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Mazda 5 vs Kia Rondo



  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    According to Conwelpic's figures, which he has been posting for many months (thank you), Kia still sells more Rondos than Mazda sells 5's.
    So Mazda's increase, though strong percentage-wise, is simply an increase from just a handful of sales to 42% better than a handful of sales.
    Regardless, the M5 is still a nice little van-let, just not as popular as Kia's little SUV-let. Not an opinion, just a fact.
  • Sorry I hurt your feelings, but I did not post anything other than facts to add to the numbers posted earlier :)

    Last time I checked 26.8% was still greater than 3%

    Now, that the FWD Rondo is a little SUV-let, I'm not so sure how factual that is :confuse: . A KIA Sportage, that is a little SUV (source:

    Happy off-roading!
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    Just havin' fun with you. I know the M5 is a wagon just like the Rondo. Or maybe they are vans. Or cross-overs? Hmmm, I'll just call 'em wagons.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    the Rondo is a tall station wagon and this is what it is to KIA as the #52 in 6th and 7th place on the VIN number means "5 door station wagon 2WD", but I like what they call both these vehicles in Europe - MPV's (multi-purpose vehicles)
  • No, fact, you called the Rondo SUV, not a wagon, next post will be a pick-up, or a truck... :D
  • natchnatch Posts: 1
    I bought an '07 Rondo EX 4-cyl about 1 Jul 07 and now wish I had driven the Mazda5. I paid about $20k out-the-door (cash) for my EX (after swapping out the 17" wheels for the 16" wheels - better ride, longer life, 1/2 the price to replace, tho not quite as sporty to drive). A friend just got an '08 Mazda5 by getting quotes via the internet - he did about as well as I did on price. He LOVES his Mazda5. I LIKE my Rondo.

    For the last two weeks I've been out of town and have been renting a new Mazda5, so I finally can make a complete comparison between these two models.

    Very soon after purchase I discovered some major flaws in the Rondo, much to my chagrin, and they are as follows: poor driver's seat comfort (no small of the back support whatsoever - I had to add a $100 orthotic to make it comfortable) - the Mazda5 has no such problem; "head bumper" of a rear hatch door (I'm 6'2") - if Mazda can swing it high, why can't Kia?; impossible for my 67 yr old eyes to read ANY of the instruments in the daytime (including the clock and radio) - these items have VERY little contrast, and Kia would do well to look at VW and others for what to emulate - the Mazda5 is NO improvement over this; incredibly slippery steering wheel - ridiculous - I got 3 rolls of black tennis racket tape and created a nice-looking and nicely grippy wheel (with the help of some instant glue here and there) - the Mazda5 wheel is perfectly fine; the Rondo desperately needs a telescopic steering wheel - I must drive seated well-back, and my arms suffer greatly (strange that the Canadian version HAS this feature) - the Mazda5 has it too; I don't particularly like the sharp cutoff on the headlights (dims), and the brights sure do light up the sky, but don't do that well down the road (I re-aimed them for some improvement, but there's no excuse for this) - the Mazda5's lights are just fine; the Rondo's cruise control is WAY too aggressive (it downshifts and pours on the gas at the smallest hill) - the Mazda5 seems much more comfortable in cruise; the seatbacks and rear floor on the Rondo feel like they are cardboard (!), and they are covered with a very cheap carpeting material - the Mazda5 seats and carpets seem to be good quality by comparison; the Rondo has NO lock on the glove compartment (there's no excuse for this) - the Mazda5 certainly DOES have one; and, finally, the Rondo's ride is harsh over bumps and ruts, while the Mazda5 seems to take it all in stride. Now for two little things that drive me nuts on the Rondo: the radio buttons on the steering wheel are constantly being bumped by my arm or elbow when making a turn, and thus the station changes or it switches to/from the CD - this doesn't happen on the Mazda5; and the left-side map light on the Rondo shines RIGHT IN YOUR EYES (let's face it, the folks at Kia need to use an American-sized guy to test these things if they're gonna sell 'em over here) - and, again, the Mazda5 doesn't have that problem, tho their map lights could be brighter (the Rondo's are BRIGHT).

