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Mazda 5 vs Kia Rondo



  • I'm in the process of buying a Mazda5 right now, after shopping it and the Kia Rondo (among others). I liked the Kia also, but the manual transmission in the 5 sold me. Also it seemed like the third row in the Kia would be almost inaccessible with car seats in the second row, and having a usable third row was a major selling point.
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    One review, cool! :D
  • ged3ged3 Posts: 2

    I presently have a Mazda3 on a 4 years lease and the return is schedule for this coming august. I looked at the different Mazda models and was disappointed that the brand new Mazda 3 models are almost the same as my four year old. I looked at the Mazda 5 and reading comments on the web I came across a road test mentioning the Kia Rondo.

    I went for a road test and was really impressed. One thing that I wanted to change was a more softer ride. The Mazda3 is an incredible car for its sporty suspension and it clings to the road, even more so at an higher speed. Its counterparts is the bumpy ride and the hardness...feels like driving a truck!

    Well maybe it's my age!

    I went for a test drive on the Mazda 5 and I felt I was still in my Mazda3. The drive isn't comfortable like the Rondo. And if you compare the prices (Canada/Quebec) then Mazda5 isn't even near the Rondo.

    Although I'm only 5'10", I wasn't confortable in the Mazda. I couldn't get the seat to an agreable position for me. I am used to have the seat way back when driving. The comfort on the seats in the Rondo is much better, not to mention the heated seats.

    So I am hooked on the Rondo. Presently it's the 2009 model and I wonder if the 2010 will be available in July. Or get the 2009.

    I would appreciate your opinions and suggestions on the Rondo. I read about the fogy windows problem here. Is it on the 2009 models?

    Things I should ask about before buying, equipements, any specific problems etc...

    Thanks for your input.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    I own a 2008 Rondo EX, 5-seater Canadian model with the 2.4L engine. If you double click on my name you can go back and find out all my comments on this forum, I'm also on a couple others too.

    I currently have nearly 26,000km on it and have owned it for just over 16 months. The only warranty claims I've had are 1. one of the heated rear window strands was not working (fixed) and 2. inside stress crack on the windshield (replaced). I've had no mechanical problems so far and the vehicle is solid and totally squeak and rattle free. My mileage has ranged from a low of 26mpg to a high of 39mpg (Imperial gallons). Can't fault the fit and finish. I get my service done at my local dealer and so far no problems, they have treated me well so far and as long as they do I will support them.
    If you pick up the April issue of Consumer Reports which is the annual auto issue it does state that they do recommend the Rondo and I believe Consumers Guide does as well.

    Based on the past the 2010 model will not be available in Canada to late August. One of the main pluses for me (didn't realize it till the first winter) was what you mentioned - the heated seats - fantastic (and you don't have to get leather to get it, like in many vehicles) and also the heated side mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer. I'm very impressed with the 2.4L engine and it has more than enough power for me (out performs the 2.8L V6 that I had in my previous vehicle).
    Based on what I've read on the 2009 models, I would certainly not get the LX model as it appears to be even less of a bargain than in '08. Due to the current economic conditions you can get some good deals, much better than when I bought mine and at the time I thought that was a fair price too.

    When I purchased mine, I got the rear bumper cover, window visors and hood deflector installed. If you get them at the time of purchase you triple your warranty coverage on them. You can also download the warranty and owners manual from the Canadian website if you haven't already done so.
    I've had no problems with fogging windows, but if there is anything you want to know specifically just ask and will try to answer you to the best of my knowledge. So far, I have no regrets purchasing this vehicle.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    All that sounds nice and all. I also give Kudos to Kia for stepping up their fit and finish, quality, and creature features as a standard equipment as well as their awesome warranty but..... IMHO, their design is plain bland and/or ugly. Kia should fire their design department and improve of their frog looking cars and maybe more people would consider them.

