2007 Kia Rondo: Slick Rear Seat
December 17, 2007
Our 2007 Kia Rondo has the optional third-row seat. This has to be one of the cheaper ways to get seven-passenger capacity in a new vehicle. As noted in our long-term introduction, our fully-loaded Rondo checks in at $22,495.
Given the Rondo's budget price and small-ish size, I was prepared to write-off the third row as gimmicky or troublesome. Our Outlander's third-row, for instance, is flimsy and hard to fold. But to my surprise, raising and getting to the Rondo's third-row seat are both quite easy.
The second-row seats slide fore and aft to increase rear legroom or luggage space. On each side, a handy seat-mounted lever allows one to slide the seat forward with the seatback canted forward. This opens up a nice walk-through to get to the third row.
The third-row seat is a 50/50-split design. You raise and lower the seatbacks by pulling a strap. That's it. No need to RTFM, look at pictograms that might as well come off a Klingon battle cruiser or risk a hernia by removing anything.
Comfort? Well, I'm 5-foot 10-inches. In the third row, my head brushes up against the headliner and my knees are perched uncomfortably high. But they don't touch the back of the second-row seat and I can snug my feet underneath the second-row. It's really not all that bad. For kid-related occasional use, I'd say the Kia Rondo's third-row seat would work out great.
Additionally, the second-row seat can be folded flat by flipping up the seat cushions, removing the head restraints and lowering the seatbacks. And did I mention that second-row passengers benefit from four good-sized cupholders, a flat floor and air vents?
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 4,230 miles