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Mazda 5 vs Kia Rondo

204meca204meca Posts: 370
edited August 2014 in Mazda
Saturday I stumbled upon a rather nice looking mini-minivan at the Kia dealer they had just received. It is called the Ronda. The very spacious interior layout was looked great, power is a 2.4L engine, & it had a full suite of safety features including 6 airbags, ABS, traction control, & dynamic stability control all for a little over $18K. My inital impression was very positive.

I had not heard of this model & apparently the is very little info on the US model (tried Goggle). After a little hunting I discovered that this car is marketed as the "Carens" in the UK. It is available there with a 2.0 gas or diesel engine. UK reviews, while not bad, are lukewarm when compared to the Mazda5 and the comparable Renault and Vauxal models. Hard not to envy the European's wide selection choices of efficient vehicles!

Apparently they are just starting to arrive & Kia has not yet launched any advertising. Time will tell how well it can compete in the US.


  • The Ronda may indeed "steal" sales from the Mazda5.
    At least the Ronda comes fully equipped with traction/dynamic stability control...something the 5 doesn't even have as an option, at least for now.
    I do have this strong feeling though that the 2008 version of the 5 will have traction/stability control, as the '07 Mazda3 now has as an option (I believe) on its upper level versions.

    Peace! :)
  • Not to be a spell checker
    It is called the RONDO not RONDA

    And you can't compare the quality between the 2, I will put any Mazda product against any Hyundai/Kia any day and it will come out on top.

    Look at the depreciation on H/K products compared to Mazda

    H/K are definitely improving but still not near as good as Mazda
  • d_hyperd_hyper Posts: 130
    A rising tide will lift all the boats. You will see Mz5 sales actually growing after Rondo's introduction. Of course, this is IF my marketing knowledge is worth anything.
  • Look at the depreciation on H/K products compared to Mazda
    Mazda's MPV depreciate just as much as H/K. Maybe Ford's parts has something to do with it..... not being reliable.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Actually, I was thinking the same thing. It's like the Honda Fit and Versa will increase the visibility of the subcompacts and get others looking the subcompact category in general, where-as before they might not have considered them.

    Similar with the Rondo, if you had other micro-minivans out there, then there would be more visibility for the micro-minivan category, so more people would consider them as an option to a full-size minivan, where-as right now with only the Mazda5, I don't think it's even considered as a full-size minivan substitute because it's hard to get a lot of visibility to the micro-minivan category with only one vehicle in that category.
  • yysyysyysyys Posts: 51
    2.4L(4cyl) Auto 2WD 21/29
    2.7L(6cyl) Auto 2WD 20/27

    Source: epa.gav
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    Couple of pics up on Kia Canada's website now....
    plus a preview article on the Auto123/Canadian Automotive Network site....,view,KIA.spy?artid=72406

