/a on M5
    - Greater head and foot room in the Rondo:
    Front legroom: Rondo – 41.3”, M5 – 40.3”
    Rear legroom: Rondo – 38.2”, M5 – 34.8”
    Front headroom: Rondo – 41.6”, M5 – 40.3”
    Rear headroom: Rondo – 40.2”, M5 – 39”
    - Overall more passenger space: Rondo - 107.8 cu.ft., M5 - 97.8 cu.ft.
    - Longer basic warranty and roadside assistance by two years!
    - Separate tailgate lock on the remote
    - One of my wife’s favourite items, handbag holder on the console on the passengers side
    - Greater visibility on the Rondo, the M5 felt more claustrophobic
    - Gas cap release on the door instead of the floor
    - Preferred the Rondo’s centre console with dual compartments and armrest and the fact the auxiliary jack and power plug is hidden in the lower compartment also no handbrake in the centre but out of the way giving more room in this area.
    - Overhead sunglass holder
    - On close inspection I felt the quality of the Rondo was higher (both dealers were next to each other, also they are both owned by the same auto group)

    In summary, they are both fine vehicles, neither one is perfect – no vehicle is! They are both excellent MPV’s (multi-purpose vehicles) and easy on the pocket book and at the gas pumps. They have the field to themselves at the moment, but I guess maybe the new Dodge Journey maybe a contender, but if its built like the Jeep Patriot and Caliber’s I looked at, I wouldn’t hold my breath. I thought their build quality was terrible, absolutely no comparison.

    Drive: 2008 Kia Rondo EX, 5-seater, 2.4L, auto, Aqua Silver with gray interior
    Location: Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    I think my conclusion stands after all :D...

    Originally posted on Feb 07, 2008

    After looking at all the responses for about a couple of years I have come to the non-expert conclusion that although the Mazda5 and the Rondo are functionally very similar it seems that they are not purchased by or they don't attract the same audience.

    Mazda5 audience:
    Young families, small kids, the Zoom-Zoom component is key (i.e. low profile tires, handling, looks, even manual transmission). They are not too focused on extremely fancy amenities i.e. leather but more into more appealing exterior and interior (i.e. electroluminescent gauges, better designed dashboard, aux input) along with versatility to haul the family around (including sliding doors).

    Rondo audience:
    More mature audience, no kids or no kids anymore, like comfort such as leather, V6 and superb sound, but no longer worried about how it looks (interior or exterior) as long as it is functional, oh and it needs to fit adults in the 2nd row seats. In summary: the comfort of a big car but in a compact model.

    I won't go into details (again) about space and versatility and if one is better on here or there because there is no winning argument for 2 very different audiences. And the ones who have seen the space and seating versatility pics posted everywhere can attest on their own, no very long explanations needed.

    There are of course audience exceptions to the rule, but that, in average, seems to be the case. I'm sure several will reply that is not true, but we are a small sample anyhow. My 2 cents
  • tmurphytmurphy Posts: 10
    Whad' I tell ya.
  • garnermikegarnermike Posts: 72
    I partially fit your Rondo audience profile (older, no kids to deal with anymore). But I preferred the LX I-4 for mpg reasons, and I don't care for leather in a car, nor the capability of its sound system. As for "looks", beauty is in the eye of the beholder---I kinda like the way a Rondo looks. Besides, I own 2 other georgeous cars, and 5 in all, so if any one car I owned was ugly, I wouldn't worry about those bad looks somehow reflecting poorly on me or my taste
  • radar1radar1 Posts: 25

    Your post sounds pretty much the same as what I discovered while test driving these vehicles.
    I was looking for a replacement for our Focus hatchback and tested the M5, Rondo, and Subaru Outback wagon and Forester. I liked every one of them for different reasons. I had pretty much decided the Rondo was the one for us, but the Subaru dealer gave us such a great trade in on the Outback, that's what we got.
    Although I liked the M5, two items that made me wary of purchasing one was the "not recommended" towing rating in the USA, and the fact that they still haven't provided any USA crash test ratings after all these years.
    Only the Rondo and Subaru provide the manufacturers tow rating for my pop up camper. If I bought the M5 it would mean I'd have to get rid of the camper, (and even the small utility trailer I have) or be forced to keep my truck for towing.
    (My daily beater is a 2005 Hyundai Accent hatchback 5-sp 37 MPG)
  • kubaskubas Posts: 13
    >>Although I liked the M5, two items that made me wary of purchasing one was the "not recommended" towing rating in the USA, and the fact that they still haven't provided any USA crash test ratings after all these years.

