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Kia Rondo Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • I have decided I want a 2008 Rondo EX 6 cyl. with Urban Grey exterior and Black interior. I have searched inventories online of local dealers and none have one. The dealership I have taken test drives at said they could find one for me, but basically wanted sticker price for it. I do have a 2002 Dodge Caravan I want to trade in. The Edmonds “What others are paying” price is 18815. Tax here is 6% plus $50. I am trying to get this for $17000 and my trade.
    Any comments?
  • sra1sra1 Posts: 20
    Don't know where you are, but, you ought to be able to get at least $2,500.00 off MSRP on an 08 model.

    I'd try another dealer.
  • I'm in Tampa, FL. I have sent email inquires to other Kia dealers in the area, and they have already started to call. It makes it harder that I have a trade, but I'm going to get a price first before going in with my trade.
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    I wonder, how would this procedure have changed/complicated if there had been a trade?
  • If you are trading in, you are at a complete disadvantage. Why? Because you are simultaneously negotiating on two separate things and the complexity of the transaction is seriously compounded.

    They can give you a deal on your new car and screw you on the trade in, for example. And the new car salesman will blame the used car appraiser guy.

    My advice: don't do it. Sell your old car on your own. Or sell it to the dealer later, if you must.
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    Food for thought, thanks! As old as mine is now, I might be better off letting PBS or NPR come take it for their fund drive.
  • My purchasing experience was generally positive when dealing with Pence Kia of Richmond, VA.

    I researched dealer inventories online within a hundred miles and found two cars at Pence that interested my wife & I. Both were '08 white V6 models, one an LX w/options & the other an EX with even more options.

    After submitting e-mail inquiries I quickly received a call from a Pence salesman and made an appointment for my wife & I to test drive the two '08 Rondos along with an '09 Optima as a basis for comparison. Before arriving I researched the available incentives ($4k manufacturer's rebate offered for remaining '08 Rondos and Optimas) and also used Edmonds to come up with and print reports reflecting their TMV (true market values) for some comparable vehicles equipped with some of the options packages we might consider.

    After test driving three vehicles we decided to make an offer for the white LX V6 equipped with the following options (note: options prices are listed @ MSRP):
    Third row seating ($500)
    Convenience package ($300)
    Floor mats-7-passenger ($95)
    Rear bumper protector ($65)
    Michelin tire upgrade ($60).

    Total MSRP for the vehicle per the window sticker was $20,565

    I initially made an offer to purchase the vehicle for $15k, or $19k less the $4k rebate. Also asked the dealership to appraise and make a trade-in offer for one of our vehicles ('99 BMW 323ic convertible in very good condition with ~ 87k miles)

    Although the offer we received for our vehicle was imo ridiculously low ($4k...or just over 1/2 the estimated KBB trade-in value for the vehicle), the sales manager said he would be willing to sell the Rondo @ dealer invoice, or $19,088, less the $4k rebate (before taxes, dealer fees, etc.). After some discussion my wife & I agreed to accept this offer.

    As a result the net discount we received under MSRP calculates to $5,477 (26.63%). Although retrospectively I wish our initial offer had been lower, all-in-all we're very pleased with the price negotiated to purchase our Rondo.

    The only negative aspect of our experience came after signing all the paperwork (rather late in the evening after an awfully long day). The next morning when reviewing everything again I realized that a $199 fee was reflected on the invoice with the caption "etching". Unfortunately my wife and I failed to notice this charge before signing the paperwork the prior evening.

    After making a phone to contest the charge with the salesman first thing next morning, when I arrived to take delivery of the car that afternoon the finance manager was prepared re-do the paperwork in order to remove the etching charge. She also stated that she'd gone over the etching service with us the prior evening. While admittedly I'd agree that there had been some discussion with her in this regard, both my wife and I discussed and agreed that neither the salesman, sales manager or finance person had told us the etching was optional-or that we'd be charged $199 for the service. As a result my wife & I were under the impression that since the etching had already been done to the car it was covered by the offer we'd accepted to purchase the same. So due to some carelessness on our part and perhaps an (intentional or unintentional) failure by dealership employees to clearly disclose the fee we'd be charged for the add-on, we'd overlooked the fee initially.

    During these discussions the finance manager told me that all their vehicles had their windshields etched upon arrival. To this I responded that when I made an offer to purchase the Rondo it was with the understanding of being inclusive of all options which were already on the vehicle. As a result in my opinion we should not have been charged an additional amount because the the dealership had already etched the car's windows before my offer was submitted.

