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Mazda 5 vs Kia Rondo



  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    we are 9.5 times smaller in population

    I like that monthly highlight, let's hope it does not change soon :P
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    I've just realized that the 2009 Mazda5 is up for review on the right side of the screen, but is not in the market yet :confuse: .

    Regardless, look at the numbers for the Mazda5 vs. the Rondo so far:

    2008 Mazda5: 9.4 (40 reviews)
    2008 Rondo: 8.0 (6 reviews)

    2007 Mazda5: 9.1 (53 reviews)
    2007 Rondo: 8.8 (71 reviews)

    What about those 2008 Rondo fans? Put those numbers up :shades:

    Population of Mexico is 3 times bigger than Canada
  • smrlsmrl Posts: 1
    On August 16th, just picked up a 2008 Touring Mazda 5, Desert Sand, with most options, including the entertainment package. Price was right at the TMV. :D

    Using several internet sites, especially Edmunds, we had narrowed our initial choices (at least on paper) to Mazda 5 Touring or Grand Touring or Rondo EX, most likely 2008 to get a deal. I expected to either like both or not much like either, but the test drive was revealing. Without slamming it too much, the problem with the Rondo was that some of the things that looked good on paper, weren't that great in person, as far as we were concerned. It didn't help that the dealer apparently wasn't interested in selling, but we didn't let that affect our views. Enough of that.

    The Mazda dealer had 2 Mazda 5 2008 models left (and no 2009's in yet), the one we got and a GT Stormy Blue, fully decked out. The only thing we wanted in the GT was bluetooth, but wasn't worth the price difference. (Not a big fan of leather). Plus, that shade of blue can look purple in the North Alabama sun in August. :) My wife an I both liked the Desert Sand--reminds us of our first car, an '89 Jade-Grey Nissan Sentra. The options were exactly what we wanted. We closed the deal in 2.5 hours, and most of that time was us test driving and thinking. I have never been treated that well by a dealer before, though Saturn came close.

    We love the way it drives. We love the features. I can see how the leg room might be a problem for some, but we are a 4-person family, all about average height, with occasional need to haul another kid or two. Plus, our other vehicle is a 1999 Venture van, which we also like. The Mazda5 is perfect for our family trips, my current commute, and switching over to my wife's main vehicle, once we finish our move.

    Thanks to Edmunds, and all you who posted here, for guiding us to the vehicle we wanted, so painlessly.
  • Well, if you like the current models, it seems that they will stay until 2011, give or take some facelifts

    Too early to say much, but the dates are here:


    Rondo: - -style-design/index.html

    BTW, what happens to the review updates for the 08?
    2008 Mazda5: 9.3
    2008 Rondo: 7.7

    Also, the 2009 Mazda5 is on sale now :shades:
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    Mazda 5 - 1,324
    Rondo - 3,508
  • Well I can't compare the Mazda as the local dealers haven't had any in stock for months. I did compare on paper however, and liked the Rondo more. 3 weeks ago I test drove an EX model with the 4 cyl. and liked it and bought it. Now after approx 2000 kms here is what I find is hard to overlook and needs improvement: When you open the doors the dome light only lights up the back seats. The steering wheel needs to be telescopic as I have to put my seat closer to it than I like in order to be a comfortable reach. The passenger seat needs to be adjustable for up and down as is the driver's seat. My wife and I both find that the front edge cuts in to our thighs after about an hour's driving. We therefore switch seats to alleviate this. The 4 cyl. sometimes lacks sufficient acceleration depending where it is in the power band.
    However, I can live with these shortcomings as both my wife and I find the vehicle to be excellent overall. We have our 2 grandkids, ages 4 and 2 yrs. weekly and appreciate the wide opening doors and storage/cargo space. We really like the expansive glass area even though it feels like we're in a greenhouse when it's sunny. We're having the windows tinted aftermarket soon. The vehicle is surprisingly quiet inside. A good thing because the radio is not overly powerful sound-wise. It is easy to handle and tracts nicely and is smooth on good roads. It does jar a bit on rougher roads and bumps though. I'm not sure why here in Canada the powertrain is only warranted for 5 yrs./100,000 kms (62,000 mi.) while the U.S. model is warranted for 10 yrs. and 1000,000 MILES. I doubt that there is a difference in the drivetrains. Are Canadians harder on drivetrains than our American cousins? I think it's quite unfair on Kia's part and I aim to pursue this with them and would urge Canadian drivers to do the same. The fit and finish appear very good for the class and we are very satisfied with this vehicle.
  • palkopalko Posts: 16
    What kind of gas mileage are you getting on this i-4? Both city and highway? I realize you'll probably report this in imperial gallons. (an imperial gallon= 1.2 US gal)
    Thanks and good luck on this vehicle.....palko :shades:
  • Didn't think I would ever poke my head in here again after all of that noise a few months ago or whenever that was (when some dude was flame-baiting Rondo owners), but I found an article that's very relevant to this thread, which is the first ever "Rondo vs. Mazda5" article I've seen from an American website. I've posted links before to comparison articles from the Canadian press--adventurous types can try searching this thread for those links.