    EuroNCAP crash results for M5 are much better than for the Rondo. As a matter of fact most of the korean cars who have 5 star ratings in the USA are rated 4 star only in Europe.
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    Yeah, I don't own that many cars (I can only afford 2 ;)) but I rent a lot from work. Mazda has surprised me for its handling and finish for a car its price (even on the most basic trim, including people movers)

    And yes, I have not rented a Rondo but I have rented from the KIA+Hyundai family and their handling and interior quality have turned me off. Same as when I rent cars like Chevy Malibus, Dodge Avengers, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Sienna, Chrysler T&C, Saturn VUEs and even a Chevy Impala SS

    KIA+Hyundai family cars rented, decent engine and features but not impressed on handling nor finish:
    - Hyundai Sonata (twice)
    - KIA Rio

    From Mazda. Rented, not fancy Ferraris but really liked:
    - Mazda6
    - Mazda3
    - Mazda MPV
    - Mazda5 AT. Believe it or not, I got one the other day and was OK, even AT

    And as I posted earlier, I saw a leather Rondo on the rental area the other day, I honestly thought it was vinyl
  • kubaskubas Posts: 13
    Kia Rondo - 4 stars

    Front: 9
    Side: 15

    Front impact
    Although the drivers footwell did not rupture, there was extensive deformation and the clutch pedal moved rearward by 175mm, leading to a weak rating for protection of the driver's lower leg, feet and ankles. Structures in the dashboard presented a risk of injury to the knees and femurs of the driver and passenger.

    Side impact
    The Carens scored maximum points based on the dummy responses in the side impact and pole tests. However, the driver's door became unlatched in the side impact and the car was penalised for this.

    Mazda 5 (2005) - 5 stars

    Front: 13
    Side: 16

    Front impact
    There was heavy distortion and rupture of the driver's footwell in the frontal test. The pedals presented a risk of injury to the driver's lower legs. Structures in the dashboard represented a potential hazard to the knees and femurs.

    Side impact
    The car scored maximum points for its performance in the side impact and pole tests.

    NHTSA frontal test is conducted at 56 km/h (35 mi/h). EuroNCAP represents a more severe crash than the NHTSA test as it is performed at 64 km/h (40 mph) into an offset deformable barrier.
  • The new Forester 09 finally has all the safety features I was looking for and a better design than the clunky square look. I was justgetting down to figuring out good pricing and realizing I was going to have to drive up to Chicago to get a decent price.

    Then I saw a Mazda 5 in the church parking lot and talked very briefly to the owners. Originally I had thought it was the Mazda CX-9, but realized it was smaller. While lots of auto writers are falling over backward with praise on the CX-9, the fact that it uses premium gas turned me off. Still the reviews intrigued me. So I have now been researching the Mazda 5 and have been pleasantly surprised. The lack of DSC sort of bothers me. The Forester has AWD and a higher ground clearance. These both are appealing when driving in Midwestern snowstorms.

    So, how does the Mazda 5 drive in snow? How much smaller does it feel in interior sitting room than a Honda CR-V or similarly a Forester 09? (I think there's more cargo space in the 5, but smaller sitting space.) Does it bother anyone that these cars are so limited in sales it could be hard to get them repaired beyond the dealer? Or, is it possible to go to a Ford dealer as well? How much pep does the engine actually have? It smaller than the CR-V and I thought that lacked much stamina. That's why I was attracted, for awhile, to the Mitsubishi Outlander, but could not get a decent deal on that and some in the family thought it was cheaply made and had too many gadgets. Also, we're not a highly technical family and one of the appeals is that Subarus are reliable. We've had one for 15 years and are almost at 200,000 miles. The 5 is too new for long term reliability numbers, but what's been your experience?