    However, in retrospect I now believe the fee charged in connection w/the etching may have not have been intended as a reflection of the cost for the glass etching service itself, but perhaps to be associated as a service for registering the etched number with a nationalwide database with law enforcement for a hopefully quick recovery should be vehicle be stolen.

    In any case in my opinion this etching service represents pure profit for the dealership since I can (and will) determine and record the identification number etched in the glass for my own records just in case the vehicle might be stolen.

    Finally, I have noted that charges for the standard "dealership processing fees for consumer services" seem to have increased significantly since I purchased my last new vehicle in 2005. I may be mistaken, but I seem to recall paying $199 for this when I purchased my Mazda 3 (from Whitten Brothers Mazda) in March 2005. Contrastingly the processing fee we were charged by Pence Kia was approximately twice this @ $399 + $10 as an "online system filing fee". Again, in my opinion these fees represent almost pure profit for the dealership. I seem to recall reading in some of Consumer Reports recommendations for auto purchase negotiations that dealerships are generally reimbursed for these services by most (if not all) auto manufacturers.

    Again, retrospectively now wish I'd attempted to negotiate reductions in these fees. However, all-in-all I'm still pleased with the deal we obtained for our '08 Rondo LX V6.

    Hope this information proves helpful to anyone who may be in the market for one of these vehicles. Note that it's my understanding the $4k rebate currently available for leftover '08 Rondos along with some other '08 Kia models is due to expire on March 31. In any case I would expect any remaining '08s could go fast.

    Good luck!
  • Follow up...

    Since posting my prior message I've read through the bulk of the comments posted on this thread. Based on what others have paid for their Rondos it sure seems like the $15,088 (after rebates, but before taxes and fees) we paid for our '08 LX V6 equipped with approximately $1.2k in options (@MSRP) was a very good deal. I only wish I'd found and had opportunity to read comments on this forum before negotiating a deal for my Rondo. Had I done so believe we probably could have negotiated the final balance due down by another $300 to $1,300 since I had failed to recognize and factor in the following:

    Since we were negotiating the purchase only a few days before the end of the month, pressure on the sales staff to meet monthly targets probably was somewhat high-giving them greater incentives to make the sale.

    Also still believe what we ended up paying for "dealer processing fees" was excessive @ $409. At a minum I should have demanded there be at least a 50% reduction against this "pure profit" markup.

    Also believe we could have negotiated a sale price below dealer invoice because 1) our car was an '08 model and b) there probably were hidden factory-to-dealer incentives in place to improve the dealer's profit potential and to move the remaining '08's off their lot.

    Finally, before purchasing my last car in '05 I paid $10 to subscribe to Consumer Reports auto pricing service. Had I done so this time some of the above information may have been available to allow me to be better informed before I initiated negotiations.

    Also, I've been surprised to read about some of the other fees and charges buyers in other areas have apparently been saddled with, including $350-500+ for "regional marketing", "AMA", and other similarly questionable markups over MSRP pricing on the window stickers. Good grief.

    Still, we're still pleased with the deal we ended up with at just over $16k out the door...and with the build and driving quality of our new Rondo.

    I'll also mention that our Rondo will be replacing our still trusty, but fairly high mileage (158k mile '98 Toyota Sienna XLE). Only time and a few thousand break-in miles will decide whether the lighter (by approx. 5-600 lbs) Rondo with a slightly smaller and less powerful (2.7 L vs Sienna's 3.0 L) v-6 will prove to me noticeably more economical on gas than our Sienna. Of course how, where and who's doing the driving may affect these results the most in my experience.

    Although historically I've driven our Sienna fairly rarely, when I've done so on family trips I've gotten as high as 28 mpg (500 miles on one tank with approximately 400 miles on the highway and 100 miles in town), or around 24 mpg when commuting to work at 27 miles each way with about 50% highwy and 50% on rural and suburban roads with quite a few stoplight intersections. Contrastingly, my wife has only topped 22 mpg once in my experience (during a lengthy day trip), and rarely manges over 20 mpg otherwise. In most cases all she has seemed to manage have been 17-19 mpg tanks winter or summer.

    Hopefully she'll do better in the future with our Rondo!
  • Your got a helluva deal on that car. By comparison, I paid $16K for my 2007 LX 17 months ago.

