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Rondo vs Outlander/Rav4/Santa Fe/Mazda5

dnatodaydnatoday Posts: 8
edited March 2014 in Kia
Help! I have been looking for the past few days for something to replace my 1993 Honda Accord Wagon. We love this car, but it is long in the tooth. I like the idea of a 3rd row of seats for when my kids need to bring along a friend, but I DO NOT want a minivan or SUV. We looked at the Mazda5, which while fun, felt cheap inside & our 9 yo thought it was uncomfortable. Only 6 seats though and it did have manual, but we looked at the Rondo "just to have something to compare it to". I was surprised at how much I LIKED the Rondo! We were all set to buy the EXv6 w/the premium package (gotta have a moonroof!) & we even put $$ down.

Then my husband went on the internet. Too much time on his hands and viola! we now have The Outlander, Rav4 & Santa Fe competing in this "not minivan or SUV but rather a pumped up wagon" space.

I have read the reviews and am totally lost. Friends of mine are scared of the Rondo because of the Kia brand & it's a 1st model year (only in this country I tell 'em) but I understand that Kia has really been turning into a very reliable company.

Help me understand what the best 7 seater is that has the following features:

Safety, reliability, good gas mileage and a nice dose of "fun to drive".

A good plus would be the company being able to back the car for the next few years.

Thanks for your help all you knowledgeable car guys (and/or gals!)!


  • mpuzachmpuzach Posts: 635
    I just bought a 2007 Santa Fe Limited AWD and I've got to say, it's a fantastic vehicle. Though mine doesn't have 3rd row seating, it's available as an option. If you haven't taken a close look at the Santa Fe or driven one, I highly recommend that you do so before buying anything else. Here's a link to an admittedly "wordy" write-up that I just did in a different Edmund's discussion:

    Link to new Santa Fe purchase
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    As you did not fill in your location I don't know whether you are in the US or Canada.
    Here in Canada the Santa Fe with sunroof and 7 seating would be $10,000 more than the Rondo EX-V6 Luxury 7 seater. The Santa Fe was one of the vehicles I am considering, but when I compare feature for feature its hard to justify the additional cost, also of all the road test I have read on the Santa Fe and seen, the one continuing problem is always poor gas mileage and with the price of gas these days you have to consider it. Also do you need 4WD?
    The RAV4 you are looking at nearly $9,000 more, why you always have to get the top model to get the sunroof feature is beyond me, this seems to apply to most manufacturers.
    The Outlander you are looking at nearly $5000 more, but I don't like the black interior.
    I've checked out the Mazda 5 side by side to the Rondo and even though they are similar priced, when you compare feature for feature the Rondo comes out ahead.
    Depends how much you want to spend and how much value you place on a sunroof. I like a sunroof but when I found you had to purchase the higher end models to get it, it was a very expensive sunroof!
    You said you did not want a SUV, but that's what the Santa Fe, Outlander and RAV4 are. If you are going that route have you considered the CR-V, that's about $6600 more.
    However, we would be interested in what eventually buy and your reasons for purchasing that vehicle, many of us are going through the same process, so you are not alone!
  • dnatodaydnatoday Posts: 8
    We are in New England. I, too thought that the Santa Fe, Outlander and RAV4s were SUVs, but it seems they have snuck into that nebulous "cross over" category.

    Have you looked at the "total cost of ownership" links in Edmunds which seem to show that the Outlander & the Rondo cost the same after 5 years-- about 42K?

    We are blowing off previous evening plans to drive the Mitzu. I am hopeful we haven't pissed off our Kia dealer by backing out of the deposit, but there are other kia dealers within 50 miles.....
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "...why you always have to get the top model to get the sunroof feature is beyond me, this seems to apply to most manufacturers."

    To extract top $$ from buyers since most people seem to want a hole in their roof. Personally I think a sunroof is one of the most useless features on a vehicle. In the case of the RAV4, the problem actually is that you need to ante up to the Limited model to get the 3rd row seat.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I think 95% of the 'utes out there are technically cross-overs -- basically just jacked up wagons with various forms of AWD/4WD.
  • dodo2dodo2 Posts: 496
    Mazda5 is a 6 seater so it doesn't meet your criteria.
    If you are strong about "fun to drive", Rondo may not fit the bill. I didn't drive it, but I read few reviews and Kia's are not exactly known for this after all.
    It leaves you with the Outlander, Santa Fe and RAV4. Out of all, I think the Outlander has the most "fun to drive", although the RAV4 V6 (you will have to get the LTD for 7 seats) and to a certain extent the Santa Fe are not bad either.
    Of course, I would recommend you the Outlander as being the closest to meet your requirements out of the three.
    You will need the Outlander XLS 4WD w/Sun&Sound.
    On the side note, they all have 7 seats, but I don't think the 3rd row is of any use in any of them.
  • chelentanochelentano Posts: 634
    I agree with dodo2: Mazda5 and Rondo will not work for you.

