2009 Kia Rondo Review

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of features for a low price, choice of four- or six-cylinder power, simple interior controls, comfy seats, excellent visibility, optional third row, lengthy warranty.
  • Lacks pizzazz, so-so fuel economy.
Other years
Kia Rondo for Sale
List Price Estimate
$2,117 - $3,675

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2009 Kia Rondo is an ultra-practical wagon with plenty of features, space, comfort and quality at a very affordable price. It's a hidden gem worthy of consideration.

Vehicle overview

The 2009 Kia Rondo is a vehicle clearly designed with only function in mind. Such cars are usually about as endearing as your washing machine, and yet something about the Rondo makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Perhaps it's just that "Kia Rondo" is fun to say or we like that it looks like a Pokemon grafted onto the front of a construction helmet. Perhaps it's the punchy V6 engine and quick steering that inspired us to bob and roll around corners yelling, "Rondooooooo!" Perhaps it's simply that such an honest, functional car is easy to love. Whatever the reason, we think quite a few families will find the Rondo meets their diverse transportation needs as well as or better than a variety of different vehicles. The Rondo was introduced two years ago to the U.S. market. This small wagon boasts a number of desirable attributes, including a choice of four-cylinder or V6 power, a surprisingly versatile and high-quality interior and many standard and optional features. And being a Kia, it's also priced competitively and comes with long warranty coverage. For 2009, the Rondo's engines have been upgraded. The four-cylinder now makes 175 horsepower (versus 162 last year). The optional V6 now produces 192 hp. Both increases don't come at the cost of fuel economy. The Rondo's feature content has also been upgraded, with standard satellite radio and a newly optional touchscreen navigation system and iPod integration. All of these improvements add up to an even more attractive Rondo for 2009.

The more nimble Mazda 5 is really the only vehicle similar to the Rondo, although it features only six seats and has sliding side doors. It's therefore best to consider the Rondo as an alternative vehicle: a smaller, more practical alternative to compact SUVs, and a bigger, more practical alternative to wagons like the Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix. Some minivan shoppers may also find that something Rondo-sized is all the kid-hauling vehicle they really need.

A Rondo resided in our long-term testing fleet for one year, and it was a very pleasant surprise (not to mention completely trouble-free). Even if it wasn't the epitome of cool, we found it to be a super-practical alternative to a number of the other family vehicles in our fleet (SUVs, wagons and minivans). Plus, it made us feel all warm and fuzzy. The 2009 Kia Rondo is a dark horse definitely worth a look.

2009 Kia Rondo models

The 2009 Kia Rondo is a minivan-like wagon with forward-opening rear doors. Five seats are standard in the base LX, while a third row is optional in the LX and standard in the uplevel EX.

Standard on the base LX are 16-inch steel wheels, roof rails, air-conditioning, full power accessories, keyless entry, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat and a four-speaker stereo with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB audio jack. The LX Plus package adds 16-inch alloy wheels, floor mats and heated front seats. The Rondo EX includes that equipment but substitutes 17-inch alloy wheels and adds foglamps, leather upholstery and a leather-wrapped wheel and shift knob. The EX Premium package adds a sunroof, a navigation system, a touchscreen interface and an upgraded eight-speaker stereo with a six-CD changer. An iPod adapter is optional on all Rondos.

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2009 Highlights

For 2009, the Kia Rondo receives a power boost for both its available engines, with the four-cylinder seeing a fuel economy increase as well. Both trim levels can also now be had with either engine. Satellite radio and roof rails are now standard, while a navigation system and an iPod connector make their debut on the options list. Standard content within both the LX and EX trims has also been altered.

Performance & mpg

The 2009 Kia Rondo comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. It produces 175 hp and 167 pound-feet of torque in most of the country, but in California-emissions states, the SULEV-rated four-cylinder makes 167 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. A four-speed automatic is the lone transmission. EPA estimated fuel economy for this engine is 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.

Optional is a 2.7-liter V6 that produces 192 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, regardless of where you purchase it. A five-speed automatic is standard. EPA estimated fuel economy is 18/26/21 mpg.


Antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and stability control are all standard on the 2009 Kia Rondo. In government crash tests, it received a perfect five stars for frontal and side driver protection, and four stars for side rear protection.