    I'm partially asking these questions because I am going to have to drive at least 50 miles just to test drive this thing (or hope that that family is back in church on Sunday...). Thanks for any help. I've found reading this forum interesting
  • nissmazlovernissmazlover Posts: 131
    FINALLY! A well-thought out, intelligent, informative response. Thank you, Conwelpic. I truly appreciate it. :)

    Now, as a response to your responses:

    Aux port - Nevertheless, the Rondo I rented didn't have one and the rental papers did say 2008. Maybe it was an anomaly?

    Seats - seems there is a discrepancy between LX and EX models where the LX's have cheap, easily-stained materials and not so comfortable seats. Sucks to be an LX owner, then! In the M5 you get the same seat quality in ALL trims, with the exception of the leather offered on the GT.

    Steering - there's no other way for me to explain this other than to say that it felt like a rubber band. It didn't have a leather covering (LX), and as soon as you steered it, the wheel would almost snap back like a rubber band. It didn't have much road feel and just felt very cheap. Others in my group drove it, and also concurred.

    Turning Circle - According to an EDMUNDS comparison: Mazda 5 Turning Circle 34.8ft / Kia Rondo Turning Circle 36.1ft. End.

    Suspension - Have you actually extensively driven a 2008 5 as I did the Rondo? If you did, then you wouldn't have argued this. The ride on the 5 is superior to that of the Rondos. I regularly carry 4 to 6 passengers in my 5 and never have I experienced the bottoming out and the harshness that I experienced in the Rondo. I still feel the Rondo's ride is like a mirage: it gave the first impression of being comfortable, but fell apart as the bumps came - esp. w/ a full-load. Hey, just talk to the girls who were sitting in the third row of the Rondo and ask them how their hineys felt after their ride! Poor things.

    Handling - Again, have you extensively driven the 5? The 5 handles much better than the Rondo, a fact that even other Rondo owners have attested to. Once you get spoiled with the handling of the 5, it's hard to drive anything else that doesn't meet or surpass it. And, yes, I felt the Rondo's handling to be sloppy and roll-heavy.

    Fuel Economy - EPA for 5: 21/27. EPA for Rondo: 19/26. Regardless of your individual experience, the fact remains that the 5 is more economical with fuel. Though I did, at one point, have 7 passengers in the Rondo, it was exactly one point. The rest of the trip was mostly just my wife and I, and still the Rondo got worse fuel economy than the 5. Point, blank, period.

    Cruise Control - Again, Edmunds comparison: Mazda 5 SPORT (the cheapest trim) - "Cruise Control: Cruise Control". Kia Rondo LX - "Cruise Control: Not Available". End. (Besides, I'm in the US, not Canada.)

    Looks - You're right. This is entirely subjective. But, hey, there are Studebaker, Gremlin, Yugo, Aztek, Prius (and, now add Rondo) owners out there who think their cars look hot, too! There is such a thing as bad taste regardless of subjectivity. Not saying YOU have bad taste, I don't know you and won't pre-judge like that, but most people I have talked to about the Rondo agree in saying that the Rondo ranges from outright "ugly" to "dorky" to, at most, just "cute". But, you're allowed to like whatever you want to like, my fellow intelligent forum poster friend you! :blush:

    All in all, I'm glad you enjoy your Rondo and are happy with your decision. All I am saying in this Mazda5 VS. Kia Rondo forum, where most people are missing out on the whole VS part of the equation, is that the 5 is still a better car regardless of it being ever so slightly smaller on the inside.

    (BTW, just so you know, leather steering wheel and shift knob, electroluminescent gauges, sunroof, 6 cd/mp3 capacity, rear spoiler, fog lights, side skirts, 17" rims, cruise control, steering wheel audio controls, truly useful and spacious middle row underseat "secret" storage compartments (to compensate for flimsy door pockets that Rondo's have), 5-speed auto trans w/manual mode, Automatic climate control, external temperature gauge, DVD-player and more are all either standard or available on the lowest to middle trim ranges of the 5 here in the USA - Sport and Touring. The Grand Touring has even more stuff. But, I know that bells and whistles don't make a car better, its engineering, performance and quality does)
  • nissmazlovernissmazlover Posts: 131
    Seriously? :confuse:

    Who's offended? :confuse:

    Relax, dude.