    The Truth About Cars: 2008 Kia Rondo EX vs. 2009 Mazda5 GT
  • Rondo = Minivan? :surprise:

    Mazda5 takes almost 10 seconds to stroll from 0 to 60 mph? :surprise:

    (Mazda5 5MT: 0-60MPH 8.53 Sec)

    Rondo more fun to drive than the Mazda5? :surprise:

    OK, sold :)
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    That article makes a very good point: If you are 6'3", your choices suck.
    I know, it doesn't suck, but that word made my statement. ;)
    I guess I'm just glad that I stopped at 5'10" so I could enjoy a Mazda5 for a while.
  • I am 6'3" and i am OK in the Mazda5. Could i use a little more leg room? Yes. Do i need it? No. I don't think i would buy this car if i was any taller. The passenger side is even worse.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    a big surprise this month as the Rondo outsold the Mazda 5 quite extensively:

    Rondo: 1,087 with YTD of 7,323 (this now brings it to over 15,000 units since its introduction to North America in November 2006.
    Mazda 5: 747 with YTD of 9,757

    (just viewed the 2009 Rondo and picked up the '09 brochure)
  • ...before gets too cold in this area :D

    Road sightings during the weekend:

    6 Rondo "Minivans" ;) (multiple colors and trims), 3 seemed rentals (could see the barcode on the left rear window and usually no rear license plate frame). No kids in any of them :confuse:

    Zero Mazda5s :)

    232 Camrys :P

    Seen more Rondos on the road on a daily basis, starts looking an ubiquitous car at least in my area
  • KIA Canada seems to be cashing on the fact that Mazda CA cannot get enough Mazda5s in inventory, good for KIA...
  • Can one fit a regular stroller at the back of either Mazda5 or Kia Rondo, with the 3rd row seat still up?
  • For special occasional use, yes, but tightly if its a big one. I say occasional because it is not the ideal thing to do IMO (see pics). Now, if you have a small folding portable stroller, not a problem (so to give you an idea, the space at the bottom can fit a golf bag)


  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,134
    We bought a 2007 Mazda 5 Touring in November 2007. After about 30K miles and 2 years, here is a summary:

    We really like this car. I can't believe it is not more popular. It's a shame Mazda doesn't advertise it. If Honda was selling this it would probably be selling 50K-75K a year rather than 20K units.

    The good stuff:

    Great value for the price. Pretty fuel efficient, even with the 4speed auto in the 07 model - we have seen about 30mpg on the highway and usually average 23-25mpg in mixed driving. Engine is refined and pretty quiet for a 4 cylinder. Handles fabulously for what it is; the Mazda 3/5 platform is like a poor man's BMW. This is probably my favorite feature of the car. It's not too low and not too high like an SUV. It's shorter than my Acura TL but has way more space efficiency. Love the interior flexibility. Love the sliding doors. We have had it two years and have not even had it back to the dealer once, it's reliability has been flawless. Great visibility. Very maneuverable; very tight turning circle.

