After two years on the market, the 2009 Kia Rondo saw improvements to its power and fuel economy when compared to previous years. This midsize front-wheel drive sedan provides families with an alternative choice to a minivan or SUV.
Body Styles: Wagon
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 2.7-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed automatic
Models: Rondo LX, Rondo EX
For the launch of the 2009 Kia Optima, both engines are tuned to improve power output by 13 horsepower and 10 horsepower for the four-cylinder and V-6 engines, respectively. This is done without any loss to gas mileage, and the four-cylinder engine actually sees an improvement to its mileage numbers. A new touch screen navigation system is now available for the premium EX trim level, and an iPod connector is added to the list of options available for both trim levels this year.
While the tall profile of the 2009 Kia Rondo may confuse some people, the benefits include a lot of headroom and excellent visibility. The combination of the size of this tall wagon along with its good fuel economy make it more appealing than a regular minivan. The base model is fitted with 16-inch wheels as standard, while the EX model is equipped with 17-inch wheels.
Based which 2009 Kia Rondo model you choose, up to seven passengers can be seated comfortably. The third row of seating is optional in the LX model and standard for the EX model. The seats in the third row have a 60/40 split to allow folding of all or of part of the row. These seats do have less room than in the second row, so they are suited more toward children than adults. The LX models have fabric upholstery, while the EX models have a leather interior. The instrument cluster and dashboard are clear and easy to use. With the minimal amount of control buttons and knobs necessary, the audio and climate control systems are simple and easy to use. Power windows, locks, and mirrors are standard for both trim levels, while heated seats are an option for the LX model and come as standard for the EX model.
Performance & Handling
There are two trim levels available for the 2009 Kia Rondo, which are the LX and EX. Both trim lines can be equipped with either a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine or a 2.7-liter, V-6 engine. The four-cylinder engine comes coupled with a four-speed automatic transmission and produces 175 horsepower and 169 lb-ft of torque. The V-6 engine produces 192 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission.
The increase in power comes with an increase in performance for the 2009 Kia Rondo. Both transmissions are equipped with a manual override to allow for more control by the driver. Steering and handling are good, and the front-wheel drive wagon is quite responsive. The ride is smooth over most surfaces, although some body roll may be noticed due to the height of the vehicle. However, the height provides an excellent position for the driver and significantly improves visibility.
Front-seat side airbags, full-length side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, and a stability control system are all standard for both trim levels of the 2009 Kia Rondo. Crash test scores for front and side impacts were perfect, and the 2009 Rondo received four out of five stars for rear crash protection.
EPA Fuel Economy
Rondo four-cylinder: 20/27 mpg city/highway
Rondo V-6: 18/26 mpg city/highway
- Excellent visibility
- Third row of seating
- Amount of head and legroom
- Quality of materials
You Won't Like
- Body roll
- Slower acceleration and passing
- Functional, non-descript design
A wagon that is an interesting alternative to the traditional minivan.
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