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. Here's why:
-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
November 13, 2007
The 2007 Kia Rondo is designed to be practical. Not glamorous, not fun, but practical. For a family wagon, an abundance of storage nooks is an important part of the practicality equation. The Rondo comes out with top marks in this area.
The car's interior was designed to make maximum use of every available square inch of space, and there's a bin or a nook everywhere you look.
Above, the photo to the left shows a nook by the steering wheel that would be great for sunglasses. The shot to the right shows a bin that resides above the glove compartment, which was a good home for my ancient cell phone.
Below, the pic to the left shows that the cupholders between the driver and front passenger seat are preceded by a couple of additional nooks. And right behind those cupholders is a really deep bin than can swallow all sorts of cargo.
October 25, 2007
I realize, the pop-up bag holder is a common feature that's showing up more and more in handy little family haulers like the 2007 Kia Rondo. But for someone like me who drives fast and corners faster, it's a wonderful thing. My grocery bag was filled right to the top, and it stayed in place. Even when I drive conservatively my bags usually vomit their contents all over the back of the car.
It's these thoughtful little touches, for day-to-day practical applications, that can really make a difference.
Doug Lloyd, Senior Copy Editor @ 2,450 miles
October 23, 2007
Forgive the craptacular photo, but when coming down to my parking garage last week, I was struck by how jumbo our Kia Rondo looked next to a Mazda 3 5-door. According to Edmunds' vehicle classification, both of these are wagons, yet obviously, they couldn't be more different. The Rondo's shape sort of looks like someone stuck an air hose into the 3 and inflated it to bulbous proportions. I like the idea of mini minivans like the Rondo, but I think the Mazda 5 and other small MPVs from Europe (Ford S-Max, Opel/Vauxhall Vafira, Renault Grand Scenic) are much better realizations.
James Riswick, Associate Editor @ 2,303 miles