    RAV4 is nice overall, but RAV4 has shorter warranty then Outlander and SF. RAV4 has no free roadside assistance. Also it has too many little problems, according to owner feedback: on all 3 major sites RAV4 has lower owner satisfaction rating, then Santa Fe and Outlander:

    ---------- MSN autos -- --Yahoo Autos
    Outlander - 9.5 -------------- 9.2 -------------- 4.5
    Santa Fe -- 9.5 -------------- 9.2 -------------- 4.5
    RAV4 ------- 8.6 -------------- 9.0 -------------- 3.5

    Santa Fe
    Santa Fe is great, most upscale interior in the group, but little short on features, 3rd row seat cost extra as a part of package, only single CD-player and according to road test 5-speed "transmission sometimes slow to respond and unimpressive brakes". Still very pleasant car with great warranty.

    Outlander is the best in the group to my opinion. It's fun to drive, smooth 6-speed transmission, better gas mileage then SF and best styling in the group to my taste. Standard Outlander XLS loaded with many features, some are not available even on standard Lexus RX350: 6 speed shiftable automatic transmission + paddle shifters (fun to drive), 18" tires, split lift gate, Fast-Key, keyless ignition, bluetooth, odor absorbing interior, LED rear lights, 6-CD stereo with MP3, roof rails.

    Sunroof is not included in standard model but I would not care for it much even though I have it. Beige interior looks much nicer to me vs. black. 3rd row is tiny but is good for kids and when folded it does not take much space.

    It has all the safety equipment: skid/traction control, electronic brake assist, ABS, 8 airbags, tire pressure monitor, hands free phone link. Unlike many other cars, Outlander offers tri-mode AWD, similar to Mercedes "4Matic": 2WD for better fuel economy, 4WD auto and 4WD locked. This car, I believe, expected to have good reliability since it is build entirely in Japan, and with amazing 5/10 warranty and 5 year road side assistance reliability is not a major factor. Roadside assistance would even replace you flat tire for free: just call 800 number!

    I was offered standard Outlander XLS 2WD for $22.5K, but I ended up getting XLS AWD with most of the packages.
  • ppetroffppetroff Posts: 10
    In response to the 3rd row seating.... This is my family's criteria as well. I believe I saw on the Mitsu. website that they don't recommend anyone over 5' sitting in them. We are merely having them as a backup if our sons - ages 8 & 12 bring a friend along and we can put the 8 yr old and friend in the back. If you are want something more of a wagon and not a crossover you may want to look at the Saturn Outlook - nice and big, the Ford Freestyle (we didn't like just because it's a Ford) or the Mazda CX-9 (very big like the Outlook). Of course since I am responding on a Santa Fe board I am partial to the SF and will be purchasing monthend. We did narrow our choices down to the Outlander, SF and Rav. Really liked the pep of the RAV, but for the $ the SF is such a better buy. We aren't 20 yrs old anymore and don't have to have the pep! The Rav also seemed so cheap inside to us in many ways. Good luck with your search. I initially looked at the Rondo and came to the conclusion of one of the other posters and dismissed it pretty quickly - reviews weren't so hot.
  • chelentanochelentano Posts: 634
    Well, it appears the original poster is constrained by smaller and less expensive vehicles, but Outlook and CX-9 would not fit into it. So there is no way you could have full size 3rd row seat. Outlander's 3rd row is intended to be for smaller people.
  • medicinemanmedicineman Posts: 135
    The reviews for the Rondo have actually been quite good. I and others have posted many reviews in this thread--for example, post #112 and #132 to #135. Out of the forty reviews or so that I've read, almost all of them tended towards the positive side. In fact, I could find only two reviews that I would deem as definitely on the negative side. As for comments from individual users in blogs and forums, I have no overall impression, but one can easily check out some of the comments in the Rondo forum. Anyway, regardless of the reviews, it might not be what the original poster is looking for, anyway.
  • ergsumergsum Posts: 146
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    I agree on the Rondo reviews, but they should drive all the models and sit in the 3rd seat and that could possibly answer their questions. I find taking digital pictures really helps when I get back home and in a better position to absorb everything.
  • dnatodaydnatoday Posts: 8
    I thank all of you for your well-thought out comments. I happen to really like the Rondo, but my husband (who drives an Audi S6, just so you know where HE is coming from!) wants the more fun to drive options. He is a gearhead and used to race Formula V & go karts. I on the other hand, only learned to drive 9 years ago after our eldest was born & I never went through that sexy race car phase-- the Honda Accord wagon was my first car. So I am not nostalgic for any performance attributes.

