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Review: 2008 Kia Rondo7 LX, A Weekend with my Family

December 5th, 2008
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Read the complete Kia Rondo review

We were lucky enough to get a second go in the Rondo7, Kia’s affordable and popular people mover. Kia has always been popular in the MPV segment, over six years ago Kia introduced the Carnival, an 8 seater people mover sub $30K. And nowadays Kia has surprised us again introducing a 7 seater people mover sub $25K, yes under $25,000 for the entry level model. This means for families with more than the average 2.2 kids who want more passenger room don’t have to settle for second best and buy used, families now have the luxury of going through the exciting process of ordering a new car.

We thought with this Kia Rondo7 review we would get a first hand experience and get the opinion of a family guy named Gary. Gary or as his friends call him Gaz - lives in the suburbs and commutes 30kms to work in the CBD everyday. Gary has a few boxes that need ticking prior to laying down some hard earned cash when buying a new car.

Kia Rondo7

Gaz has 2 children, a girl aged four and a boy aged 2. Gary’s son still uses a pram so the family car needs a big enough boot to fit a pram and shopping etc. Read below Gary’s comments after he and his family spend a weekend with a Rondo7.

I spent about three hours driving the Rondo7, most of the driving was in the suburbs, stop and go traffic, dropping my daughter off at ballet, then shopping and a bit to eat and then to catch up with some friends. And then all over again running the weekend errands. Over this time the Rondo7 only consumed a quarter of a tank of fuel, this is unreal considering the current petrol prices.

Kia Rondo7

This car is definitely for a family like mine and it’s so affordable, I couldn’t believe it when I looked up the price. Sure it doesn’t have a V8 engine or all the wizz bangs but it’s a purposeful vehicle that doesn’t look half bad and has some nice features.

The excellent fuel economy also means its lacking power, but I don’t mind, as I do not need to hoon around with a family, pram and shopping in the back. I was fond of the automatic transmission, smooth sounding gear changes and no clunks when shifting down the gears.

Kia Rondo7

The interior pillars do not interfere with blind spots, making changing lanes easier, the windscreen is large which is important for me as I’m a very observant driver especially with my loved ones in the car. A great point to make mention is the view of the kids in the backseat, they’re not covered by large front seats so looking back to see which one started the fight is possible.

The height of the rear seats is a bit low as the kids in the back cannot see out the side door windows, which is not good as they tend to get bored quite easily. Being a parent who believes in communicating verbally and not in computerised games, the kids begin to annoy one another for fun instead of asking questions about the scenery.

Kia Rondo7

The family pram did not fit in the cargo compartment which was a bummer until I positioned the 2nd row of seats flat which then eliminated two seats, leaving one seat for 2 kids, therefore I had to go shopping and carry the smallest, not a big issue as there’s smaller prams on the market.

My child’s booster seat fits in effortlessly through the door and the back seat contours nicely to the shape of the booster seat which helps when securing it in position.

Kia Rondo7

Parking the car at Coles supermarket was uncomplicated; the Rondo has first-rate steering and turns into car park bays as if you were driving into your own driveway. It’s a compact MPV so it will fit into any car park a small car can get into and there is no need to go back and forth, the turning circle is superb. Also reversing out in confiding areas was trouble-free as I mentioned earlier with interior pillars not protruding and blocking any vision.

Sitting in the driver’s seat I was not distracted by any confusing buttons or features, all the functions are easy to see, reach and play with which means more eyes on the road and not searching around the dash for the volume knob.

Kia Rondo7

Safety features in a car are important to me, the Rondo7 is kitted up with a driver and passenger airbags, Anti-lock brakes, traction control and ESP which are great and gave my wife more confidence when driving the Rondo.

Overall, as you may have guessed I grew to be quite fond of the Rondo7, it got us from A to B and would easily take us on a family trip to C. With the features, looks, excellent fuel economy and most importantly the price I would recommend taking the Rondo for a test drive when considering a new car.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Competitors
Peugeot 308 Touring (1.6L Petrol)
Renault Scenic* (2.0L Petrol) & Grand Scenic (2.0L Petrol)
Skoda Roomster* FSI (1.6L Petrol)
Volkswagen Caddy Life (1.9L Turbo Diesel)

* 5 seats only


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