    It's just a forum on competing cars. As the opposing side, I am, therefore, competing with yours. That's all. Nothin' more, nothin' less. I'm not "hating" on you...I'm "hating" on the Rondo. Learn how to separate the two.

    For your sake, I think we should all hold hands and sing:
    "Shiny, happy people holding hands..."

    Anyone know REM's phone number?
  • nissmazlovernissmazlover Posts: 131
    Have one.

    Thanks, though! :P
  • nissmazlovernissmazlover Posts: 131
    You're so bad! :P

    Hey, we've been called "buddies" out there. Wonder Mazda 5 twins...UNITE!
  • alamocityalamocity Posts: 680
    Not sure where you're looking on Edmund's when you say that the turning circle is 36.1 ft as that is false, here is what is posted on the Edmund's site Turning Circle: 34.4 ft. which differs from the Kia site that says 35.4 ft and 36.1 ft with the 17" wheels I've driven both vehicles and each has their good and bad points to them, in the end it boils down to what suits you best. One thing I didn't like in the Mazda is that I was told on an oil change unless you order the oil filter and do it yourself you have to take it in to the dealer which surprised me. I would not recommend any adult try to sit in the third row of either vehicle, pure torture in both in my humble opinion. Personally I like both vehicles and no I'm not delusional because I happen to like both :D
  • Karen@EdmundsKaren@Edmunds Posts: 5,023
    First, I apologize for not stepping in sooner, but I was away for a few days and just now catching up.

    Second, the personal jabs and insults stop now. This is about the vehicles, not each other. Just because someone doesn't share the same love you have for your chosen vehicle does not give you any right to ridicule and belittle them. If it continues, your participation in this discussion will be restricted.

    Third, for clarification, this topic resides in the Mazda5 group, but is also linked to Kia Rondo. I am the host here.

    Thanks for your future cooperation.

    Karen-Edmunds Community Manager

  • vannervanner Posts: 47
    All of the pro-Mazda5 arguments would not convince me, no matter how many or what type. No amount of data, no mountain of reviews, no politeness or assertiveness will make me want or drive a 5. I tested one the same amount I tested the Rondo before I bought the Rondo. The 5 would not and never will grow on me, nor my wife nor our kids. It just didn't please us and that's what choice is all about. The 5 didn't "suck", it didn't do anything poorly, we just didn't like it. (It didn't help any that the Mazda5 exhaust-related fires happened right when I started shopping and sales were halted for a LONG time to fix that little "feature".)

    Now, for those so incredibly pleased with your choice of a 5 over a Rondo, I am happy for you. There is a forum for you folks that is not on the "Rondo Forum", and that's over on the Mazda 5 forum:!make=Mazda&model=MAZDA5

    We won't bother you there. Or, at least I won't, since I could not possibly care less about Mazdas or even if there are any.
  • medicinemanmedicineman Posts: 135

    Many months ago, I cross-shopped the Rondo and Mazda5. I bought the Rondo. The deciding factors were that the Rondo could seat up to seven on the odd occasion and I preferred a bench in the second row. If the Mazda5 had this, I would have purchased the 5 based on reputation alone (i.e., Mazda having a better rep pretty much by default in most people's minds).

    So that's basically why I didn't buy the "better car."

    If you check out the Kia forums, you'll notice others who also cross-shopped the Rondo and Mazda5 and obviously bought the Rondo (just as I'm sure there are cross-shoppers who frequent the Mazda forums who ended up with the 5). I can't really speak for all those Rondo owners who decided not to buy the "better car." Why? Because there doesn't seem to be a common thread. In my mind, I thought most people would choose the Rondo based on the same reasons as why I ultimately chose it (i.e., the second-row bench and seating for seven). As it turns out, I seem to be the only one who ever mentions that as the deciding factor.

    Over at the Kia forums, you'll find Rondo owners in their 20's to Rondo owners in their 70's. You'll find Rondo owners with young kids and Rondo owners with grown kids and Rondo owners with no kids. From all walks of life. But why would a guy in his twenties decide to buy a Rondo instead of the "cooler car"? Why would a mom with two young'uns decide to buy a Rondo instead of the car with sliding doors and two captain's chairs in the middle row? I don't know. Ask them.

