2009 Kia Rondo Performance

#7 out of 15 in 2009 Wagons

$3,565 - $4,583

2009 Kia Rondo Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 Kia Rondo was new.


Performance: 7.5

Reviewers say the Rondo offers competent but not exciting performance. Surprisingly, most reviewers prefer the less powerful base engine to the optional V6. However, no matter what engine they prefer, most are disappointed that the Rondo only comes in traditional front-wheel drive -- despite the fact that most competitors offer all-wheel-drive capability.

Acceleration and Power

Under the hood, the 2009 Kia Rondo LX base model features a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine that puts out 162 horsepower. Also available on either trim is a 2.7-liter 182-horsepower V6 engine. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates fuel economy for the Rondo at 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with the base engine, and 18/26 mpg city/highway with the V6. The base engine is paired with a four-speed automatic transmission, while the V6 upgrades to a five-speed automatic. No manual transmission is available, though both automatics feature Sportmatic clutchless manual shifting

  • "While the available V6 offers more power and torque plus an extra gear in the automatic transmission with which it's paired, the four-cylinder engine has sufficient muscle to cope with lighter-duty chores and offers even better fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2.4-liter Hyundai/DaimlerChrysler four revved smoothly and willingly, the four-speed transmission doing just fine in spite of its modest gear count." -- Car and Driver
  • "The V6's responsive throttle and absence of harshness make it feel stronger than the numbers suggest." -- Edmunds
  • "The 4-cylinder provides decent acceleration in town but doesn't have much punch for merging or passing despite working hard in those situations. The V6 is considerably stronger." --MSN

Handling and Braking

Reviewers generally feel the Rondo handles well -- though it isn't outstanding. The Rondo rides on a platform identical to that of the Kia Optima sedan, contributing to a carlike ride. Reviewers are also generally pleased with the Rondo's power assisted rack-and-pinion steering and especially its tight turning radius

  • "[The Rondo] handles like the midsize front-drive wagon it is." -- Consumer Guide
  • "You could run errands in the Rondo all day with no backache." -- Cars.com
  • "Those interested in steering precision should start and stop their shopping at the Mazda store. Those interested in a smooth ride and an eerie absence of tire noise, even at highway speeds, should stick with Kia." -- Car and Driver
  • "Braking distances are average, but the pedal action is nicely linear and gives the driver confidence that the Rondo will stop when required." -- Edmunds

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