    We did drive the 2007 Limited Edition Santa Fe today and man, is it sweet! So nicely appointed. It was moderately raining today and we went both up hills and on the highway. It handled both well-- with the minimal amount of road noise. When my husband drove, I sat in the 3rd row and it was very comfortable for someone who is 5'1". I loved having control over the heat from back there. And in the 2nd row, you can mess with the radio, provide you get the DVD player package.

    The dealer is willing to give us a deal since it is a decked out demo car with about 6,000 miles on it (the dealership owner's daughter drives them for about 6K miles and then gets something new). Even cutting us a deal, it would be about 30,000, which is 8K more than the Kia Rondo all decked out.

    To me it is a no brainer, but the hubbie is trying to get me to the Mitzu dealer tomorrow to drive that Outlander. It is very cute with some excellent audio knobage, but man is that 3rd row seat a piece of crap. The clamshell hatch opening is interesting, but what does it give you beside the ability to park closer to the wall in a garage?

    We are definitely split on the necessary features. I will check in if I get convinced to drive the Mitzu & certainly let you know what I wind up purchasing!
  • medicinemanmedicineman Posts: 135
    Yeah, if your hubby is looking for driving fun, then the Rondo is probably not for him.

    As for the third-row seats in the Rondo, it's definitely not for tall people (I don't think the third row of any vehicle is designed for tall people). I'm 6'1" and I can't sit up straight without my head touching the top, plus there's not enough legroom for me. I can make enough legroom by moving up the second-row seats, but that sacrifices way too much second-row legroom.

    The third row in the Rondo can, however, accommodate people of shorter stature. My Dad, who is around 5'5", sat back there quite comfortably, although he said that he wouldn't want to sit there on a long trip. To make enough legroom for him, I had to move the second-row seat up some, which also meant I moved the front seat up some (this was all done on the passenger side of the vehicle). With everything adjusted just so with my Dad seated in the back, I could sit in the second-row seat comfortably with my knees just touching the back of the front seat. I could also sit in the front seat with my knees almost touching the glovebox.

    So the moral of the story is, have kids or short adults sit in the back and there should be enough room for tall guys in the first two rows. If you have a family that's taller than I am or if they have very long legs (my legs are not that long for someone of my height), you should probably go for a Shaq-mobile. :)
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Actually, unless you have a monetary limit, I would stay away from a demo. I mean, who really knows if it really was the owner's daughter who drove it. Even if it was, what kind of driver was she? My impression is that most demos have not been babied. :cry:
  • davesuvdavesuv Posts: 149
    Sounds like you are doing your homework. All the vehicles you are looking at are nice. I have the Santa Fe AWD Limited and agree with your assessment. I absolutely love it and find the 3rd row seats to be very usable, even for adults on short trips. If you browse through the prices paid forum, you'll find that you can probably do significantly better than $30K for a used Limited with Premium and Touring packages. Between 27 and 29 seems very doable for a brand new one. I average 20 mpg in mine overall (about 18 city, 24 highway, just like the EPA estimates). Good luck with your decision. Whatever you end up with, it should be a great car.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,192
    Yes, it seats only 6.
    Yes, it is cheaper inside (although has NAV as an option, which we have).

    The big things we liked about the Mazda 5 were
    - drives like a Mazda 3, very sporty and maneuverable (I'm sure much more so than any of the other listed vehicles)
    - we wanted the sliding door, as we park two vehicles together in the garage and the kids aren't exactly careful
    - we found the third row comfort (somewhat of an oxymoron) to be better than most other vehicles with a "tight" third row (as opposed to full sized minivans, etc.)
    - it's a real bargain on price. We're probably going to hand it down to our daughter when she starts driving (she's 14 now)

    On the Mitsubishi mentioned above, consider long term support if you keep your cars a long time. It might be a fine car, but having a fairly rare brand that isn't doing that well (at least in the states) exposes you to some risk and probably faster depreciation.
  • jflorjflor Posts: 20
    "fairly rare brand that isn't doing that well (at least in the states)"

    This is not supported by facts. ON the contrary, Mitsubishi sales here in the states for the first quarter in 2007 have been on the upswing: 19.6% sales change compared to the same period last year.