    As for me, I will gladly keep my much nicer and sportier looking Mazda5. Sorry, but Rondos are just plain ugly and odd looking. Just my opinion!
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    Hmmmm, I passed over a Mazda 5 since, among other reasons, I did not care for it's looks - the white taillights were too kitschy/too faddish, the greenhouse was too busy, esp the rear door windows/rear side glass area (no line goes farther than a few inches!) and the car is not proportioned well - it is 3 or 4 inches too short and looks stubby as a result.
    The Rondo, however, has a much cleaner, more unified look, with less of that Pontiac-style busy-ness and hang-ons that the M5 has.
    It's Mazda who should get rid of their M5 design dept (the Mazda6, on the other hand, looks fantastic) - the M5 is a little too, shall we say, full of time worn design cliches.
    As for people considering Kias, good Lord man, have you looked around lately? It seems like every 10th car is a Kia, and that goes for other places in Canada that I have visited. Lots of them are Rondos.
    Just my opinion!
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    Rondos don't come "standard" with third row seating, it is an option, no sliders either, plus they offer an "anemic" V6 engine as an upgrade that hardly makes it worthwhile compared to their four cylinder standard engine, and as opposed to just firing the Mazda5 design team (because the new Mazda6 looks fantastic according to you) Kia needs to fire their entire line-up design team because all Kias look like frogs from the front end.

    Just my opinion!
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    vg33e, you missed my humour altogether. While I do prefer the Rondo over the M5 for a variety of reasons, you'll see by my past posts that I like the M5 quite a bit. But you were so strong in your Kia bashing that I had to have some fun with you.

    And you bit. Hard.

  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    I am not bashing Kia, I just simply said that their design is bland and boring, just as I have said about Toyotas as well. I was also trying to have some fun here and make some dust because I know that this thread is also displayed on the Kia forum. I love debating, it is always fun for me, I give Kudos to Kia for the right things they have done to get themselves in the position they are in now. Unfortunately their design falls very short IMO. No hard feelings, these forums need some shuffling once in a while since they don't get visited to frequently. So let the debate continue!

  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    you have to keep in mind that the Rondo is actually third generation, so yes it is an old design - but I think it looks great.
    You may change your comments however, when you see some of the new stuff coming down the pipeline in the next year or two due to the new head KIA designer Peter Schreyer, who I believe came from Audi.

    Do you think the new Soul is "bland and boring"? There is a new redesigned Sorento and Forte (replacing the current Spectra) coming in the next few months, as well as a Forte Coupe that is currently under testing. I've heard the whole lineup will be revamp by 2011-12, so it will be interesting to see what you have to say then!
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    A couple of comments:

    We still have a last gen Mazda5 and you still have a last gen Rondo. Good for KIA bringing a designer from Audi but that will not change the way the Rondo looks today unfortunately.

    As we discussed some time ago on this same thread, if the owner-to-be is not into good car handling, fun-to-drive, ZOOM-ZOOM philosophy features and looks, then the Rondo is the way to go, just as the previous Mazda3 owner posted above, good stuff and good decision for him

    Interestingly enough, you can find (especially in Canada) that many people buy the Mazda5 based on their experience with their previous or existing Mazdas' ownership (i.e. Protege, Mazda3, MazdaSPEED3 and Mazda6), especially because of the items highlighted on point b)

    But now, Hyundai (and KIA) have money to spend today where other car manufacturers don't, so they have the opportunity to continue growing and punch hard. They have come with much better and competitive new models (i.e. the Genesis Sedan, the Genesis Coupe and even the Equus), but the brand perception overall does not change overnight. Once they apply a common philosophy to all their cars then I believe that the KDM concept will take off as the JDM has done for the last 15 years, yet it will take time to be adapted to all their models.

    Oh, and I believe Hyundai will come first as a better perceived brand overall, then KIA
  • ged3ged3 Posts: 2
    Most comments are about the "design" of both vehicle. For the Mazda enthusiasts, I repeat that I was very pleased with my Mazda3...really! It nervous, cocky and stick to the road like no other cars I've had. I remember coming back home late and driving around 160km, luckily no cops around. The faster you seem to go the better the driving is, the aerodynamics!

    Thus the first car I thought at the end of my lease was Mazda. I was disapointed because the 2009 models are 99% the exact replica of my 4 year old. The other thing that I wanted was a more comfy ride.

    I tried the Mazda5 and the overall space for the driver isn't comfortable...for me. I was disappointed with the ride. This is a family vehicle, not a sport model, and I felt like driving a truck with it's hard suspension.

    It is a quality if you want a vehicle with a better suspension getting in a curve.

    The medium model with the Mazda5 for a four years lease is about 440$ per month. The top model for Kia's Rondo is 338$. And if you compare the standard equipment, and the warranty, then Rondo is way, way ahead.

