2007 Kia Rondo: xB Beater
January 07, 2008
I spent a wet weekend in our 2007 Kia Rondo, after having spent a few days in our Scion xB. Both vehicles serve similar functions and compete for the attention of similar types of buyers (though the xB obviously skews toward a younger demographic). The experience of having driven both back-to-back made it very clear to me that if forced to choose between the two, I'd pick the Rondo in a heartbeat.
-The Rondo trumps the xB in the area of visibility. True, the xB's wide pillars look cooler than the Rondo's awkward glass-laden greenhouse, but they pose a real challenge when it comes to navigation. I had a couple of harrowing parking lot episodes in the xB, trying to gauge whether or not I had enough room to maneuver my way into tight spaces. Not fun. Navigating in the Rondo, on the other hand, is like being on a bicycle -- always a clear view of everything around you. This Rondo-ful visibility was especially appreciated this weekend, given the rainy weather.
-The Rondo also gets my vote in the area of power. Now that I've spent more time in the xB, I've come to realize that its 158-horsepower inline four feels a bit starved in certain situations. Our Rondo, with its 182-hp V6, doesn't share this affliction. It's a lot peppier, and more enjoyable to drive.
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 4,963 miles