    The company also made a modest profit in its latest financial statement, a healthy indicator that it is in fact doing fairly well.
  • mpuzachmpuzach Posts: 635
    You should be able to buy a brand new Santa Fe for dealer invoice or slightly less MINUS the $1000 rebate. We just got our brand new, fresh-off-the-truck Limited AWD with XM a week ago and it's absolutely fantastic. We got it for invoice less the rebate and I couldn't be happier with it. Hyundai has done a great job with the 2007 Santa Fe.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I think the Mazda5 is an excellent concept, except Mazda kinda missed the boat on a couple of features:

    5-speed automatic; traction & stability control. A V6 would also help. I drove a rental for a few days and found the 4 cyl a bit thrashy went pushed. But I did like the tidy exterior dimensions, the sliding doors, and the seating configuration.
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    I'd certainly admit a sunroof is useless if it's not used. My last vehicle didn't have one, the vehicle previous to that did, and I now have one again. My wife and I both missed it, both of us not liking to feel too closed in when in the car. Good ventilation too. Now I don't always have to drive with the windows down.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,192
    I wrote "fairly rare brand that isn't doing that well (at least in the states".

    You wrote "This is not supported by facts"

    Mitsubishi may be on an upswing, but I don't know how you can call less than one percent of the market in the US "doing that well", regardless of the small improvement. That is what I characterize as a "fairly rare brand".

    "The bleeding has stopped and they've stabilized, and that's good, but they still are in a weak position in the U.S.," said Jim Hossack, vice president of the industry forecaster AutoPacific.

    I'm not anti Mitsubishi, as I recommended one to my mother many years ago (and she bought it). She found that dealers were few and far between and after a number of years it was hard to find many places to get it repaired. Parts often took quite a while to receive.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 5,192
    You wrote:
    I think the Mazda5 is an excellent concept, except Mazda kinda missed the boat on a couple of features:

    5-speed automatic; traction & stability control. A V6 would also help.

    I agree on the 5 speed. I'm in CA and we don't get ice, until a few years ago we all survived without traction and stabilit control, so those features weren't deal breakers. We didn't want a V6 as we were looking for mileage more than power. Our previous minivan, a 1994 Mercury Villager, had the same horsepower in a heavier package, so it's all relative.
  • dodo2dodo2 Posts: 496
    If he drives an Audi S6 I feel for him. He should be looking elsewhere. Acura MDX comes to my mind as the cheapest, fun to drive, 7 seater, premium SUV.
    Forget about Rondo, Santa Fe and like. On the cheap side of the spectrum, the Outlander is the only choice. Mazda CX7 doesn't have 7 seats, but the CX9 might be worth checking out.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I wish Mitsu well, I've owned three of their cars. However, compared to the Rondo or (especially) Santa Fe, the Outlander really lacks in interior quality. That's got to count for something.
  • biscuit_xlsbiscuit_xls Posts: 194
    Depends. Personally I hate most fake wood interiors, so the Outlander interior looks much sportier and more appealing to me. The simple and modern design of the Outlander interior was a big reason that I chose it.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,615
    moment and second that emotion on Mitsu interiors. I haven't seen the new Outlander's interior in person but my new '08 Lancer GTS' interior could be described as simple and sporty(and yes, modern)as well. Therefore, I could be pretty easily persuaded that the '07 Mitsu Outlander's interior would look simple and modern. Of these SUV/crossovers I would hone my intense research down to the Outlander and the Rondo.

    You can't really go wrong with a new Kia. ;)

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • chelentanochelentano Posts: 634
    interior in white leather looks pretty good to me:

  • dodo2dodo2 Posts: 496
    The interior/exterior assessment is strictly a personal matter. I like the Outlander's interior design even though I agree that it could use some better quality materials in some places. However, I cannot stand the Santa Fe's interior design, not to mention the fake wood. They may have better materials, but this doesn't do it for me. As far as Rondo is concerned, I cannot even look at it, never mind consider buying it.
    But that's just me. Some obviously like both Rondo and Santa Fe. So I guess, since the looks are subjective, they shouldn't play a roll in any comparison.
  • rick2456rick2456 Posts: 320
    30K? Unless that is in canadian dollars, that is not a good deal. Especially for a demo.
  • dnatodaydnatoday Posts: 8
    Thanks all for your input. We finally bought a Rondo this weekend at Boch Kia in Norwood, MA. We got the Ex with Leather & Premium packages, & the crossbars & bumper protector. I think we got a good price-- $22315, which is about a thousand less than the Edmunds TMV price. We did not trade in the Honda, so we have that to sell if you know anyone who is interested...