    Actually, just a few weeks ago, I recommended to a mom that she shouldn't buy a Rondo.

    She is a young married mother with a tween, a toddler and another one on the way. She was looking at a GMC Acadia because of the room, the second-row captain's chairs and, yes, the looks. But she's also a new driver, so she didn't want to buy a huge vehicle, especially a minivan.

    I told her that with three kids, the Rondo probably would be too small and, despite her preference, a not-so-minivan would best suit her needs. If she were steadfast about buying a smaller vehicle, I recommended that she should look at the Mazda5 because it has (like the Acadia) second-row captain's chairs plus sliding doors.

    She posted later and said that they had just test driven a Mazda5. She liked its looks and the seating, but she hated the way it drove (believe it or not) and thought it was too small inside. She said that her 11-year-old and DH are quite tall and there wasn't enough legroom for them. She thought that the Rondo had much more room, but only wished it had different seating.

    I don't know what she eventually bought, but that's besides the point (yeah, there's actually a point).

    If the Mazda5 is clearly the "better car," then why are some people deliberately choosing an inferior product? It can't be the price since they are both priced similarly. Are the cross-shoppers who chose the Rondo over the 5 under some sort of delusion? Is that mom delusional for thinking the 5 is too small for her needs? Is she just plain nuts for not liking the way it drives? Should she be committed for failing to see that the 5 is actually a "better car"?

    The truth is, when you say that the Mazda5 is a "better car," you're really only saying that it's better for yourself. "But look," you might say, "the 5 is better looking, handles better, better on gas, better for kids" and so on. Yeah, better for you. Get it?

    From most reviews that I've read that mentions both vehicles, they usually state that the 5 looks better and handles better. You can also bolster that with some hard statistics, such as perhaps the turning radius, mileage, etc. So yeah, I guess you can use all of that to proclaim that the 5 is, in fact, "better." But better for whom? For you? For me? For that mom? You think she is having second thoughts now that you've figured out for all of us that the 5 is "better"?

    Some point of fact that you consider as "better" might not be "better" for someone else. In fact, it might be totally irrelevant.

    The Mazda5 might look "better" because the Rondo has features such as a bulbous minivan-like exterior, unfashionably low beltline, tall roof and huge windows--but I'm not willing to sacrifice the Rondo's great visibility and roominess (perceived and real) just to be part of the "in" crowd. So in what way would the Mazda5's "betterness" in the looks department be actually "better" for me? It's not like I'm cruising for dates (my wife would object). In reality and in practice, the Rondo's looks is better for me because I prefer what those "dorky" features give me--a very open and spacious cabin with mostly excellent sightlines all around. If one ain't confident enough to be seen in a Rondo, get a Mazda5.

    As I've stated before, perhaps some think that a "real man" wouldn't drive a vehicle that looks like this, but I beg to differ. Only a real man can drive a vehicle as "ugly" as this. As The Family Guy's Peter Griffin once said, "Every guy you see with a big house or a fancy car or a shiny gold tooth is really just saying, 'Don't look at my penis.'" Laugh at me in my doofus-mobile if you really want to, but I get the last laugh where it really counts.

    Yeah, the Mazda5 might be a better handling vehicle than the Rondo with unexpected "zoom zoom" (that inane advertising slogan) for a utility vehicle--but again, better for whom? I didn't buy a people hauler to marvel at how well it handles--this is a practical vehicle, first and foremost. Am I going to be pushing it like a sports car and admiring how well it corners while I'm in stop-and-go traffic with wife and kid in tow?

    Personally, I prefer a softer suspension and not overly sensitive steering in a utility vehicle (maybe that's what that mom prefers, too). These are not very sporty preferences, but it's better for me. Yes, I have driven a 5 and I admired the way it handled. The Rondo, however, handles and steers quite well for a utility vehicle (just my experience and obviously not yours)--but it's nevertheless a secondary consideration when it comes to what I look for in vehicles like this.