    Mazda better hurry up and get a 5 speed auto in the 5.
    Also traction and stability control, which the Rondo has.
    Rondo (Carens in UK) is rated to tow 700kg (1500 lbs) (1500kg(3300 lbs) if the trailer has brakes)....if this holds true for our version, then it's a done deal, as the '5' isn't rated to tow diddlysquat. (Don't want to tow a horsetrailer but a jet ski/snow machine/14' aluminum fishing boat/dirt bike or small utility trailer would be nice. Hey Mazda...even a Yaris/Echo can tow 800 lbs!)
  • The major difference between the two is that the 5 has sliding minivan doors and the Rondo has swinging station wagon doors. I prefer the utility of the sliding doors myself, but they do lead to more road noise entering the cabin. That's why I had my 5 blanketed with Dynamat.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    what's dynamat?
  • yysyysyysyys Posts: 51
    EX, LX & LX Popular Equipment.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    If the info holds true (from the Winnipeg Free Press review)
    then the Rondo will be able to tow a 1000kg un-braked trailer (either with the 4 cyl or V6) or 1500 kg for the 4 cyl if the trailer has brakes and 2000 kg for the V6 if the trailer has brakes. Take that, Mazda5, as you can't tow squat. This fact alone would push me over to a Rondo instead of a Mazda5.
  • Wow. Look at the roof rails. And towing capacity! I think our 5 is a stylish ride for the occasional six people but Kia may have created a true compact multi-activity vehicle with this Rondo. Good for them. Wake up Mazda. IMO Mazda should have brought the Eurorails to the US in the first place and offered some modest towing, as, again, Mazda does in Europe.
  • You can't compare a Mazda 5 w/ a Kia Rondo.
    Hyundai/Kia make reliable cars, but where are they in 5-10 years?
    Mazdas last, and I don't mean Ford/Mazdas, true Mazdas, the Mazda 3& 5 are 2 of the best cars on the road.
    H/K don't have anything on them, they have to market their cars with huge warranties and incentives just like GM/Ford/Chrysler just to get cars off their lots.
    While Mazda can't keep the 5 on the lot.
  • This is a mazda board, not a Kia crap board.
    To all of you Kia lovers move on.
    If you have a Mazda, sell it buy your Kia and live with it.
    When you are on the side of the road I will be laughing.
  • Yep, I've rented some dreadful Kias over the years. But they continue to improve and here's the thing: The Rondo has features that could attract people downsizing from both full-size vans and medium SUVs. I think racks and some towing capacity are key to those of us coming Subaru Outbacks and similar vehicles while others prize features like stability and traction control. Mazda could have done that too. And maybe they will if they read these forums. I'm giving some credit to Kia for more fully exploring the concept of the small, six-seater utility vehicle. Happy as I am with my Mazda 5 it urks me that I've had to hang on to another vehicle to tow my small boat.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    but the thread is "Mazda5 vs Kia Rondo", so I think we should be able to discuss the Kia product here. I'm not a Kia lover, have never owned or rented a Kia vehicle, or even driven in one for that matter, but we have had Mazda's in the family. My general perception is, however, that both Kia & Hyundai have made huge improvements in there vehicles in the last couple of years and can't simply be dismissed based on past reputation. And lets face it, Mazda, though respectable, hasn't actually been sitting at the top of the reliability charts. That being said, I think there are positives and negatives for both vehicles.
    Styling.....have to give the nod to the '5', despite my intense dislike of the side-sills and tuner tail lights, though the Rondo apparently looks better in person than in photos.
    Interior space...the Kia is slightly roomier in every dimension, save for cargo space behind the 3rd row, which quite frankly, neither of these vehicles would win an award for. The Mazda's 3rd row is a bit more accessible, due to the walk-through, and looks more accomodating for adults, though I think we would all agree that the 3rd row in either of these vehicles is best left for kids or maybe your mother-in-law. The 5's sliders are handier than the Rondo's regular doors, at the expense of the ugly door tracks on the exterior of the vehicle.
    Power....Kia has the edge with both their 4 cyl and V6, while enjoying a slight edge in fuel economy as well. Kia cheaped out with a 4 speed auto on their 4 cyl, but they do have a 5-soeed auto on the six. Mazda has the edge in having a manual transmission available, though even if Kia offered one, I doubt it could match Mazda's shift quality.
    Kia certainly seems to have the edge in safety features (full compliment of airbags, traction & stability control)
    as well as comfort & convenience (leather, heated seats roof rack etc.) and it's priced competitively as well.
    Handling would probably go to the Mazda, thought the Kia reviewers were quite impressed with the way it handled.
    Towing is the kicker for me, as the 5 isn't rated to tow but the Rondo has quite respectable tow ratings.
    Final verdicts will have to wait until extensive test drives etc. but this is how I see them stacking up so far.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Based on what I see for the Rondo, I'd vote for the Rondo because you can put a carseat in the middle of the second row, which is the safest place. Plus I think that space between the 2nd row seats is wasted. It's easier to access the 3rd row by folding the 2nd row anyway.

    Plus the styling of the Mazda 5 (especially the rear) looks too much like it was designed for teens. I think the Mazda5 Sport package should include the "tuner" exterior mods, while the Touring version should be styled for adults.
  • While having a middle seat in the second row would be desirable for the reason you mentioned, keep in mind that you would not be able to access the 3rd row by folding down a seat in the 2nd row, if both 2nd row seats had car seats on them. For anyone with 2 car seats in the 2nd row, you really need a space between the 2nd row seats to quickly and easily access the 3rd row.
  • fred222fred222 Posts: 200
    It appears that the Kia Rondo comes only with automatic transmissions 4 and 5 speed. I have been looking at the Mazda 5 specifically because it is available with a manual trans.
    Mazda 5 should offer a 5 speed auto which does appear to be available on the V6 Kia. I can see the larger engine and 5 speed auto pushing many buyers to the Kia from the Mazda. I was hoping that the Kia would also have a manual trans. No such luck.
  • fred222fred222 Posts: 200
    Kia cheaped out with a 4 speed auto on their 4 cyl, but they do have a 5-soeed auto on the six.

    Mazda offers only a 4 speed auto and only a 4 cylinder engine.
  • jtzjtz Posts: 37
    The past five years and more I have seen Kia's. The first generation sportage and the Sephia still on the roads today. I even see 01' Rios and Spectras Optimas and first generation Sedonas. Now it's almost 07' making 01 nearly six years.

