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Kia Rondo Real World MPG

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  • ...typically gets from that kind of driving. Consider yourself blessed. Or being a damn good hyperdriver.......

    If it's like mine, expect your Rondo tank to vary often between overfilling and underfilling, resulting in wide fluctuations in mpg. For example, for a tankful spent on my usually "suburban" driving, I recorded 32 mpg---a mix of overfilling that tank at the start, and then underfilling upon refueling. The next tank mpg computation---for the same sort of miles driven--- was 20.0 mpg, likely the result of that earlier underfilling and then an over-refilling. Happens to me frequent enough to notice.
  • I did not use many "hypermiling" techniques on the last tank and in fact I used the manumatic feature a lot to hold the lower gears and allow the engine to spin up to 3-3.5k rpm before selecting a higher gear when accelerating during the initial 600-mile break-in period. Of course, when striving to achieve maximum fuel economy I normally strive to get in high gear quickly in order to keep rpm low as low as possible w/o lugging the engine.

    However I have been using light pressure on the throttle and braking gently, both of which are techniques that will generally contribute to superior fuel economy results. Planning to avoid short trips as much as possible also can pay fuel economy dividends based on my experience.

    Of course with the initial 600 mile break-in period behind us I've now turned the Rondo over to the wife. So I would be (pleasantly) surprised if she manages to match my preliminary results, for she tends to have a considerably heavier foot when driving than I do, and she also tends to make far more short trips (often unnecessarily i.m.o.).

    We'll see...
  • go59go59 Posts: 9
    FWIW I recently completed a trip from Portland, OR to L.A. & back, while towing a Starcraft tent trailer. Total milage was 2354.5 using 113.1 gallons for an average of 20.8 MPG. This was with our 08 EX V6. While driving around L.A. (without the trailer the trip computer indicated around 27 MPG.

    In my normal commute (mostly suburban - no freeway) I get around 20 MPG. By comparison the Voyager the Rondo replaced averaged 17 on the same route.

    - Greg -
  • After doing nearly all of the driving during the initial 600-mile break-in period, I turned our Rondo back over to the wife a while back.

    A few days ago I got in it again and was disappointed to see the gas gauge was already nudging the 1/2-tank mark with only around 145 miles registering on the trip odometer. Since I had driven the car around 12 miles after filling it up last, this wife had apparently driven the car around 130 miles since then. Contrastingly I managed to drive ~325 & 345 miles for the first two tanks despite using the sport shift feature regularly to keep engine rpm between 2 and 4k rpm as recommended in the owners manual.

    After driving the car to work and back for the last few days I stopped to fill up yesterday after 280.2 miles. The tank swallowed 12.115 gallons for an average of 23.13 mpg.

    My guess is the car may have only averaged around 17-18 mpg over the ~130 miles driven by my wife, where I probably averaged 28-29 mpg over the other ~150 miles driven. Of course, my one-way commute IS much longer than hers @ around 25 miles vs 3 miles, and longer trips do tend to provide improved mpg results compared to short ones. However, I'm also confident that differences in our driving styles contributed to the reduced results as well.

    I've had my ScanGauge II connected to our Rondo for a few days and based on what I've observed so far, if you have even a moderately heavy foot you're not likely to be very happy w/the mpg results you may be seeing w/your Rondo V6. I've already seen how my Rondo's instantaneous mpg readings can plummet when more than slight pressure is placed on the throttle. Still, when cruising at steady speeds on level ground it also looks like 30+ or even 40+ mpg results may be possible if you're willing to limit cruising speeds to 60 mph or less. Although I'd don't know how accurate the ScanGauge's readings may be yet since I haven't used it long enough to determine and enter an error adjustment factor, for the past two days at least the computer has calculated 29-30+ averages for my daily trips back and forth to work. While these results do reflect my somewhat conservative driving technique, I haven't used any hard-core hypermiling techniques to obtain them.
    I'm looking forward to having an opportunity to drive the car on a longer trip before long to see what she may be capable of. However, based on what I've observed w/my SG I won't be getting my hopes up that my wife may do much better mpg-wise when driving our Rondo than she has with our larger, heavier, older and slightly more powerful '98 Toyota Sienna V-6 (3.0L w/4 speed atx). :(

    One other thing I've noticed when using my ScanGauge is that the Rondo's speedometer may be around 3 mpg optimistic @ an indicated 60 mpg. With the Rondo's speedometer needle aligned on 60 mph my ScanGauge only registers 57 mph. Contrastingly, when connected to my Mazda3 the ScanGauge has always registered the same as the car's speedometer. I've also determined that engine speeds in top gear are ~ 2,000 rpm at 55 mph, or ~ 2,150 rpm @ 60 mph. Not bad, but I'd be happier if the final drive ratio was higher so the engine would only turn around 1,800-1,900 rpm @ 60 mph. To me first seems to be geared lower than necessary which makes the car overly sensitive to throttle inputs when starting off. When I stepped down on it for the first time the other day it also quickly became clear that wheelspin can be induced easily at low speeds even when the car is already in motion.