    Needs improving:

    Some of the stuff that was already fixed - more armrests, center console, heater vents, etc.
    Plastic is kind of cheap and scratches easily, especially around door panels. Distance between brake pedal and gas pedal a little tight, took getting used to. Occasional thump in front suspension when going over a bump slowly while turning - need to get this looked at. Driver's seat not that comfortable, sometimes tough to get a good driving position. Could always use a bit more power but don't want to sacrifice fuel economy.

    In summary, we're pretty happy. We also looked at the CRV but didn't want to pay $5K more for similar features, and we liked the lower height and sliding doors. If you like an agile smaller ride but want quite a bit of space, this is your car!
  • I can't believe it is not more popular. It's a shame Mazda doesn't advertise it. If Honda was selling this it would probably be selling 50K-75K a year rather than 20K units.

    After 3 years of owning 2 (an 06 and an 08) I think that is the best thing, they are not ubiquitous (all over the place), they are very unique

    Also, if Honda would sell them, I'm sure they would not look as nice :shades:

    Yes, lower height and sliding doors rule...
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    Rondo - 2,642 units
    Mazda 5 - 1,080 units
  • Rondo, Kia's value-laden CUV, posting a 3-percent increase over the same month last year and a 38.4-percent increase year to date.

    The right-for-the-market MAZDA5 multi-activity vehicle posted a 26.8 percent increase versus last September Year-to-date the MAZDA5 is up a remarkable 42.0 percent.

    Source: Marketwatch ry.aspx?guid=%7BC6070E50-E024-4359-9786-B470B0FB3DF6%7D&dist=hppr spx?guid=%7BE41DEFB5-6B89-4F02-A82F-0BC4ADCF152F%7D&dist=hppr
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    According to Conwelpic's figures, which he has been posting for many months (thank you), Kia still sells more Rondos than Mazda sells 5's.
    So Mazda's increase, though strong percentage-wise, is simply an increase from just a handful of sales to 42% better than a handful of sales.
    Regardless, the M5 is still a nice little van-let, just not as popular as Kia's little SUV-let. Not an opinion, just a fact.
  • Sorry I hurt your feelings, but I did not post anything other than facts to add to the numbers posted earlier :)

    Last time I checked 26.8% was still greater than 3%

    Now, that the FWD Rondo is a little SUV-let, I'm not so sure how factual that is :confuse: . A KIA Sportage, that is a little SUV (source:

    Happy off-roading!
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    Just havin' fun with you. I know the M5 is a wagon just like the Rondo. Or maybe they are vans. Or cross-overs? Hmmm, I'll just call 'em wagons.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    the Rondo is a tall station wagon and this is what it is to KIA as the #52 in 6th and 7th place on the VIN number means "5 door station wagon 2WD", but I like what they call both these vehicles in Europe - MPV's (multi-purpose vehicles)
  • No, fact, you called the Rondo SUV, not a wagon, next post will be a pick-up, or a truck... :D
  • natchnatch Posts: 1
    I bought an '07 Rondo EX 4-cyl about 1 Jul 07 and now wish I had driven the Mazda5. I paid about $20k out-the-door (cash) for my EX (after swapping out the 17" wheels for the 16" wheels - better ride, longer life, 1/2 the price to replace, tho not quite as sporty to drive). A friend just got an '08 Mazda5 by getting quotes via the internet - he did about as well as I did on price. He LOVES his Mazda5. I LIKE my Rondo.

    For the last two weeks I've been out of town and have been renting a new Mazda5, so I finally can make a complete comparison between these two models.

