2008 Kia Rondo Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Kia Rondo Wagon

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Kia Rondo Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.7 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 182 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Kia Rondo

  • Though not sporty or stylish, the 2008 Kia Rondo is still a very practical and desirable vehicle for small families thanks to its seven-passenger capacity, easy-to-drive demeanor and bargain price tag.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Lots of features for a low price, a choice of inline-4 or V6 power, high-quality interior design, good outward visibility, optional seven-passenger seating, long warranty coverage.

  • Cons

    Lack of pizzazz, questionable resale value.

  • What's New for 2008

    Other than the addition of an auxiliary audio jack, there are no changes for the 2008 Kia Rondo.

Full 2008 Kia Rondo Review

What's New for 2008

Other than the addition of an auxiliary audio jack, there are no changes for the 2008 Kia Rondo.


The term "minivan" doesn't make a whole lot of sense anymore. As long as a full-size SUV and weighing more than 2 tons, today's typical minivan is more "maxi" than "mini." But if you've ever traveled abroad to Europe or Japan, you've likely noticed the existence of "mini minivans" such as the 2008 Kia Rondo.

Actually called MPVs (for Multipurpose Vehicles) in other markets, vehicles like the Rondo have a footprint similar to a compact sedan's but have a taller, boxier design that allows them to seat up to seven. Granted, a few of those passengers -- specifically those relegated to the third-row seat -- best be mini-sized as well. But for most families with a bunch of little ones, that's probably not a problem.

The Rondo was introduced last year to the U.S. market. It boasts a number of desirable attributes, including a choice of four-cylinder or V6 power, a surprisingly versatile and high-quality interior and many standard or optional features. And, being a Kia, it's also priced competitively and comes with long warranty coverage.

The closest rival to the Rondo would be the Mazda 5. The Kia is slightly taller and wider than the Mazda, and it offers a choice of inline-4 or V6 power, whereas the 5 can only be had with a four. The 5 does offer minivan-style sliding rear doors, however. In terms of more traditional competitors, one could also consider the Chevrolet HHR, the Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix platform mates and the Scion xB. All share a space-efficient tall, boxy design, but only the Kia and Mazda offer a third-row seat option.

If getting low-priced, seven-passenger seating and a nimble size are your highest priorities, you should seriously consider the bargain-priced 2008 Kia Rondo. It outsells the Mazda by a considerable margin and is proof that you don't need a massive minivan or SUV for daily tasks. The vehicle's only major weakness is that compared to most crossovers, it's not snazzy or sexy -- something that owners of traditional minivans are likely all too familiar with.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Kia Rondo comes in three trims: LX, LX with air-conditioning and EX. The base LX features 16-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a CD player with an auxiliary input jack. The LX with air-conditioning adds (obviously) air-conditioning as well as roof rails and color-keyed sideview mirrors. EX versions add 17-inch wheels, upgraded exterior trim and upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, lighted vanity mirrors and an MP3-capable audio system with additional speakers and steering-wheel-mounted controls.

Options include a third row of seating and a few options packages. The LX Convenience Package includes keyless entry and cruise control. The EX's Leather Package adds heated leather seats, while the Premium Package includes an upgraded Infinity sound system and a sunroof.

Powertrains and Performance

All Kia Rondos are front-wheel drive and are equipped with either a four- or six-cylinder engine. Four-cylinder versions come with a 2.4-liter inline-4 (162 horsepower and 164 pound-feet of torque) paired to a four-speed automatic transmission. The V6 displaces 2.7 liters, makes 182 hp and 182 lb-ft of torque and is matched to a five-speed automatic transmission. Both transmissions allow manual-style shifting if the driver so chooses.

Although the option of a V6 will appeal to many buyers, the Rondo's V6 is smaller and less powerful than those in many of the vehicles the Rondo might be compared to. Still, performance is smooth and brisk enough, with a 0-60-mph time of 8.7 seconds. As speeds climb, the V6's peppy performance drops off as it runs out of steam when high-speed passing and merging are called for. Overall, performance is satisfactory and freeway cruising is relatively unstressed.

The 2008 fuel economy estimates stand at 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway for the inline-4, with the V6 virtually the same at 18/26 mpg, respectively. For the 1-mpg difference in the city, we'd suggest taking the V6 and enjoying its superior performance and cruising abilities.


Antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side-curtain airbags and stability control are all standard on the 2008 Kia Rondo. In government testing, the Rondo earned a perfect five stars in frontal impacts for both driver and passenger. In side-impact testing, the Kia received five and four stars for front and rear passengers, respectively.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Rondo's cabin is impressive in terms of build and materials quality, especially at this price point. It's also very versatile thanks to plenty of storage compartments and the option of seven-passenger seating, the latter a rarity in the compact wagon/crossover segment. It's true that the third-row seat is mostly for small children, though adults less than 6 feet tall might be surprised to find that they can sit in the "way back" for short jaunts without suffering from any significant discomfort. Accessing the third row is easy thanks to a second-row seat that easily slides forward.