    The are going to make it up though because we did take their extended warranty which gives us 10 years bumper to bumper-- with this car being in it's first year in the US, we decided it was worth it. We tend to keep our cars awhile & in 8 years our oldest will be able to drive.

    I've driven about 130 miles so far and the gas gauge is at 1/2, so we will have to see on the mileage. My husband put the tires to 34 psi-- thanks for the tip!

    When we were showing off the car to the in-laws, a BMW X3 parked in the space next to us. The Rondo has the SAME body & interior styling as this car-- the rear side window is the same & the two tone interior-- black & tan is EXACTLY the same! I felt very good about that!

    I'm still getting used to driving an automatic, but we have been having fun with it. Really!
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    Congratulations and glad we could help. I think we would be interested on what some of the deciding factors in selecting the Rondo over the other vehicles that you had mentioned. I know I would, as the Rondo has certainly got my interest, but I won't be in a position to purchase till the 2008 model. Thanks.
  • bnkausikbnkausik Posts: 5
    sorry to hear that. no comparison between the rondo and mazda5 on quality, brand image and reliability. and the price makes it a wooden nickel.

  • medicinemanmedicineman Posts: 135
    Gee, that was a super informative post. I was wondering when the fanboys would show up.

    Presuming that you're a Mazda5 owner, perhaps the Original Poster's choice of the Rondo shakes you a little? You don't need to feel threatened by the OP's choice, nor do you need to feel vindicated whenever someone chooses the Mazda5. Just be happy with your own choice based on your own preferences. Just enjoy your Mazda5.

    BTW, I also comparison-shopped the Rondo and Mazda5. I chose the Rondo. My choice of the Rondo in no way implies that I think the Mazda5 is an inferior product--it just means I had a greater preference for what the Rondo had to offer. I happen to like the Mazda5 and I probably would have chosen it if it could seat up to seven.

    As I stated in an earlier post, a majority of the reviews for the Rondo have been toward the positive side and only a handful (two that I could find) were definitely negative.

    In the 2007 Consumer Reports reliability ratings, Hyundai ranked 7th and Kia ranked 17th out of 36. Kia's ranking is hardly earth shattering, but it may come as a shock to those who think that Kia absolutely must be the worst auto company out there.

    The truth is, the Hyundai-Kia group has come a long way in a very short period of time. People's perceptions just haven't caught up to this new reality (source):

    Despite their recent success, both suffer from earlier quality lapses, says Chris Denove, a partner in J.D. Power.

    "Without question, Hyundai and Kia are two of the most improved brands as far as quality," Denove says. "Unfortunately, consumer perception has lagged behind, so that many consumers still don't shop those brands because they don't think the quality has improved.

    "It takes a long time for consumers to realize that improvements have been made," he says.

    The big boss of Hyundai-Kia is a stickler for quality (although he's currently under investigation for corruption in South Korea, for what it's worth--source):

    Hyundai is a perfect example of what good leadership can do. The chairman of the Hyundai-Kia group is a fanatic about quality and he has instilled that fanaticism into the very fibre of the company. Really, the quality is there now.

    Take it from someone who was actually involved in designing the seats for the Sonata (source):

    and working with Hyundai. they complain about quality to their suppliers worse than toyota, honda. they nit pick everything till its perfect.

    ie. hey that plastic panel is buzzing after we throw it [off] the roof. fix it! hey, when we jump on the seat, it squeeks, fix it!

    etc etc

    Have I cherry-picked these quotes? Of course I have. I don't claim to be objective, either. I'm not saying that Hyundai-Kia is the best or is even better than Mazda or any other auto company. I'm not saying, either, that it's moot to question their long-term reliability. My point is, Hyundai-Kia no longer sucks as much as they used to suck. ;) They're in the game now (when it comes to quality and reliability) and no one would have thought this just five years ago.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    couldn't agree more, that's why KIA is on my consideration list for my next purchase. If you had ask me six months ago, they wouldn't have been on "my radar", but as they say in their ads "The Power to Surprise" and I was, when I first saw the Rondo. Their upcoming model the Soul looks interesting too!
  • medicinemanmedicineman Posts: 135
    Yep, Kia wasn't on my radar, either. Initially, I had no idea what Kia's reputation was. I fully admit that I'm not a car enthusiast, so I was blissfully unaware of what people thought about Kia. I did know about Hyundai, however, because my oldest brother had a Stellar back in the '80s and he had his share of problems with it. Despite this, I didn't exclude Hyundai from consideration. Like I said, I'm no car enthusiast, so it seemed silly to exclude something that I didn't know much about.