    It is a matter of personal taste as far as the design is concerned. My wife thinks the Rondo is the better of the two.

    I did apreciate that there weren't any negative comments on the vehicule per-se. Mechanics, service etc.

    I do retain that I can negociate some options and the price.

    Thanks for all your input
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    I think coolmazda5 hit it right on the nail. Kia is indeed a fairly new "Korean" brand of vehicles and although they are taking the correct steps to establish credibility and loyalty, they still have a long way to go. Hyundai is definately the right choice of parent company to be under for Kia. Just think back to the first Hyundai offered here in the States...the 1985 Hyundai Excel. What a piece of doo-doo that car was! Unfortunately this "Korean" vehicle left a bad taste in American's mouth about Korean cars. It has taken Hyundai lots of money and time to establish themselves as a great car manufacturer able to compete with the likes of the fav 4 import companies-- Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Nissan. It has been excatly 24 years since Hyundai's first vehicle here in the States. Unfortunately, Kia is a "Korean" car manufacturer and not all American's are quick to jump and buy a Kia, probably for the same reasons that were established 24 yearcs ago by Hyundai. However, Kia is taking action and thinking optimistic by offering awesome warranty, added standard features, and packaging it all in their affordable vehicles. This is the way Hyundai did it and made it to where they are now, and it is definately the way Kia should continue to do business to earn them their "bragging rights"

    Has Kia vehicles improved? Definately! Are they up to par with the fav 4? Perhaps with some but not with others. Will they ever get to where Hyundai is? If they continue to do what they are doing...yes, but it is not going to happen over night. Looking at the future designs by Kia, you can definately see the improvement and I am sure that Kia will be succesful in veering new customers to their vehicles.

    However, the niche that Mazda has created is that of a "sporty, ZOOM ZOOM" vehicles and it is working for them because all of us that own Mazdas, we all agree and love that about our vehicles, whether it is a MZ3, MS3, MZ5, MZ6, etc...

    Coolmazda5 put it nicely, if you want a soft supple 6 seater without the sporty looks and feel but don't want a full size mini-van, go with a Kia Rondo. However, if you are an enthusiast and one that craves sportiness and handling then go with a MZ5. I have always been a gearhead and I love sporty great handling cars, unfortunately a 2 or 4 seater coupe is not going to work for my growing family, so this is why I bought my MZ5 and I couldn't be happier.

    Needless to say I will not buy a Kia anytime soon for those two reasons:
    Kia = Cheap Korean Vehicles
    Kia = Boring Looking Unspirited Vehicles.
  • As with all things opinions vary between individuals as to what may be more important to each.

    Being an owner of a '05 Mazda 3 (2.0L w/5-speed manual) who recently purchased an '08 Kia Rondo LX V6 I'll offer my opinion of the two manufacturer's products based on my experience after 4-years as a Mazda owner and based on my experiences as a current and former owner of quite a few Toyotas and and at least one Acura (Honda).

    First, I do prefer the Mazda5's styling better than the Rondo. I also like the 5's rear sliding doors better.

    There-I said it :) .

    However, I'll also admit to being over 50... and for a while now looks have been less important to me than other properties including among others "function" and "value".

    Frankly, if I could have purchased a Mazda 5 equipped similarlyto our Rondo for the same $$ there might have been two Mazdas parked in my driveway last night. I also wish the Rondo was available in the U.S. with a 5-speed manual instead of being limited to the choice of a four (I-4) or five (V-6) speed automatic.

    Fact is I ended, up paying less for our brand-new '08 Rondo than I paid for my brand-new '05 Mazda 3i four years ago. Also, although I've been very satisfied with my Mazda 3 the Rondo we recently purchased represents a lot more car (in size, weight, functionality, room and especially safety features) for the money.

    Compared to our Rondo my '05 Mazda 3i lacks ABS, ESC, traction control,
    side air bags, side curtain air bags, active seatbelts/head restraints. And there may be a few more safety advantages offered by the Rondo that I'm forgetting.

    Of course some (but not all) of the Rondo's standard safety features WERE available when I purchased my '05 Mazda 3, but only through the purchase of extra-cost options packages. None of them was included as standard equipment on the 3i-at least not on 2005 models like mine.