    Can't talk to what kind of mpg you might get with the V-6, as I have the I-4/2.4L engine. But I'm doing 20 (pure city), 24 (mix) and 28 (pure hwy).
  • alamocityalamocity Posts: 680
    Yes, the dealers currently have great deals going on for both the 08 Optima and Rondo's, as an example the 4 cylinder LX model moderately equipped can be bought for less than $14,000 easily. As for gas mileage from what I've seen on the kia forum gas mileage seems to be running about 22MPG combined with a noticeable drop off occurring from 70 MPH on up.
  • tsm280ztsm280z Posts: 29

    Please keep us posted on your gas mileage.My 07 EX V6 gets horrible mileage...14-15 city and maybe 21-22 highway. :mad: :(
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Since the dealer will make about $5000 on your trade-in, I'm not surprised he offered you invoice minus rebates. The doc fees do seem pretty high.
  • Will do.

    I'm hopeful our Rondo will be somewhat more fuel efficient than our '98 Toyota Sienna. I consider myself a "closet" hypermiler" and will be quite disappointed if I'm unable to manage 30+ mpg with our Rondo on the highway at 60-65 mph after break-in. In all honesty though all the complaints I've read from owners concerning poor fuel economy results from their V-6 Rondos gives me pause.

    My current commuter vehicle is a '05 Mazda 3i (2.0 L w/5-speed manual). When I purchased the car the EPA hwy rating was 35 mpg and since the revisions were made to the EPA test procedures the 3i manual has been rated for 32 mpg highway. My 3i recently passed the 60k mile mark and average mpg based on all fillups since purchase is now 38.6 mpg-or nearly 7 mpg more than the car's current EPA highway rating. The lowest tank I've calculated with my 3i was better than 32 mpg for the first fill up and during the break-in period. Note: all of my 3i's results are available for viewing at Look for results for 2005 Mazda3 2.0 L w/manual transmission. My car's results are the ones from Chesterfield, VA. I'm planning to post mpg results for our Rondo on this site too.

    Note that I did consider the 4-cylinder version of the Rondo but since the EPA highway ratings were the same for both with the v-6 turning in 2 mpg less in the city cycle I didn't feel the difference between the two was significant fuel-economy wise. On the other hand after test driving a 6-cylinder Rondo, then a 4-cylinder Optima followed by another 6-cylinder Rondo I felt the 6-cylinder was noticeably quieter, smoother and generally more refined compared to the I-4. I also feel a 5-speed automatic offers increased flexibility and taller highway gearing over a 4-speed. On the other hand, the Optima we test drove (an '09 I-4 w/5-speed automatic...EPA highway rating 32 mpg) did appear to cruise a bit more "freely" on level ground in top gear than either of the 6-cylinder Rondos we drove. Of course, I'm also fairly sure that the Rondo outweighs the Optima by a few hundred pounds too. Still, if the dealership had a light-colored I-4 powered Rondo on the lot I would have taken it for a test drive. However, there was only one 4-cylinder Rondo on the lot and it was a dark color.

    I also realize the '08 v-6 is only rated for 20 more hp and 20 more ft/lb of torque over the '08 I-4. From what I've read both engines were re-tuned for higher output for 2009 models, but there were no '09 Rondo's on the lot when I was shopping. In any case I would not have been willing to forego the $4k rebate in order to gain a few more hp-and the v-6 versions EPA ratings are unchanged for '09.

    I'm also curious if those owners who have been getting poor mpg results with their v-6 Rondos were careful to follow the break-in recommendations listed in the owners manual. I've noted that after stating no special break-in procedure is needed, Kia does recommend some precautions over the first 600 miles, including:
    Keep engine speeds between 2k and 4k rpm
    Don't maintain a constant speed for long periods ("Varying engine speed is needed to properly break in the engine")
    Avoid allowing the engine to idle longer than 3 minutes at a time.

    Frankly, with the automatic transmission I don't see how any owner could follow these recommendations if they simply shift the transmission into "drive" and leave it there. I've also been surprised by all the posts I've read from owners (both on this forum and others) who drove their vehicles off the dealer's lot and immediately took them on fairly long highway trips-implying these new engines were most-likely broken-in by driving at steady speeds w/the cruise control set. To me that's exactly what most manufacturers recommend AGAINST!

