2008 Kia Rondo

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18 CITY / 26 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2008:
  • Few changes from all-new 2007 model

  • Auxiliary input audio jack added

  • Cassette player deleted
New for 2007, the Kia Rondo is a crossover vehicle that looks more like a car than an SUV. Changes for 2008 are minimal: a cassette player is deleted, while an audio input jack for MP3 players is added. Based on the Optima midsize sedan, the Rondo is available with 5 or 7 seats and 4- or 6-cylinder power.

From the beltline up, the Rondo looks like an SUV, featuring a long hood and high roof. Below the beltline, however, features of a car are evident: wheel-hugging fenders, low-profile tires, and short ground clearance. The tall windows and available roof rails even provide a bit of a minivan-like appearance, but the doors are forward-hinged rather than the sliding type.

Model Lineup
The 2008 Kia Rondo is sold in LX and EX versions. The LX includes body-colored door handles, a grille with black crossbars, and 16-inch tires and wheels. On the inside, all LX buyers get air conditioning and a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo. The Rondo EX comes with fog lights; 17-inch, 5-spoke alloys; and chrome trim, including door handles and grille crossbars. The EX model also adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, front tweeters, and illuminated vanity mirrors. The optional leather package adds leather and heated seats.

Underneath its skin, the 2008 Kia Rondo is based on the Optima sedan. That includes sharing its engine choices (a 162-hp, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder or 182-hp, 2.7-liter V-6 engine); automatic transmissions (a 4-speed automatic for the 4-cylinder engine and a 5-speed automatic for the V-6 engine, each with Sportmatic that allows for clutchless shifting); front-wheel-drive layout; and 4-wheel independent suspension. For 2008, estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway for 4-cylinder engine models and 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway for Rondos with the V-6 engine. The Rondo is covered by a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2008 Kia Rondo gets a 5-star safety rating for driver and passenger in front crashes, and a 5-star rating for the front seat and a 4-star rating for the rear seat in side-impact crashes. Standard safety equipment on the Rondo includes front air bags; front-seat side air bags; full-length side curtain air bags; anti-lock brakes; electronic stability control; traction control; and a tire-pressure-monitoring system.

In the 5-seat Rondo, the second-row seats are fixed and provide 38.2 inches of leg room. On models with the optional third-row seats, the second-row seats slide forward or backward nearly a foot. Third-row leg room is 31.3 inches, more than enough for a full-size adult, Kia says. Second-row seats come with a 60/40 split; the third row has a 50/50 split. Both rows fold flat to offer flexibility for either passenger carrying or cargo carrying.

J.D. Power Ratings

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