    Of course can't say I've made a direct comparison of standard safety features offerd on the '08/'09 Mazda5 and the '08/09 Rondo. So there may be in fact be little difference between what standard equipment on the two now. I have read that ABS became standard equipment on later Mazda3 models (since '06 or '07?) and it's also possible side impact airbags may be standard equipment now. However, I have doubt if all the Rondo's standard safety equipment comes standard on the Mazda5.

    In any case I'd choose more standard safety features for my wife and kids over styling preferences any day of the week.

    But that's just a reflection of MY priorities. Others may (and have every right to) feel differently.

    B.t.w. so far I'm very pleased with the quality of construction, driving behavior, preliminary results for fuel ecoomy and even the "the look" (mine is white w/black trim)! But most important-the wife really seems to like it a lot too!

    That said, I don't intend to knock either vehicle.

    While it's too early to judge how the Rondo may hold up as the mileage increases, I can say my Mazda 3 has been very economical and reliable to a fault for more than four years and 60k miles. I've also averaged 38.6 mpg with it based on all miles driven and gallons used since purchase. I'll also mention that while being a contributor to a Mazda3 forum for several years, I've read MANY complaints about poor fuel economy from owners of Mazda3s models equipped with the 2.3 L engine-especially from those who have automatic transmissions. So since the Mazda5 is only available with the same 2.3L engines used (until '10) on Mazda 3s models, this possibility was a negative in my book when considering a Mazda5 automatic.

    Of course I've also read similar complaints from more than a few Rondo owners-especially those who's vehicles have the same 2.7L V-6 engine & 5-speed automatic transmission as mine. However, judging from the first 700 miles driven in our our Rondo so far I haven't been displeased with the car's fuel economy. The first fillup calculated to over 25 mpg and I'm expecting even better results (probably 27+ mpg) when I stop to fill up for the 2nd time this evening.

    If so, that's not bad at all in my book for a V-6 engine that's still in the process of breaking-in.

  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    What do they say? Opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one :D

    I own a 2006 and a 2008 Mazda5 in the US, and, as per the safety features, apart from I believe ESC and traction control, all of them are standard on any Mazda5 trim (at least in the US)

    As per your age, I don't really point into that at all, I'm just glad you like zippy cars, but now that you mention it, I had a theory on one of my posts that although both cars are functionally similar the may not be targeting the exact same market. It may be partially true :D.

    Here is the old post:
  • Since posting my prior message I doubled-checked the '09 Mazda5's list of safety equipment and discovered ABS, side airbags and side curtain airbags all come standard now. So you're probably right that ESC and traction control may be the only other safety oriented standard equipment which the Rondo may have over the 5.

    Also, you're right-I do enjoy "zippy" vehicles. In addition to the Mazda 3 I also own a '99 BMW 323ic convertible and a Honda ST1100 motorcycle. However, I rarely push my 4-wheeled vehicles hard these days and tend to sow my sporting oats when riding my ST through the twisties along the Blue Ridge Mountains when the urge strikes.

    Unfortunately, with 5 vehicles currently licensed and insured for just two drivers I'm gonna have to make some hard decisions soon. That my wife's '98 Toyota Sienna is going is almost a given, although I've considered hanging on to it for use a my daughter's first vehicle in a few years since the Sienna has a proven safety record in vehicle crash testing. On the other hand, deciding between getting rid of my BMW or Mazda3 is going to be a tough call.

    The Mazda is six years newer, has ~27k fewer miles, less expensive to insure and maintain and averages about 9 mpg better than the BMW which at ~28-31 mpg is hardly a gas hog when driven conservatively. However the BMW truly is a lot of fun to drive - especially with the top down on a warm, sunny day with that oh-so-smooth inline-6 making such sweet sounds. My Mazda 3 is a lot of fun to drive to and has one of the best manual shifters I've had the pleasure of using. But of course it's no convertible and mine example lacks a sunroof.

    Decisions, decisions... : :confuse:
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    So let me catch have:

    2008 Kia Rondo
    2005 MZ3
    1999 BMW 323ic
    1998 Sienna
    XXXX Honda ST1100

    My suggestion is to dish the Sienna and insure the BMW as an occasional (leisure) vehicle with the minimum amount of miles per year (I believe its 1000 miles) This way, you get rid of the least paltable vehicle and you save money. I don't know how old your daughter is but when she becomes of age to drive, I can certainly assure you she will definately not want to drive the Sienna. I take it your wife drives the Rondo and you switch off between the MZ3, BMW, and ST100. When your daughter starts driving you may be forced to give her your MZ3 and then run really fast to your nearest Mazda dealer and get yourself an awesome little wagon called the MAZDA5.