    Very soon after purchase I discovered some major flaws in the Rondo, much to my chagrin, and they are as follows: poor driver's seat comfort (no small of the back support whatsoever - I had to add a $100 orthotic to make it comfortable) - the Mazda5 has no such problem; "head bumper" of a rear hatch door (I'm 6'2") - if Mazda can swing it high, why can't Kia?; impossible for my 67 yr old eyes to read ANY of the instruments in the daytime (including the clock and radio) - these items have VERY little contrast, and Kia would do well to look at VW and others for what to emulate - the Mazda5 is NO improvement over this; incredibly slippery steering wheel - ridiculous - I got 3 rolls of black tennis racket tape and created a nice-looking and nicely grippy wheel (with the help of some instant glue here and there) - the Mazda5 wheel is perfectly fine; the Rondo desperately needs a telescopic steering wheel - I must drive seated well-back, and my arms suffer greatly (strange that the Canadian version HAS this feature) - the Mazda5 has it too; I don't particularly like the sharp cutoff on the headlights (dims), and the brights sure do light up the sky, but don't do that well down the road (I re-aimed them for some improvement, but there's no excuse for this) - the Mazda5's lights are just fine; the Rondo's cruise control is WAY too aggressive (it downshifts and pours on the gas at the smallest hill) - the Mazda5 seems much more comfortable in cruise; the seatbacks and rear floor on the Rondo feel like they are cardboard (!), and they are covered with a very cheap carpeting material - the Mazda5 seats and carpets seem to be good quality by comparison; the Rondo has NO lock on the glove compartment (there's no excuse for this) - the Mazda5 certainly DOES have one; and, finally, the Rondo's ride is harsh over bumps and ruts, while the Mazda5 seems to take it all in stride. Now for two little things that drive me nuts on the Rondo: the radio buttons on the steering wheel are constantly being bumped by my arm or elbow when making a turn, and thus the station changes or it switches to/from the CD - this doesn't happen on the Mazda5; and the left-side map light on the Rondo shines RIGHT IN YOUR EYES (let's face it, the folks at Kia need to use an American-sized guy to test these things if they're gonna sell 'em over here) - and, again, the Mazda5 doesn't have that problem, tho their map lights could be brighter (the Rondo's are BRIGHT).

    What do I LIKE about the Rondo? The 4-cyl is VERY zippy, while the Mazda5 is actually sluggish by comparison. I'm averaging about 24mpg, while my friend with the Mazda5 says he's getting 28, though my Mazda5 rental is only getting about 24 (he has stick and maybe he's a light foot). The Rondo's visibility all around is terrific, while the Mazda5's is simply good (the Rondo has taller windows and maybe a bit less pillar obstruction on the rear corners). The Rondo handles very well, even with the 16" wheels, and the Mazda5 seems to handle just as well. The Rondo 4cyl is VERY quiet and smooth (no timing belt either!), while the Mazda5 seems the equal of it; I love the Rondo brakes, and Mazda's are very good too; the rear side doors on the Rondo open extremely wide, which is nice, though you gotta watch out in a parking lot - the Mazda5's sliding doors, however, are WONDERFUL, and I wish all cars had them.

    That's the gist of it. It seems I'd have been happier in the Mazda5. Then again, there's that terrific Kia warranty. I guess I'd just like Kia to fix those few problems (a simple task): add a telescoping wheel, fix the instrument readability problem, let the hatch door go up HIGHER; add a lock to the glovebox; use standard performing headlights; FIX THE SEATS! (just copy any Honda Accord seat); make the steering wheel grippy; re-aim the map lights; tone down the aggressive cruise control; use higher quality carpeting and seatbacks; and emulate Mazda in the positioning of the steering wheel radio buttons. Do that, Kia, and the Rondo beats the Mazda5 HANDS DOWN. Now put in sliding side doors, and you won't be able to build enough of them.

    Hope this helps some of you folks to decide between these two VERY nice cars.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    I have a '08 Rondo EX (Canadian) 5-seater model, and would agree with some of your comments:
    - telescopic wheel (but no problem the way it is), Canadian version do not have it
    - lock on the glove compartment, was on the '07 model but removed on the '08
    - have to agree with you on the 2.4L, great engine, outperforms my previous 2.8L V6 and gets good mileage
    - great visibility
    - great brakes
    - would be nice if the rear hatch was a little higher (I'm 5'-11")