    What do I LIKE about the Rondo? The 4-cyl is VERY zippy, while the Mazda5 is actually sluggish by comparison. I'm averaging about 24mpg, while my friend with the Mazda5 says he's getting 28, though my Mazda5 rental is only getting about 24 (he has stick and maybe he's a light foot). The Rondo's visibility all around is terrific, while the Mazda5's is simply good (the Rondo has taller windows and maybe a bit less pillar obstruction on the rear corners). The Rondo handles very well, even with the 16" wheels, and the Mazda5 seems to handle just as well. The Rondo 4cyl is VERY quiet and smooth (no timing belt either!), while the Mazda5 seems the equal of it; I love the Rondo brakes, and Mazda's are very good too; the rear side doors on the Rondo open extremely wide, which is nice, though you gotta watch out in a parking lot - the Mazda5's sliding doors, however, are WONDERFUL, and I wish all cars had them.

    That's the gist of it. It seems I'd have been happier in the Mazda5. Then again, there's that terrific Kia warranty. I guess I'd just like Kia to fix those few problems (a simple task): add a telescoping wheel, fix the instrument readability problem, let the hatch door go up HIGHER; add a lock to the glovebox; use standard performing headlights; FIX THE SEATS! (just copy any Honda Accord seat); make the steering wheel grippy; re-aim the map lights; tone down the aggressive cruise control; use higher quality carpeting and seatbacks; and emulate Mazda in the positioning of the steering wheel radio buttons. Do that, Kia, and the Rondo beats the Mazda5 HANDS DOWN. Now put in sliding side doors, and you won't be able to build enough of them.

    Hope this helps some of you folks to decide between these two VERY nice cars.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    I have a '08 Rondo EX (Canadian) 5-seater model, and would agree with some of your comments:
    - telescopic wheel (but no problem the way it is), Canadian version do not have it
    - lock on the glove compartment, was on the '07 model but removed on the '08
    - have to agree with you on the 2.4L, great engine, outperforms my previous 2.8L V6 and gets good mileage
    - great visibility
    - great brakes
    - would be nice if the rear hatch was a little higher (I'm 5'-11")

    I have to disagree on a few of things:
    - sliding doors, I don't like them, that's one of the reasons I got the Rondo
    - I've no problem reading the instruments at any time (I'm in my sixties too)
    - I find the drivers seat very comfortable, but have to admit they don't compare to Volvo seats (used to own a couple), I like the fact the door arm rest and centre arm rests are on the same level. Love the fact the seats are heated! (a lot of vehicles do not provide this unless you go to the high end model)
    - low beam cut off lights: I like this feature, it does take a bit of getting used to but now after nearly one years ownership I would not change them. They have a very broad beam and pick up things on the far right and left that regular beams could miss.
    - the steering wheel is slippy when new but over time it gets better, don't use Armorall or something similar to clean it.
    - I haven't found a problem with the steering wheel radio buttons
    - don't find too much problem with the cruise, depends on the grade, but its not as touchy as my daughters HHR with the same size engine and seems to react about the same as my previous vehicle, not sure how the V6 would react.

    I have not driven the Mazda 5, but it was a close second to the Rondo. We were comparing interior design and we had no use for the extra seats of the M5, but preferred the under floor storage instead. The Rondo 5-seater provided a flat unbroken floor area that made it solid for our large dog. We preferred the dash on the Rondo vs the M5, the amount of standard features (particular the windshield de-icer and heated outside mirrors) that came with the vehicle and safety features were a big plus. We also like the great visibility on the Rondo and the high seating position. If the test drive on the Rondo had not impressed us we would have test drove the M5, but it did, so that was enough for us.

    A lot is subjective and our requirements would be totally reverse for some one else. These are two great wagons in a niche market - bottom line is you couldn't go wrong with either one.
  • I read that the member who wrote this report owns a Rondo AND rented/drove a Mazda5 for 2 weeks, How can that be subjective? :surprise:
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    maybe that's the wrong word to use, what I meant to say was, what is perceived as a problem by one person is not necessary the same for another - e.g. sliding doors, one person thinks they are great and someone else doesn't. Its just the way you look at things and how each persons requirements differ, its not necessary a defect or problem.

