2007 Kia Rondo EX V6: Hauling (Butt) to the Super Bowl
February 26, 2008
I was given a rather odd assignment earlier this month: test drive and "test live" an RV for three days from Riverside, Calif., to Phoenix for Super Bowl XLII. Vehicle Testing Assistant Mike Magrath went along with me, but certainly not to add experience to the ticket. The closest either of us had previously come to a recreational vehicle was blowing by one at high speeds on the freeway, and being in our mid 20s, we were hardly stereotypical RV folk. And as our drive story Two Guys, a Truck and a 31-foot Fleetwood shows, it was hardly smooth sailing. But unlike Top Gear, at least we didn't burn down our Caravan.
Before we could depart from Fleetwood RV headquarters in Riverside, though, we had to get there from our Santa Monica headquarters. Our long-term Kia Rondo was chosen for no particular reason, but it capably held our ample amount of stuff for the journey. I was greatly impressed by its 2.7-liter V6 engine, which aided in slicing through traffic in the Inland Empire to avoid being late. The transmission is quick to downshift and there's plenty of passing power, although it felt just wrong driving that aggressively in our humble Rondo. That was nothing compared to the 20,000 pounds of truck and trailer to come, though.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor