August 21, 2008
Our Kia Rondo's overall functionality has earned it numerous unenviable assignments, and once again it finds itself vacationing in the 114-degree California desert.
Cool air conditioning, a wide-opening rear hatch, and a no-frills interior make it the perfect sand city compadre.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 18,536 miles
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
May 07, 2008
The Kia Rondo has endeared itself to many of our staff because of its pleasant personality. Believe it or not, most of the time we're not blazing around a race track or tearing down the quarter mile. Like most folks, we're usually either commuting (i.e. slogging) through "rush hour" traffic or running errands. The Rondo is smooth, quiet, roomy and comfortable. It's also easy for shorter people to get in and out of thanks to its low step-in. Though it may look like a compact crossover SUV, the Rondo is actually a tall wagon (AWD is not available) so the step-in height (measuring at 13 inches to the door sill) is lower than your typical crossover's. Just another way the Rondo reduces hassles.
We're overdue on a fuel mileage update (keep in mind that many of these miles are amassed in L.A.'s perpetual gridlock) so here ya go:
-- Best tank to date: 26.98
-- Worst tank to date: 14.27
-- Lifetime average: 19.2 mpg.
EPA's numbers come in at 18 city / 26 highway / 21 combined.
Regarding the busted rear window, it's been replaced. The total cost was $389.57 ($289.57 for the glass and $100 for the install labor). Rumor has it that Mr. Sadlier has taken an axe to the offending and foolishly located cabinet that was the undoing of the Rondo's original rear window.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 9,115 miles.
February 19, 2008
This weekend, I had our long-term Kia Rondo and the pleasure of taking my husband, two of his cousins and our child out to dinner. Given that the Rondo is marketed as a family-pleasing shuttle, I seized it as an opportunity to assess the seating comfort of the Rondo when carrying more than just my little family.
The Rondo's Passengers
Adult female driver: Me, 5 feet 7 inches, slight build
Passenger #1: Stanley, Adult male, 6 feet 2 inches, medium build
Passenger #2: Muriel, Adult female, 5 feet 5 inches, slight build
Passenger #3: Hank, Adult male, 5 feet 9 inches, slight build
Passenger #4: The Toddler, 2-year-old female, average build, big cheeks
On the way to the restaurant, the seating arrangement (presented clockwise) was me in the driver seat, Stanley in the front passenger seat, Hank in the second-row seat behind Stanley, The Toddler in her rear-facing child seat in the center position of the second-row seat, and Muriel in the second-row seat behind me. We did not utilize the third-row seat.
No complaints came from the second-row seat. But Stanley found the limited front passenger seat legroom (with the rear-facing car seat preventing adequate rearward adjustment) unpleasant. On the way home, he decided to try his luck in the second-row seat behind me. This provided better legroom, but then hip room was tight, the culprit again being The Toddler's child seat.
Overall, the Rondo took on this challenge well and still managed to feel peppy when it needed to, though, I think that if my life required hauling this many adults more regularly, I'd want a larger vehicle, like a minivan or a crossover SUV.
Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 6,304 miles
December 03, 2007
Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give the Kia Rondo is that it's a no-hassle set of wheels. I mean that in the best way. It's built well, comfortable, peppy enough and relatively easy to park thanks to its boxy form. The controls are simple and the seats are supportive. And for an engine that's not even rated at 200 hp, the little V6 (thanks in part to an alert automatic transmission) packs a decent punch around town and when blasting up freeway on-ramps. The tall body (some five inches taller than a Scion xB) gives the Rondo an impressive amount of passenger and cargo space, handy during those runs to the Goodwill store to get rid of bags of stuff you don't need.
Regular readers will know that the Rondo's fuel mileage isn't exactly a strong suit, though its overall average with us has crept up to 18.7 mpg. But keep in mind that we've got some lead foots on staff and that many of our miles our spent in L.A.'s notorious traffic, not exactly real-world conditions for most folks. Over the weekend, I averaged 21 mpg in mixed driving, which isn't bad as it included some of that &*%!! gridlock. And as noted before, our Mr.
Reed got 27 mpg on a road trip.
For short money (around $20,000 for the top-of-the-line EX V6), the Rondo is hard to beat as a versatile and comfortable daily driver. It's the type of vehicle you feel good about, so much so that I was prompted to show it some love Sunday at the coin-op car wash rather than waiting until Monday to take it to the Blue Wave. Sorry 'bout the cellphone pic, I didn't have my digicam handy at the moment.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 3,747 miles.
September 24, 2007
One of the newer cars in our long-term fleet is the 2007 Kia Rondo. It's perfectly efficient and respectable. Decent brakes, potent V6 power, fold-flat seats, good sight lines, handling's just fine, somewhat odd styling. But there's absolutely nothing that is exciting about it.
It's neither exceptional nor horrible in any respect.
But that's probably the point. It's a low-priced family wagon that does everything it should. Its target audience will doubtless be very pleased with it and it will probably run forever. And actually, it does have a very nice-sounding stereo. But it leaves me cold. I don't crave the keys. I don't watch the clock, ticking away the hours til the end of the day so I can rock the Rondo. But that's probably what Kia was going for. Efficient, does what it's supposed to. Bland.
Doug Lloyd, Senior Copy Editor, @ 1,525 miles