    (however, on looking up the word in my dictionary, I think the word is right - "of or due to the consciousness or thinking or percipient subject as opposed to real or external things, not objective, imaginary; giving prominence to or depending on personal opinions or idosyncrasy")
  • I think this forum is not as well represented by women, but here is a good indicator from Down-Under

    MORE than 25,000 women across Australia have picked their AutoChic 2008 Car of the Year Awards, and the overall winner was Kia Rondo.

    The awards were announced last week, an Australian automotive website for and about women.

    With more than 25,000 votes over a six-month period, the girls of Australia were asked to nominate and recommend their favourite vehicles in each of five categories most relevant to them including the Best First Car, Most Wanted Car, Sexiest Girl's Car, Best Car for a Girl on a Budget, and Best Car for Mums (aka the best yummy-mummy mobile).

    With women now buying over 50 per cent of all new cars, and making the final decision in 85 per cent of all new car purchases, the awards were created to demystify the car-buying decision by involving women in the industry on their own terms.

    ``The results reflect a diversity in tastes and lifestyles, and has resulted in the most comprehensive guide online as to what women want in a car, at least,'' said Auto Chic's managing director Kathy.

    The winners are:

    Best First Car Toyota Corolla

    Sexiest Girl's Car Jaguar XK Convertible

    Girl on a Budget Toyota Yaris

    Most Wanted Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet

    Best Yummy Mummy Holden Captiva

    BP Renewables Greenest Car Fiat 500

    Safest Car Renault Megane

    AutoChic's Car of Choice Kia Rondo

    BP Renewables assisted in picking the 2008 AutoChic Greenest Car award. The decision was based on greenhouse gas emissions, fuel-economy tests, and other specifications reported by the auto manufacturers.

    The Safest Car for Women award was decided by automotive industry consultant, freelance journalist and features editor of Wheels magazine, and avid safety advocate John Cadogan.

    The girls at AutoChic test-drive cars on a regular basis from a female point of view and, when it came to their car of choice for the year, the decision was unanimous the Kia Rondo.

    Source: chics-surveyed-about-what-women-want/1332107.aspx
  • Wow!

    If 85% percent of women have the final decision on which cars to pull the trigger on our next vehicle purchase and basing our choices on this survey....guys let me be the first to say "We are doomed"

    Australia gets the best "bada$$" cars of the entire world that the U.S. society dont even get to sit in, and the final outcome is a Toyota Corolla? Yaris? Beetle Cabriolet? a Kia Rondo as "Car of Choice"

  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    It seems like most men are remain in their 12 year old mindset when purchasing a car, but women never had that 12 year old mindset, so they look at a car in a more logical a machine to get you around.

    On the other hand, women have shoes to utilize their irrational mindset ;)
  • After I have made up my mind. I have a Rondo and a Yaris so my masculinity is taking a hit here.

    (Just kidding - I have two very practical cars for my lifestyle)
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    looks like it happened again for the second month in a row, the Rondo outsold the Mazda 5 in Canada, maybe Mazda Canada is having a supply problem as this doesn't normally happened here - or maybe not :D. The Rondo is KIA Canada's best selling model.

    Rondo - 932 (this brings it to over 16,000 units since its introduction into Canada)
    Mazda 5 - 711 (sorry, do not have figures since its introduction which was October 2005)
  • After I have made up my mind. I have a Rondo and a Yaris so my masculinity is taking a hit here.

    Geee, the Rondo is OK, but the Yaris hit the nail in the head, LOL.

