If you’re in the market for a basic, safe, and reliable compact/mini-van hybrid the family friendly Rondo might be just up your alley. The Kia Rondo EX-V6 offers a well equipped and spacious vehicle at all levels of pricing. Starting at about $20,000 and working its way on up to $28,000, this model comes standard with features that other makers charge extra for. With the Rondo safety is the name of the game as it offers standard stability control and an ABS braking system. It’s equipped with front head and torso airbags as well as rear side curtain air bags for all around crash protection. Rondo also boasts side impact door beams, anti whip lash head rests, child safety locks, passenger occupancy sensor, child seat anchors, and an impact sensing automatic door unlock.
The exterior styling isn’t anything to write home about, but as far as basic body styles go it’s not a visible flop either. With a chrome tipped exhaust, standard roof rails, 17″ alloy wheels, tiger nose grille, chrome accented door handles, and side moldings the Rondo is a modestly attractive ride. Despite the relatively plain first impression, the interior exceeds expectations. The leather wrapped steering wheel, five or seven passenger seating, clever storage, fold flat rears seats, six or ten cup holders, power heated front seats, fully illuminated controls, rear heat ducts, 2 power outlets, pollen dust filter, and heated side mirrors as well as an MP3 and USB compatible stereo system screams, I just got more bang for my buck. The space available is also impressive as the wide hatch, raised roof, and quick and convenient seat storage makes this vehicle easily compatible with hauling larger cargo much like what you’d expect in a mini-van.
Power and handling in the Kia Rondo EX-V6 could be described as run of the mill. The 2.71 liter, 24 valve, V6 engine tackles the 3,500 lb. vehicle weight adequately when empty, but has been found to be sluggish fully loaded. General handling is sufficient however, the smaller size enables easy traffic maneuverability that one would see commonly in a compact car making it an exceptional highway vehicle. The five speed automatic transmission is a wonderful feature, and including over drive and steptronic mode was a brilliant move on behalf of the Korean auto makers.
For a small vehicle, It’s fuel economy (18 city and 26 highway) seems a bit lacking. The Kia Rondo EX-V6 also comes with the exceptional warranty that their makers are known for. The 5yr./60,000 mile limited basic, 10yr./100,000 mile limited power train, 5yr./100,000 mile limited anti-perforation, and 5yr./60,000 mile 24 hour road side assistance finishes off the package right and makes the Rondo a top-notch buy!