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Reviews for the Kia Rondo

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  • I posted the link to this review before, but I think the review has been removed from the website. So here it is in its entirety:
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    Kia Rondo is nimble in the city; interior is more appealing than exterior

    Al Beeber
    Thursday, July 05, 2007
    Welland Tribune

    In musical terms, a rondo is "a form of composition with a recurring theme" often found in the final movement of a sonata or concerto, according to a dictionary definition.

    Why Kia chose to plaster that name onto its curious new crossover vehicle is perplexing.

    Was Kia trying to suggest some type of theme is evident in its Rondo, which basically is an inexpensive small wagon capable of carrying seven passengers in models equipped with a third row?

    If so, I'm at a loss to explain what that theme might be except value, because Kia is renowned for packing a lot of features into its cars at low prices.

    If the theme is about value, then the Rondo lives up to it because for a price of $27,490, a buyer can get a fully-loaded Rondo EX-V6 that will seat seven on leather seats - heated up front, of course. It's an interesting vehicle. From a styling perspective, the Rondo is proof that beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. It's got some sporty cues, especially when viewed from the rear, but from the front, the Rondo is rather homely.

    The interior is much more appealing with a comfortable and pleasantly designed cabin. Gauges are bright and legible, the dashboard has a sound system and heating controls that are intuitive to operate and the gearshift lever is angled from the dash perfectly for a driver's right hand.

    Truth be told, the driver's seating position is superb. The leather-trimmed seats are supportive and have high backs, legroom is abundant and the height is minivan-like. The stubby centre console between the front seats is positioned superbly for resting and elbow and in front of it are two massive cupholders.

    Kia clearly paid a lot of attention to driver comfort because the Rondo has the feel of a minivan in the cockpit. The only oddities are the triangular vent windows in front of the side mirrors in the A pillars. They're compact versions of those big honkers that were among the most noticeable design elements of the mid-1990s Chevrolet "Dustbuster" minivans.

    The fully-loaded tester comes with an array of goodies from power everything to a sunroof. It also has auto-off headlights, dual heated side mirrors, steering wheel audio controls for the six-speaker sound system, automatic temperature control, eight-way power driver's seat and full-length side curtain airbags.

    The tester also has 17-inch wheels and foglights.

    Electronic stability control, traction control and electronic brake distribution are standard right across the Rondo line.

    The middle seating row has a 60/40 split bench that will accommodate three in comfort while a 50/50 split seat is in back.

    Middle and rear rows can quickly and easily be folded flat to create a humongous cargo area. While the headrests have to be removed from the middle seats, Kia does have slots for them, which is handy.

    With more than 73 cubic feet of space behind the front seats, the Rondo could be a really good urban hauler. The cargo area is wide and the roof high so a pile of stuff could be loaded.

    Even with the second row of seats in place, the Rondo has 31.7 cubic feet of cargo room which is plenty for hauling a family's luggage. And if more space is needed, the roof-mounted cargo racks can come in handy.

    The middle row of seats offers plenty of legroom for adult passengers and they can be slid forward and aft to give more space to the rear riders.

    The tester is powered by a 2.7-litre V6 engine cranking out 182 horsepower.

    Fuel economy is only 24 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. A 2.4-litre inline four comes with the LX, EX and EX Premium models. Fuel mileage with that 162 hp powerplant is marginally better at 26 mpg city/38 mpg highway.

    In the urban jungle, the Rondo is nimble, quick, easy to manoeuvre and fun to drive. This is where its virtues really shine. People who need space for stuff could conceivably see it as a value-minded alternative to the traditional minivan.

    On the highway, road and wind noise are intrusive and engine performance is completely underwhelming. The V6 always seems to be struggling even at cruising speed. When passing, drivers had better expect the Kia to argue loudly when the gas pedal is pressed because quick acceleration is not the Rondo's forte. I can't imagine what the four-banger would be like.

    The car handles well though and has a smooth ride, but a lot more oomph and a lot less wind rush would probably make it way more appealing.

    As it is, the Rondo certainly does have potential to make an impact with buyers. The price is certainly right and its roominess plus creature comforts are attractive. Just don't take it on the highway.
  • Yep, positive review:
    Auto Channel
  • Here's a positive video review of the Rondo by a guy from AutoSpies.com appearing on Fox 6 in San Diego.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I would have been more impressed if the host would have climbed into the 3rd row and the lady into the 2nd row and they conducted the review from inside. Then you would have had a better idea of the interior space.
  • A fairly even-handed review that ultimately recommends the Rondo.
    Virginian-Pilot
  • There seems to be mainly two types of reviews for the Rondo. First, there are the reviews that just gush about the Rondo; second, there are the reviews that are non-enthusiastic about the Rondo's looks and performance, yet love its utility, size and value. This review belongs to the latter type:
    Dallas Morning News
  • As you'll see, both reviews are somewhat off the beaten path.
    DogCars.com
    AutoGuide.net
  • ramblinramblin Posts: 29
    I haven't seen the idiotic commercials for some time. I hope they lost the digital copy and didn't pay the ad agency responsible for the ads.
  • doohickiedoohickie Posts: 949
    Since the dealer is hanging onto my Elantra an extra day to fix the OCS sensor, they sprung for a rental car for me. I ended up with a Kia Rondo.... thought I would put my thoughts about it out there.