  • Thanks for the advice, but I have other ideas.

    The Sienna has been our family (and the wife's primary) vehicle for nearly 5 years and I bought the Rondo with the intention of replacing it. Except for some broken (plastic) body hardware issues, with almost 160k miles on the odometer it's served us very well. Also since I scored it at a bargain price (for $6k with 96k miles...and it's a loaded XLE model) we've gotten our money's worth from it i.m.o.. It's just at the point where I either need to spend money to fix it up (tired shocks & strut cartridges, power steering is leaking, engine and automatic transmission still seem solid but have not been rebuilt, engine timing belt is about due for replacement, original radiator & a/c, etc.) or just get rid of it. Since most of the car's components are original there's certainly the possibility something major could fail (say the automatic transmission?) at any time. It also has one of those Toyota engines which have developed a reputation for having oil sludge issues. Our Sienna's V-6 has never given me any problems (only had the starter rebuilt last summer), but I've always used synthetic motor oil and premium oil filters while we've owned it.

    Your probably right that my daughter might not want to get the Sienna when she gets her license. (Note: she's only 12 1/2 so this milestone is still several years in the future). However I'll be more interested in her safety than in her vehiclular preferences. I wasn't particularly "excited" about my first car either (1964 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88...what a tank!). But it was big enough to provide superior protection (at least for the standards of the time) and the big 392 cubic inch V-8 was thirsty enough to keep my teenage male hormones in check long enough to allow me a chance to gain some driving experience. The Olds was replaced with a '66 VW bug right before I started college and the bug was a total opposite (ie almost no power along with very little protection). But it was light, quick steering, and had a manual which helped make it reasonably fun to drive despite the lack of power (50 hp). The thrumming flat four in the rear did provide some character too. Best of all I could fill the 10 gallon tank for $5!

    Although I really do like my Mazda3, I probably won't choose to pass it on to either of my kids when they receive their licenses, for as previously noted my 3 lacks many of the standard safety equipment that comes standard on most late model vehicles being sold today. All my 3 has are the dual front air bags...and from what I've read when lacking side and side curtain airbags Mazda3 models have not scored well in side impact tests.

    The jury is still out on whether I'll choose to sell my Mazda3 or the BMW. My 323ic is equipped with the (optional) SAB package along with dual front airbags, ABS and ESC. However, being a convertible all bets would be off if one of us should be unlucky enough to flip it some day. Another drawback to the BMW is that premium gas is recommended. I filled up last night and it cost $10 more to fill the BMW's 16.8 gal tank than it did to fill the Rondo's 15.8 gal tank the day before...even though BMW's tank only swallowed about a gallon more than the Rondo's. Why premium gas is selling @ $.45-$.55+ more than regular these days is beyond me. All I know is the premium paid for "premium" can be painful on the wallet even though all gas prices are of course far less than a year ago. Since I have a 55-mile (round-trip) commute between home and work, fuel economy and gas prices are somewhat important to me.

    Still, fact is my BMW holds a "grin factor" advantage over my Mazda3. Smoother and sweeter-sounding I-6 engine, more power (175 hp vs 148 hp) and more grip (BMW has meatier 225/45 Continentals)

    And of course it IS a BMW convertible and definitely turns more heads than my also sharp-looking Mazda3.

    Like I said, it's not gonna be an easy decision.

    And yeah-I realize that a Mazda5 probably will turn more heads than a Rondo would.

    Of course, the Rondo will primarily be my wife's car! :P
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    interesting comments. In the latest issue of Consumer Reports (auto edition) they have a section entitled "Reliability by Brand" with a list of 34 brands. Kia is in 10th place, Hyundai in 8th and Mazda in 12th, so they are making huge strides from there Excel days.
    My mother-in-law bought one of those Excels when they first came out, what a load of crap, but then again Toyota and Honda went through the same thing before.

    KIA has only been in Canada 10 years and in the US since 1994.
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