    Now, About the Rondo and the Mazda 5, all I have to say is this the Rondo has been out far longer than Mazda 5. In case people forgot, the Rondo is in its 3rd generation. It seems to me that every generation this model seems to be leaving the compact mini-van and getting closer to the crossover. I know that the Rondo will sa-cee'd (if you know what I mean).
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Drove a Rondo yesterday. There are some negative comments on other boards because of a Canadian review with pictures that showed an ugly, washed out, monochromatic gray interior. In person, the car is actually better looking. Nicer interior than Pontiac/Toyota twins or Caliber by far. Drove both it and Optima 4 back to back. Didn't notice that they had different auto. transmissions but it was just a quick around town drive.

    All in all I like this vehicle a lot. Seems less mini-van-y than the 5, although I want to drive the Mazda as well. Used to have a Plymouth Colt Vista (first generation, mid-eighties). The Rondo is like that car updated. Really like all the glass, something that is missing on so many modern cars.

    Fiance is looking for a vehicle in next few months. Rondo will be on short list. Biggest problem is who wants to be the early bird buying a Kia product when you know they'll have a large rebate on it in six months.
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    I saw a Seattle dealer ad for a Rondo (probably 1 only) with a $1000 dealer discount. Kia also has a $500 Kia loyalty discount on Rondos. I have sat in one yet to drive one. I agree that they look much better in person than on in pictures of various reviews. Interior space & layout is exceptional IMHO.

    If I were currently in the market for versatile, spacious, comfortable, economical vehicle this would be the one to beat. It is like an expanded Fit & Versa. I have already recommended it to several people who are in the market for such a rig. In fact I think it is a good buy at MSRP, but naturally we all want a better deal!

    Having had an Elantra GT I have no qualms about Hyundai/Kia quality & I was able to sell it for a quickly for only $3000 less than I paid for it 3 years earlier. So the world is starting to reconize that these Korean cars are good ones!
  • I never heard of a Kia Rondo before I saw an ad in Friday's paper. I read several articles on the web and today went over to the Kia dealer to see if I liked it in person. I did and bought an EX.
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    WOW Dakota, that was quick; you are one decisive fellow! Congratulations, Did you get the V6 (only engine offered in the EX?)? I suspect you are really gonna like your like your new rig! What things were the deal makers for you? Please keep us posted on you impressions and experiences with your new Rondo, including fuel milage after it is broken in.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    How does the interior quality seem to you in person because it's really hard to tell from photos. Does it seem solid inside? Also from the photos, the space behind the 3rd row looks smaller than the Mazda5. Can you fit anything back there? I would like a small 3 row vehicle, but I would want to be able to put some things behind the 3rd row, and it would be good to be able to fit a car seat (forward facing or rearward facing) in the 3rd row too. Also, what sort of MPG are you getting?

    I currently have a Ford Freestyle, but it's 200" long and 74" wide, so it's not quite as bigas a minivan, but I'd rather have something a little more narrow and shorter, and have it get aroudnd 30mpg. But on the occasions that I do need to use all three rows, I want to have a least some place to put the kid stuff!
  • I had a 2004 Jeep Liberty, which was fine, but I still had the urge for a new car. The area behind the seat was smaller than I wanted, and I had to remove the rear seat headrests to lower the seat. The space behind the Rondo's seat is much larger and the seats can be lowered to a flat floor without removing the headrests.

    My EX is the in line 4.

    I think the interior quality is as good or better than anything in a lower priced car. It has the cloth upholstery. The doorslams with a good solid "THUD."

    I cannot comment on the three row version, because I have not seen one, but I imagine that there is very little volume behind the third seat.
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    >>I had a 2004 Jeep Liberty<< Interesting. My daughter also has a Liberty & the my 1st thought when I saw the Rondo was "this would be a great replacement for the Liberty." I too thought that the space utilization of the Rondo was much better that the Liberty. How does the ride comfort, driving easy, acceleration and handling compare with the Libery. I would expect the your gas consumption will go dow 30-40%. Please keep us posted.
  • My only concern about the driving comfort is that while I am slightly under 6' tall, I have long legs and I feel that the leg room is less than perfect (but I love the "dead pedal".) The head room is fantastic. The driving and acceleration are very good (acceleration is obviously less than the Liberty, but more than adequate so far). I feel the handling is better than the Liberty. The Jeep has a very twitchy feeling on the road which the Rondo does not.
This discussion has been closed.