    Strange how a "not better" vehicle can somehow be better for me and some other folks. Funny that.

    BTW, the majority of reviews that I've read (and I've read a lot of them, just ask my fellow Rondo owners) mention that one of the Rondo's pluses is its smooth ride--unlike your experience and just like my experience.

    Anyway, enjoy your clearly "better car." I'll do the same with mine.

    (I get déjà vu whenever I read this thread. Everyone--especially me--keeps repeating the same things over and over again. What's old is new again. Which is, among other reasons, why I rarely read this thread anymore.)
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    no I have not driven a Mazda 5, it did not meet our requirements as I stated, so I wasn't going to waste my valuable time driving it. However, if the Rondo had not impressed me I would perhaps have done that.
    When I took the 2.4L Rondo out for a test drive (and it was not a quick run around the block, we drove it for 50km) on various roads including the 401 (our freeway) to check out on ramp acceleration and passing at high speed and was absolutely blown away by its power, performance and handling and fast response - there was no need to look further or even to try out their V6 model. That clinched the deal!

    The Rondo is the better car for our criteria.
  • nissmazlovernissmazlover Posts: 131
    Personal jab not intended here at all, so please don't take it as such. Nevertheless, to me, from what you have written, it seems as though you are not a car enthusiast whatsoever. You prefer comfort and space at the expense of better driving dynamics and attractive styling. That's fine, it's your preference, but you just don't "get" it, and that's fine. I'm sure there are a lot of other things you do "get".

    Now, just because someone prefers better looking cars, it doesn't mean they suffer from having short "members" (no need to go into measurements here (lol), but I've always been happy and proud of myself, and so has my wife ;). Also, how do you explain the 5 women I was with, 3 of whom know nothing about cars, who also very much disliked the Rondo and its styling and preferred the 5? Do they have short members, too? LOL) . It simply means they like good looking cars and appreciate good design. Nothing more.

    All this "pc-ness" is really tiring. Preferences and opinions can, in deed, be wrong. Someone out there just might prefer a White Castle hamburger over a real Angus hamburger. Does this, then, mean that the Angus burger stops being a better burger? Obviously not. Filet Mignon is still a better quality meat than chuck steak, even if I love chuck steak. Aretha Franklin is a better singer than Britney Spears. No matter how many crazy fans love Britney's voice, Franklin has a higher quality voice. This is what I mean by "better is better regardless of preference", and, now, regardless of criteria. A family may need an under $30K 7-passenger minivan. Does that mean that a Mercedes GL series stops being a better car than their Chevy Uplander simply because it doesn't meet their criteria? Come on. It might not fit their needs, but it's still a better car.

    I still stick by my original posting. Objectively, The Mazda 5 is a better car than the Kia Rondo, even if the Rondo is slightly larger inside and, technically, fits 7 people, and the M5 only 6. It simply feels as its built to a higher standard of overall quality, refinement, design and styling, thereby making it a better car regardless of the fact that someone may need a rear bench seat as opposed to the inherently more comfortable captain chairs.

    And, again, I never said that someone choosing a Rondo over a 5 makes them delusional. I said claiming that it is a better car than the 5 makes them delusional, as would an owner claiming their Uplander is better than a GL series. And I'm not claiming they need to be committed, either. There is more than one meaning to the word delusion. (Link - Delusion #3 - A false belief or opinion (ex: delusions of grandeur). Nothing more.)

    Mind you all, I really WANTED to like the Rondo. I did. Honestly! But, it sorely disappointed me, and it made me appreciate my 5 even more. I don't like to be an "armchair philosopher" which is why I wanted to actually experience a Rondo before I wrote about it and compared it to the 5. And that's what I wanted to do: share that experience in a Mazda 5 vs Kia Rondo forum, and have a little harmless fun in the process. But, it seems as though Kia owners really don't like to have fun, which is why they didn't buy a Mazda in the first place :P . (That was a harmless joke, now, people. Don't be getting all offended)

    Side note: Edmunds listed MSRP for M5 = $18,945
    Edmunds listed MSRP for Rondo = $16,395. Difference = $2,550.
    A big enough reason for many to choose the Rondo.
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