    I have to disagree on a few of things:
    - sliding doors, I don't like them, that's one of the reasons I got the Rondo
    - I've no problem reading the instruments at any time (I'm in my sixties too)
    - I find the drivers seat very comfortable, but have to admit they don't compare to Volvo seats (used to own a couple), I like the fact the door arm rest and centre arm rests are on the same level. Love the fact the seats are heated! (a lot of vehicles do not provide this unless you go to the high end model)
    - low beam cut off lights: I like this feature, it does take a bit of getting used to but now after nearly one years ownership I would not change them. They have a very broad beam and pick up things on the far right and left that regular beams could miss.
    - the steering wheel is slippy when new but over time it gets better, don't use Armorall or something similar to clean it.
    - I haven't found a problem with the steering wheel radio buttons
    - don't find too much problem with the cruise, depends on the grade, but its not as touchy as my daughters HHR with the same size engine and seems to react about the same as my previous vehicle, not sure how the V6 would react.

    I have not driven the Mazda 5, but it was a close second to the Rondo. We were comparing interior design and we had no use for the extra seats of the M5, but preferred the under floor storage instead. The Rondo 5-seater provided a flat unbroken floor area that made it solid for our large dog. We preferred the dash on the Rondo vs the M5, the amount of standard features (particular the windshield de-icer and heated outside mirrors) that came with the vehicle and safety features were a big plus. We also like the great visibility on the Rondo and the high seating position. If the test drive on the Rondo had not impressed us we would have test drove the M5, but it did, so that was enough for us.

    A lot is subjective and our requirements would be totally reverse for some one else. These are two great wagons in a niche market - bottom line is you couldn't go wrong with either one.
  • I read that the member who wrote this report owns a Rondo AND rented/drove a Mazda5 for 2 weeks, How can that be subjective? :surprise:
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    maybe that's the wrong word to use, what I meant to say was, what is perceived as a problem by one person is not necessary the same for another - e.g. sliding doors, one person thinks they are great and someone else doesn't. Its just the way you look at things and how each persons requirements differ, its not necessary a defect or problem.

    (however, on looking up the word in my dictionary, I think the word is right - "of or due to the consciousness or thinking or percipient subject as opposed to real or external things, not objective, imaginary; giving prominence to or depending on personal opinions or idosyncrasy")
  • I think this forum is not as well represented by women, but here is a good indicator from Down-Under

    MORE than 25,000 women across Australia have picked their AutoChic 2008 Car of the Year Awards, and the overall winner was Kia Rondo.

    The awards were announced last week, an Australian automotive website for and about women.

    With more than 25,000 votes over a six-month period, the girls of Australia were asked to nominate and recommend their favourite vehicles in each of five categories most relevant to them including the Best First Car, Most Wanted Car, Sexiest Girl's Car, Best Car for a Girl on a Budget, and Best Car for Mums (aka the best yummy-mummy mobile).

    With women now buying over 50 per cent of all new cars, and making the final decision in 85 per cent of all new car purchases, the awards were created to demystify the car-buying decision by involving women in the industry on their own terms.

    ``The results reflect a diversity in tastes and lifestyles, and has resulted in the most comprehensive guide online as to what women want in a car, at least,'' said Auto Chic's managing director Kathy.

    The winners are:

    Best First Car Toyota Corolla

    Sexiest Girl's Car Jaguar XK Convertible

    Girl on a Budget Toyota Yaris

    Most Wanted Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet

    Best Yummy Mummy Holden Captiva

    BP Renewables Greenest Car Fiat 500

    Safest Car Renault Megane

    AutoChic's Car of Choice Kia Rondo

    BP Renewables assisted in picking the 2008 AutoChic Greenest Car award. The decision was based on greenhouse gas emissions, fuel-economy tests, and other specifications reported by the auto manufacturers.

    The Safest Car for Women award was decided by automotive industry consultant, freelance journalist and features editor of Wheels magazine, and avid safety advocate John Cadogan.

    The girls at AutoChic test-drive cars on a regular basis from a female point of view and, when it came to their car of choice for the year, the decision was unanimous the Kia Rondo.

    Source: chics-surveyed-about-what-women-want/1332107.aspx
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