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Top Features of Base Model
- Seats five or seven passengers
- Excellent fuel-economy
- Touchscreen infotainment center
- Electronic stability and traction control
- Over 150 cubic feet of cargo space
The Kia Rondo is a vehicle that doesn't exactly fit a traditional auto segment in America, sitting somewhere between a crossover and a station wagon. Overseas, it is considered a miniature MVP, which is equivalent to a compact minivan in the US. Most dealers billed it as a station wagon with a third row of seats. Kia released the 2009 edition in a base model, a full-featured LX trim, and a more luxurious EX trim.
What Was New in the 2009 Edition of the Kia Rondo?
Both of the 2009 edition's engine options received a welcome boost in power. The standard 2.4-liter engine that was rated at 162 horsepower in 2008 featured a couple of new variants: a ULEV version with 175 horsepower and a SULEV version with 167 horsepower. The SULEV engine was sold in states like California and New York that impose stricter emissions standards.
The LX option was given a couple more perks to choose from, including heated front seats, and the EX model's Premium Package added improved technology features.
The 2009 Kia Rondo's Trim Options
The LX came with the basic amenities that you'd expect from modern vehicles, like A/C, cruise control, power windows, and keyless entry. There was a bare-bones base model sold as an LX trim that went without remote entry and cruise control for car buyers looking to save on the overall price. A Plus Package was added as an option for the LX in 2009 that included alloy wheels and heated front seats.
The Rondo EX loaded up on options that improved the overall driving experience. The exterior was touched up with a chrome plated grille, door handles, and molding accents that keep maintenance easy. The interior also was upgraded with leather seating, lighted vanity mirrors, and a six-speaker audio system. Buyers who wanted the ultimate experience could opt for a Premium Package that included an eight-speaker sound system, GPS navigation system, and sunroof.
The standard engine for both trims is a four-cylinder motor that offers a minimum of 162 horsepower. It could be upgraded to a 2.7-liter V6 engine that packs more punch on the freeway, reaching 184 horsepower. This option was included with the LX V6 and EX V6 trim variants.
The Rondo's exterior has a no-nonsense style that eschews flashy features for a more conservative feel, which makes it a good fit as a family vehicle. The two-tier grille features the Kia emblem prominently, and chrome detailing could be added with the EX trim. The overall look is that of a swept-back minivan built lower to the ground with less headroom.
The long wheelbase maximizes cabin space, which makes sitting inside the vehicle more comfortable than it looks from the outside. Visibility is good thanks to a window design that uses narrow pillars and more glass that's reminiscent of older car-design philosophies.
The EX did offer packages that spiced up the base model's look with body kit accessories. In addition to chrome highlights on the grille, doors, and trimming, buyers could add fender flares and more stylish alloy wheels. Kia also offered crossbars on the roof as an option for strapping down bulky cargo, like kayaks, that doesn't fit in the cargo bay.
The driving experience for the Rondo's passengers is where this vehicle shines. The second and optional third rows of seats are split 60/40 and fold down, which makes it possible to be creative when balancing cargo space and passengers. You can fold down one side of both back rows to create a long enough space to fit construction materials or a short kayak.
The leg room provided is a little better than this crossover’s closest competitors. The first-row and second-row seats move forward and backward to create more leg room in the back, and the third row is best-suited to children. There are even console-style bins on either side of the third row for kids to use to store items.
Kia made an effort to provide cutting-edge technology with a touchscreen infotainment center and an optional GPS navigation system. There was also a choice between two different sound system upgrades for those long road trips that require entertainment.
The front dash and driver's instrument panel is well-designed to make driving convenient. The controls are intuitive, and Kia provided well-placed cup holders and an overhead storage cubby. The glove box adds more space for larger items, and the center console compartment makes stowing cellphones easier with dedicated slots.
How Does the Kia Rondo Drive?
Both engine options for the Kia Rondo provide plenty of horsepower for a vehicle its size, but the kind of loads you might carry also vary quite a bit. If you find yourself transporting seven people and cargo, you might want to find a model with the V6 option. The V6 powertrain models include a five-gear automatic transmission and get a bit less gas mileage in exchange for providing access to noticeably more power.
Either way, you won't find that this crossover drives sluggishly. The transmission shifts cleanly, and the suspension system keeps the ride smooth even when you hit bumps at city street speeds. The brakes are responsive, and they have the stopping power needed for a vehicle this size.
What's the Difference between Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles and Used Vehicles?
Certified pre-owned vehicles, like the Kia Rondo, are used cars that have been given a thorough inspection and reconditioning by a Kia dealer. These vehicles are selected for the certified pre-owned program because of their good condition, and they receive the repairs needed to make them as close to new as possible. The bottom line is that pre-owned certified vehicles represent less risk to car buyers than buying from car owners or other used car dealers.