Carrying cargo is a cinch, thanks to the split second-row seats that fold flat into the floor. The optional third row is also split and also folds flat, giving the Rondo a flat floor when it's time to haul some cargo.

Driving Impressions

Thanks to quick steering, the 2008 Kia Rondo can feel somewhat sporty on a twisty road. Although there can be noticeable body roll when cornering, the Rondo squats low to the ground and never seems tippy. The driver sits in a commanding position with excellent sight lines fore and aft, so negotiating through traffic or backing up into a parking spot is nearly as easy as it would be in a passenger car.

At higher cornering speeds, the tires feel a bit overwhelmed by the car's 3,700-pound mass, but never to the point that control is threatened. The Rondo doesn't handle quite as nimbly as the Mazda 5, but it's easy and intuitive to drive.

Read our Kia Rondo Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

So disappointed

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Kia Rondo EX 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

We bought our Rondo new in 2008. At the time it was exactly the car we were looking for, as it had the third row stow-and-go seats. We had reasonable performance from it for the first five years, although it did have a few factory recalls in that time. HOWEVER, two months after the five-year warranty expired, the engine failed. Despite the fact that I had followed the warranty maintenance schedule, KIA Canada would do nothing to assist us with this matter and we ended up having to have a second-hand motor installed. Apparently KIA create disposable cars and are not prepared to back their products. Like a previous poster, I too am a bit embarrassed about having recommended KIA to friends.

$2,000 a/c repair @ 45k

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Kia Rondo LX 4dr Wagon (2.7L 6cyl 5A)

Background: I bought the car off-lease in May '09 with 16k on the odometer. With the exception of so-so gas mileage, I though I'd scored an excellent deal. Then, in 2012, just after the 5-year warranty expired, I learned from my [very reliable] auto tech that the A/C compressor clutch had failed and would cost $2,000 to repair. This is a huge cash outlay for a relatively young vehicle w/ just over 45k. I'm embarrassed to tell anyone b/c I've been hyping the Rondo as a great value for four years. I won't be doing that any more.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

I'd buy another one in

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Kia Rondo LX 4dr Wagon (2.7L 6cyl 5A)

I can't say enough positive about this car. I bought it as a demonstrator with 10,800miles and paid $220 more than a 10 year old Honda CRV with 110,000 miles on the same lot. Head and leg room as well as visability is better than my Dodge Caravan. Rear seats lay all the way flat which is great for hauling and camping. Doors open all the way which allows to load a box the full size of the door in the back (unlike my dad's Buick. With the V6 engine, there is more than enough spunk to get up to spead on the freeway. On a country road, I had it up to 110 mph and was still accelorating. It can be "fun to drive" when I want to.

Love the car!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Kia Rondo LX 4dr Wagon (2.7L 6cyl 5A)

I purchased my Kia Rondo in May 2010. My Saturn VUE was totaled, and fortunately, I got a good deal and was able to pay cash for the Rondo. This car is fun to drive, especially easy to access if you are short or disabled. There are two problems I have with this car. Gas mileage stinks! My SUV got better mileage than this! I get an engine knock when the A/C is on. The compressor was replaced (under warranty) but the noise continues.

Love it

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Kia Rondo LX 4dr Wagon (2.7L 6cyl 5A)

I had rented a car in 2008 and they gave me a Rondo. When I first saw it I thought what the frig is this thing, but I fell in love. In July 2010 I got a 2008 with only 25,000 miles on it for $11,000. Was thrilled. The dealership was 2 1/2 hours away because I had a hard time finding a good one around where I live. I love my Rondo. While many say its nothing much to look at I like how it looks. The performance is awesome. I have taken it on two trips into the mountains and it doesn't hesitate. The V6 has a lot of power. The interior is very, very roomy and I love the compartments for extra storage in the back. There is plenty of room to haul things.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

It keeps going

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Kia Rondo LX 4dr Wagon (2.7L 6cyl 5A)

I doing a follow up review on our Rondo, we have owned it for 1-1/2 years and still love it. We replace our Ford Windstar mini van and never looked back. This has been a reliable vehicle, we have over 22,000 miles on it now, been to CA from WA Twice, we got over 27 miles to the gallon fully loaded with a car topper on it. Great power over the mountains! Things we had done to vehicle: Tinted windows, Mud flaps & Cross bars for roof rack. Future Items: Trailer hitch. We have the 7 passenger version had every seat filled, still great power! We Would still buy this vehicle if we were looking again!

Talk About The 2008 Rondo

2008 Kia Rondo Discussions See all Started By

I just purchased a 2008 Kia Rondo LX and already the Low Tire Pressure check light has gone off. I haven't taken a tire gauge to check the tires but they sure look full to me. Has anyone had any iss...

I have a 2007 Kia Rondo that has had a gas tank overflow problem ever since I bought it new in May of 2008. When I pump gas I cannot set the pump to automatically click off because it will not go off...

HOw do you drive this car it is a KIA Rondo 2008 LX - V6.???? We have had a lot of snow and I cant drive this thing it slides from the front at all speeds. Then if i need to go through snow unless I a...

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Call us at 855-782-4711
Text us at ED411