    Has anyone else determined the Rondo's speedometer may be about 5% (3/60) optimistic?

    I've also observed that by 40 mph transmission will shift to 5th gear and the torque converter will lock up. As this occurs the instantaneous mpg readings rise significantly. So by making an effort to accelerate gently & smoothly up to 40 mph, followed by immediately reducing pressure on the throttle you should be able to improve your mpg results with your Rondo V6

    Although I was expecting this might be true, the significant jumps of 7 -10+ mpg in instantaneous fuel economy readings displayed by the ScanGauge after the shift to 5th gear was even greater than I would have predicted.

    I've also been pleasantly surprised by how smoothly and efficiently the car's cruise control seems to operate. Unlike the one in my Mazda3, when I set the cruise control in the Rondo the throttle inputs seem to be quite steady with a minimum amount of up and down adjustments. Contrastingly, when I set the cruise in my Mazda3 (which has a manual transmission) the ScanGauge's TPS (throttle position sensor) readings clearly show the throttle is being tweaked up and down almost constantly. As a result I'll probably make use the cruise control regularly when driving the Rondo and will recommend that my wife who tends to have what I'd call a "spastic" right foot do the same.
  • 416.4 miles / 14.094 gallons = 29.54 mpg.

    I drove 42.7 miles after the low fuel light came on and would estimate I had about 1.5-1.7 gallons left in reserve (15.8 - 14.1) by the time I finally stopped to fill up.

    This tank was 100% commuting miles over the past week @ ~ 55 miles/day. Note: I'm a tax accountant and have been working 7 days/week for a while now. :sick:

    About 50% freeway w/the rest on rural & suburban roads and highways.

    Morning temperatures ranged from around freezing up to the low 50's. No hard-core hypermiling, just steady driving @ conservative speeds w/gentle acceleration for the most part. Observed and used the instantaneous mpg, tps (throttle position sensor) and LOD (engine load) readings from my SG (ScanGauge II) to try and drive more efficiently.

    I'm pretty confident that the car is capable of averaging in the mid-30's on a trip at moderate speeds limited to 60 - 65 mph. However, based on what I've observed with the SG it's also pretty clear that making short trips, especially in cold weather and driving w/a heavy foot will cause the average mpg results to drop significantly.

    Have to say was pleasantly surprised by how quick my V6 Rondo is when I finally decided to step on it last night after passing the 1,300 mile point!

    The v-6 Rondo would leave a Mazda5 sucking dust imo.

    Zoom-Zoom;)
  • ...but I must say that you are getting mileage that I suspect VERY FEW RONDO OWNERS (I-4 or V-6) ARE GETTING, no matter how they drive the car.

    I have an '07 LX 2.4L I-4, and I MIGHT get 29 mpg on a tankful---IF the tank is overly full to begin with; IF I'm not driving into a head wind or over hilly terrain; IF all miles are straight highway miles; IF I'm especially easy on the throttle; IF I don't go over about 68 mph. And I have the I-4, estimated to do a tad better than the V-6.

    As for your saying "the car is capable of averaging in the mid-30's on a trip at moderate speeds limited to 60 - 65 mph," I'd say sure---maybe if your car is a one-off anomoly, i.e., it's the only V-6 Rondo ever made that can reach those efficiencies.

    If I sound like I'm unhappy with my mpg, I'm not at all. My normal tankful gets 24-25 mpg (mixed driving) and my all-highway driving gets about 29 mpg tops. For a car as un-aerodynamic and as heavy as the Rondo, that's pretty damn good.

    As for the cruise control, the CC on my car is way overactive. Downshifts all the time instead of easing up to set speed. If I want better mpg, I don't engage it.
  • After reading many of the posts to this thread I realize many owners aren't seeing 29+ mpg tanks w/their Rondos. I'd also admit that I had to drive very conservatively to average over 29.5 mpg for the last tank. But my results do show it's possible to manage better than the EPA highway rating for the Rondo if you're willing to modify your driving habits for better efficiency.