How Does the Kia Rondo Compare to a Station Wagon?
For all intents and purposes, the Rondo functions like a large station wagon for U.S. car buyers. It has a hatchback, spacious cargo area, and the back seats fold down to create more space. It's lower build also makes it more maneuverable than a full-sized minivan. Like station wagon models, the Rondo can be equipped with an optional third row of folding seats that are spacious enough for children. Many car reviews describe the Kia Rondo as a crossover that blends the traditional minivan with a station wagon.
Pros and Cons of the 2010 Kia Rondo
- Slim size makes it a maneuverable vehicle
- Seats up to seven people
- A comprehensive suite of safety features
- Extended ten-year powertrain warranty
- The base model is not well-equipped
- The exterior style is not trendy
- The interior design looks outdated
This crossover minivan began life in 1999 under a different name: The Kia Carens. The first generation of the Carens was a small minivan sold in overseas markets. It seated five to seven passengers and had a compact size to fit narrow Asian roadways. This gave it a crossover or station wagon-like look to American consumers when the second generation debuted in North America.
Renamed the Kia Rondo, it was a short-lived model that was available new between 2007 and 2009 in the United States. It didn't survive a plummet in sales in the American market, but it's currently still available in other countries. The third-generation Carens was briefly tested in Canada in 2013 under the Kia Rondo brand, but it hasn't returned to American dealer lots as of the year 2019
Specs & Key Features of the 2010 Kia Rondo
- Body Style
- 4 Door
- 175 hp
- Passenger Doors
- Passenger Seating
- Front Wheel Drive
- City MPG
- Hwy MPG
- Air Conditioning
- CD Player
- Cruise Control
- Remote Keyless Entry
- 2.4L DOHC 16-valve I4 engine -inc: aluminum block & head, continuously variable valve timing (CVVT)
- 4-speed automatic transmission
- Front wheel drive
- Front/rear tow hooks
- Independent MacPherson strut front suspension -inc: coil springs, anti-roll bar
- Multi-link independent rear suspension -inc: coil springs, anti-roll bar
- Gas struts & shock absorbers
- Speed-sensitive pwr hydraulic rack & pinion steering
- Front/rear pwr disc brakes
- 16" x 6.5" steel wheels w/covers
- P205/60HR16 all-season tires
- T125/80D16 temporary spare tire
- Roof rails
- Body-color side molding
- Black grille crossbars
- Projector beam auto-off headlamps
- Body-color pwr mirrors w/turn indicators
- Tinted front windshield
- Dual-speed variable intermittent wipers
- Single-speed rear wiper w/washer
- Body-color door handles
- AM/FM stereo w/CD/MP3 player -inc: USB port, aux input jack, roof-mounted antenna
- Satellite radio
- Front bucket seats -inc: 6-way manual driver adjustment w/height adjuster, 4-way manual passenger adjustment, height-adjustable active headrests w/tilt
- 60/40 split flat-folding 2nd row bench seat -inc: height-adjustable headrests w/tilt
- 50/50 split flat-folding 3rd row bench seat -inc: height-adjustable headrests w/tilt
- Flat-woven cloth seat trim
- Center console w/armrest -inc: dual storage, cupholders
- Driver footrest
- Tilt steering column
- EcoMinder indicator
- Digital clock
- Pwr windows w/driver 1-touch auto-down
- Pwr door locks w/2-turn entry system
- Remote keyless entry -inc: remote tailgate open, alarm function, panic feature
- Cruise control
- Remote fuel door release
- Alarm system
- Air conditioning
- Rear window defroster w/timer
- Illuminated damped glove box
- Metallic-color center stack accent
- Front/rear door-mounted cupholders
- (3) 12V pwr outlets -inc: (2) front, (1) rear
- Color-keyed interior door handles
- Overhead console w/sunglass holder
- Dual covered visor vanity mirrors
- Front/rear assist grips w/rear-mounted garment hook
- Lighting -inc: dome lights w/illuminated entry/exit, instrument panel dimmer switch, door courtesy/safety lights, dual front map lights, front/rear room lights, rear cargo lamp
- Cargo hooks
- Cargo area under-floor storage box
- 4-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS)
- Electronic stability control (ESC)
- Side-impact protection
- Driver & front passenger advanced airbags
- Driver & front passenger side-mounted airbags
- Front/rear side curtain airbags
- 3-point seat belts for all seating positions -inc: height-adjustable front seat belts w/pretensioners & force limiters
- Rear child safety door locks
- Lower anchors & tethers for children (LATCH)
- Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS)
- ** PRELIMINARY STANDARD EQUIPMENT **