2008 Rondo New Car Test Drive
The Kia Rondo is capable of carrying seven adults, yet it's small. It's shorter than the six-passenger Mazda5, but it offers more third-row legroom than a Toyota RAV4. We found the ride, handling and brakes of the Kia Rondo excellent. It's a good vehicle for running around town or for taking the whole family on a long trip.
A four-cylinder engine comes standard with an EPA-rated City/Highway 19/26 miles per gallon. We found it to be strong, offering good acceleration performance for passing on two-lane roads, and it's smooth and quiet when cruising down the highway. This 2.4-liter four-cylinder comes mated to a four-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode.
A smooth 2.7-liter V6 with a five-speed automatic is optional. It's rated 18/26 mpg and delivers more thrust more smoothly and adds just $1,000 to the retail price, making it a bargain.
The seats are comfortable whether ordered in cloth or leather. The driver sits relatively high and the Rondo feels like neither a car nor a sport utility. In addition to people, it can haul lots of stuff; just flip down the back two rows of seats.
Launched as a 2007 model, the Kia Rondo has no significant changes for 2008. The 2008 Rondo adds an auxiliary jack for audio devices and deletes the cassette deck.
The 2008 Kia Rondo comes in LX and EX models with a choice of four-cylinder and V6 engines.
The Rondo LX ($17,895) comes with air conditioning, remote keyless entry, cruise control, alloy wheels, a 60/40 fold-flat rear seat, and power windows, locks and mirrors. The LX is also available without air conditioning, remote entry and cruise control ($16,395).
The Rondo EX ($19,195) adds a higher-grade cloth interior with leather trim, 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome grille, door handles and molding, foglamps, heated mirrors, windshield de-icer, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, lights for the vanity mirrors, and a CD/MP3 six-speaker sound system. Optional is a package with a 10-speaker Infinity sound system and a sunroof ($1200).
The LX V6 ($18,895) and EX V6 ($20,195) are similarly equipped.
Options include the third-row seat ($500); leather interior with heated front seats for the EX ($1000); and a body kit ($995) consisting of a front spoiler, rear valance, side sill skirts, wheel arch moldings and a rear lower spoiler. Roof rails come standard, but the crossbars to make them functional are optional ($200). A cargo cover is available as a dealer accessory.
Safety equipment on every Rondo includes front airbags, side airbags in front, full-length airbag curtains, anti-lock disc brakes, electronic stability control, and a government mandated tire pressure monitor.