    In all honesty I'll be pleasantly surprised if my wife manages to average over 20 mpg when she starts doing most of the driving in our Rondo. After April 15th is history and I can get my life back, I'll be able to work on cleaning and fixing up her '98 Toyota Sienna before advertising it for sale. Until then, the wife says she'd rather continue driving her old van most of the time. I think she's worried about the kids or her doing something to stain, scratch or otherwise damage the new one!

    Based on what I've seen on my sg, very small differences in throttle pressure can make a significant difference in the car's instantaneous mpg readings. So unless you have and use something like a sg or if you have an EX equipped with a mileage computer you may not be aware of how sensitive the car is to how much pressure is placed on the throttle.

    The v-6 model is definitely not a mpg monster-but if you have the tools and are willing to modify how you drive it can produce respectable results imo.

    Note that I've managed to average 6.6 mpg above the EPA highway estimate @ 32 mpg for my '05 Mazda 3i (2.0L w/5-speed manual). Over 61k+ miles I've averaged 38.6 mpg with that car. Since most Mazda3 owners apparently have not been as successful, I'm probably a more conservative driver than most. The fact that I have a fairly lengthy commute has also helped since I rarely end up taking short trips-and in my experience in general the longer the trip, the better the mpg.

    Lastly, I'll point out that I've been very careful to follow the manufacturer's break-in recommendations over the first and the second 600 miles. Whether or not this may have made a measurable difference in how efficient our Rondo turns out to be remains to be seen. Some Kia owners have claimed it can take several thousand miles before Kia's engines may fully loosen up and realize their best fuel economy results.

    We'll see.
  • Over the first 2,252 miles our Kia's fuel economy has averaged 24.8 mpg.
    (2,252.2 miles/90.783 gal). Not great, but not so bad either imo.

    Although I'd still like for her to do better, so far results for the last two tanks in which my wife did all the driving did not calculate below 20 mpg as I had predicted. Instead she was able to average 21.3 & 23.6 mpg in mostly suburban driving conditions.

    I'll be driving the family to the Outer Banks of N.C. for a week's stay on the Saturday before Memorial Day and hope to average 30+ mpg over the 400+ mile drive round trip.

    We'll see...
  • garnermikegarnermike Posts: 72
    For the first 14K miles on my 07 LX I-4 Rondo, my "general mix driving" tankfuls would average about 23-24 mpg. I'm over 17K miles now, and over the last 3K miles, the car's mpg seems to have improved substantively. For example, the mpg of my last 6 tankfuls have been 28, 26, 27, 24, 26, and 28, for a 26.5 average mpg. These readings include at least 1, if not 2, trips per tankful to go to downtown Raleigh with me, my wife, and 500 lbs of musical gear aboard, double parking, and then finding metro parking on city streets or in garages there. None of the tankfuls were of the straight interstate highway sort. I'm a little eager to go on a long interstate hwy trip so as to see what the car will do mpg-wise.
  • tsm280ztsm280z Posts: 29
    I agree there must be a long break-in period. My 07 EX-V-6 would average between 13-17 mpg (mostly city driving). At first I added ZMax to the gas & oil ... maybe improved mileage by 1 mpg. Then threw in a K&N air filter ... maybe improved mileage by 1 mpg. Still really disappointed. I too had a Scan Gauge (smoothsailin).
    Noticed the wild swings in mpg with the slight touch of the accelerator pedal.
    Put the SG in my other 2 cars and there was not that wild swing.
    But now, at 9,000 miles my mileage has substantially improved and is still getting better ... 21-22 mpg ... not as good as others on this post (keeping in mind this is mostly city driving). I also noticed the brand of gas has made a difference. Whenever I use Sunoco the mileage would drop ... Exxon/Mobil it would improve.
    Not sure why since I thought most major brands were similar in their additives.
  • stewpidasostewpidaso Posts: 45
    mixed city/highway brand new first tank 22.3MPG
  • The fuel efficiency of these engines seems to be very sensitive to throttle input. You can get respectible mileage with one if you drive smoothly and carefully, but dip into the throttle much and all bets are off.

    My wife has driven the car for the last three tanks which averaged in the 21 mpg range twice and in the 23 mpg range once. Mostly around town driving, but also included at least two over-100 mile round-trips to visit her parents and one sister. I know that the last tank average was in the 21 mpg range even though she had made a 170+ mile round-trip with mostly highway miles. So to me 21 mpg with a half-tank or more driven on the highway is awfully disappointing, However since I've never seen less than 25 mpg and one tank over 29 mpg in our Rondo when I did all the driving, I know it's capable of delivering respectible mileage. In other words, it's not just the car's fault. In this case I chalk it up to a driver who has a spastic foot (ie one who constantly works the throttle instead of maintaining steady pressure), refuses to use the cruise control and has no clue about what it means to conserve momentum!

