2008 KIA Rondo7 EX Limited Review

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2008 KIA Rondo7 EX Limited Review

KIA's Rondo7 is three cars in one

Price, Practicality, Purpose, Handsome Looks
Engine Lacks Power, Tight Third Row Seat

CarAdvice Rating:

- by Matt Brogan

It’s a good idea in theory and the "many things to many people" approach may fair well in a category so heavily dominated by more pricey Europeans, but whilst that’s all well and good, is the Rondo7 really a good deal or is it a car trying too hard to be too many things.

Based on the Magentis platform, albeit 20mm shorter in wheelbase and completely unique from rear floor backward, the Rondo7 boasts some clever design attributes engineered at KIA’s Russelsheim Research and Development facility in Germany that ensure full utilisation of all the available space.

Traditional McPherson struts up front and a low, compact traverse mounted multi-link rear end provide a reasonably limber ride with stroke dependent shock absorbers offering varying dampening rates determined by the vehicle’s laden mass. This translates to a comfortable ride no matter the on board population and even offers surprisingly decent handling.

Under the bonnet KIA's 2.0-litre, in-line CVVT four-cylinder, petrol engine produces a modest 106kW at 6000rpm and a rather weak 189Nm of torque at 4250 revs. Whilst it is a great little engine in its own right, it does suffer under load and struggles to maintain pace when fully loaded, especially at highway speeds or up steep inclines - a shame we don't see the diesel model here in Australia.

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Fuel usage is as one would expect from a minivan though no where near the ADR test results, 8.4 and 8.6 litres per 100km are claimed from the manual and auto respectively, but you'd have to be traveling down hill on an empty stomach with the wind behind you to achieve this. My week came in at 11.6L/100km average with combined city and country use.

Cabin space is airy and light with larger windows assisting visibility all round, especially through the windscreen which is pushed well forward at its bottom edge to allow a feeling that the vehicle is riding above the traffic, much like the ride height offered in an SUV.

For smaller goodies, there’s KIA’s usual barrage of storage compartments including 10 cup holders, sunglasses compartment, glove box, deep console bin, map pockets, seat back pouches and an oddment tray under the dash, all of which form nicely in to the contemporary feel of an interior that although basic, is clean, well finished and seemingly durable.

EX (mid way) gains 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, leather covered steering wheel and shift knob, steering wheel mounted audio controls and roof rails with cross bars, whilst top of the range EX Limited (as tested) picks up a sunroof, leather trim, additional airbags and climate control.

KIA's terrific five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty only enhances the bargain price and although the Rondo7 could do with a diesel make over, it is bound to cater well for the weekday school run, weekend footy trip or Friday night pub crawl. A demure, well presented and safe package I would have no trouble in recommending the Rondo7 to a growing family who need to maximise their expenditure or a maximised family wanting to maintain their bank balance.

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Specifications:

  • Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder CVVT
  • Power: 106kW @ 6000rpm
  • Torque: 189Nm @ 4250rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual/four-speed auto
  • Driven Wheels: Front
  • Brakes: Disc with ABS & EBD
  • Fuel Consumption: 8.4 litres (Man) / 8.6 litres (Auto)
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 55 litres
  • Fuel Type: 91RON
  • NCAP Rating: Four Stars
  • Safety: Front Airbags (Side & Curtain Available); ESP; TCS
  • Spare Wheel: Spacesaver
  • Tow Capacity: 1500kg (Man)/1100kg (Auto)
  • Turning Circle: 10.8m (LX)/11.0m (EX & EX-L)
  • Warranty: Five year/unlimited kilometre
  • Weight: 1598kg (Tare)
  • Wheels: 15-inch Steel (LX) / 17-inch Alloy (EX & EX-L)