Thanks to its quick steering and punchy optional V6, the 2009 Kia Rondo can actually feel a bit sporty when puttering around town. There is a lot of body roll, but the Rondo never feels tippy. The driver sits in a commanding, almost-SUV-like position with excellent sight lines fore and aft, so negotiating through traffic or backing into a parking spot is perpetually easy.


The Kia Rondo's easy-to-use climate controls consist of three simple knobs, while the stereo faceplate maintains a minimum of clearly marked buttons. The instruments are also big and easy to read. Materials quality is impressive for a car in the Rondo's price range, and build quality is excellent.

When sitting in the Rondo, you immediately notice the huge amount of headroom and impressive visibility afforded by the tall roof. More driver-seat adjustment would be nice for taller drivers, but most will find the front two rows spacious, with comfy seat bottoms. The available third-row seat is intended for children and requires the second row to be slid forward, which limits legroom for passengers three through five. Accessing that third row is fairly easy, though. Cargo space is cavernous with both rear rows lowered, but understandably pathetic when both are raised.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2009 Kia Rondo.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

solid family vehicle with lots of plastic
EX 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
Tired of having small sedans so looked for something economical but roomy. Found the Rondo, EX trim. Overall a good family car. Plenty of headroom and the kids have quit a bit of space in the 2nd row. Visibility is near-perfect in this car. Easy to see. Have the 3rd row which is a bit of a joke unless the person back there is about 8 years or younger. 3rd row easily flips down flat for a good sized load space. 2nd row folds flat too but it takes more effort. Great hauler for either people or stuff--just NOT AT THE SAME TIME. Tech is pretty sweet for an 09 vehicle. Touch screen display, navigation (solid), 8 speakers, heated seats, Ipod jack and interface.
Great car for the money
LX Base 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
Paid 2200 bucks for a one owner Kia rondo with 100k.I really didn’t do much maintenance in the beginning except a driver side shock. Few things to watch out for as time goes by. First thing oil consumption On a 2.4L engine. If you drive normal it’s not a problem but for me I beat on this car and travel far. Another issue is the front calipers fails then you have to replace them along with your disc and brakes. Camshaft sensor goes bad but parts are pretty cheap. All the work I did myself. Car rust easily so get a undercoating. Stock radio really sucks get yourself a double din radio with Bluetooth and it fixes the problem. I fit full sized arcade machine in the car. I used this car to set up at the flea markets on the weekend. Probably one of the best cars I ever owned. Currently it has 120k I had it for a little over a year now
I don't think you can do better f
EX 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
Bought it new,now has 20k km. this is an 09 EX 5 seater 2.4l. No other car offers ABS, ESC,traction control and 4 wheel discs, heated seats, mirrors and a WIPER de-icer! in this class or for the money. The four cylinder engine is smooth and you can barely hear it at idle. I don't understand people complaining about a lack of power. Top of second gear is over 60 mph, how much freeway merging power do you need? Build quality is second to none in my opinion. Quiet inside, very roomy, standard 6 speaker stereo is excellent, with Bluetooth and a USB port as well. Steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls. Nicely weighted steering. Very smooth to drive. There is very little not too like
Pretty Nice for the Price
LX Base 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
I purchased as a 1 yr old used car from a rental sales place. This vehicle was used but in like/new condition. I really like it. It handles well and seems very soundly built. I was very surprised because Kia was the worst on my list last time I purchased a car.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2009 Kia Rondo

Used 2009 Kia Rondo Overview

The Used 2009 Kia Rondo is offered in the following submodels: Rondo Wagon. Available styles include LX Base 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A), EX 4dr Wagon (2.7L 6cyl 5A), LX 4dr Wagon (2.7L 6cyl 5A), EX 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A), and LX 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 4A). Pre-owned Kia Rondo models are available with a 2.4 L-liter gas engine or a 2.7 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 192 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2009 Kia Rondo comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed shiftable automatic, 5-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2009 Kia Rondo comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Kia Rondo?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2009 Kia Rondos are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Kia Rondo for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Kia Rondo.

Can't find a used 2009 Kia Rondos you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Kia Rondo for sale - 3 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $15,130.

Find a used Kia for sale - 2 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $14,514.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia Rondo for sale - 10 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $14,702.

Find a used certified pre-owned Kia for sale - 12 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $13,383.

Should I lease or buy a 2009 Kia Rondo?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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