    When I informed a friend that my research included Kia and Hyundai, he told me that Hyundai owned Kia and since Hyundai is crap, Kia is also crap. My friend considers himself knowledgable about cars, but he's also a bit of a blowhard (like most car enthusiasts--oops, did I just say that? ;)). So I wasn't sure if I believed him or not. His opinion did mean something, however, since I didn't do any serious research on Hyundai or Kia until after I had done my research on pretty much every other auto company.

    The rest is history. After doing some actual research and not just believing what the popular perception is, Kia did have "the power to surprise." All my research was telling me that the Rondo was the vehicle that I was looking for, but you know what? I wasn't too happy about it. Why? Because it's hard to feel any pride in ownership when apparently everyone else thinks that your vehicle is crap. To tell you the honest truth, this still affects me, even though I know I made the right decision for myself. So if you're a shallow person like me, this might be a factor in your own decision-making. :)
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "..but he's also a bit of a blowhard (like most car enthusiasts--oops, did I just say that?"

    Well, I don't know about "most", but there are a couple of them on the Outlander threads for sure....especially one who also dispenses investment advice. :surprise: :confuse:
  • ykangykang Posts: 88
    You are so pathetic :mad:
    Why are you trying to ruin dnatoday's happy moment?
  • dnatodaydnatoday Posts: 8
    >>BTW, I also comparison-shopped the Rondo and Mazda5. I chose the Rondo. My choice of the Rondo in no way implies that I think the Mazda5 is an inferior product--it just means I had a greater preference for what the Rondo had to offer. I happen to like the Mazda5 and I probably would have chosen it if it could seat up to seven.

    This was the deciding flip-of-the-coin for us. We took 5 kids to see Shrek hours after we bought the Rondo and having room for 3 booster seats + two pre-teens was worth it.

    I've had so many compliments on the styling and looks of this car-- has anyone else noticed how much stying it borrows from the BMW X3? Even the two-tone interior.

    I'm still getting used to driving an automatic, but I find the car is pretty stable and yet zoomy in the twisty back roads. We are planning a trip to Cape Cod this weekend to try out the highway miles. We are still on the dealer's tank of gas, so I am not sure how the mileage is going to turn out.

    And thanks Medicneman for the nice words-- my parade isn't rained on. I expect a great experience from this car, though my husband is going to make me post a few wishlist items in the other thread. (mostly tinted windows and/or a car cover-- most cars this type/size have 'em).
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMPosts: 7,615
    I am enjoying your comments about Kia. I am one that breaks your hypothesis apart about "nobody would have guessed that Kia would be improving so much to this point only 5 years ago", though. I bought my first Kia in May of '99, a Sephia sedan.

    The rest is history, though, I now own only one car, a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS. But you might find it interesting that I would return to the new car Kia fold in the future, no doubt about it. I leave my two Kia's behind but not the happy memories of driving both of them. Kia builds solid and good cars and IMHO does a very fine job of body styling them, too.

    So I saw their vast potential in the second half of 1999 and my Sephia not only looked better than a Toyota Corolla of that era but a Honda Civic as well. Those were the competitors Kia was chasing and IMHO they not only caught them but beat them both with that 1999 Sephia.

    As for the Rondo or RAV4 or Outlander, etc., I would look at either the Outlander or the Rondo and no further than those two and you'll get an awesome vehicle.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    I may be biased as I already have a Mazda5. When we bought it, Rondo did not exist. In addition the RAV4 and the Outlander were still the previous model. The only other model we checked out was a Honda CR-V. Nice car (plus also had a 5 Speed manual transmission) but too SUV oriented for us. Mazda5 fully covered ALL family needs, plus the design and driving has been great since, even with some of those first model recalls, The car still turns heads after close to 2 years.

    Regardless where KIA stands today wrt. Quality, the car is still a KIA (zero style plus always trying to mimic more expensive cars' designs and functionality). I would wait another 5 years before I check one out.

    But please don't take my biased view, just look for Rondo and Mazda5 related public forums (apart from Edmunds, of course). There, you will see why owners prefer Mazda5. Although is a family car, hardcore enthusiasts out there are too many :)
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    I respect your opinion about your Sephia, but in my view, my '98 Corolla and the other 8th generation Corollas are some of the better looking cars ever made.

