2007 Kia Rondo Long-Term Road Test

2007 Kia Rondo: Heads-Up, Seven-Up!

June 24, 2008

Upon arriving home from work today I was greeted by my wife's grade-school chum and her two daughters. They were hungry. "Let's go the the pub," my wife suggested.

No, the pub in question was not the Winchester, and we were not being persued by suburban zombies (not that we know of, anyway.) We were headed to The Olde Ship, an authentic family-friendly joint about a dozen miles away.

With Shepard's pie and curry in our sights, I loaded everyone into our 2007 Kia Rondo for an impromptu test of its 7-passenger capability.

They were reluctant at first, but the second row's easy fold action allowed two representatives of the 9 through 10-year old demographic to scamper easily in the third row. The second row, slid all the way back with no complaints from the back seat contingent, carried three: my wife's friend, my pre-teen daughter, and a wee one in a booster seat. My wife and I fit up front, and I was able to put my seat where I usually like it.

Everyone fit easily--no complaints at all. And the 2.7-liter V6 engine had plenty of steam to merge comfortably onto the freeway and keep the Rondo moving along at a good clip.

There isn't much cargo room when the third-row is in use, so it's best to view the third seat here as a supplemental one for those times when young relatives or your kids' friends ride along--like this trip to the pub, for instance.

When this Kia was introduced, no one could quite see how it fit into the US automotive landscape. Who was looking for a mini minivan-type wagon thing, anyway? Now that downsizing is something a lot of folks are suddenly considering and compacts are flying off the lots, the 3-row Kia Rondo seems well-positioned to scoop up some young family converts.

And it drives nice, too.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 10,955 miles

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