Run about in a Rondo
The Rondo meets every family’s needs, writes KEVIN HEPWORTH
JUST when you thought the crossover possibilities had been exhausted, along comes the Kia Rondo. According to Kia, it not only ticks the boxes in two or three segments. The little Korean has gone for gold with a four-segment crossover.
‘‘There are no competitors with this car in the Australian market,’’ Kia Australia president and CEO S.K. Lee said at the Australian launch.
‘‘It will satisfy customers in four of the most active segments — hatchback, wagon, SUV and peoplemover. It is the ultimate urban recreation vehicle.’’
Based on the company’s mediumsized Magentis passenger car platform, the Rondo will have seven seats, standard stability control and a 106kW 2.0-litre petrol engine.
The name Rondo comes from a musical term for a piece of music often used at the end of a sonata. Prices start at $24,990. The base LX model is available with a five-speed manual or an optional four-speed automatic at a $2000 premium.
Also standard are airconditioning, 15-inch steel wheels (space-saver spare), power mirrors and windows, dual front airbags, four-wheel disc brakes with anti-skid electronic brake-force distribution and a fiveyear unlimited kilometre warranty.
The mid-range EX adds steering wheel-mounted audio controls, roof rails and crossbars, fog lamps, 17-inch alloys, upgraded cloth seats and a standard four-speed automatic. The EX is $28,990.
At the top of the range, the EX Limited is another $3000 but has a sunroof, leather interior, side, front and full-curtain airbags and climate control airconditioning. RUISE control is not available but product planning manager Nick Reid believes it will be in the mix later in the year.
An optional airbag package adds side and curtain bags to the two lower-spec cars for about $1000. It will take them to the specification that has earned a four-star Euro NCAP and a five-star US Highway safety rating.
‘‘This is a car that has come from the evolution of changing customers’ needs,’’ Reid says.
‘‘It has versatility and functionality, doing the job of a family car during the week and doubling as a practical leisure vehicle at weekends.’’
Though Rondo shares much of what is forward of the B-pillar with the Magentis, the rear is unique.
To accommodate the third row of seats in a compact package, Kia has engineered a rear multi-link suspension supported by a compact transverse sub-frame.
The rear suspension has been tightly engineered and many of the components are mounted in or close to the interior space of the wheels.
It has been dubbed an ‘‘in-wheel’’ multi-link system.
Covering the load-carrying roles of the Rondo are load-dependent, variable-stroke dampers, to maintain consistent dynamic behaviour.
It has you covered: the Rondo is a
hatchback, wagon, sports utility vehicle and people-mover all in one,
according to Kia.