    Thank you...
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    Seat up to seven on a Mazda5? As an owner of a Mazda5 for almost 2 years and after seeing the Rondo cramped seating, I hope that the party of seven seated in there (yes, with the official Mazda5 7th seat configuration available in Japan, Europe or Mexico) does not through tomatoes at the driver after 5 minutes :mad: (even kid size human beings, honest). 5-6 is MORE than enough for a car that size, believe me. Do you want to seat more? Buy a gas guzzling Suburban.

    Now, with all due respect, don't make me laugh out loud: Styling borrowed from a BMW X3? Where? Oh well, if there is any (and I may be biased, I accept), at least is a good proof of KIA trying to mimic better cars' design and style. I know that w/ the Mazda5 I did not buy a Beemer or a Mercedes, but at least its design is original and it is so fun to drive.
  • medicinemanmedicineman Posts: 135
    Coolmazda5 wrote:
    Regardless where KIA stands today wrt. Quality, the car is still a KIA (zero style plus always trying to mimic more expensive cars' designs and functionality). I would wait another 5 years before I check one out.

    Not sure what "wrt" means. If by quality we mean aesthetics or looks, then that's really in the eye of the beholder. But I happen to agree with your generalization that Kia's vehicles don't seem to be as stylish or as original as vehicles from a lot of other car companies.

    Aesthetics, however, was far down on my checklist of things that I was looking for in a mini people mover. Don't get me wrong--if a vehicle were truly ugly in my eyes, I probably would be hard pressed to even consider it. But like I said, I'm no car enthusiast, so I couldn't care less about having a hottie of a vehicle or having a vehicle that can go from zero to sixty in a nanosecond.

    I was mostly concerned about practicality and utility. I think it's safe to say that the majority of people who are looking at these kind of vehicles are primarily concerned about this, too. Having said that, I happen to think that the Mazda5 is a nice combination of utility and style, so those two things aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. Again, beauty being in the eye of the beholder, I've heard some people say that they would never consider the Mazda5 just because it has sliding doors. For me, that's a plus (due to its utility), not a minus (due to its looks).

    So why did I choose the Rondo? Because it's small, convenient, configurable, has great safety features, has okay mileage, and drives decently. I could be describing the Mazda5, actually (except some would say that it drives better than just decently). The deciding factor, however, was that the Rondo could seat up to seven people. All those things that I mentioned ain't going to rock the world of any car enthusiast, but for what I was looking for, the Rondo does almost everything just right.

    In fact, car enthusiasts will cringe after I say this :): I don't like having dark tinted windows and I hate how most new cars these days seem to have those tiny streamlined windows at the rear of the vehicle. I want more visibility, not less. Nobody is going to complain that the Rondo is lacking in glass. In fact, some might say that the Rondo looks outdated because of all that glass. That does concern me somewhat, but at the end of the day, being more concerned about practicality and all, all I can say is, "Who cares?"

    Anyway, I personally think the Rondo is a smart looking vehicle. In another forum, someone mocked me for saying that, basically laughing at me for being so clued out. The truth is, I am mostly clued out about what's fashionable for cars these days. I guess I should have the decency to feel embarrassed about that, but for some reason, I'm just too clued out to care.

    Coolmazda5 wrote:
    But please don't take my biased view, just look for Rondo and Mazda5 related public forums (apart from Edmunds, of course). There, you will see why owners prefer Mazda5. Although is a family car, hardcore enthusiasts out there are too many :)

    Umm, okay, if you're talking about forums where owners and enthusiasts are saying how great the Mazda5 is, it seems that most people already think that the Mazda5 is a good vehicle so you don't need to convince us of that.

    If you're talking about forums where there are direct comparisons between the Mazda5 and the Rondo, let me say this:

    Let's presume that all the comparisons were fair in that actual research was done on both vehicles. Let's also presume that most contributors--both common folks and "hardcore enthusiasts"--concluded that the Mazda5 is the superior vehicle. Now, how does that change the fact that I chose the Rondo primarily because it can seat up to seven and the Mazda5 can't (at least in North America)?

    If most people chose the Mazda5, what, exactly, am I supposed to do with that information? Does that somehow make the Rondo more "wrong" for me and the Mazda5 more "right" for me? Should I bang my head against the wall and say, "Damn, I had the wrong preferences and I should have preferred only six seats"?