    Just kidding :D, wife drives a Mazda5 and I drive a Mazda5, so let's rephrase as:

    - These cars do not discriminate any owners' "personal" tendencies
    - Or, Family priorities take precedence when buying these type of cars

  • Don't tell anyone, but the secret is out there, people now know that the Rondo is more fun to drive than the Mazda5, that's why ;)
  • Ha! I like you.
  • Yeah, I did it. Enough of assumptions, while on business travel I arrived to the rental area and found a Rondo, so here we are:

    2009 Rondo LX I4, 5-seater, ~2100mi on the clock


    Really nice exterior color. It was the Black Cherry I believe. The sunlight effects are great

    The Kumho tires (16in) are very decent, good grip. The highway drive is very quiet and the acceleration and barking feels very tight

    Although is a 4AT, the ride at 70-75MPH RPMs are decently low (2500-2800RPM)

    MP3, Sirius capable player and aux input. My rental had the satellite radio service enabled!

    OEM roof rails, good height/clearance space to install crossbars and stuff

    Good seating space in the 2nd row, not much of a difference for an adult from the Mazda5 perspective though. Also access is good thanks to the huge door. Problem is garages and parking lots

    1-2 inches of extra leg room for the driver than the Mazda5

    Decent fuel economy, a-la Mazda5 5MT

    Sunglasses bin where the map lamps/lights are


    The tan interior does not look good at all, too brownish, cheap looks. The dashboard and gauges reminded me of mainstream taxis in Asia and South America. The overall design looks outdated with the bulky round vents

    The suspension is extremely soft, it “bounces” continuously over road bumps, like a boat at sea…

    Steering feels very lose, it is not crisp/responsive at all. The driver-car engagement is very poor, it feels like driving a large V8 car. Mazda has done a very good job in this area. I’ve rented a Mazda3 and a Mazda6, and is very crisp, shorter ratio and very responsive

    No telescopic steering wheel

    No adjustable lumbar support on the driver’s seat

    Plastic interior feels rough. The Mazda5 (Sport) also is also platicky, but this Mazda plastic there looks and feels with more quality (including steering wheel and shift knob)

    There are issues when you have sunlight in the dashboard. I certify now that the clock nor the radio screen are visible under direct sunlight, that is not good. Also the dashboard and screens’ orange color make it look very outdated

    The 16in wheels with plastic caps, ughhh

    Engine feels very peppy, but the 4AT gear to RPM ratio is not well synchronized. Example: from high RPMs on 2nd gear it jumps to a 3rd gear on very low RPMs, very inefficient, a lot of overdrive was needed to keep speed, especially uphill…

    2nd row A/C is extremely poor, no low/high control plus it feels very week even with the MAX A/C on. I rented it in Dallas and after a 6-7 hours of being parked on direct sunlight took long time for the cabin to cool down. I did not perceive any difference with the 06-07 Mazda5, which does not have a 2nd row A/C

    Useless door ding protector stripes, way at the bottom of the door

    No light for the cargo area

    No steering wheel radio controls

    Subjective if you want

    Annoying wind noise on passenger front door at cruise speeds. Wind seems to be entering from the door handle. This may be related to be a rental, not related to the car design

    Key and Alarm Fob separated, not stylish at all…
  • Thanks for your write up. It's good to know we're not alone! lol I've written about it before, but I, too, have rented a Kia Rondo in the past - it was a 2008 LX 7-seater version on my trip to Puerto Rico back in May. Like you seemingly did, I purposefully asked for the Rondo - and they gave me the free upgrade since I had, originally, ordered a small car. I should have taken it as a sign (omen?), though, kind of like in the movie "Meet the Fochers" when everything was going WAY tooooo perfectly for the couple on their trip to the in-law's house.

    Anyway, I agree with most of your pros on the list. Only thing, though, I didn't have the satellite option, nor the Aux input. Kia JUST put that into their 2009 Rondo. As far as cons go, I also agree with everything you said and can add many more to the list. But, I won't go there. Some people here are way too sensitive for that. Suffice to say, at the request of my wife and friends, I went back all the way to San Juan (far from where I was) in order to switch the car back to the original smaller one I was supposed to get: A Scion XD, which we all enjoyed MUCH more.

    I just wish I would have been able to bring my own car down with us, or at least rent another 5. Then, we all would have been happy and I would have never had to waste my time in switching cars.
  • palkopalko Posts: 16
    Was the acceleration decent? What kind of gas mileage did you get?..thanks
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