Value makes Rondo rock

Kia’s lit­tle mover is just great for mates, writes JAMES STAN­FORD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test -

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.

five-year/

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.

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