    As a result I've been keeping my Rondos transmission selector in sportmatic mode most of the time so that I my choose and vary the transmission shift points, maintain engine rpm in the recommended range generally avoid the allowing the transmission to select the relatively tall 5th gear during the break-in period. Except when you're maintaining 55+ mph on the highway the only other time engine rpm in a v-6 Rondo will be over 2k rpm with the transmission in "D" is while the vehicle is accelerating in the lower gears. Of course doing these things lowers fuel economy, but I'm hopeful the long term benefits will be well worth sacrificing some fuel economy over the first few tanks.

    My Rondo is approaching the 300 mile-mark now (the odometer showed 17 miles when we took it for a test drive) and subjectively I feel the engine seems to be running smoother at idle and spinning more freely as the number of miles add up. In any case I'm hoping a careful break-in will pay dividends in engine longevity and fuel economy over the long haul as it has with the other engines I've broken-in this way. Of course I may be deluding myself as I've read that with the tight manufacturing tolerances used today there's little need to treat a new engine any differently than you would normally. In any case, if my Rondo's engine turns out to be a disappointment down the road at least I'll know for that it was not due to a failure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations during the break-in period.
  • I refused the dealership's "low-ball" trade-in offer and plan to sell my '99 BMW 323ic convertible myself once the spring fever demand for convertibles ramps up. Hopefully the economy will be on the rise by then as well.

    Of course, when it warms up I'll also be less motivated to get rid of the convertible. Although it's not very practical for a family the BMW's smooth I-6, great handling and drop-top do combine to make it an awfully fun car to drive on a mild, sunny day!
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    As a previous Mazda owner, what made you go for the Rondo over the Mazda5? Just curoius.
  • ramblinmoramblinmo Posts: 38
    I chose the 4cylinder over the 6 cylinder because

    1) A bit better gas mileage
    2) No timing belt to replace
    3) 4 cylinder had all the power I would ever use

    I really don't think the break in driving habits will result in any differences in final MPG you get with a 6 cylinder.

    My 07 4 cylinder has averaged in the low 30's for long trips and 25-26 average for my use which consists of a few short trips to the local store and 15 to 20 mile cruises on back roads at average speed of 40 mph.

    This is not my commuter car.
  • You can read my other posts (seach on my name) and you'll see that I was so pleased with myself with good deal I got on the Rondo.

    The car seems to be well-designed, but, boy, is that deceiving -- it is crappy.

    Wind noise, rattles, hesitation, bad smell, leaking oil (dealer replaced tranny!). Just a bucket of stuff you dont need when you have a new car. I have heard that some people only buy one American car in their life because it was a loser...I'm definitely there with Kia (and, just to e safe, Hyundai)

    If someone wants to give me 12K for it (Portland, OR) at 6K miles, I'll take it. !!!
  • My wife and I test drove a Mazda 5 and generally liked it. However, as a member of the Mazda 3 forums I've read a lot of negative comments about the Mazda 2.3 L I-4's relatively poor fuel economy-especially when mated to an automatic transmission. That said, since the 5-speed automatic became available owner complaints about poor mpg w/the 2.3 L automatics have dropped somewhat, but have not been eliminated entirely. Of course, based on what I've read on this forum there also seem to be more than a few owners complaining about their mpg results with Kia's 2.7 L V-6, I'm also aware that EPA ratings for the Rondo v-6 are a bit lower than those for the Mazda5 automatics. Another factor was pricing. The "reasonably equipped" Mazda5 we test drove stickered @ around $22.5k as I recall. So even after deducting Mazda's current mfg rebate ($1k "owner loyalty) I expect the best deal we might been able to negotiate for that car would probably have been in high $19k-over $20k range. Again, I paid $15,088 for our brand-new '08 Rondo (17 miles on the odometer before our test drive) before taxes and dealer fees.

    If I could have found a Mazda5 locally in a light color with the 5-speed manual it possibly might have tipped the scales in favor of Mazda. But according to the Mazda salesmen I've spoken to, finding a Mazda5 equipped w/the manual transmission can be difficult since demand for the automatic is higher and the manual is only offered in the Sport (basic) version.

    In hindsight, had I researched the Rondo more thoroughly and aware of the owner complaints I might have decided against purchasing one...or at chosen not to have purchased one w/the V6. Still, I've read far more favorable comments from Rondo owners than negative ones. Another reason why we ended up with a V-6 version was due to the fact that we were unable to locate an '08 equipped with the I-4 in a light color and otherwise equipped the way we wanted.

    In any case after being carefully broken in by me, our Rondo will driven by my wife most of the time and she told me that she preferred the Rondo's attributes and driving character over the other vehicles we considered. Note that she had never looked at or test driven a Rondo before the day we ended up purchasing ours.

