February 15, 2008
Time to check in with our long-term Kia Rondo's fuel log. If you've been following the adventures of our mostly city-driven Rondo-mobile, you'll already know that our real-world numbers have been falling short of the official EPA estimates for the 2007 6-cylinder Rondo of 20 city/27 highway. You may also know that the EPA changed the way it tests vehicles for the 2008 model year to reflect modern driving conditions better. What you might not know is that the EPA has published adjusted fuel economy estimates for vehicles made from 1985-2007, too. So I decided to see how our numbers stacked up to these newly adjusted numbers. And it turns out that we're actually doing better than the EPA's estimate for city driving.
Check it out: The EPA's adjusted estimates for the 2007 Kia Rondo with the V6 are 18 city/25 highway. Our Rondo's lifetime average is now at 18.84 mpg.
Not staggeringly better, but at least we're not doing worse anymore (for the moment).
Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 6,135 miles
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.
October 15, 2007
Okay, at 15.8 gallons the 2007 Kia Rondo tank isn't exactly tiny, but I had to go for the alliteration. When I filled up this morning I noticed that no one had driven the Rondo farther than about 240 miles on a tank of gas. This must be because, at our real world city mileage of about 18 mpg, that's about as far as you get before the needle is on the big E. The 2.7 liter V6 gives a nice boost and 182 hp but if you tap into the power too much you'll make a lot of trips to the pump.
Over the weekend we went out to dinner in the Rondo and I found myself thinking that Kia hit the size of this vehicle just right. For four adults it's very roomy and still has a huge cargo space. If, like some people commenting on previous blogs, the Rondo is too boring, there's plenty out there to choose from. Depending on your needs, and your ideas about form versus function, I do think this likeable oddball is worth a look.
Philip Reed, Edmunds Senior Consumer Advice Editor, @ 2228 miles
October 01, 2007
After spending some quality time in the Kia Rondo this weekend, I was left with two strong impressions:
1) Kia is at the top of its game. This is one nicely turned out little wagon / crossover / mini-minivan. Whatever you want to call it, the Rondo is a reasonable size yet spacious enough to seat seven in a pinch. It's also a smooth and willing performer, the cabin is comfortable and there is an air of quality all around, from the way the doors close to the damped movement of the parking brake release.
2) Gas mileage is a disappointment. Over about 200 miles of mixed driving, I averaged just 16.8 mpg. And that was with just 150-pound me and my 125-pound girlfriend in it. The EPA estimates (the new, more realistic ones) are 18 city and 25 highway. Thus far, with nearly 2,000 miles on the clock, we're averaging only 18.3. My brother has a 2001 Toyota Sequoia (4.7-liter V8 and 4WD) with over 200,000 on it and its lifetime average is 17.5. And he sometimes pulls a horse trailer with it!
I'm hoping the fuel "economy" improves, as I like the Rondo so far. One long road trip by Mr. Reed yielded nearly 27 mpg, so there's hope.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 1,882 miles.