By on September 19, 2012

Remember the Kia Rondo? If you’re reading this, then you probably do. The other 99.9% of the American public definitely doesn’t.

The compact minivan segment was never a hot one in the United States, and the Rondo was always inferior to the Mazda5, so don’t expect Kia to bring the next-generation Rondo (known as the Carens elsewhere) to our market. In Europe, it will do battle against cars like the Ford C-Max and Opel Zafira, in a crowded segment that just got disrupted by the cut-rate Dacia Lodgy.

Oh, did we mention it’s available with a manual as well?


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12 Comments on “Kia Presents: Rondo Redux...”

  • avatar

    This type of vehicle ceased being “minivan” when they chopped the D-pillar down to where nothing taller than a bag of groceries will fit back there. To me this is simply a slightly inflated Rio 5 with lousy rear headroom.

    Damn this obsession with aerodynamics.

  • avatar

    I liked the Rondo, the V6 it had made it very zippy in traffic.

    • 0 avatar

      The V6 was a bit of a scheduled-maintenance nightmare, and it wasn’t much better than the four for most of what you did with the car.

      Personally, I prefer the way a four sounds, but that’s just me. Sixes remind me of taxis.

  • avatar

    Any word on whether this vehicle will be sold in Canada? Kia kept importing the old one here even after they stopped selling it in the US.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s actually a good question: the Rondo sold very, very well in Canada (as did the Mazda5).

      Considering Chevy sells the Orlando here but not in the US, there’s precedent.

  • avatar
    Rental Man

    Driver seat was too short for me. The Rondo’s were so cheap used that a 2-3 year old one was 10K. With Tint and a nicer wheels it gets a completely different look. As seen above.
    Problem is cheap 2WD SUV’s and the Dodge GR. Caravan for 21K.

  • avatar

    As a Rondo-ist, I hate this new version. One of the things that made the Rondo attractive to me was the low beltline. Now, it has tiny slit windows like every other car out there, sacrificing visibility and creating a huge expanse of sheetmetal that looks weird no matter how many character lines you insert.

    The previous generation that I drive suffers from no such d-pillar chopping – the rear is huge and will haul massive loads with the seats folded down (completely flat too!).

    And the V6 is zippy enough and enables me to tow a 1700-lb folding camper trailer with no problem at all.

    There’s been a few minor quality issues, but overall, I really like my Rondo. That said, a diesel with a stickshift would be awesome and that new dash is a vaaaast improvement over mine.

  • avatar

    Rondo is a decent car, a family member has one and she likes it.

  • avatar

    I really liked the way the original version drove. And the utility was great. It reminded me of the original Quest/Villager. The Rondo’s only fault was its lack of style. The “dork” quotient was way, way too high. Still, it was a solid vehicle.

    This new one looks better, but as others have pointed out, I’m sure utility and visibility suffers. Too bad. There should be a happy medium.

  • avatar

    It’s not a minivan!

    It’s a tall wagon.

  • avatar

    The problem with compact minivans is that they’re smaller with the same MPG and roughly the same pricetag.

    My wife and I both liked the Mazda 5, but couldn’t get past the fact that it’s MPGs are within rounding error of the Sienna.

    The Prius V and the C-Max both at least get you MPGs. But, at 2-rows, they’re wagons and not compact minivans. But you get something other than parkability for going smaller.

    • 0 avatar

      “The problem with compact minivans is that they’re smaller with the same MPG and roughly the same pricetag.”

      This is largely true if your mileage is mostly highway. In the city the mileage gap widens and the parkability of a 5, Rondo or Orlando becomes notable.

      That said, I’d really have liked Toyota to release a seven-seat Prius V, and I suspect they didn’t so as to protect sales of the (much more expensive) Highlander Hybrid.

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