2008 Kia Rondo Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Kia Rondo was new.

The 2008 Rondo delivers a safe, affordable and spacious ride on a budget, but can't match the sportier performance or resale value of others in its class.

7.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 7.7
Safety: 9.7
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Affordable base price compared to other seven-passenger vehicles
  • Versatile seating and cargo configurations, thanks to folding bench seats
  • Plenty of standard safety features
  • Outstanding basic and powertrain warranties
  • Some see exterior styling as ugly
  • Questionable reliability history
  • Low resale value relative to competitors

2008 Kia Rondo Overview

Reviewers generally agree the 2008 Kia Rondo is a practical, affordable and safe five-seat (seven-seat-optional) alternative to a traditional minivan or SUV. A shared platform with the Kia Optima sedan gives the wagon a carlike feel. However, many are turned off by its exterior styling. New in 2007, the 2008 Rondo is not significantly changed from the initial model.

Though the Rondo's only direct competitor is the Mazda5 wagon, it is also similar to other car-based crossover sport-utility vehicles, including the Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe. However, what sets it apart are optional seating for seven and a good value thanks to its affordable price and generous warranties. In addition, the Rondo differs from a minivan because its large side doors open outward (like a car) instead of sliding.

"Indeed, given its appealing price, which can't go much over $25,000 no matter how many boxes you check, we could see Kia's porky new mini-minivan becoming more successful than the six-passenger Mazda 5, which can't match the Rondo's people-carrying capacity. There may be something to this Rondoism after all," writes Car and Driver. Though the Rondo is highly affordable, its value over time is less than impressive. It's also estimated to maintain less resale value than most of its competitors.

The Rondo comes in two trims, the LX and EX, which are both available with either the standard inline four-cylinder engine or an optional V6.

  • "It's about satisfying the automotive nesting instinct people feel when they've got kids -- their own and their friends' who need to get around with a minimum of fuss and maximum of thrift. Secure, well-constructed, nimble and versatile as a blue blazer, the Rondo does all that and leaves money left over for piano lessons." -- Los Angeles Times
  • "Tall, reasonably stylish, usually comfortable and offering a lot for the money, the Rondo is worth considering as a family hauler that won't break the bank to buy or to keep fueled." -- Newsday
  • "The Rondo's claim-to-fame here probably will be that it is the least-expensive seven-passenger vehicle in the United States. With the $500 extra for the third seat, the Rondo LX model lists for $18,995, including $600 freight." -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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