    Bad driving habits can be hard to break-especially when the driver gets "an attitude" any time suggestions are offered by their significant other for how making a few changes could improve their mpg results..

    Case in point: Yesterday afternoon after work I was enjoying a pleasant evening outside sitting in our swing in the front yard. My wife drives up in the Rondo, stops in the driveway then sits in the car w/the engine running for several minutes before finally cutting off the engine and exiting the car. Why? My guess would be that she was playing around with her new toy (a GPS) and was just sitting in the car w/the engine running and the ac engaged while she did so. Of course she could just as easily cut off the engine, opened the windows and tinkered with the GPS without wasting gas. An obvious choice to me...but not to her.

    Of course had I pointed out that mpg is ZERO and fuel is being wasted when the car is stationary w/the engine running I doubt her reaction would have been positive or something to the effect of..."Thanks for the suggestion honey. I had not considered this!"

    Instead, I probably would have been told to make my own dinner. :mad:

    So I just kept my mouth shut and enjoyed a nice dinner! :shades:

    What's a guy to do....
  • tsm280ztsm280z Posts: 29
    We must be married to the same woman!
  • i have 08 v6 getting between 22-26 mix city/highway dependant on road conditions wtih the a/c on
    . I used regular gas and kept my tire psi around 38.found it work best on the kumho tires it cam with.
  • garnermikegarnermike Posts: 72
    About what I would expect from your Rondo. My 07 LX I-4 is averaging about 24-28 mpg (US) for mixed driving.

    I am continuing to be very pleased with the car since purchase in Oct. 2007. Never back to the dealer for anything (knocking on wood here). Outside of the cruise control which I do not like (drops down in gear too easily/often and hurts MPG), the car has been one of the very best of the 25 or so cars I've ever owned.
  • 93949394 Posts: 67
    My Canadian 09 Rondo EX i-4 will show 100kph when my GPS says 97kph.
    Off by 3%

    The odometer is dead on though, i tested for 15KM (about 10 miles) and it was in sync with the GPS disance travel info all the way.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    I have recently returned from a 14,733 km (9,155 mile) trip across the northern states and back across Canada to our place in Ontario. We traveled over a lot of varying terrain from steep grades to 75 mph interstates, from sea level to eleven thousand feet. I generally filled the tank up between the 500 - 600 km mark (and sometimes well over 600), so they are not short runs and therefore a lot of variety of driving in that time period. Also experience temperatures over 100 F, so a lot of times the a/c was on almost all the time (it worked great).

    My overall average for the whole trip was 35.3 mpg to the Canadian gallon or 29.4 mpg US. The lowest mileage I got was 31.6 mpg CDn (26.3 mpg US) and the best was 40.4 mpg CDN (33.5 mpg US).

    Overall very pleased with the mpg and the car was flawless throughout the whole trip.

    Canadian EX, 2008, 2.4L
  • 93949394 Posts: 67
    09 Rondo EX I4 purchased on August 2, Vancouver, BC

    1st tank: 19mpg (12.5L/100KM) - 100% City

    Return trip to Oregon coast:
    2nd tank: 30mpg (7.9Lpk) - 100% Hwy
    3rd tank: 25mpg (9.4Lpk) - 100% Hwy.....why so bad compare to 2nd tank
    4th tank: 31mpg (7.5Lpk) - 100% Hwy

    i noticed that the FE varies from tank to tank even though in similar weather and driving condtions, i wonder i may NOT be filling the tank 100%, possibly due to the tilting degree of the platform at the pump? anyone else has that problem?

    after that i made a return trip to Calgary, Alberta and averaged:
    5-8th tanks: 29.5mpg (8Lpk) through the mountains.

    9-10th tanks: 19mpg (12.5Lpk) - 100% City

    now at 3000 miles (5000km), hope FE will improve, especially for the City, because i'm not too impressed with 19mpg, my much bigger minivan is getting 17.5mpg.
  • I've been happy with the rondo, but always unhappy with the FE too!
    i also only get a little bit better FE than my much larger sienna minivan.

    (i have a 2007 rondo with 40k)
  • I have a 2 year old LX I4 with 21K miles. Your fuel mileage is very close to what I was getting until I passed the 15K miles odometer mark. At about that mark, my 100% city mpg improved to 21 mpg, and my 100% hwy mpg improved to 29 mpg. My mixed driving is now consistently 24-26 mpg.

