- Anthony Crawford
By my reckoning, I count 115 Kia dealers around this vast country of ours, give or take a few. By comparison, there are more than 200 Toyota dealers in Australia, but I doubt that’s worrying Kia Motors Australia.
If the level of interest we experience each week, while driving the Rondo7 is any gauge, then it’s Toyota who might be worried.
You have to remember, Kia is wholly owned by Hyundai, who many in the industry see as as the new volume competitor to Toyota.
My parents, who own a couple of quality used cars, are absolutely sold on this seven-seat people mover and fully expect to be driving one within six months or sooner, should Kia choose to drop a diesel engine under the bonnet.
They’re sold on a whole range of things, such as the additional ride height and the ease of entry/exit that comes with that feature. Then there’s the simple switchgear layout and ease of managing both the HVAC and audio functions either from the console or steering wheel mounted controls on the EX and EX-L variants.
They haven’t yet ridden in the third-row seating and may never do so, but the fact that they can carry two other couples to a restaurant or a movie, without the need to take two cars, is reason enough for them to opt for this style of vehicle over the traditional sedan.
While there’s no question in my mind that the Rondo7 could benefit from a little more grunt by way of a more powerful petrol engine or better still via diesel power, with several more weeks behind the wheel, that aspect has become less of a priority.
What might gel best with this current 2.0-litre petrol powerplant, is a five-speed auto box rather than the four-speed unit currently in service. That way second would be a shorter gear ratio, which could make all the difference when climbing steep inclines.
That said it’s the overall versatility of this vehicle, which makes it so damn user friendly. During the past three weeks, the Rondo7 has been employed for various school pick-ups, airport drop-offs and a fully loaded trip to the local tip, which required all rear seats to be dropped and covered with an old quilt.
With my folks in the car a fair bit lately, I have been driving more economically with very few freeway kilometres and yet, fuel consumption rivals that of the last update at just on 8.0L/100kms.
That’s not bad, considering the previous Rondo7 instalment included 200 kilometres of non-stop freeway driving.
We still have issues with the level of direct sunlight through the windows, but put that down to the level of (if any) tint, which has been applied to the side glass. If Kia addresses that issue, then apart from the inclusion of air-conditioning vents for third row passengers, there’s very little to whinge about and a whole lot to like.
Before I sign out I’ve got to give this audio system another plug. In fact, I was forced do a physical count of the number of speakers in this model variant given the quality of the output from my superseded Nano.
I can confirm, its as the specs say, just four generic looking speakers with two tweeters up front to support the head unit and that is quite remarkable, given the aural pleasure this system provides with seemingly, any genre of music.
The next update will be just before we embark on our family journey to the Gold Coast.