In the market for a low cost all purpose family vehicle? The newly redesigned 2014 Kia Rondo EX Luxury provides convenience, comfort and value all tied into its small stylish package. The 2014 Kia Rondo can almost be classified as a minivan because of the exterior shape and interior layout with 3rd row seating, but without the sliding doors I consider it an MPV.
ENGINE & DRIVE
The smooth and relatively quiet ride of the 2014 Kia Rondo can be attributed to the peppy 2.0L engine, outputting 164 horsepower and paired with a six speed manual or automatic transmission. Although the small engine does offer some power with one or two passengers, the engine is quite underpowered with a full load of passengers or cargo.
The 2014 Kia Rondo is stated to achieve a fuel consumption of 6.3 L/100km on the highway and 9.2 L/100km in the city. However, for a small 2.0L engine outputting a low horsepower, I was expecting a much better fuel economy than the 10.6 L/100km that was achieved over 380kms of combined city and highway driving (mostly with only one or two passengers).
INTERIOR & EXTERIOR
With the redesign of the exterior being a huge step up from previous years’ models, the 2014 Kia Rondo is still quite plain by today’s standards. Except for the signature Kia front grille and the large and long headlights, the exterior of the 2014 Kia Rondo doesn’t do much to inspire. Perhaps with some dual exhaust, larger tires, a few more accent lines and some black highlights the exterior would be more enthusiastic.
If you can get past the exterior looks, then you’ll very much appreciate what’s in the interior of the 2014 Kia Rondo EX Luxury. The first aspect you will notice as the driver is the great visibility – windows everywhere (including a giant full length sunroof) and not many areas that are hidden from view. You may also notice that because of the many windows, sharply sloping windshield, enormous sunroof and long dash, the interior appears quite spacious despite the small looking exterior. One thing you may not notice are the many areas for storage, both hidden (under trunk floor and under floor mats of second row seating) and in plain view.
The interior of the 2014 Kia Rondo EX Luxury is also all about comfort, convenience and versatility incorporating many features usually only found in luxury vehicles. Comfort features include heated and cooled driver’s seat with adjustable lumbar and knee support, heated steering wheel, adjustable steering stiffness, reclining second row seats and second row heating and cooling vents. Convenience features include a clearly labelled and easy to use dash, steering wheel controls, keyless entry with push button start, backup camera, parking sensors and one touch driver controlled up and down for all windows. Versatility features include a third row of seating that folds flat for additional trunk space and sliding second row seating that folds flat for even more trunk space.
The materials used in the interior are all top rate and the seams and build quality are all excellent. However, there are a few things that could be improved upon for the 2014 Kia Rondo EX Luxury. For example, the third row seating may be fine for kids, but will definitely be cramped for adults (but it’s good to have the option for passengers or cargo). Also, the steering wheel may have a few too many controls, making it a bit cluttered.
Although we test drove the top of the line 2014 Kia Rondo EX Luxury 7 seater priced at $32,195, the base model offers great value starting at just $21,695 and includes many features usually considered an upgrade on other vehicles. Although the looks and fuel consumption could be improved, for a versatile daily driver I would highly recommend taking the 2014 Kia Rondo for a test drive.