    Both of us did like the Honda Fit, but had decided it would probably be too small to serve well as a family vehicle. Also the Honda salesman quickly quashed any hopes of negotiating a good deal for one, saying Honda had never offered any promotions for the car and stating that dealer invoice was within $500 of the car's MSRP. Based on this it seemed the best deal we might be able to manage for a manual-transmission Honda Fit Sport would probably fall in the mid-to-high $16k range, before taxes and dealer fees..

    We also considered Scion's xD and xB, but like the Fit ended up ruling out the xD as too small and my wife wasn't crazy about the larger, but more boxy xB's styling.

    Ultimately we ended up deciding to purchase our Rondo without test driving either Scion...and paid less for our fairly well-equipped Rondo LX V6 than the non-negotiable base prices listed for either of the two Scions.

    I'll also mention that my wife test drove a Chevy HHR, but quickly dropped it to the bottom of her list of possible choices. In short, she didn't care for the way it drove, both of us felt the build quality was substandard, and felt the interior was somewhat cheap and "plasticky".

    My wife did like the '09 Hyundai Sonata (test drove an I-4 w/5 speed manual) as well as the similar '09 Optima (test drove an I-4 w/5 speed auto). But we both liked the Rondo's higher driving position (similar to our '98 Sienna minivan) along with greater passenger capacity w/the optional third row and & imo superior versatility for carrying cargo and passengers. I did feel that the seats in the Sonata and Optima were slightly cushier, more comfortable and form-fitting than those in the Rondo.

    In the end it was the Kia's $4k mfg rebate offer for remaining '08 models along with our dealer's willingness to accept my offer to purchase the car at dealer invoice that ultimately sealed our decision. I'll also say that Kia's superior warranty also played a part, but was not the deciding factor. Had there been a '08 Optima on the lot equipped the way we want it's possible that could have ended up being our choice.

    Only time will tell if we may end up regretting our decision to buy the Rondo, but so far at least we've been quite pleased the vehicle. For the first tank I'm predicting mpg may fall in the low-to-mid 20's. As of this morning I've driven it a bit over 300 miles and am expecting to manage another 25-40 miles before the gas gauge will drop to "E". When it does, if the tank ends up swallowing ~13.5 gallons after ~335 miles driven, the tank average should calculate to ~ 25 mpg. Since I've been generally been staying out of 5th gear and varying engine rpm a lot while breaking in the engine, I'm not expecting the 1st tank's mpg results to be stellar in any case.
  • Based on what I've read it appears the majority of those who chose the I-4 w/4-speed automatic powertrain have like you been reasonably satisfied with their Rondo's general performance and fuel economy results.

    I also agree w/you that an engine equipped with a timing chain has some advantages over one equipped with a reinforced rubber timing belt. One thing I want to learn is whether or not my Kia's 2.7 L V-6 could be subject to catastrophic engine failure caused by to piston/valve clearance issues should the timing belt fail.

    Our '98 Toyota Sienna's 3.0 L V-6 is also equipped has a timing belt, but my parent's 2nd generation '04 Sienna's 3.4 L V-6 is equipped with a timing chain. In any case according to what I've read should the timing belt or chain in either Siennas' fail the engine would simply stop running and would not suffer internal damage caused by clearance issues.

    However, judging from what I've read I have doubts whether the same may be true of my Kia's V-6. As far as I know among Japanese and Korean auto manufacturers, Toyota engines (most of them anyway) are designed to avoid clearance issues between valves and pistons should the timing belts, or chains break. Most, if not all engines manufactured for Nissans, Hondas, Mitsubishis, etc. can suffer serious damage if their timing belts or chains should fail.

    As far as whether or not the precautions I've been taking during the preliminary engine break-in period will make any difference, you could be right. However taking steps to carefully stick to the manufacturer's recommendations for the break-in period simply seems to make sense (at least to me). In any case I've had excellent results with my other new engines after using similar methods during the initial break-in period for those.
  • tsm280ztsm280z Posts: 29
    I too was very careful during the break-in period ... followed the directions in the Owners manual, checked tire pressure, drove like I had an egg between my foot and the gas pedal, etc., etc. I even told my "lead foot" wife not to drive it during the break-in. I now have 8,000 miles on it and still get lousy mileage.
    Other than that, it's a great car ... very pleased with it.
    Good luck with yours.
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