Value makes Rondo rock
Kia’s little mover is just great for mates, writes JAMES STANFORD
YOU can’t help it if your children are popular. Unfortunately, as soon as they want to bring along some of their mates, your five-seat wagon is no longer big enough.
Some people faced with this situation move into a soft-roader such as a Ford Territory or Toyota Kluger, or a large people mover such as a Honda Odyssey or Kia Carnival.
Now there is another, cheaper, option. It’s the Rondo and it’s a mini people mover.
With a $24,990 starting price, it would have to be about the cheapest (legal) way to move seven people around.
Built off the same base as the Magentis mid-sized sedan, the Rondo is a full-size smaller than the Carnival.
Kia describes the Rondo as a crossover and the marketing depart- ment has even come up with the tag urban recreation vehicle, but that’s just spin.
The Rondo is simply a small people mover with a seating position higher than your average family sedan.
It features three rows and seven seats, five of which can be folded down close to the floor.
As you might expect, there’s not much luggage room left when all seven seats are up — 184 litres.
That rises to 898 litres when the rear row of seats are folded down.
All Rondos have the same engine, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder with dual overhead camshafts. It has 106kW and 189Nm and runs on regular unleaded.
The standard transmission for the base LX model is a five-speed manual, and a four-speed automatic costs an extra $2000.
Both the $28,990 mid-spec EX and $31,990 EX Limited come standard with the automatic.
The official fuel consumption figure is quite low for a seven seater: 8.4 litres/100km for the combined cycle in the manual.
On the safety front, all Rondos come standard with electronic stability control and anti-skid brakes.
There are only two airbags for the LX and EX models, and the top-ofthe-range EX Limited adds side and curtain airbags.
All Rondos have a 130,000km warranty.
Cheap way to move: the Kia Rondo costs $24,990 and has three rows and seven seats, five of which can be folded close to the floor.