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Although classified by the EPA as a wagon, Kia is clearly aiming at the new crossover market with the Rondo. The car can hold a lot of passengers or cargo, although it doesn't have the tech amenities offered in other crossovers.
Kia borrows some design ideas from Subaru for the front of this car, with its tightly defined grille bookended by headlight casings.
From the side, the shape of the Rondo reminds us of a duck, with the low hood butting up against the high-roofline body.
The large windows on the Rondo are a nice feature, allowing good visibility all the way around.
The Rondo isn't any longer than a compact sedan, but its optional third row allows seating for six, comfortably. The third-row seats can also be folded down to create a fairly large cargo area.
The cabin of the Rondo feels well built, but large areas of hard plastic covering the dashboard don't suggest luxury.
The optional Infinity stereo system includes a six-disc changer but no satellite radio capability or auxiliary inputs.
The car's 10-speaker stereo system includes a centerfill speaker on the dashboard and a subwoofer in the cargo area.
The doors hold tweeters and midrange speakers. The triangle window in the A pillar is an interesting architectural detail.
Although the steering feels responsive in the Rondo, the car's high center-of-gravity gives it a teetering feel in corners.
The five-speed automatic, included in the V-6 version, has a manual-gear-selection mode.
Besides the Infinity stereo, the other bright spot on this car is its engine. The 2.7-liter V-6 gives the car plenty of power.