    You see what I'm trying to say here? I don't really see the point of the pissing contests that always go on in forums like these, because it's always up to individual preferences, anyway. Everyone is always trying to prove with a God-like certainty that "this vehicle is better than that vehicle," but all you really prove is "this vehicle is better than that vehicle for myself." What's really going on here is that you (the generic "you") want your choice to be validated, either by others making the same choice or by dismissing alternative choices. This is just human nature--not like I'm immune to it.

    You know, I've never once denigrated the Mazda5 in any of my posts just to validate my choice of the Rondo. I wish more people were more secure with their own choices so they don't feel the need to denigrate what others have chosen.

    I know I'll get knocked around for that comment, as though I'm advocating that everyone should play nice and nobody has the right to say anything negative, even if it happens to be a valid point. No, I'm not really saying that. I'm just saying, if you're being critical about somebody else's choice, look in the mirror and tell yourself that you're not just acting out of insecurity. You can fool yourself, but you aren't fooling me.

    Yeah, even I'm tired of hearing me talk. :D
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    Well articulated medicine man, you won't get knocked around about your comments (at least by me). Remember that this is the beauty of the open forums, it is like a democracy, everybody has an opinion and cannot not be shut just "because" :D

    The only thing I would reply on (after looking at myself in the mirror) is that I don't feel insecure at all. Don't take me wrong, but to me an insecure person is the one who comes to a Mazda5 forum to talk about another brand or model so to feel that at least "I fight them" even in their land and feel better. IMHO, if I would feel insecure, I would have gone to Rondo's forums and claim Mazda is best and bash KIA.

    In the meanwhile, as a good democracy, I will say "what I think is right" here. At the end, that is why is called a "forum".

    I respect people's car decisions, not a problem (it is not my spent money, plus Mazda will not pay me a cent for what I say). Yet, What has tweaked me somehow is that in all the related forums I've seen, the Rondo is always compared to a high-end brand in order to be able to highlight the qualities of the car. From the Mazda5 perspective, I have not seen that at all. Owners just love the car for what it is.

    But hey, thanks for your comments and I hope that mine were not taken wildly :).
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    First of all, I don't own either but....

    I think Mazda5 overall looks better, sportier....Drove a rental M5 but must say I was underwhelmed by its drving dynamics. Seemed worlds apart from the M3 from which it sprung, but perhaps I shouldn't have gone in expecting M3 agility...I think the M5 needs a bit more power, traction/stability control, and a 5-sp auto. Then it would really kick [non-permissible content removed]. All 3 of these the Rondo has, so that, IMO, puts it a leg up on the M5....There is a bit of X3 in the Rondo, when viewed from the back, especially where the body line kicks up at the back....Incidentically our local paper just did a comparo between the 2. They praised both, but they picked the Rondo. If I were buying a family kidsmobile now, and need 5+ seating, but don't need 4WD, I would go with the Rondo, mainly because it is better equipped.
  • bprendersonbprenderson Posts: 99
    How did the Rondo and Mazda5 do in the government and Insurance Ind. crash tests? Thanks.....

  • medicinemanmedicineman Posts: 135
    coolmazda5 wrote:
    Don't take me wrong, but to me an insecure person is the one who comes to a Mazda5 forum to talk about another brand or model so to feel that at least "I fight them" even in their land and feel better. IMHO, if I would feel insecure, I would have gone to Rondo's forums and claim Mazda is best and bash KIA.

    Not sure if you were making a sly reference to it or not, but I actually did make some posts at a Mazda5 forum about the Rondo a couple of months ago. I did say a lot of the same things there as I've said here, so that might have tipped you off (or maybe not).

    After googling for info on the Rondo, I discovered that forum because it had a pre-existing thread discussing the Rondo. I hadn't purchased the Rondo yet and I wasn't totally sure if it were the right choice. Basically, I participated in that thread to outline my reasons for choosing the Rondo and seeing if I could deal with the feedback. If I ended up being wishy washy about it, that meant perhaps I should think more about it. As it turns out, it clarified my reasons for choosing the Rondo. It was a turning point--quite helpful, really.

    As for going there due to my insecurities, I have no idea--because I'm usually insecure, anyway. I would make Woody Allen look like a decisive tyrant in comparison. :D
  • medicinemanmedicineman Posts: 135

    I searched both websites but could find only info on the Rondo at NHTSA's website.
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    Hey Bubba,

    This is what I gathered for the Mazda5 when we purchased it. Not sure if it is really what you are looking for (i.e. related to insurance), but here we go :D. In the past I was not very focused on car safety, but now, with family on-board, the view has changed dramatically, so the articles' related information below supported our purchase:
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