By James Bergeron

Photo Gallery:
2008 Kia Rondo

Day 1:

2008 Kia Rondo
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Introduced just barely a year ago, the 2007 Kia Rondo took me by surprise. It seemed to be the first vehicle in ages that hit the showroom floors before I had heard of it — without any fanfare at all. The Rondo is a competitor in the small family car segment and the Mazda5’s only true competition.

The 2008 Rondo comes in a variety of flavours ranging in price from $19,995 up to $26,095 for the leather-equipped, V6 model with seven seats. It just so happens I get a taste of the all-dressed variety with a fully loaded “EX V6 Luxury – 7 Seater” as my tester for the week.

2008 Kia Rondo
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My tester is equipped with a 2.7litre V6 engine which produces 182hp and 182lb-ft of torque, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and weighting in at 1658kg (3655lbs). The power output seems more than adequate for the job.

Standard equipment on the Rondo includes: four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake distribution, traction control, stability control, six airbags, AM/FM/CD with six speakers, power locks, mirrors and windows.

In my tester, there are leather seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, power sunroof, heated seats, automatic climate control, eight-way power driver seat, three rows of seats (seven-seater only), fog lights, heated power side mirrors and a windshield de-icer have been added to bump the price to just over $26,000.

I had never been inside a Rondo before today; the closest I had ever gotten to one was on the road. A few initial thoughts: the exterior is smaller than I expected — my old neighbour owned a Mazda5 which from memory seems larger, but parked beside my Mazda3, it doesn’t seem all that large.

I was a little surprised to see the rear doors were not sliders like the Mazda’s; instead they are conventional opening doors. This, combined with the second row being a full row, has to make climbing into the third row a challenge — I’ll try this tomorrow.

2008 Kia Rondo
MSRP as tested inc. destination & delivery: $27,590

For more information on Kia and the Rondo visit Kia Canada

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