    I think I would really like IF it didn't have steering that is too touchy, and WAY too much body lean! Good acceleration though, and it's got a shiftronic which is okay to play with when I'm bored.

    If I were in the market for an affordable people mover (lots of room for 4 tall people; a fifth could squeeze into the middle of the back seat), this would get a look-see.

    Ride is okay. No sports car, but handles well enough on the freeway. I'm not used to riding up as high as this is, but other than that it's a pretty car-like feel. When I was test-driving prior to buying the Elantra, I test drove the Vibe/Matrix and it kind of feels like that. The V6 has plenty of power for the vehicle. The dash materials and finishes, while kind of truck-like, are at least as good as, or probably a little better than, the Elantra in materials and quality.

    The fit and finish on the Rondo is better than I recall in the Vibe and Matrix. The cargo area especially is nicely finished with a flat floor that hides multiple storage bins. Basically, you just don't see where corners have been cut; there are no obvious cheap areas. This is one area where the Rondo has a clear advantage over the Vibe/Matrix and the Caliber.

    As I mentioned earlier, the downsides of the vehicle are the body roll and steering. The steering is light and twitchy; you definitely have to drive it with a light touch. It is more responsive than it should be for the force applied to the wheel. The body roll is kind of annoying but since I'm not a truck or SUV guy, I can't really comment on how it would compare to other models.

    I kind of like the shifter. It is right at my right hand, just where it should be. In general I left it in Drive but would occasionally knock it over to the right and play with the shiftronic manual mode when I wanted to make sure I was in a good gear for traffic. Having a V6 though kind of makes that unnecessary since there is plenty of power even at lower rpms.

    While quite a bit taller than the Elantra, the length and width are very close; it fits into the garage in the Elantra's spot. The only adjustment I had to make was to back it in just a little bit further than the Elantra goes.

    I could see where they could have done better, but overall it's a pretty nice package.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,916
    A reporter seeks to talk with owners and serious shoppers of the 2007 or 2008 Kia Rondo who are also parents. If you are interested in commenting on your experience, please reply to jfallon@edmunds.com no later than Thursday, November 15, 2007 and include your city and state of residence as well as the age of your child/ren.

    Thanks for your consideration,
    Jeannine Fallon
    Corporate Communications
    Edmunds Inc.

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • A comparison of the Rondo and Mazda5 appears in this Canadian consumer magazine. The Mazda5 gets the nod over the Rondo, due mainly to concerns over Kia's reliability and poor resale value.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    However, only the six-cylinder EX Premium and Luxury models offer the third row of seats.

    they didn't read their brochure very closely as it was available in the EX premium 4 cylinder for 2007, and now thats been explanded to the standard EX model for 2008. Its only the LX model that does not have an available 3rd seat.
    It really bugs me when these people write an article and make statements that aren't accurate :mad:
  • A positive review from About.com. It's another one of those "great utility and value, not so great performance and looks" reviews--in this case, the reviewer loved the space and versatility, but thought it wasn't much fun to drive.
  • Okay, I have no idea why there's a review of the Rondo on a website all about Shanghai, but here it is:
    2007 Kia Rondo Review - When Did These Things Get So Good?
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    "WAY too much body lean!"
    That is completely the opposite to my experience. We have had our 2007 Rondo EX V6 Luxury 7-seater for over 2 months now and it handles as well or better than our 1998 Legacy AWD wagon, which we traded on the Rondo.
    I feel that the Rondo is quite athletic and moves exceedingly well for a vehicle in it's class and it's size. A 2007 Caravan we test drove had lots of body lean, but not the Rondo. My family and I just got back from a 700 km (450 mile) trip a few minutes ago, loaded with luggage, and loved the Rondo's composure in the twisty bits.
    Maybe the rental Rondo you drove had been hard-driven by prior customers?
    Plus, the steering feel is practically perfect! Of all the cars I have ever owned, only the Rondo comes close to having perfect steering feel. My 91 Civic Si (bought new) comes close, but not quite. I have driven WRX's, 911's, even a 1969 Lotus, and have to say that not only is the Rondo's steering feel fantastic for it's class, it is fantastic, period.
    Just my experience.
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