2007 Kia Rondo: Ideal Daily Driver
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.