    But that 24-26 mpg calculation is an average based across several tanksfuls. I have since Day One gotten wide swings in individual tankful mpg computations. 17 mpg on some tankfuls; well over 30 mpg on others. I am convinced that the car never gets that bad -- or that good -- mpg. I have no idea why the car will sometimes take on more fuel or less fuel when filling up, such that I might go 50 miles before the fule gauge needle budges, or just 15 miles before it budges.

    I described this all to a Kia technician. He said that it's probably a bad fuel tank level relay gismo. I nevered bothered to have it fixed, because I believe that, over a number of tankfuls, I'm getting an accurate estimate of my mpg.
  • 93949394 Posts: 67
    exactly, the distance it takes for the fuel gauge to start dropping varies a lot, even under the same driving condition.

    i will try to fillup at the same gas station, same pump to see if this problem will go away.
  • Don't complain about 19 in town.My 4 cyl Optima gets less than 15 city.
  • Be impressed my friend.My 4 cyl Optima barely gets 15 MPG in the city,Another story on the highway,consistently over 30 and a high of 40.7.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    My wife's now gets 25MPG everyday driving, which is about what it was getting on straight interstate when it was newer. I think she was over 15K when it started to get better as well.

    Sad that it only 1.5MPG better than other vehicle. I too traded from an Aurora V-8 to a Malibu I-4 AT6. Not yet happy with the MPG difference when the overall quality of ride is considered. I'd be much happier if gas was still $4.50/gallon.
    You might look at it from that view, ie, driving the same distance with both vehicles, assuming same size tank, you would currently be saving about 1 gallon per fill. That would now be only $2.50, but at old price $4.50, and if gas goes to that $6 that Dems were talking as a mark (adding tax to discourage consumption) we both will be happier with our vehicles.
  • It's both curious and also validating that many Rondo owners have had similar experiences to my own. At 26, 000, my Rondo ('07 LX I-4) has settled into its "calling," with mpg consistently ranging between 21 and 31 mpg, averaging right around 26. It got better after 15,000 miles, and still does a lot of inexplainable swinging between the 21 and 31 marks. I don't see the odd 15 mpg or the odd 40 mpg.
  • 93949394 Posts: 67
    i have been going to the same gas station, same pump for the last few fillups, the FE swinging problem no longer exists.

    also, i don't top up anymore, i estimate how much gas i can pump and slow down the pump at the last 10 percent and stop pumping at the first click.

    .
  • 93949394 Posts: 67
    09 Rondo I4 - first 10 tanks UPDATED

    After reading some of the older posts, i discovered and bought a gadget called "Scanguage", once calibrated, it is able to provide me with much more meaningful FE rating instantly, per trip, day and tank.

    and i also found out why i was getting NOT so impressive FE, it is because my wife's new work location is only 2.5 miles from home, she drives it there and leaves it there all day, then drives home, and short trip really kills FE.
    according to Scanguage, her per (work) day FE is around 16mpg.

    luckily, we use the car for longer trips on the weekends, and as long as we drive a minimum of 5 miles, per trip FE will improve to 20mpg or better.
    i was able to achieve 26mpg once going home from UBC after an evening concert, 10 miles with minimal traffic and stopped at only 5 red lights.

    TANKs 11th to 18th: 100% city, gradually dropping from 19mpg(12.4LHK) to 18.6mpg(12.6LHK) due to the temperature drop (near freezing).

    TANKs 19th and 20th: 80% city, couple ski trips brought the tank FE up to 21.4mpg(11LHK).

    i'm planning to switch to full synthetic the next time i change oil, hope to see some better FE in the next update.

    .
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 318
    Took a round trip between Brockville, ON and Columbus, OH averaging 70-75mph on the highway. Only drove about 70 miles in the city, so got 27mpg (U.S. gallons) for this 1200 mile round trip. That was for a 4 cyl 2009 vehicle with about 27,000 miles on the odometer, so pretty much in keeping with the EPA estimate.

    A decent little vehicle on the hwy actually, didn't upshift went climbing the hills between Cleveland and Columbus.
  • There has been a new torque spec for the front struts. Once the adjusment was made, there was a slight improvement in gas mileage. Before the retorque, the car steered to either side. After the adjustment, it still wandered but not as bad. Consequently the mileage improved from 16 to 17 mpg
  • I looked further on this website at their TSB's. Then I compared them to the TSB's I was given at the frame shop. The TSB's here are very minimal + inadequate. There are different levels or sets of TSB's that can be viewed. I got one from an authorized Hunter Alignment shop, which gave me the updated strut torque specs and the fix for ride height deficiencies.
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