The Kia Rondo aims to strike the perfect balance between available passenger, and cargo capacity. The Rondo is not as large as a minivan, yet not as small as a typical hatchback. The Rondo can be equipped with a third row of seats, allowing it to carry up to seven passengers.
This small wagon boasts a number of desirable attributes, including a choice of four-cylinder or V6 power, a surprisingly versatile and high-quality interior and many standard and optional features. And being a Kia, it’s also priced competitively and comes with long warranty coverage. For 2010, the Rondo’s engines have been upgraded.
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The 2010 Kia Rondo is a minivan-like wagon with forward-opening rear doors. Five seats are standard in the base LX, while a third row is optional in the LX and standard in the uplevel EX.
Standard on the base LX are 16-inch steel wheels, roof rails, air-conditioning, full power accessories, keyless entry, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat and a four-speaker stereo with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB audio jack.
The LX Plus package adds 16-inch alloy wheels, floor mats and heated front seats. The Rondo EX includes that equipment but substitutes 17-inch alloy wheels and adds foglamps, leather upholstery and a leather-wrapped wheel and shift knob.
The EX Premium package adds a sunroof, a navigation system, a touchscreen interface and an upgraded eight-speaker stereo with a six-CD changer. An iPod adapter is optional on all Rondos.
The 2010 Kia Rondo comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. It produces 175 hp and 167 pound-feet of torque in most of the country, but in California-emissions states, the SULEV-rated four-cylinder makes 167 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque.
A four-speed automatic is the lone transmission. EPA estimated fuel economy for this engine is 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.
Optional is a 2.7-liter V6 that produces 192 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, regardless of where you purchase it. A five-speed automatic is standard. EPA estimated fuel economy is 18/26/21 mpg.
Antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and stability control are all standard on the 2009 Kia Rondo. In government crash tests, it received a perfect five stars for frontal and side driver protection, and four stars for side rear protection.
The Kia Rondo’s easy-to-use climate controls consist of three simple knobs, while the stereo faceplate maintains a minimum of clearly marked buttons. The instruments are also big and easy to read. Materials quality is impressive for a car in the Rondo’s price range, and build quality is excellent.
When sitting in the Rondo, you immediately notice the huge amount of headroom and impressive visibility afforded by the tall roof.
Most will find the front two rows spacious, with comfy seat bottoms. The available third-row seat is intended for children and requires the second row to be slid forward. Accessing that third row is fairly easy, though. Cargo space is spacious with both rear rows lowered.