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Used Kia Rondo review: 2008-2009

EXPERT RATING
6

Choosing the right vehicle to suit your growing family's needs is always difficult, particularly because the car that makes the most sense is the one you least want to drive.

Once, family choices were limited to a sedan and wagon, mostly of the big Holden, Ford variety, but today there's a myriad choices that can have you scratching your head trying to decide.

Most families today opt for a big four-wheel drive wagon or an SUV, but they really aren't the best bet for a family that extends beyond mum, dad and a couple of kids.

For larger families there's no question that the best choice is a people-mover. Even then there's a range of makes and models to choose from and you have to decide if a big model, like the Kia Grand Carnival, is needed or if you can get away with a compact model, such as the Kia Rondo.

Kia claimed the Rondo was unique in the market, a new concept it trumpeted, but was it really so new?

Not really, Holden beat it to the punch some years ago with the Zafira and if you looked a little further into the past you'd find the Daihatsu Pyzar.

Like the Zafira the Rondo was based on a medium-sized passenger car platform, in Kia's case the Magentis.

It was a four-door wagon with seven seats that came in three models, the base LX, the EX and range-topping EX-L. The LX came with a five-speed manual or an optional four-speed automatic if you were prepared to part with an extra $2000. It was standard with air-conditioning, 15-inch steel wheels, power mirrors and windows.

In the middle of the range the EX also had steering wheel-mounted audio controls, roof rails, fog lamps, 17-inch alloys, upgraded cloth seats and a four-speed automatic was standard. The range-topping EX-L boasted a sunroof, leather trim, and climate control air-conditioning.

Although the Rondo was sold as a people-mover it wasn't a huge mothership like some peoplemovers, it was little longer than a regular hatchback, which made it easier to handle in the rough and tumble of the school run.

Despite its compact dimensions it was deceptively large inside, with the second and third rows of seats able to be slid back and forth to accommodate all passengers relatively comfortably. The only downside is that once all passengers are in and comfortable there isn't much room left to carry anything behind the third seat.

Rondo shared its engines and gearboxes with the Magentis, and the extra kaygees of a full load tends to dull the performance of the 2.0-  litre four-cylinder engine under the bonnet, and the four-speed auto, the choice of most Rondo owners, was also a limitation.

IN THE SHOP

Like Hyundai before it Kia was once looked upon as a cheap-and-cheerful model from Korea and not to be taken too seriously by all but the cash-strapped among us. That's changed, and how, with the new Rio recently voted Carsguide Car of the Year, and deservedly so.

Kia has got its act together and its cars are no longer derided for being unreliable and lacking in durability. Carsguide gets very few complaints about the Rondo, which suggests there's little to be concerned about when shopping for a used example.

Even better, the 5-year, unlimited kilometre warranty is still in effect. To cash in the warranty the vehicle must have been serviced by the book, so it's important to make sure the required servicing has been done. Also check for the usual signs of dodgy crash repairs, mismatching paint, drooping doors, wobbly panel gaps.

IN A CRASH

Rondo scrubs up quite well on the safety front, with four ticks from ANCAP, based on front airbags across all models, and side airbags on the EX and EX-L. All models, including the base LX, had ABS braking and stability control.

AT A GLANCE

Price new: $26,990-$31,990 
Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol; 106 kW/189 Nm
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed auto
Economy: 8.4-8.6 L/100 km
Body: 4-door wagon
Variants: LX, EX, EX-L Safety: 4-star ANCAP

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2009 $4,500 $9,570
2008 $4,400 $9,130

View all Kia Rondo pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$5,986
Based on 9 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$5,990
Highest Price
$6,950

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
EX 2.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $5,300 – 8,250 2008 Kia Rondo 2008 EX Pricing and Specs
EX Limited 2.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $5,900 – 9,130 2008 Kia Rondo 2008 EX Limited Pricing and Specs
LX 2.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $5,990 – 6,950 2008 Kia Rondo 2008 LX Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
6
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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Pricing Guide

$4,799

Lowest price, based on 3 car listings in the last 6 months

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