The 2008 Kia Rondo compact crossover wagon features crisp, pleasing lines, highlighted front and rear by contemporary head and tail light clusters. Three trims are available, base, LX and the up-market EX. 16-inch alloy wheels are standard on the base and LX trim, 17-inch alloys with low-profile tires come on the EX as does a power, tilt-sliding moon roof. The Rondo is a carryover style from 2007.
There are two power plant choices for the LX and EX: a 2.4 liter dual overhead cam inline-four that produces 162 horsepower and 164 pound feet of torque, mated to a four-speed automatic transmission and a 2.7-liter V-6 that generates 182 horsepower and 182 pound feet of torque. The V-6 comes with a five-speed transmission that can be sequentially shifted. The base trim is only available with the in-line four.
The four cylinder delivers an EPA estimated 21 City/29 Highway while the V-6 is slightly less efficient at 20 City and 27 Highway.
Braking is provided by power-assisted ABS four-wheel disc brakes with electronic stability control standard.
The Rondo's standard safety features also include six airbags: dual-stage front airbags, front-seat mounted side airbags, and full-length, side curtain airbags.
The Rondo has earned the five-star crash safety rating in frontal driver and passenger crash tests, from the National Highway Safety Administration.
Maximum seating capacity on our test Rondo was seven with access to the third row seats via tilt and sliding second row seats. Fold flat, third row and 60/40 split second-row seats allow up to 31.7 cubic feet of cargo space.
Our test Rondo also came equipped with the optional Infinity digital audio system that includes an in-dash disc changer, AM/FM/MP3 player and 10 speakers.
Base MSRP for the 2008 Kia Rondo is $16,395 with our fully-loaded EX V-6 coming in at $22,895. All trim levels come with a 10-year/100,000 mile power train and 5-year/60,000 mile limited warranty.
These numbers and the 2008 Kia Rondo's blend of fun, functionality and safety make it well worth considering when shopping for an efficient, reasonably priced compact wagon.