The 2009 Kia Rondo could just as easily be described as a scaled-down passenger van or a modern wagon with a raised roof. Seriously, don’t you think it’s a cross between a minivan like the Kia Sedona and a compact wagon like the Hyundai Elantra Touring?
A whole lot of room
No matter how you look at it, the Rondo is first and foremost a family hauler with a very accommodating and transformable interior. The same holds true for most of its rivals, led by the Mazda5. Let’s not forget the Chevrolet HHR and Chrysler PT Cruiser, which both have a lot of similarities with the Rondo… except, of course, for their retro looks.
You could also compare the highly-versatile Kia to the Honda Element. However, the latter is a two-row, 4-passenger vehicle while the Rondo is a three-row crossover that can sit up to seven. Plus, the Element is positioned in a fairly different price range.
The Rondo wasted little time in establishing itself in Canada. Introduced in 2007, it already matches the sales volumes of the Mazda5 according to June 2009 stats by DesRosiers Automotive. That’s a clear sign that small families and older couples have found a pleasant substitute for the much-appreciated yet cumbersome, fuel-thirsty traditional minivans.
A lot of trim levels
Such success is partly attributable to the wide range of Rondo models that are available to these consumers. In addition to the base LX, there are four high-end EX models.
The latter stand out from the former with their 17-inch alloy wheels in lieu of 16-inch steel wheels. They also feature fog lights, body-colored side moldings with chrome accents as well as roof rails (no crossbars, though).
The Rondo’s 5- and 7-passenger variants are either powered by a 2.4-litre, 4-cylinder engine or a 2.7-litre V6. Power is sent to the front wheels through a Steptronic automatic transmission that comes with 4 or 5 gears depending on the engine selected. Unlike Mazda, Kia offers no manual gearbox.
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